Ditching My Air Popper for This Popcorn Maker Was the Best Decision I Ever Made (Bonus: It’s on Sale!)

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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with popcorn. It’s a filling, healthy-ish snack that I consume more than any other, as does my boyfriend (and, on occasion, our dog). As a firm believer that a family that snacks together, stays together, we are fond of making it at home for sheer convenience and affordability. I had an air popper for years but decided to invest in something different under the guise of giving a thoughtful gift to my man. Turns out, this Bella Stir Stick quickly became his favorite kitchen gadget for churning out a superior bowl of popcorn. He had the genius idea of gifting one to my parents (no surprise, also popcorn aficionados) this year, and we were thrilled to find it on major sale at Macy’s.

Like most at-home poppers, a stir stick popper is a fast and easy way to prep and pop a fresh, hot batch within minutes. Simply add oil and kernels, close the lid, and turn it on — that’s it! The difference with a stir stick as opposed to an air popper is that it produces a superior flavor, even without salt or seasoning (at least in my opinion). The kernels essentially get a heated oil massage from the stick passing over them as they churn, giving a toasty note to the finished product that you don’t get with an air popper. Trust me, after one bite, you’ll be glad it has a 20-cup capacity.

As any loyal popcorn lover knows, unpopped kernels are the worst, but this model has a 95 percent pop rate, so almost nothing is wasted. Major store brands, fancy artisan labels, and even local farmer’s market kernels all pop to perfection. It even has the added bonus that the top doubles as a serving bowl; just flip over the heat-resistant handles, and voila! It’s ready to serve with no spilling (much to the dismay of my pup). A quick wipe with a towel, and I’m ready to make another batch.

My boyfriend will probably get major brownie points with my parents for this gift, and that’s fine by me — as long as I get a few extra handfuls of popcorn. So, if you have a snacker in your life, may I suggest this popcorn maker? You’ll probably want to thank me with a bowlful, too.

Buy: Bella Stir Stick Popcorn Maker, $29.99 (Normally $39.99)