I Worked at a Movie Theater and I Swear This Splurgy Stovetop Popcorn Maker Is Worth Every Penny

published Nov 22, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Even before I worked at my local movie theater in high school, I ate popcorn way more than I probably should have. A microwaved bag was my go-to snack — and after I started taking shifts behind the concession stand, I would grab a bag for myself on the way out at the end of the night. On occasion, I would even take one of the trash bags we filled with all the leftovers. (Don’t judge. You would, too.)

I miss the constant access to theater popcorn now that my concession days are long behind me. Sure, I go to the movies a few times a month, but I long for the time when I had tons of bags stocked up in my pantry at home. That’s why I set out to find the best way to make cinema-quality popcorn at home a few weeks back, and even though I landed on what I think is a near-perfect method, I just tried out another popcorn maker that might be my new favorite: Popsmith’s Popper, which is 15% off for Black Friday.

What is the Popsmith Popper?

This popper performs just as great as it looks, coming in four vibrant colors and a more neutral cream hue. It’s constructed with premium stainless steel that looks (and feels) as substantial as any other piece of high-end cookware. Equipped with a multi-clad metal bottom, the Popper heats evenly and quickly, and after pouring in your kernels and ingredients (which you can also purchase pre-measured from the brand), your snack will be ready following a few minutes of turning on any type of stove. Thanks to its patented spinning mechanism, there’s little chance of burning, sticking, or any kernels being unpopped, and everything will be well-mixed once you take it off the heat. When all is said and done, you can stick it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love the Popsmith Popper

First off, I love a piece of cookware that looks so stylish that I’ll actually want to leave it on my stovetop — and this one totally fits the bill. I went with the red-orange “Poppy” color, and it instantly livens up my entire kitchen. In fact, it even pairs well with my red stand mixer that sits on the counter, which was an unexpected but entirely welcome bonus. From the first time I held it, I’ve had no doubt that it’ll hold up for years just like my stand mixer will — it feels that durable.

But let’s get into what you really want to hear about: the popcorn itself. After setting the popper on my gas stovetop for a minute or two, I pour in the kit — which I highly recommend splurging on if you want to achieve the perfect ratio of corn, coconut oil, and buttery salt. The first time, I was shocked at how smooth and effortless turning the handle was — the minutes it took to pop went by in no time, and before I knew it, the popping slowed and it was ready to be removed from the burner.

When I lifted the lid, I was stunned by how much popcorn it made. There’s easily enough in one kit to feed four people, and every time, I’ve only encountered around 10 unpopped kernels at the bottom of the pot — hardly anything goes to waste. Another consistency? It’s never burned once after five tries. It tastes so similar to fluffy movie theater popcorn that I’ve even snuck in bags of my homemade batch into the theater instead of buying it there (which, if you know me, is saying something.)

Though its on the pricier side, any popcorn lover can be sure that Popsmith’s ingenious device is a worthy investment — and, not to mention, an excellent splurgy gift. Make sure to grab it while it’s on sale for Black Friday!

Buy: The Popper, $169.15 (normally $199)