The one that I bought was the all black one, model 82306, but it seems Wal-Mart no longer sells it, and this one just has some cute yellow trimming added, but I'm sure it's the same as the one I bought...
Do you notice the vast difference in the ratings on this product? You can find either 1 star or 5 stars, and I'll bet I can tell you why. If you read some of the negative ones, you read where one wrote, "It gets too hot! It stays hot for too long!" Well, yeah. It needs to get hot to pop the popcorn. This is not a Hot Air Popper. It's a standard popcorn machine.
Some say they don't understand why it overheats and then quits on them. I'll bet these are the same people who'll say that they refuse to use cooking oil "because it's bad for you". Well, just like a computer processor would quickly burn up without the special computer paste between it and the fan and heat sink, this kind of popcorn popper #no matter what brand# will burn up if you don't use cooking oil, which keeps it from overheating.
As long as you use cooking oil whenever you use this and take good care of it, you should have years of use from it. I did. I had 15 years use from my last one, and only had to give it up because I moved from Norway back here to the USA, and the electricity is different here. If you don't want to use cooking oil, then buy a hot air popper. Those are made for use without oil!
You can use 3 tablespoons of oil, but I use 4 for best results. Then I have found that if you use corn oil, it makes the popcorn taste better, and I've even had some people say it tasted like I had added butter.
For one person, I use 1/4 or 1/3 cup, and it gives plenty.
To fill up the bowl, add 1/2 cup, but don't add any more, because that will fill up the bowl.
Here's a tip I learned a long time ago from Orville Redenbacher's popcorn:
Put two kernels of popcorn into the cooking oil, put the cooking bowl on and turn on the popcorn machine.
Don't put the black lid on the top of the cooking bowl and don't put any butter in the pit. The holes are air holes to vent out the heat, and it won't cook long enough to melt the butter. Besides, the butter would only clog up the holes, so the hot air cannot get out. If you insist on putting butter up there, and putting the kernels in immediately, you will end up with soggy popcorn that doesn’t taste good. Add butter after the popcorn is popped.
Wait until the two kernels pop.
The popper is now hot enough to cook the popcorn for best results.
Pour in the popcorn and put the cooking bowl back on.
The popping should begin almost immediately #because the oil is now preheated#.
Once the popping is done, unplug the popper, put the black lid on the top of the bowl, and then turn the entire popper and bowl upside down.
Remove the popper and put it back on the counter where you were using it.
Butter the popcorn if you would like to, and/or add salt or other topping #such as parmesan cheese or popcorn seasoning# and eat it.
I just made a batch #1/3 cup# and I only had 4 uncooked kernels.
Do not try to clean the popcorn popper before it is well cooled off, after about 1 hour.
Do not try to clean it while it's hot, or it will seriously damage the unit.
Wash it with a sponge #or dishcloth#, soap, and warm water, being careful to keep the soap inside the cooking surface.
When you rinse it off, hold the popcorn popper at about a 60-degree angle so the water will wash down into the sink. You don't want to get the rest of the popcorn popper wet and never, ever, immerse it in water. It is an electrical unit and water will ruin the electrical parts, and that's not to mention that when you plug it in again, it could cause an electrocuting shock.
The only part that should need to be cleaned, other than the popcorn bowl, is the cooking surface. If you need to clean the sides or bottom, just use a moist cloth or sponge.
This unit is easy to use and clean. If you follow my simple instructions and if you are careful not to break the bowl, it should last for many years. If you do break the bowl, you can go to just about any popcorn popper manufacturer's website and buy a new bowl, wire, or black lid. #They're all the same size because I believe the base for all the brands is made by the same company and sold out to all the popcorn popper brands#.
I would highly recommend this as a present for someone who loves popcorn. I personally think that if you follow my cooking instructions above, the popcorn tastes much better than cooked with a hot air popper and much, much better than cooked in the microwave, because the secret is in the taste of the oil.
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