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West Bend 82306 Stir Crazy 6-Quart Electric Popcorn Popper (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Popcorn popper with motorized stirring rod to ensure all kernels pop
- Produces up to 6 quarts in about 5 minutes; built-in butter well
- Nonstick-coated popping surface
- Heat-resistant handles and base; plastic cover doubles as serving bowl
- Product Built to North American Electrical Standards
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This 1000-watt popcorn maker makes 6 quarts of popcorn the fast and easy way.
West Bend has improved on the classic corn popper design by adding a motorized stirring rod which ensures that every single kernel pops, every time. In about five minutes, the Stir Crazy Popper produces up to 6 quarts of perfectly popped corn, using one tablespoon of oil per 1/4 cup corn. You can clean it with just a quick swipe of the sponge. For added flavor, place a bit of butter in the butter well to melt over the corn as it pops. The plastic cover doubles as a serving bowl, so when the cycle is done, just flip it over to enjoy popcorn that's guaranteed to be good to the last pop.
Note: Please unplug the machine and flip it over when it’s done popping the popcorn
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I researched and found all the secrets (flavocal, popcorn poping oil, etc..), and made a couple of batches with the stove-top pan method which was good.
When this arrived I used the same recipe, and it came out even better.
The main difference between using a pan on the stove top and using the stir crazy was that the flavacal and popping oil seemed to encompass more of the popcorn when popped with the stir crazy.
With the stove top method, about half the popcorn had very little or no seasoning or color. I'm not sure if this had to do with the pan I was using or the fact that the stir crazy was constantly stirring the corn vs just shaking the pan, but the end results were better with the stir crazy in my test.
I did not try melting butter on the top while it popped, as I usually don't butter my popcorn, so I can't speak to how well or poorly that works.
I will say, the stir crazy popped the corn very well and with a little help from "Flavocal" (added to the oil when popping) and "Paragon Coconut Popcorn Popping Oil" the results were very good.
Post party update:
It made several batches for our guests and everyone loved it!
At one time I recommended these to all my friends for family movie nights. I really do not feel comfortable doing that anymore. Pass on this product.
Edit: received part 8/1/17. It still doesn't work. Very disappointed the last 2 of these I've bought have both been defective. This time I'm out of Amazon return window. Not buying a West bend product again.
- Cheap, thin metal cooking pan. Heats quickly, but also very quickly burns the popcorn if you don't immediately turn it off and flip the thing over to remove the corn, and I'm talking within 15 seconds or you'll have scorched corn. The Kettle Crazy is heavier metal, and you can therefore wait until the pops die down a few seconds.
- Cheap, thin metal stir rod. Doesn't sit evenly on the cheap plastic center pivot, which means it doesn't move corn on 50% of the sweep. No way to bend it down closer to the pan, because of how it already bends from the pivot. The Kettle Crazy has a thick aluminum bar to stir, and it rocks, plus bendable because the angles are different.
- Cheap, thin nonstick coating. Already at the edges I can see where the coating didn't quite get applied. Seriously? Very poor quality.
- Cheap plastic bowl material. Again, comparing to the Kettle Crazy, the bowl is very flexible at the handles when it gets heated by the machine during popping. The handles and bowl feel like they're approaching putty softness, although I haven't seen them deform permanently. When I take the bowl off, it's surprisingly supple, let's just say.
- There is a gap between the metal pan and the plastic inside edge of the housing for the burner. Predictably, water and popping oil will enter this gap when popping or cleaning. The oil then smokes and burns off during the next cycle, which is a complete house-filler. A ridiculous flaw that should never have survived the first draft of the plans for this unit. Your option then is to wipe down the unit with a wet cloth, and somehow rinse away the residue without subjecting to a stream of water, or to orient the gap so that water runs away from the housing (upside down in the sink). The Kettle Crazy is a continuous pan, teflon coated, and easy to rinse in the sink without fear or water entering the unit.
- Cord needs to be 1 foot longer, at minimum. Another inexplicable decision, probably a result of the corporate legal team and the UL conspiring to reduce wire gauge to a minimum while ensuring no one will be able to pop more than a couple feet from an outlet. Irritating.
I can't believe the difference between this product and the Kettle Crazy, both by West Bend. Obviously not a collaborative effort.
Here's what I do like:
- Pops quickly and reasonably few unpopped kernels
- Bowl shape on this has a little more side bulge than the Kettle Crazy, which allows the popped corn to expand and the unpopped kernels to fall back down more easily. It's a minor difference, but I did notice it during use.
- It is somewhat lighter overall than the Kettle Crazy, undoubtedly due to the inferior quality of materials chosen, however.