The Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper takes a little getting used to, but it's lauded for the scrumptious popcorn it makes. The simple popper makes 12 cups of fluffy popcorn without oil. Beware, the bowl gets piping hot right out of the microwave. While most owners say the BPA-free popper is sturdy and a great value, numerous owners complain that their bowls crack or discolor and lids warp over time. It is equipped with a five-year warranty.
Fluffy popcorn after the learning curve. The Nordic Ware popper will make deliciously fluffy popcorn after you figure out the duration and power level that works best for your microwave. Fans of this popper say that there will always be about 20 unpopped kernels left over, and if you aim to pop every kernel, you risk scorching the batch. Although cooked without oil, the popcorn doesn't taste stale like other hot-air popped popcorn. While the owner's manual instructs users to add oil or butter after popping, several owners admit to adding a dab before cooking in order to get a crunchier, movie theater style snack.
Simple design. The popper is simply a bowl and a lid with vents. Users especially like that the bowl can be used to reheat other food in the microwave. However, one owner says the bottom of the popping bowl gets hot enough to burn your fingers, so use oven mitts to remove it from the microwave and set it on a heat-resistant surface. It does cool off quickly though. The popper is dishwasher-safe for the top rack, but many owners complain that the lid doesn't fit there. Of course, if you're not using oil, all you have to do is rinse the bowl.
Five-year warranty. The Nordic Ware comes with a five-year warranty against factory defects as opposed to the one-year limited warranty many poppers have. Many owners say the Nordic Ware popper is sturdy, with one Amazon owner reporting owning hers for 33 years. They consider it such a good value that many buy a second as a backup. However, there are numerous complaints of bowls developing hairline cracks or discoloring over time. Others report that their lids don't stay secure or warp over time. Still, owners like to boast that their popper is made in the United States and is BPA- and melamine-free.
1. Cook's Illustrated
The editors tested four all-plastic popcorn poppers, evaluating for popcorn taste and user friendliness. Items are rated "recommended," "recommended with reservations" and "not recommended." The Nordic Ware 3-Quart Microwave Popcorn Popper was one of the units tested.
Review: Microwave Popcorn Poppers, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Updated May 2013
2. Every Day with Rachael Ray
The author highlights the pros and cons of five different types of popcorn poppers. The Nordic Ware popper is compact, easy to use and comes with a sturdy bowl that can be used to reheat other foods. However, the lid is difficult to remove and the popper is not dishwasher-safe.
Review: Popcorn Poppers, Vivian Jao, October 2010
About 830 Amazon owners rated the Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper a 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 68 percent giving the popper a perfect score. The popper is Amazon's No. 2 best-selling popper. But many of the three-star reviews contained complaints about the popper leaving too many unpopped kernels, bowls developing hairline cracks and lids warping.
Review: Nordic Ware 60120 Microwave Popcorn Popper 12 Cup, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2013
Just over a dozen reviewers gave the Nordic Ware popper a 94 out of 100 score, giving it high ratings in performance, ease of cleaning, ease of use and durability. Other poppers have an 86 average score.
Review: Nordic Ware 60120 Microwave Popcorn Popper Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of August 2013