601 of 607 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
This 300w popper is working well and will deliver ready to eat popcorn within minutes after it's been warmed up the time it takes you to get your supplies ready to use.
Looks nice and is a fun item, but if your desire is the finished popcorn and not in owning an unusual popper, you can pop more and spend less money at the same time with another machine in my opinion.
Taste of the popped corn can vary depending on the type of corn, oil and salt you use, if you don't like it, try another combination. I buy larger sized concession stand oil and flavored salt, but buy my white popcorn in smaller bags so I can keep it fresher.
I love white popcorn, you might like yellow, but don't forget you can also mix batches to get something in between.
No matter which you like, it must be fresh to have the proper moisture content to pop properly.
Don't blame your popper all the time when it can be the corn thats at fault.
The clear sides plus top and bottom that you see are all ABS plastic, For the MSRP ~Manufactures Suggested Retail Price~ (LIST price, not talking about the discounted price), it should really have tempered glass in my opinion... they do use glass in the next models up it seems.
Even the hinges for the front door are plastic and IMO should be metal even with plastic sides.
Note this popper has a pretty large footprint so make sure you have a place to put it before you buy.. it's 11 x 11 x 17inches.
It has a pretty small popping pot (6" x 3.5"), you use 1 tablespoon oil and 1/3 cup corn per batch.
In my opinion, that's not much popcorn per cycle, it would take several batches to fill the tray in the bottom as shown in the promotional photo from Waring.
I measured the popped corn from each batch and for me, it's 4-5 cups, but can vary depending on how many kernels pop with the corn you use.
I uploaded a photo of the popping pan to show size and design.
Perhaps it's just ME,but I can eat 8 cups of popped corn without stopping 8-) Count on running many batches if there's more than one person eating corn.
I really feel they could have put a cook unit in this about 50% larger without increasing the outer case size. (or the price)
The lid on the stainless steel pot that you open to pour in the oil and corn is pretty small, can be kind of tough to hold the metal flap open and dump in the oil and corn.
The smaller size also makes cleaning a bit of a pain since the 2 lid flaps, stiring paddle with drive shaft and all attachment points do not come off and require you to get your cleaning wand or hand in half of the pot at a time since the lids are split into 2 and each is less than half the diameter of the pot. instructions suggest you pour some water in and run it to "steam" clean, but I'd still want to wipe it out after.
I found that putting a rubber band around the lid handles to hold them open makes it go a bit easier when cleaning it out with a soapy sponge "wand".
Also, be sure and clean inside of the top of the plastic case, it really gets a lot of oil spatter up there.
Again just to help you picture it...Even on the kitchen counter I have to bend down to see what I'm doing in there (I'm 6ft).
One additional tip... pull the plastic tray out a couple of inches before you dump the corn from the pot... will save picking it up off the floor.
Now the biggest problem I have with it and it's not a fault with the item itself.... where do I keep it when not in use? Would love to let it set out as it looks okay and would be easier to use when the mood strikes, but don't have that kind of counter space.
UPDATE Nov 2010;
Two years later, I wanted everyone to know this is still working just fine and nothing has broken, even the light inside still has the same bulb... has popped many a bowl of corn at this point.
I do note the clear plastic sides and door are showing some wash and dry scratches(dull)from being cleaned of oil spatter after each use.
Be sure to read the comments attached to this review for more details in using this popper.
UPDATE Nov 2011;
Still working and nothing bad to report, nice to see the price drop....
UPDATE Dec 2012
While not looking factory fresh after 4 years, it is still popping corn and has no broken parts to report
110 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
My wife and I both love popcorn. For 2009 Christmas, she opted to get this popper for "me" as a gift. I must say, I am impressed. Especially for the price.
We have 3 in our family and normally have to cook 3-4 batches using the recommended 1/3 cup kernels to satisfy everyone. Obviously your results will vary based on appetites, etc. But if you have a larger family or number of friends, then anticipate cooking more. That being said, it doesn't take long to cook them. There is a 2 minute warm up period, which gives you time to gather seeds, oil, etc. Then another few minutes per batch to cook.
