I received this for the holidays and had never tried one before, always the microwavable kind. It freaked me out the first few times, but after I got use to it, I love it. It makes a lot of popcorn and doesn't leave many hulls. I like it.
i eat a lot of popcorn. for years i ate microwave popcorn because it was easy, and then suddenly the 'natural' variety had a lot of salt and fake butter flavour. add to that the information about the bags themselves and I started looking for alternatives. Someone gave me a hot air popper but it was loud, hot, shot scalding kernels around the kitchen and made very dry popcorn. Then i discovered popcorn makers, which are basically a hot plate with a dome on them. I tried a more expensive name brand that lasted less than a year. Then I found the Stir Crazy. It got great reviews and after a year it's going strong.
It doesn't have an on/off button, but then again, perhaps that would just break. Which means you have to watch the machine in order to unplug it, however it takes about 3 minutes to pop about a 1/3 of a cup of kernels, so it's not that huge of an inconvenience. I find wiping the plate off with a damp cloth after it cools is the best way to clean it, but once in awhile it's a good idea to take a paper towel along the edge because the metal plate doesn't quite go the edge and a bit of oil end up in the crevice. The instructions say you can put the base on the dome and use it as a bowl, but I tend to transfer it to another bowl as i can never finish all that i make and this way a i can clean that bowl and put the unit away as i have very little counter space.
People tell me to try different oils to enhance the popcorn flavour but I've stuck to safflower and it works just fine. Then you get to try flavoured toppings or good old salt and butter..
These reviews are the subjective opinions of ChickAdvisor members and not of ChickAdvisor Inc.