Air-popped popcorn reduces the amount of fat you need to make a fluffy, whole-grain snack at home. Air poppers designed for home use function similarly, although machines can vary a bit from one manufacturer to the next. It's a good idea to read the user’s manual provided with a specific model.

Air poppers work by heating popcorn kernels in a small, enclosed space. As the air around the kernels heats, the starches in the kernels expand, eventually breaking through the hard husk and “popping.” Because air poppers use only hot air to heat the kernels, they produce healthier popcorn without the need for added fat.

Remove the cover and butter tray from the machine base. Fill the butter cup with popcorn kernels, and pour them into the popping chamber

Place the cover back on the machine, and add butter to the butter cup if desired. Fill the butter cup no more than 2/3 full with solid butter.

Place a large bowl under the chute of the machine to collect the popcorn.

Plug the machine into an electrical outlet, and turn it on. It takes roughly 2 to 3 minutes to fully pop one batch of popcorn.

Unplug or turn off the machine as soon as the popping finishes.

Season the popcorn and serve immediately.

Air-popped popcorn can be seasoned much like stove-top or even microwave popcorn. The kernels are best dressed when freshly popped, as the heat helps seasonings stick.