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People are raving over this popcorn maker on TikTok — so I had to try it

Movie theaters might be closed, but this gadget can help make theater-style popcorn at home.
Jillian Ortiz; Getty Images

If you’ve come across whipped coffee, the Ordinary’s Peeling Solution or delicious recipes from Tabitha Brown within the last few months, you likely have TikTok to thank. The app has become a source for all things trendy before they become trendy, from viral memes to helpful food hacks. So while scrolling through dance challenges and adorable dog videos, I felt like I had struck gold when I stumbled across yet another popular find.

In a 15-second clip, TikTok user Madeline LeBlanc managed to catch the attention of more than six million viewers — myself included — by simply making popcorn. However, it was how she made it that had me intrigued. There were no bags involved, no stove-top mishaps or buttery messes — just one uniquely designed pitcher that made movie theater-style popcorn in a matter of minutes.

The gadget featured in the video is the Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Maker, which is designed to evenly distribute hot air to pop kernels to perfection. As more people begin to search for ways to bring sustainable products into their homes, it's not surprising that they were raving over this $15 alternative to disposable microwave popcorn bags — and I was able to get my hands on a review unit to give it a try.

Ecolution Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper

The reviews seem promising

The popcorn popper currently ranks among the top three popcorn poppers on Amazon and has amassed more than 1,200 verified five-star reviews from popcorn lovers and snackers alike. Without the bags or oils, the popper relies on its design to air-pop kernels, making it a healthier alternative to most store-bought options. As someone who makes frequent trips to the kitchen throughout the day, this seemed all the more promising.

The unit itself is made out of a heat-resistant glass that is reinforced by BPA-free plastic to prevent breakage. The gadget even received a 2016 Good Design award for its unique construction.

It's easy to use

According to the process filmed in the TikTok video, it only takes three steps to make popcorn using the Micro-Pop, but I still followed the directions on the card just to be safe. First, I poured the kernels to the fill line of the lid and then poured them into the pitcher. Luckily, since the lid is made of rubber, it was easy to make sure all of the kernels actually ended up in the popper and not all over my counter.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

Once everything was in place, I made the final decision to add just a little bit of butter on top of the lid, which will gradually melt through the perforated holes as the kernels begin popping. Since I like my popcorn on the plain side, I appreciated that I had complete control over how it would taste.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

The brand recommends placing the popcorn popper in the microwave from anywhere between two and a half to three minutes, but I found it takes a few tries to find the perfect setting. On my first try, I set the microwave to two minutes and 30 seconds, but there were more un-popped kernels than I was expecting. Ultimately, the three-minute mark worked best, even though it still left a few un-popped kernels at the bottom of the pitcher. However, since most of the kernels did pop to perfection, I found it wasn't enough to be a deal-breaker.

After the popcorn finishes popping, you can decide whether you want to add seasonings or any other delicious toppings and get to snacking right out of the container. Since it has a convenient handle, I ended up bringing the popper outside to snack while I lounged.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

Once I reached the bottom of the bowl, I found it was easy to hand-wash, but both parts of the unit are also dishwasher-safe for easy care.

I won't buy bagged popcorn for a long time

Snacks are my religion, and I usually opt for things that come packaged for the sake of convenience. However, I don't think I'll be reaching for my family size bag of pre-popped popcorn for a while.

Not only was it enjoyable to make, but the popcorn tasted delicious (my compliments to the chef!). The design alone is enough to make me excited to continue to use it on a daily basis, and I see many more movie nights in my future.

Jillian Ortiz / TODAY

While it may seem like a bit of an investment, the Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper is my new go-to when I hit my 3 p.m. slump. Knowing that the eco-friendly gadget is good for the environment (no more disposable popcorn bags!) and also helps me make good snacking choices makes it all the more worth it.

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