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West Bend 82416 Air Crazy 3.5 Quart Corn Popper
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- Popcorn maker prepares 3.5 quarts in just 3 minutes
- Uses hot air instead of oil; virtually no unpopped kernels left behind
- Angled chute directs popped corn into a bowl (not included)
- Measuring cup doubles as a butter melter; on/off switch; cord storage
- Measures approximately 8 by 5-1/2 by 12 inches
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This item West Bend 82416 Air Crazy 3.5 Quart Corn Popper
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|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 8 x 12 in||10 x 11.6 x 7 in||10 x 11.5 x 7.1 in||5.8 x 10.1 x 10.5 in||13.46 x 7.87 x 10.87 in|
The Air Crazy corn popper makes popcorn the healthy way using hot air and no oil
Top customer reviews
I looked at 7 different models between my adventures at Target, Wal-Mart, our local grocery store, Walgreens and all over Amazon to finally find that this model (82416) does indeed have the vented side wall and not the screen on the bottom.
First impressions: I roasted a total of 10 batches in my first weekend. Each batch consisted of exactly 1/2 level cup of green beans. (1/2 cup of green coffee beans will yield a full cup of roasted coffee beans...the beans essentially double in size when roasted). I roasted two batches without making the modification as seen in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fv3EEpDLN4 .
I roasted my first batch in which first crack occurred at 3min 28 seconds. I roasted the beans for a total of 14 minutes and never could reach the second crack. My second batch, exact same thing...first crack a little closer to the 3 minute mark and by 12 minutes, I gave up on trying to get the second crack.
This popper is only 1040 watts. Ideally, you want about 1400 watts to get that second crack...so in order to achieve this, you must detach the thermostat regulator from the roasting stove. Again, watch the above video to see how to do this. *****Disclaimer ***** Since lawyers are sleazy and judges are enablers of frivolous lawsuits, it has now become human nature to no longer take responsibility for own actions and risks and blame others for our stupidity. I have to make the disclaimer that whatever you do with your popcorn popper is at your own risk and you are an adult fully capable of making your own choices and decisions so please do not blame me or anyone else if you get electrocuted or burn your house down. Be smart...be safe...otherwise the Darwinian rule will be in effect. ;-)
Now, with that out of the way...onto what you are wanting to know. So with the modification done (which was very easy to accomplish) first crack occurred in 2min 38 seconds....2nd crack occurred at 7min 13sec. The modification was a success and I was able to replicate this several more times. However, I have decided that a "Full City Roast" (roasting the beans to second crack) is not a flavor for me. I have ordered 6 more different varieties of green coffee beans from Sweet Maria's to see if i can tolerate a full city roast with a bean from a different region.
Something I found to be interesting and I will not be able to comment on it just yet until I get my second air popper (which I am picking up today) is that I found my first two batches of bean to have been the best tasting. I am wondering if it was because it took longer to get them to the first crack and then never having reached crack, but continued to roast for a very long time, led to a better flavor. I have read where one can roast a bean too fast and maybe this modification to the popper has done just that. So I ordered a second popcorn popper and I will not do the thermostat modification to it, just to see if it all was a fluke or if truly roasting at a slower rate, really does make the flavor better for my pallet.
Regardless, I am having a blast and will never buy store bought (pre-roasted) coffee again. There is truly a difference in taste and caffeine buzz. (which is probably why I ended up roasting 10 batches this weekend.)
******* Update ********
I wanted to give you all a quick update. I have been roasting for a few weeks now. I have put this popcorn popper through the wringer...to say the least. In fact, yesterday I purposely roasted eight (8) batches, back to back. Each batch roasting from 5 - 6 minutes depending on what type of roast I was wanting...two (2) batches even went past 7 minutes for a full on "dark" roast. I would roast a batch of beans, dump them out, start the next batch immediately afterwards while i worked at cooling down the previous batch of beans. This popcorn popper essentially ran for just over 40 minutes straight, only stopping for about 15 - 20 seconds between batches.
Impressed!? You bet I am. So much so that I already purchased a second one. I am going to use the second one in a "non-modified" manner (see above for details on modifying the internal thermostat). I prefer my roasts as light-medium to medium. Without repeating all the details above, I am trying to experiment with a longer/slower roast without ever achieving second crack. I want to see how this will either positively or negatively affect the final product. I have heard that roasting longer at lower temps can yield a better final product...we shall see. I will update again in a few weeks.
***** Another Update as of 12/18/2014 ******
This popcorn popper will not give up! I spent yesterday, roasting 12 back-to-back batches and this popcorn popper did not miss a beat. I have literally roasted 57 batches to date with this unit. (Yes, I have been keeping records...only because i like to monitor my roast times for accuracy.). Per my above review, I did purchase another one of these particular poppers in hopes of being able to do a longer roast to "first crack" without any modifications to the thermostat. However, the new popper that i received has not only been able to get to "first crack" within 3 minutes, but is also capable of roasting the beans to "second crack" without any modifications to the thermostat. (unlike my first popper that I purchased) Obviously, these are not tightly regulated at the factory so it is possible that some of you might receive a popper that will get hot enough to reach "second crack" without having to make the thermostat modifications. I suppose it is just the luck of the draw.
Having two poppers has been nice, especially this time of the year since I am roasting coffee for family and friends as Christmas gifts. Something worthy of mentioning to you up and coming roasters, as I know this is an obvious statement but one cannot assume...if you do roast coffee beans, do not do it inside. It is very messy and I have been "told" that the odor of the cooking beans seems to become embedded in the walls, carpet and ceiling...for a very long time. With that said, it is the winter months and as such, roasting outside becomes problematic in that the cold air being sucked up by the fan and forced passed the heating coils and into the cooking chamber, has a very negative affect on roast times and in some cases, I was not even able to get to first crack...and the times that I did, the beans were roasted unevenly.
A way to overcome the above is to get a rather large box (much taller and much wider than the popcorn popper. Place the box over the popcorn popper without sealing the bottom of the box. (By not sealing up the bottom of the box, it allows you to quickly lift the box straight up and out of the way when you need to remove the beans from the cooker.) As you roast the beans, fold over the top flaps of the box, so that the expelled heat from the popper is trapped inside the box and drawn back up into the popcorn popper. This will allow you folks in the colder states to achieve proper and even roasting of the beans.
Warning!!! Fire Hazard!!! Do not leave the popper unattended...be aware that not only is the popcorn popper recirculating the hot air, but it is also sucking up the expelled chaffe which can cause a fire and or block all the intake vents, causing a nasty overheat/meltdown situation. To combat this issue, you can take some cheese cloth and place it over the bottom of the popper to act as a filter. I use a rubber band around the base of my popper to hold the cheese cloth in place.
Lastly, you are putting high heat temps into a cardboard box...while I have never caught a box on fire, be aware that this is a possibility. Please use common sense and defer to my disclaimer in my original review, up above. Accountability and responsibility for your own actions. A novel concept, I know.
Thanks for reading my review...happy roasting my friends!
Edit: We have roasted 6 pounds of coffee since we bought this roaster. It has worked perfectly every time.
Drawbacks? Well, it's not fair to really say this given that it's not for roasting coffee, but the capacity is kind of small (I only can roast about 1/2 cup at a time). Other than that, a great, simple product.