The Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper from Wabash Valley Farms is praised for the easy, but old-fashioned way it produces 24 cups of crispy, fluffy popcorn in less than three minutes. The aluminum popper uses oil and works on any stovetop. Children will enjoy helping to slowly turn its hand-crank. Some owners are dismayed by the plastic gears that don't always hold up. But the popper comes with a 25-year warranty that the company readily honors.
Delectable popcorn with few old maids. With its hand-crank that continually stirs the popcorn, the Whirley Pop is a stovetop popcorn maker reminiscent of the old days. It works on any type of stovetop surface and can be used at camp fires too. Because it's made of aluminum, it heats fast, so try popping on medium heat, users suggest. Within three minutes, it churns out 6 quarts of scrumptious popcorn. Owners tend to experiment with mouthwatering recipes found in the recipe book included with the popper, such as kettle corn, cinnamon crunch and white chocolate almond popcorn. They also report roasting coffee beans successfully.
Easy to maintain. Before using the Whirley Pop the first time, it needs to be seasoned, but it's a simple process: Coat the bottom with a teaspoon of oil, heat the pot and then allow it to cool before wiping the oil off. The popper doesn't need to be washed every time, just wiped off with a paper towel so that it's seasoned for the next time; however, it will need hand-washing if you make a stickier recipe like kettle corn. Some users find cleaning out the nooks and crannies of the lid tedious.
With proper care, your popper will last. Even longtime devotees of the popper admit that the aluminum pot is lightweight and prone to denting, and the plastic gears wear away over time or lose one or two of their "teeth." The company recently released a stainless-steel version with all metal parts for $45. But owners of the original model say if you stop turning the handle as soon as you meet resistance, the popper will be around for at least 10 years. Another tip: Oil the handle when it begins to squeak. The unit is backed by a 25-year warranty, and users say they get excellent customer service when contacting the company.
Though a bit outdated, this roundup of popcorn popper test results provides valuable feedback. Torie Bosch tested six poppers, grading each one on popability, usability and taste. She says the Whirley Pop makes tasty and crunchy popcorn and is easy to use, leaving just six unpopped kernels. However, it lost points for not being dishwasher-safe and for getting a burn mark on the bottom after one use.
Review: Pop Off: What's the Best Popcorn Popper?, Torie Bosch, March 27, 2008
More than 1,100 owners reviewed the Whirley Pop giving it 4.4 stars out of 5. The popper is Amazon's third best-selling popper, with most reviews being very positive. Some of the negative reviews are focused on the plastic gears that melted or popped off.
Review: Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2013
About 125 owners gave the Whirley Pop an average score of 91 out of 100, citing its ease of use and the great popcorn it makes. However, a few Viewpoints owners found cleaning it more difficult.
Review: Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of August 2013
The Whirley Pop earns mostly rave reviews from about 20 Walmart owners. The one complaint came from an owner who gave the popper 4 out of 5 stars and was buying a replacement for her daughter. She laments that the plastic gear mechanism doesn't hold up well to heat. However, she admits her daughter's former pot was quite old and she used it a few times per month.
Review: Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop Stovetop 6 Quart Popcorn Popper, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of August 2013
Most of the 35 owners reviewing the Whirley Pop say that although the popper looks flimsy, it is actually durable. Many owners have had their poppers for many years before having to purchase another one. One reviewer gave it a low score, citing the lightweight feel and the popper being made of aluminum. Overall, reviewers gave the popper a 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Review: The Original Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper, Contributors to BedBathandBeyond.com, As of August 2013