The West Bend Stir Crazy 82505 has the capacity to make up to 28 cups of popcorn in less than five minutes, which makes it one of two popcorn makers in our review that can produce such great quantities of popcorn. In addition, it offers a dishwasher-safe bowl and cover, an on-off switch, and some great recipe suggestions for tasty and different types of popcorn treats. For these and other reasons, it earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Armed with this popcorn maker, you can whip up enormous batches of tasty popcorn. The clear cover is a slightly different shape than most popcorn makers' domes, and it is equipped with plenty of vents to release moisture from the popping corn, so you will not be stuck with an unappetizing and soggy popcorn treat.
You make popcorn with this hot oil popper by putting vegetable oil onto the heating base, adding the kernels and putting the lid on. The manufacturer recommends avoiding butter, margarine, lard or shortening since these can burn the corn or cause a great deal of smoke during the popping process. After that, you just push the on button and watch as the stirring rod gently moves the kernels around inside. Unlike some popcorn makers, this device uses a stirring rod that automatically reversing itself from time to time so kernels do not get stuck. In short order, you will have a generously sized bowl of great popcorn. The user manual for this popcorn popper indicates the amount of oil and corn to use to produce different amounts of popcorn.
Unfortunately, there is a small bit of waste with this hot oil popcorn popper. Out of one cup of kernels, we got plenty of excellent popped corn, but we also found 1.25 teaspoons of unpopped kernels remained. This is not a lot of unpopped kernels in the world of popcorn makers, although none would have been ideal. We found no burnt popcorn in the remaining batch, and the resulting bowlful tasted great.
If you want to add butter to your popcorn during the popping process, you can put pats of butter into the butter well located on top of the dome and the heat of the machine and the steam emerging through the vents will melt the butter. It will drip down onto the corn as it is being made. You get a handy lid to put over the butter well/vent after the popping is finished so no butter leaks out when you flip the dome over to use as a serving bowl.
Although it might seem like a small matter, this popcorn popper's on-off switch is a significant safety feature that you undoubtedly will appreciate and it's especially useful if you have children making popcorn. If you employ a popcorn popper for home that you must turn off by unplugging the electrical cord, it poses the risk of you brushing your arm on the hot machine as you reach to turn the popcorn maker off.
You can flip over the clear plastic top of this popcorn popper to use as a serving bowl. The bowl and its small plastic cover that you can use to cover the venting area before turning the device over are both dishwasher safe if you put them on the top rack. However, you must wash the stirring rod and popping base by hand.
The electrical cord is short for a popcorn maker at 29.5 inches, which reduces the risk of it looping down from your kitchen counter and posing a potential hazard. You can easily store the cord by wrapping it around the feet of the popper. Unfortunately, you do not get a measuring cup with this device. If you want a cup that gives precise measurements so you get perfect popcorn, try the Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop Popcorn Maker, which comes with one.
You can find an assortment of popcorn flavoring tips and some tasty recipes on West Bend's website. These include such unusual combinations as confetti cake popcorn, which features chocolate flavoring, dry cake mix and multicolored sprinkles as well as blue cheese bacon popcorn, lime fiesta popcorn, and pancetta and herb popcorn.
This popcorn popper is supported by a one-year warranty. If you'd prefer a longer warranty, check out the Waring WPM10 Popcorn Maker, whose warranty runs five years.
If you run into difficulties, you can contact the manufacturer by email or phone.
The machine comes with a user manual, and if you misplace it, you can download another from the company website. You also can check the company's FAQs section if you have other questions.
The West Bend Stir Crazy 82505 is one of the best popcorn makers on the market. The slightly straightened sides of its cover make room for plenty of popping activity, you get a great deal of fine-tasting popcorn with each batch, and cleanup is easy.