The Whirley-Pop Popcorn Maker

Pros: Makes the BEST popcorn!
Cons: Needs to be hand-washed
Rating: 4.5 out of 5


This is a review I’ve intended to write for more than a year now. A couple of years ago, we were lucky enough to receive a Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper as a Christmas present from friends. Before that we’d experimented with all sorts of popcorn makers and had never been able to settle on something. Now we have the perfect popper, and I’d never go back to a hot air-style popper after trying it.


Have you noticed that movie popcorn just doesn’t live up to our childhood memories? Maybe it’s our changing tastebuds; maybe it really isn’t as good any more. Either way, don’t you wish you could create perfect fluffy, flavorful popcorn at home? Actually, you can. And it’s easy.

The Whirley-Pop is a pot-shaped device, with a hinged lid. The lid has a stirring mechanism that you hand-crank while the popcorn cooks. You cook the popcorn in a bit of oil while cranking constantly, then dump it out and mix in your choice of salt and/or seasonings. Simple, quick, and easy. Because the device gets “seasoned” over time a bit like cast iron, you shouldn’t put it into the dishwasher. However, much like cast iron, it also cleans easily. Worst case, if you make one of the recipes that requires you to include sugar while cooking, just soak in hot water for a very short time before cleaning and it’ll come right off.

Which brings me to—the recipes. I’m a sweet popcorn fiend, and the recipes included with the Whirley-Pop make sweet popcorn a breeze. In fact, there’s a ton of sweet and savory recipes that will make you want to have popcorn a whole lot more often. Whether you’d rather have pizza flavored popcorn or cinnamon-sugar popcorn, you can do it yourself in minutes.

Okay, so it does take up a bit of space for such a single-purpose device, but it’s one of the single-purpose devices in our home that I wouldn’t want to give up. Popcorn can be a comparatively healthy snack if done right, and the Whirley-Pop gives you the chance to make it with ingredients that you can feel comfortable with. Do make sure that you read through the directions thoroughly, however, and follow them closely. The Whirley-Pop uses different heat settings and so on than a plain old pot, and it’s for good design reasons. If you don’t follow the directions, you won’t end up with that perfect popcorn!

So if you have friends who enjoy popcorn, perhaps you, too, can be amazing friends when the next holiday comes along, and give them a Whirley-Pop! Or skip the intermediary, and get one for yourself. 😉

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7 comments on “The Whirley-Pop Popcorn Maker
  1. Adam says:

    I’ve been looking around at popcorn makers for a while now and even though I looked at this Whirley one before I thought it was too expensive. I opted for a cheaper one but now regret it. You’re right, our taste buds have changed and movie popcorn these days taste like paper. Adam

  2. Moe Hawke says:

    As one who doesn’t like microwave popcorn, thinks air popping leaches all taste out of it, the Whirley-Pop sounds real old school and seems capable of meeting our childhood’s memories. Back in the day, we used a big covered pot with a bit of oil in the bottom and shook it incessantly. Great popcorn, but a lot of work. Whirley-Pop sounds like same great flavor with a lot less effort.

  3. Mike says:

    It’s surprises me that things don’t taste as good as they used to. I was told our taste buds change as we get older but that isn’t the reason. Popcorn sure tastes different but as soon as you get a great maker you realise it’s the manufacturers trying to create a cheaper longer lasting product from which they make more money. I say own goal. Buy a popcorn maker and rediscover the old fashioned taste. Less additives, flavorings, preservatives equals a better taste.

  4. This popcorn maker seems great. I would love to have something like it. I usually make popcorn using the oven. This stove-top device reminds me of the olden days when our mom used to make popcorn for us.

  5. Tayna says:

    I used to have an electric popcorn maker but I finally wore it out. So lately I’ve been either buy pre-popped stuff (tastes like styrofoam) or the microwave packs. I like the idea of making my own so I can control how much oil and salt. Besides being healthier and a lot cheaper, too. I’ll have to check this out – at $17 it will pay for itself in a couple of months!

  6. I had one of these in college, somebody swiped it. I didn’t bother to see if they still made them – now I know they do. I’ll have to give this serious consideration. Thanks for the great site.

  7. John Turner says:

    This is great news! Just the other day I was moaning to my wife that the only time we ever eat popcorn is when we go to the movies (which does not happen nearly enough)…

    I hate the microwave popcorn in a bag stuff, so will check out the Whirly-Pop.

    Thanks for the recommendation.

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