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on January 14, 2018
This is our fourth West Bend Stir Crazy popper. We loved the first one. It maintained an even temperature, popped every kernel every time, and it lasted several years. When it finally gave out, I bought another West Bend Stir Crazy. It lasted a year and half before it quit working. Next, I bought a West Bend Stir Crazy with a removable plate. This made it easier to clean, but it was not the same quality. It would overheat, so after several months, the plastic knob that attached the rotating arm melted off and it no longer stirred the popcorn. Finally, I went back to the original model. It lasted 2 months before the arm stopped rotating.

Since the 2-month Amazon return window closed just before it quit working, my only option is to return it to West Bend at my expense. I'm not interested in paying for shipping to return a $32 popper that they may or may not, at their discretion, replace. Instead, I’m shopping for a different brand.
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on January 3, 2018
I love this popcorn popper! I made several batches using the butter well, but don't care for the greasy well. So I tried making popcorn and melting the butter on the stove. Major difference! The butter helps pop the corn. Not sure if it is the gradual addition of more oils or if it is the heat being kept in because the butter "plugs" the holes...but there was a major difference in how many unpoped kernels remained. From now in I will use the butter well every time.
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on May 15, 2016
West Bend 82306 Stir Crazy model is pretty good. This is our 2nd one in about 5 years (we do popcorn around x2-x3/week). For popping corn - it's pretty straightforward.

PRO's:
-easy to use
-(pretty) easy to clean up
-nice feature having the plastic lid to flip over to use as one of the bowl to serve/eat from

CON's:
-the clear plastic lid is pretty flimsy. While it needs to have some flexibility so that it's pliable for use, IMO it should be a heavy gauge/thickness. Not sure how it will last over the long haul.

I'll keep you posted though :)
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on January 11, 2018
I purchased this because my older version of the same thing stopped working after many years of use. The new one is still working great well over a year after purchase. It survived a holiday season of making huge batches of popcorn for homemade caramel corn that I gave away to friends and family. My best piece of advice is to use coconut oil to pop the corn. It makes it light and fluffy and doesn't cook onto the the surface and gum it up like vegetable oil does.
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on May 1, 2016
The first 2 batches of popcorn were great. It was a little hard for me to flip over the unit, but I have problems with my grip. A few weeks later I went to make a batch and barely a handful popped. It was the end of the bag so I opened a new bag of popcorn and the same thing happened like it didn't heat up enough. Too late to send it back. Ended up getting an air popper which has worked great.
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Amazon reminds me I bought this unit in 2006. It still works perfectly, but here are some points to consider. First of all I never leave the black butter tray on the top when the popping is in progress. The steam needs to get out to get the crispest possible result. It's still not quite as crisp as microwave popcorn, but does a good job of popping all the kernels into big fluffy pieces. I use organic popping corn which I store in a big mason jar to keep it fresh--if that matters with popcorn--don't know, but it's easier to pour from a jar than a plastic bag, and I never have a problem with the quality diminishing over time.

I don't serve the popped corn in the cover (you'd need to replace the black cap if you do) because the inside is damp from the steam and would dampen the corn. I prefer emptying it out into a wooden bowl. That makes a nicer presentation, but in a dorm room, that doesn't matter and the cover serves fine in a pinch.

The stirring arm will reverse by itself if it becomes snagged on heaped kernels or popped pieces and keeps things moving well during the popping. Cleanup is usually just wiping it out with a paper towel after it's cooled. When it's plugged in it begins heating immediately and the arm starts going around. It doesn't go fast, just enough to stir the corn as it pops. If you fill it too full of kernels the popped corn will raise the lid and escape so best to keep to the suggested maximum amount of kernels. I never bother to measure, just look for a single layer of kernels spreading out on the cooking surface. More than that means overflow. When you hear the popping stop, you unplug the unit and turn the whole thing over via the side handles, then lift the base off the bowl, returning it to the counter. It's easy, but the inside surface of the base is hot so it's good to be careful.

If you want buttered popcorn, use butter to begin with as the fat instead of oil. It pops into the corn and flavors it nicely. If drizzling butter on afterward is still important to you, I heat the butter in the microwave and pore it on separately. The butter holder in the top isn't as effective in my opinion. I'd rather keep it free for letting the steam escape.

I've tried several different poppers over time, but was never really satisfied and kept going back to the microwave version, but worried about it being unhealthy. Popcorn can be a good snack if you hold the oil down and don't add too much salt, so I kept searching for a popper where I could control those things and use my own non-GMO corn. This one really fits the bill. It's consistent, reliable and simple--and still working perfectly after six years. Although the popped corn could be a bit crisper, it's good enough that I will stick with this popper and am very satisfied with it. Highly recommended.
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VINE VOICEon October 11, 2015
This popcorn popper works great and makes a nice fluffy popcorn with just enough fat content so that salt will stick to it (not like those horrid air poppers). I use coconut oil for great results. It cleans up fairly easily with a swipe or two of the non-stick surface and warm soapy water for the bowl. The only weird thing in my opinion is that there's no on/off button. When you plug it in, it's on. You have to unplug it to turn it off. But it's reliable, so I'm satisfied.
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on January 2, 2014
Love this popper. Easy to use and easy to clean. Very convenient in that the lid is the bowl you use. Just don't forget to put the cover on the bottom or you will end up with seasoning and/or butter on your lap!

We have a spray canister we put olive oil in. Supposedly you can melt butter on the top for it to drip onto while popping, but we haven't tried that. We like the olive oil anyway. The oil is needed so you can season to your taste, so that it sticks.

We have used a lot of the pop secret seasonings and love the cheddar varieties.

Popper disassembles fairly easily and holds up very well. We have had ours for about five years.

There are some fun varieties of popcorn you can purchase from fireworks popcorn, the company is Wisconsin made.

Happy popping!
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on April 2, 2016
I am very happy with this popcorn popper! I never thought popcorn at home could taste this good. I've been using microwave popcorn for so long I totally forgot how good fresh popped can taste. It seems to pop all the kernels too. I've only used it a few times so I hope the performance stays this good going forward. I tried the butter dispenser once when I first got it but it didn't melt the butter. I won't use it again because I prefer to use spray butter so I can control the amount. I eat a lot of popcorn at night for a low calorie snack with low points on WW.
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on January 11, 2016
If you want your popcorn to have the taste and texture of plastic, then this is the popper for you. After washing/wiping down according to manufacturers instructions, we made 3 batches of popcorn - each was inedible. I also did a blind taste test with 4 family members - Stir Crazy popcorn or popcorn made with the old fashioned metal whirly popper- hands down, the old fashioned popper won. Also, the butter melter at the top does not work - it's still sitting up there after the corn is popped. Instructions say to coax the butter to melt by brushing with a pastry brush during popping - one more utensil to clean. Sending this back.
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