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West Bend 82386 Kettle Krazy Popcorn Popper and Nut Roaster (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Electric 6-quart (24-cup) popcorn popper and 3-cup nut roaster
- Motorized stir rod keeps kernels or nuts in constant motion
- Simple control knob; see-through lid doubles as a popcorn bowl
- Stay-cool handles; nonstick heating plate
- Measures approximately 12 by 15 by 9-1/2 inches
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|Sold By||Electronics Warehouse Outlet||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||15 x 12 x 9.5 in||13 x 10 x 10 in||14.2 x 11.75 x 9.5 in||10 x 11 x 10.5 in||8 x 13 x 13 in||14.72 x 12.76 x 8.03 in|
|Material Type||aluminum||Plastic||aluminum||Stainless Steel||Not Applicable||Plastic|
Ideal for anyone who loves to curl up with a bowl of popcorn and watch movies, this electric popper quickly pops up to 6-quarts of fresh, hot popcorn in minutes. The versatile appliance can also be used to make up to 3 cups of mall-kiosk-style glazed nuts or roasted nuts to serve to friends on poker night or when watching the big game. Simply turn the control knob from "off" to "popcorn" or "nuts", depending on the task at hand. The unit's motorized stir rod and nonstick temperature-controlled heating plate work together to keep the kernels or nuts in constant motion and evenly heated for thoroughly roasted nuts or perfectly popped popcorn (with very few unpopped kernels). Even more, the machine's see-through lid doubles as a 6-quart (24-cup) popcorn bowl. Simply pop, flip, and serve. Extended stay-cool handles assist with flipping the base and lid when emptying popcorn into the bowl. With its sleek, curvy design, the popcorn popper and nut roaster measures approximately 12 by 15 by 9-1/2 inches.
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There are several like this, with a motorized stirring rod and a cooking surface, but either they get poor reviews for reliability (Cuisinart), or were too expensive, difficult to maintain, scratched the Teflon cooking surface, etc.
This model is very similar to the West Bend Stir Crazy, but has two heat settings (nuts or popcorn) and - most importantly - a much thicker stirring rod. With the more basic Stir Crazy, the rod is thin and easily flexed (think coat-hanger) and diverted by the weight of the popcorn itself, causing it to be pressed into the Teflon surface while rotating, thus scratching the Teflon. This model has a MUCH thicker stirring rod (I took a few pictures and added them above to demonstrate) that never makes contact with the surface.
The popper pretty much performs like it's supposed to. I was curious to see if the lid stayed in place while popping a full batch, because is simply sits on top and is only held in place by the weight of the cover. It does in deed stay put.
It doesn't seem to matter what brand of popping corn you use. Name brand or generic seem to perform the same - very well. I have never used the butter well, because I don't like how you wind up with a few soggy bits of corn rather than all of it having a consistent flavor and texture. I've experimented some and found that simply adding several pats of butter to the oil and corn does a great job of giving you a nice mild butter flavor. I thought maybe the butter would burn, but that did not happen. I also reduced the oil by 1/2T Spoon, but don't recommend reducing the oil much more than that, since the distributed hot oil is what promotes the rapid kernel popping. I also added salt directly to the oil and popping corn at the beginning of the process, which worked well enough, but was more difficult to clean in the end. I'm also worried that it might over time scratch the Teflon surface, so I don't plan to do that again.
The bowl is moderate thickness, and appears fairly sturdy. It is not flexible, so I imagine a hard drop might crack it. Because it is a hard clear plastic, it is susceptible to scratching if you use any kind of abrasive to clean it. I'm not sure why you would, considering it only takes a bit of soap and hot water to clean popcorn/oil/butter residue, but whatever.
Finally, it comes with a few recipes in the manual. We've tried a couple and they turned out well. One of them was Scotcheroo Popcorn - which is a sort of gooey sweet treat that includes chocolate and butterscotch chips.
All together we are really, really happy with this popper. I recommend it without hesitation.
UPDATE: UPDADE: I often wonder about these reviews. 99% of the good reviews are written in the first few days of ownership. This tell you nothing of the longevity of the product. So, I am back after a year to tell you that I still love this popper. It still does a great job, and has had absolutely no issues.
Our previous popcorn popper was a West Bend Stir Crazy. We used it for many years with great results until the motor gave out a year ago. When we found this one on Amazon, with a similar price and customer rating, it seemed like a no-brainer. Not only that, but we got the additional bonus of being able to roast nuts as well. Cool!
We were wrong:
* The dome/bowl has a different shape than the Stir Crazy. It's more conical. As a result, it is frequently lifted entirely off of the base due to the building pressure as the popcorn expands to fill the container - even though there is plenty of room left at the top. Not too much popcorn, just a stupid shape. If we don't stand next to it and hold the handles down, we end up with a huge mess (see attached photo).
* The dome/bowl does not sit flush against the base. There is a 1/4" - 1/2" gap between them. Consequently, scorching hot popcorn seeds come shooting out during the popping process. We initially saw this as an annoying inconvenience, until our 1-year-old came to check out the popping action and burned her foot on one of the seeds that landed on the floor. We have made a habit of covering the popper with a towel to prevent this from happening. Terrible design.
* They seem to have used very cheep metal for the stirring arm and the nut used to hold it in place. The arm has held up OK, but twice the threaded piece has snapped right off of the nut. Thankfully, customer service has been great and they have sent us replacement parts. I'm just waiting for the threads to break off inside the popper, rendering it useless. Maybe third time is a charm? At least that would give us greater cause to give up on this popper...
* The labels for the controls have wiped off almost entirely within a year. The words "Popcorn" and "Nuts" are gone completely, and "Off" is beginning to smudge. You'd never know which way to turn the knob if you weren't already familiar with it. Which brings me to the last point...
* The usability of the control knob is TERRIBLE. It's somewhat difficult to describe, but I'll try. The OFF position is indicated by the top of the knob pointing to "OFF". When you turn it counter-clockwise, so that same point is now "POPCORN" on the left, the blue indicator light illuminates and appears on the left side of the knob as well - the same side as "POPCORN". So which setting is it on? You guessed it, "NUTS"! Oh...maybe you didn't guess it. We didn't either. It might seem like a small detail, but popping popcorn on the NUTS setting does not turn out so well, and has resulted in wasted popcorn.
I cannot recommend this popper to anyone. If it's between this or the Stir Crazy, as it was for us, go with the latter. Stay away from this piece of junk.
I should say, we haven't used this to roast nuts. Not even once in the past year (some bonus feature, huh?). So, I cannot speak to that aspect of this popper at all.
Most recent customer reviews
I have tried several different popcorns, amounts of oils, and still 1/2 popped or some burnt.