The Bottom Line
- Makes fresh popcorn easily - no burning, no need to shake a heavy pot - in 3 minutes.
- Every kernel pops - no leftovers, provided you follow the directions.
- Makes healthy popcorn with little oil and no chemicals.
- Easy to clean.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- As Alton Brown would say, it's a uni-tasker. Does one job in the kitchen and that's it.
- Takes up cabinet space.
- Stove-top popcorn popper to make popcorn the old-fashioned way.
- Wood, cool-touch handle allows for easy cranking.
- Lightweight and easy-to-clean.
Guide Review - Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper Review
If you enjoy eating popcorn frequently, I'd say yes. I like making different flavored popcorns. And I like giving my kids healthy snacks.
The nice thing about the Whirley Pop popcorn popper is that I don't have to worry about a lot of excess oils -- the only thing that goes in is what I put in -- or potentially dangerous chemicals in my popcorn (some say that microwave popcorn could be dangerous for two reasons: 1) There is a chemical coating found in microwave bags that can be potentially harmful and 2) there is a second potentially un-healthy chemical found in the fake butter flavoring.)
Most importantly, though, the Whirley Pop delivers on its promise: It does pop popcorn easily, and virtually every kernel pops. Let's take these one at a time.
The Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper Is Easy to UseWhat makes this popcorn popper so ingenious is the way it allows you to evenly circulate the popcorn as it's popping without having to shake a heavy pot or worry about spilling. The handle is wooden, so you won't burn yourself while turning the crank. And the turning element sits right in the bottom of the pot, so it makes sure that even the kernels closest to the heat get circulated.
The key is to make sure that you keep the Whirley Pop over medium heat. High heat is too high and will burn the popcorn or leave some kernels unpopped.
It's also important to use the right oil. Canola oil or another flavorless oil that can withstand high heat is best. If you use butter, your popcorn will burn before every kernel pops.
Another factor in ease of use in my book is clean-up. I like that I can just rinse it out and it's good to go. Be sure to read the directions on seasoning the Whirley Pop before using it the first time.
Which is Better - The Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper or an Air Popper?The short answer is both are fine. The Whirley Pop will give you popcorn that is just a bit moister than air-popped popcorn, because, obviously, it is made with a small amount of oil (1-2 tablespoons). And while some people complain that salt won't "stick" to air-popped popcorn, I think that problem can be easily remedied by using a coarser sea salt, such as Maldon sea salt.
To me, the only issue with air-popped popcorn is quantity. I often make a large quantity of popcorn when my kids are having friends of sleepovers. Some air poppers are too small to make more than a few quarts of popcorn at once.
All in all, my only complaint with the Whirley Pop is the same as my complaint with any popcorn popper: It is, as Alton Brown says, a uni-tasker. It can only be used for one kitchen job, and unlike an apple corer or other small uni-tasker, it takes up a lot of space.