West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Maker Review



A cross between a hot-air popper and an oil popper, this machine wins high marks for ease of use but some demerits for uneven performance. Its stirring arm does the same job electronically that less complicated popcorn poppers get done by hand.

For a small kitchen appliance that looks a bit other-worldly, West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper reviews manage to be relatively upbeat. Consumers seem to like the popped results, with some praising its movie-theater popcorn taste, some simply saying the popcorn is light and fluffy, and others noting that few unpopped kernels lag behind. But other users, commenting in reviews on Walmart and Amazon assert the opposite; that is, the popcorn is chewy and soggy because humidity builds up inside the clear plastic popping dome, which doubles as a bowl, and kernels get trapped by the mechanized stirring arm and scratch the non-stick popping base. Indeed, users' assessment of the West Bend Stir Crazy (starting at $25, Amazon) design is mixed. A few reviews on Viewpoints gripe that the dome shape makes it hard to hold while cleaning and to store. Other reviewers write approvingly of a design that lets them add ingredients, like cinnamon and sugar, to the popcorn popping mix and watch the kernels explode.

The West Bend Stir Crazy is a plug-in oil popper with a motorized stirring arm. It makes up to 6 quarts of popcorn with one tablespoon of oil per quarter-cup of kernels. The dome, stirring arm, and popping base and can be hand-cleaned with soapy water or disassembled and put in the dishwasher.

Although one user reports tossing his hand-crank stove-top popper in favor of the electric West Bend Stir Crazy, consumers offer qualified support for this product. We read several reports about limited durability -- parts that break or heat failures -- but overall this is a good buy if you prefer oil-popped corn over the air-popped variety and don't want to stand and stir at the stove.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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