After getting the machine, we were buying Orville Redenbacher seeds & oil from Walmart because of convenience. Quality is okay, but takes experimenting to get it right. In our opinion it never matched "movie style" popcorn. Or maybe we never "perfected" the recipe. Also I noticed some uncooked seeds. Not a large % but more than I'd like.
Recently we found a local specialty popcorn store (The Corn Popper - Google it for a link). They have much, much better seeds, oil and the real popcorn salt. We love the flavor and feel we have equivalent (and sometimes better, depending on theater) popcorn than if we go to the movies now. Also we have about 1/3 the amount of unpopped kernels as compared to OR product we initially used. So the seeds are a higher quality in our opinion. Lastly, but very important, is supplies at this new shop is CHEAPER than the OR products and you get more. So we are very impressed with the new supplier and will continue to buy our products from there. Having the right products make ownership much, much more enjoyable.
Truly, my only complaints with the machine is I wish it popped more, had a larger container and had glass sides (opposed to plastic). But when you consider the very affordable entry level pricing for a solid machine, it offers tremendous "bang for the buck".
It is not **December 2013** (approx 4 years from original receipt date), and I wanted to update this review since several people are finding it useful. This machine is still in use and going strong! It has definitely proved to be worth the money, and am so glad to have received it as a gift. We are still buying our seeds/supplies from The Corn Popper and have perfected our recipe.
We did experience one small hiccup about a year ago. The electrical socket inside the unit (where you plug the metal basket popper into) melted. Upon inspection, it appeared I could get a new switch and replace it myself. The socket/switch was a bit difficult to find but I found an electrical supply house in CA that had them. I ordered a couple as cost was cheap and I wanted a few spares in case something happened again. For less than $10 I was able to get the parts I needed and in about 5 minutes or less had replaced the socket. I plugged it back in and it has worked perfect every since. Just enjoyed a batch this past weekend! I still strongly recommend this unit!
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2009
This product has been perfect for my household! We typically make 2-3 batches of popcorn 3-4 nights a week. We've had no problems with it. It's lightweight & easy to clean. If you want popcorn for more than 2-4 people, it might be best to purchase a larger size machine, but for 2-4 people, it's just right. The small batches make it easy to pop for just 1 or 2 people, and the short time it takes to pop additional batches make it easy to serve up to 4. It's a great product!
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
When the unit worked it was GREAT, however after 10 pops, the kettle stopped heating enough to pop the kernels. Very, very disappointed in how long the unit lasted. When I called customer service today, I was told that I have to take the unit into an authorized service center, which is hours away, just to have the machine verified it is covered under warranty. The bottom line is that IT DOES NOT WORK, it only popped 10 times, why would it not be covered???
Waring Pro could learn about standing behind their products like Keuring does, I hear all the time that Keurig is second to none at warranty coverage of their items, they replace their coffee machines immediatly. Customer Service at Waring Pro did not even asked me for the serial number off my machine or when I purchased it. I have no idea how long I have to get the machine to a dealer, so I will have to call them back. It does not even advise warranty coverage in the manual.
Unless you live in a large hub that has an authorized dealer near you, I would not recommend purchasing a Waring Pro product.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2011
After reviewing many popcorn makers, and wanting the best theater-type popcorn experience, I selected the Waring Pro for home use.
I already had an electric stirring-type popcorn popper (Presto, the Orville brand), and was very satisfied with its performance and simplicity of use and clean-up. It remains my standard, everyday popper, but when I want the best popcorn, I use the Waring Pro.
There are a few caveats, though.
First, you must use coconut oil, the same as the theaters. Use "virgin," not some hydrogenated product or adulterated version. Read about this to confirm it's not unhealthy.
Second, use only the pre-measured amounts, a ratio of 1/3 cup of popcorn to 1 tablespoon of oil.
Third, use popcorn salt. It is ultrafine and clings to the popcorn. It only takes 1/2 teaspoon for the above corn/oil.
