I'd like to take a moment to talk about a slightly controversial subject: popcorn. Chips are ok, pretzels get boring fast, and chex mix is downright peculiar. Popcorn, however, is the most divine snack food in the land, and is well liked by almost everyone. I refuse on principal to talk to those who don't like popcorn. It's not right.
The problem we face is that most methods of making popcorn aren't great. Movie theater popcorn tastes great, but is expensive and makes you feel sick after a while. Microwave popcorn is usually pretty gross (plus, I refuse to use a microwave.) Air poppers make the popcorn taste like air. My previous favorite method was to cook the popcorn over the stove in a big pot. This results in absolutely delicious popcorn, but it's difficult to pop all the kernels without burning some, and it's not too fun cleaning up the big pot afterwards.
Two weeks ago I was idly browsing a deal site when I came across the subject of this review : the Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper. It was on sale for $25 through Amazon (and still is). People seemed to love it, so I ordered it without hesitation.
When the package arrived, I couldn't wait to try it. We had an ice storm here in Austin, TX, but I braved it and made it to the supermarket to buy some popcorn. All they had was crappy store brand popcorn, so I still haven't tried it with anything better than that.
The popper is very simple. It's a non stick metal base with two stirring rods and a plastic bowl that covers the metal base so that popcorn doesn't go flying everywhere. Operation is simple - I put three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (they recommend vegetable, but it's not good for you so I don't use it) and almost one cup of popcorn. The first time I put just over one cup, and it was too much. Then I plug in the machine and put the bowl on top of the base.
Watching the popcorn pop is really fun. It looks like a cereal civil war or something, and I insist on watching the popping every time. After about five minutes the popcorn is fully popped and all I have to do is unplug the machine and flip it over so that the bowl is on the bottom. I remove the base and viola! A bowl of perfect popcorn.
The machine manages to leave almost no kernels unpopped. I get a few half popped ones, but I suspect that that has to do with the low quality popcorn I'm using right now. I used to eat popcorn once a week when I had people over to watch a movie, but now I eat it every day. Cleanup is extremely easy - I just wipe down the whole thing with paper towels and put it back into action.
If you like popcorn, then you should go buy this at Amazon. If you don't like popcorn, then you have no business being here.