The Orville Redenbacher's Stirring Popper 05204 is one of the best popcorn makers you can buy. Using a mere 3/4 of a cup of kernels, you can get 20-24 cups of quality popcorn with no unpopped kernels.
You will not have to mess around with tooth-destroying unpopped corn kernels with this popcorn popper. Our testing for this hot oil popcorn popper resulted in no unpopped kernels at all and some great popcorn. You'll have no burnt popcorn either, so long as you follow the instructions correctly.
The manufacturer advertises this machine as capable of making 6 quarts of popcorn, or 24 cups. We found it made 20 cups, but we were using name-brand popcorn, which typically produces somewhat less popcorn than the less-costly varieties. Despite the slight difference in quantity, the taste was great.
This popcorn popper features a slightly different heating plate from some of the other electric popcorn makers on the market. Many of them have a Teflon-like nonstick coating applied to the metal surface, but the Orville Redenbacher's Stirring Popper 05204 presents a metal heating area with a different texture where you add the oil and corn kernels. This works just fine, and we encountered no problems with anything sticking.
The rotating stirring rod smoothly moves the kernels around the heating plate through the oil, and within minutes, you'll have plenty of popcorn. If you choose, you can place butter on top of the heating vent area, and as the machine heats up and starts popping the corn, the butter melts and drips onto the popcorn inside.
When you hear no more popping, you can simply replace the cover over the heating vents, which stops any melted butter from oozing out, grasp the heat-resistant handles of the dome and flip it over. It now is a helpful serving bowl for the popcorn.
This popcorn popper does not offer lots of extra features – it is a basic countertop model. You do not get an on-off switch, which means you have to turn the machine on by plugging it into an electrical socket and then unplugging it to turn it off. That presents a risk of moving your arm past a hot popper.
The bowl, cover, stirring rod and heating plate are not dishwasher safe, so you have to take the time to wash them by hand. The cord is a bit long at 35.5 inches, and there is no built-in cord storage area.
Presto offers some tasty popcorn recipes in the instruction booklet, and you can find the booklet on the company website as well. Recipes include Sassy South of the Border Popcorn, featuring garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and red pepper in addition to the usual butter and salt. You also can make classic caramel corn, Popcorn Italiano with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan, and fruit and nut popcorn bars.
Unfortunately, you do not get a measuring cup with this popcorn maker, and the plastic is not BPA-free.
When you buy this popcorn maker, you get a one-year warranty, which is standard for the industry. If you run into difficulties, you can contact the company through email or phone if you call during weekday business hours during Central Time. You also can check the user manual if you have questions about operating or cleaning the machine.
Simplicity is the key here: The Orville Redenbacher's Stirring Popper 05204 is not equipped with a variety of interesting extra features, but it creates generous amounts of popcorn that tastes wonderful with no unpopped or burnt corn. For taste and convenience, this is a great choice.