The Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop Popcorn Maker is a first-rate kitchen appliance that produces great popcorn, is easy to clean and is equipped with several useful safety features. Its combination of excellent features and performance earn it our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award for the best popcorn maker of its type on the market.
This popcorn popper uses a heating plate with a stirring rod on the bottom that moves the raw corn kernels around in the vegetable oil and heats them until they pop. A clear plastic dome over the top contains them so they don't pop all over your kitchen. The top of the dome has holes to vent any steam released during the popping process, which is fun to watch. You get a small plastic cover to place over the venting holes once the popping is done so you can release the dome from the hot base, flip it over, and use it as a serving bowl without any melted butter or flavorings dripping out of the venting holes and making a mess.
You can make a generous bowl of popcorn with no unpopped or burnt kernels, but the key to perfect popcorn is following the directions precisely with this hot oil popcorn popper. The first batch we tested used name-brand popcorn and name-brand vegetable oil. We let it sit on the hot plate just a bit longer than recommended in an effort to get virtually every kernel popped. Big mistake. That resulted in 16 cups of good-tasting popcorn, but there was a half-cup of slightly burnt corn kernels, with a few of them making their way into the main batch. It also did not alleviate the unpopped kernel situation, because we ended up with about half a teaspoon of unpopped kernels.
The second batch we tried stayed on the heating plate for just under six minutes. The result was wonderful popcorn with no unpopped or burnt kernels. However, this batch resulted in 14 cups. Cuisinart recommends letting the heating plate cool completely before making a second batch and cleaning the device, which we did. The manufacturer also notes that premium popcorn sometimes results in slightly fewer cups. Still, the overall performance of this popcorn maker was great, with no popcorn spills or messes at all.
If you want to make greater quantities of popcorn at once, take a look at the West Bend Stir Crazy 82505, which can make as much as 24-28 cups.
The Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop has an on-and-off switch, which beats plugging and unplugging a popper. Once your popcorn is done, you do not have to reach past a hot popcorn popper to yank the plug to turn it off – you just push a button in front. The heating plate gets quite hot, but the handles of this device are cool, so you can avoid burns.
Another worthwhile safety feature is this popcorn maker's extremely short electrical cord. It is a mere 25 inches (27 including the electrical plug), which means there is next to no possibility that any of the cord will dangle over your kitchen counter. This avoids the potential of young children – who already will want to watch all the action inside the popper – from grabbing the cord and accidentally pulling the hot machine onto them.
The cord has a built-in storage area that lets you wrap it around the four feet of the machine on the bottom and keep the cord secure. That way, it stays safely out of reach and is convenient to store. Clean up is also easy, since you can put the removable parts of this popcorn maker in the dishwasher, or you can wash them by hand.
You get a half-cup plastic measuring cup with this popcorn maker so you can gauge how much popcorn to put into the machine, depending upon how much you want to make. The instruction manual and the company website offer fun recipes so you can go beyond simple salt and butter if you want. You might want to try pesto popcorn for something different; buffalo popcorn, which includes hot sauce and cider vinegar; Asian-style popcorn, which adds soy sauce, hot sauce, sesame oil and seeds; or curry popcorn with curry powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper.
One thing you cannot do with this popcorn maker, though, is avoid using some kind of oil with the heating plate, unlike with hot air popcorn poppers.
The Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop is supported by a three-year warranty, which is lengthy in the world of popcorn machines. If you encounter difficulties, you can always check the user manual or contact the company by phone or email. You also get a demonstration video on the manufacturer's website for more information.
Although you might have to experiment a bit to ensure that you grab that plastic dome off this popcorn popper fast enough to avoid any burnt kernels, you can be assured of a fine-tasting snack with the Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop. This is the best popcorn popper we reviewed, thanks to its excellent popcorn production, safety features, generous customer support and three-year warranty.