Good Product:West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

Good Product:West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

Chris Phillips
Oct 3, 2006

Lost premiers tonighttomorrow. What will you be snacking on? How about homemade popcorn . . . and I'm not talking about the microwave stuff.

While I try to avoid one hit wonder appliances and don't own a bread maker, egg poacher or rice cooker, I do have a West Bend Stir Crazy pop corn popper ($24.60 at WalMart.com and Amazon).

At times, squeezing such a large appliance into my small kitchen seems silly, but the popcorn it produces is perfect, never greasy or burned. Every time I make popcorn for a guest, they're wooed by the smell and they can't resist. After a couple of handfulls, they want to know my secret.

My secret is the popper and the popper's secret is the "stir crazy" arm that spins across the base of the machine. It keeps all the kernels moving, making sure that nothing burns. I've tried making popcorn on the stove, standing there shaking the pot back and forth, but every time it burns. Worst of all, burned popcorn leaves black marks in the bottom of my pans that are very difficult to clean.

Some popcorn making advice: Don't melt the butter in the well on top of the popper, it makes a greasy mess. Instead, use the microwave or a butter warmer. The popping sound will make you very curious about what's going on in the popper, but don't lean in too close to the action. The steam released by the popping kernels can burn; be careful. If you're up for adventure, try seasoning some of your popcorn with curry powder or grated Parmesean cheese.

Enjoy the show!

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