Fourth, put the salt in with the oil and corn while popping to assure even distribution.
Those caveats apply to all popcorn makers to get the best results.
The Waring Pro in particular has its own quirks. First, it doesn't make 9 cups at a time, as advertised. It is more like 4 cups, so it does not make a lot, only enough for 1 person or perhaps 2 at a time. It can be re-used right away though, so it will make those 9 cups in 2 poppings, which will about fill the included plastic tray.
The popping unit is a little small, making cleanup somewhat difficult. The recommended way to clean it is to put water into it after use and boil the water and then empty it into the tray. This is not a good way. It is messy, somewhat prone to spilling the hot water, and not completely effective. The inside of the covers (the ones that flip up during popping), for instance, will not be cleaned with this method. However, the popping unit is easily removable after a little practice. It must be unplugged from inside and then can be rinsed out with a little soapy water in the sink and the entire inside of the popcorn maker must also be wiped out to get rid of occasional oil splatters.
Much more popcorn of nearly equal quality can be made with the bubble top type electric stirring poppers. My Presto will make nearly 3 times as much as the Waring Pro, for example, but the quality is not quite as good due to limited air escape, making it a little bit on the soggy side, while the Waring Pro makes dry, light, fluffy popcorn due to excellent air circulation. It does leave a few more unpopped kernels than the Presto, though. Some of them simply explode out of the popper during popping, but it is not an excessive amount. It will leave a dozen or more unpopped kernels, while the Presto will leave only about a half dozen.
The appearance is, of course, part of the experience, and no bubble top can compare with a theater style popper. I only wish I had bought a bigger unit to complete the experience, but then storage becomes a problem, as the small unit is already a bit large to store. I keep it on top of my refrigerator where it looks nice, but not everyone may like this option, and a larger unit (one that has its own stand, for instance) would need to go in a more dedicated space.
Altogether, I am very happy with this product. It is reliable, looks good, makes the best popcorn (though not a lot at a time), and is not overly expensive.
Good quality popcorn oil and salt are available from Paragon, via Amazon.com
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2010
Our family received the popper as a gift. It was very thoughtful as we eat a lot of popcorn and the kids thought it looked really neat and couldn't wait to try it. Unfortunately, it has about as much in common with a real pro machine as an easy-bake oven or the snow cone machine you had as a kid; you remember, the one that looked so cool on tv, but it took you 45 minutes and three blisters to produce one mediocre snow cone.
The look is really cool but, while it does do a decent job of popping corn, it doesn't pop much at a time. The packaging says it pops up to 8 cups at a time, but when you follow the directions it only produces about 3 cups. If you load it more, it tears the popcorn as other postings attest to. Also, the kettle is so small that it when the corn pops it pushes out a relatively large number of un-popped kernels compared to other popping methods.
You also might get the idea that you could pop several batches and keep them warm in the cabinet. This also doesn't work well. The light is tiny and hardly provides any heat to keep the popcorn warm. Also, there is no way to leave the light on and turn the stirring motor off. The kettle can be unplugged.
In my opinion $100 is a lot to spend for a good looking machine that can't perform. Lets not even talk about where we're going to store it when not in use.
My recommendation if you like lots of popcorn with little mess, is the Whirley-pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper. It is light, fast, inexpensive, and will prepare about 8 cups tasty popcorn at a time.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
This popper has met and exceeded my expectations so far. It was a Christmas gift and I was a little concerned after reading some of the previous reviews. However, I don't have any complaints. The plastic casing and door is plenty sturdy, the door hangs well and stays shut with the magnet. It is a bit large to place in a cabinet, so I would recommend planning to have it as part of your kitchen decor -- just leave it on the counter. As other consumers have reported, it doesn't make a lot of popcorn at once, but it cooks so fast that you can have the tray completely full in 5-8 minutes, including the warm up time (which is 2 minutes, not 5 as someone else posted). As soon as you dump one batch, pour in the oil and popcorn for the next, and two minutes later you are ready to go again. As advertised there are very few unpopped popcorn kernels in each kettle full.
