Warning: Long, thorough review. If you want the bottom line only, then skip to the bottom line. :) My Westbend Kettle Krazy popper was purchased online and when it arrived I discovered one of the handles had been broken during assembly. I contacted Westbend and with no hassle, issue, or delay I was mailed a replacement. I believe the service center and Westbend's HQ is located in WI even though the popper itself was manufactured in China. I had the replacement in less than a week. The popper is a dual role popper capable of making popcorn snacks of different types and tastes along with a different mode and several recipes for roasting/cooking nuts. The recipes can be found online and in the user guide. I've only cooked several batches of popcorn so far and each has turned out almost perfect every time. Very few if any hulls were not popped and if timed correctly, none of the popcorn was overcooked or burned. BTW, the corn I've used so far is Amish Country Popcorn (see my separate review on that product - good stuff.) The popper has a few small concerns I would like to point out. They are not major and haven't kept the popper from working. As I mentioned above, one of the plastic handles was cracked in half because of a weak spot within and also a malformed condition (plastic flash) on the handle. The assembler should have caught this issue before it even moved on in the factory. The handles are light plastic, so you have to be gentle but the popper itself is also light so not really a problem as long as you are careful. The popper cover is light weight but seems durable for the purpose. However, it does not seal against the heated surface (to avoid melting?) and a gap is left all the way around - approximately 1/8". Just when the first few kernels are popping, any oil that you may have used in your recipe will also jump around and some tiny splattering thru the crack takes place. There is no way to close the gap and pushing on the top could result in breaking it. The very tiny oil splatters can land on you or on the surface the popper is sitting on, so be careful. This splatter lasts only for a few seconds and is a lot LESS than being next to a frying pan in comparison, but I mention it as a precaution. Once the kernels start filling up the bowl, this gap gets covered by the popped corn and the splatter no longer occurs. Also, the bowl has a butter cap for the place to melt butter or other seasonings that require melting during the popping process. I used it once for melting several small butter pieces over the popping corn and it worked fine. This cover is just a small plastic disc-like piece that fits in place before you turn the bowl over. It can easily be washed for cleaning. Wash everything BY HAND - no parts safe for dish washer. The stir rod rotates above the Teflon-like cooking surface to scoot the kernels along as they heat up. Occasionally a popped or unpopped kernel or two may try to get stuck under the rod and it will leave a track on the surface as it rides around. I don't know if this will become a severe problem down the line, but I mention it now as worth noting. The surface itself is very easy to swipe clean and can not be sink washed. You can NOT disassemble the heating element for submerging or putting in a dish washer. Just use a soapy wet cloth, if necessary, and wipe the heating surface clean. Hand clean the stir rod and securing knob once removed. This unit was priced higher than other popcorn-only models and I was a little concerned I might be over-paying for hype and marketing. It does have a dual mode, though, and I would like to try cooking a few different types of nuts. Walmart by far had the best price for the popper. I think the hardware itself will last as long as I'm not banging it around, but only time will tell if I am right or wrong. The guide indicates the unit is for household use only. For all these reasons, I would recommend the product to another purchaser and am satisfied with my selection.
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