The housing is sturdy, although plastic, and makes an attractive countertop piece. Waring even thought to include a light which is nice. Overall the construction is tight and it seems to be well made. I have to disagree with a poster who said that you should get tempered glass for this price. I think for this price this is a very well made machine. It is relatively quiet when running, but not silent. You won't forget that the machine is popping, but it won't wake up the sleeping baby either.
Clean-up is pretty easy. The kettle lifts right off the hanging hooks. Squirt a little diswashing liquid inside and rinse out with the sprayer to your sink. You should not submerge the kettle as it has electrical components. The housing wipes out easily with a sponge. Clean-up takes less time than popping a single batch.
One word of warning: don't leave the popper and go off to another room. The popcorn pops very quickly and not all of it ejects from the kettle. Any left in the kettle can burn, so you need to dump the kettle manually as soon as the popping sounds stop. Just like with microwave popcorn -- it will burn quickly once the popping stops.
My only complaint is that it seems the most commonly available "all-in-one" packs of popcorn are designed for larger capacity poppers. 6 0z works out fine if I want to make mutliple batches, but since those bags aren't resealable, it could be an issue if I only want to make a single serving. I would recommend shopping online for the smaller 2.5oz size if you tend to make popcorn for just one person at a time. It would have been nice if Waring had included a sample size of all-in-one popcorn in the box. Hubby didn't think to buy any when he bought the popcorn maker, so we weren't able to use it on Christmas day. Also, the all-in-one pouches aren't available at the grocery store, so we had to make the 30 mile trip back to the kitchen store to get the right kind of popcorn. Yes, you can use just plain old Orville Redkenbacher and vegetable oil, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a theater style popcorn maker. You want to get the butter flavored oil (which is what comes in the all-in-one packs)so that it taste like the popcorn at the movies.
For at home movie night use or small party, this is an EXCELLENT popper!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2009
This is a good popcorn maker IMO. It doesnt pop very much at a time and does tend to spit out a lot of kernels while it's popping. The corn it does make is VERY tasty and is just like theater popcorn. The more you use it, the more it's like theater popcorn. This machine is a good product for the money.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2011
I did a lot of research before purchasing this popcorn machine. So far we are very happy with it. Once we figured out how to make the popcorn taste like movie theatre / baseball game popcorn we were really happy. I read so many reviews saying "this makes enough for 2 people or this makes enough for 1 person or 3 people or...." well you get my idea. That is a really vague measurement as no one tends to have the same size stomach or same love of popcorn. So, here is what I have to say. From my experience I feel that this popper produces the same amount of popcorn in one popping as a regular size bag of microwave popcorn. I hope that helps.
Now for what we do to make it yummy. I purchased Orville Redenbacher's popcorn kernels and his "Popping and Topping Buttery Flavored Popcorn Oil" at my local Walmart. I purchased ActII buttery popcorn salt at my local Sam's Club (it is a big jug). I added the 1 tablespoon of the Orville R. Popping and Topping oil to the popper and 1 teaspoon of the ActII buttery popcorn salt to the popper. I let it mix for a couple seconds and then I added the popcorn kernels. It came out tasting buttery and salty like the movie theatre or a baseball game. I did not add any of the Orville R. Popping and Topping as a topper. I don't really like all the greasy oily butter anyway. We love this popcorn popper.
47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2010
I wanted to get one of these for my sons Carnival party. I found this at Costco for $60 and was very disappointed after I used it. I don't think it's the actual machine that I am disappointed with. I am sure it did what it was supposed to, but I just think it's a waste of money. It pops very little popcorn at a time. We have a family of five and would have to pop at least a few batches or more. And for the party, I will have to pop a ton. I have the stove top popper that I much prefer. This is huge and I am not sure where I would put it. For a huge machine and little popcorn, I think it's a waste of money. The look is great, but pretty useless. It's going back to Costco.