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Pros: Oil popping without burning; 4-6 minutes per batch; very little oil is required (1-3 tablespoons) compared to other oil popping methods, such as in a stove-top pan with manual shaking; pops virtually every kernel (unless popcorn is in poor condition to start with); relatively easy clean-up; can drip butter or other oil onto corn as it pops and stirs through holes in the top of the dome cover, but melting a sufficient quantity of butter in the dome's dispenser via the steam from the corn popping is not particularly effective, in my experience.
Cons: Use care with the plastic dome cover--it is essential to the works, because it is designed to fit perfectly, and has holes at the top that allow moisture and pressure to escape during the popping process. I once tried a large metal mixing bowl in its place, but it had no holes, so as corn popped, pressure would force the bowl up off the heating surface slightly hot oil would shoot out. Moisture from the exploding corn caused water droplets to form and run down the inside of the bowl onto the popping surface, resulting in the water exploding into bursts of steam as it hit the hot oil, exacerbating the pressurized bowl-lifting and shooting hot oil. Plus, the metal bowl got quite hot.
DO NOT ADD GRANULAR SALT before or during popping--the abrasiveness will quickly destroy the nonstick coating of the metal heating surface.
You must remain nearby to turn it off and flip it over as soon as the popping is complete or the corn will burn.
If you use more oil than recommended, like I do (against their explicit warnings), the design of the metal heating surface's outside edge where the dome cover's lip meets it does not prevent oil and moisture from getting to the metal heating surface's edge and running down into the base of the appliance--a potential fire hazard, eventually, I imagine
Other Thoughts: My extended family has bought Westbend Stir Crazy models of poppers since the 1970's. Patents have since expired, I'm sure. This is essentially the same design, maybe just a rebrand.
The general guide should indicate 1/3 cup of unpopped corn to one tablespoon oil for two quarts of popped corn, 2/3 cup to two tablespoons for four quarts, and one full cup to three tablespoons for six quarts. That guideline works for regular, average varieties of corn, such as generic grocery store brands, the regular JollyTime corn, etc. If using extra-large-yield popping corn, like Orville Redenbacher's, instructions say to cut the above-mentioned unpopped kernel amounts down to 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 cup. I often buy/order the colored gourmet varieties, which have better taste and texture, I think, but usually pop small, so I have to increase the amount of unpopped kernels, significantly.
I like oil-popped popcorn for the taste--think of baked potato chips versus traditional fried potato chips, for example. I used to use the recommended amount of popping oil, and then gradually add melted salted butter to the finished product between liberal shakings in a large grocery-store brown paper bag (doubled, to mitigate oil soaking through to the outside), followed by the same gradual process with salt. The well distributed butter allowed the gradually-added granular salt to stick to the corn fairly evenly. (Popcorn salt, which is powdered rather than granular, adheres to popped popcorn pretty well without the corn having much or even any oil on it, but it can also easily get too concentrated, if not applied very gradually and carefully, ruining mouthfuls of popcorn.) Once I became aware of the health benefits of olive oil, I started popping with it rather than safflower, canola, and corn oils. It definitely smells the house up more than the others, and it may smoke more, but I quickly learned that olive oil provides a nice flavor, itself, and I abandoned adding butter in favor of simply substantially increasing the amount of popping oil I use. I probably use four times what is recommended (they warn not to use more than recommended).
I eventually noticed small amounts of a thick dark-brown oily substance leaking from openings in the underside of the popper. I realized oil and moisture from the popping corn were accumulating inside the housing of the popper, underneath the heating surface where the heating elements are. Over time, it worsens and gets a little messy, so I now thoroughly run hot tap water into the housing surrounding the internals of the unit every 6-12 months, immediately after a use while it is still hot, to rinse the accumulations out, and then I let it dry thoroughly before using it again. Doing so must facilitate corrosion of the internal electrical connections, but I haven't had it cause a failure, yet, and I've gone through three or four Westbend Stir Crazy poppers in 15 or 20 years of doing this process.
This review is from: IOGEAR Black GearPower - Portable Battery for Mobile Devices (GMP1001B)
Pros: Thin and light; five blue LEDs indicate charge level when button is pressed, and constantly during recharge and after recharge; multiple tips, including one that couples two USB cables for extending the two-foot one that is included.
Cons: Be aware, it is a relatively low-power device.
Other Thoughts: It takes four hours to charge, regardless of the amperage of the power supply that you use: 700mA or 1A or 2A A/C adapters or a computer's USB port, doesn't matter (the device self-regulates input power to 500mA, max., as stated in the included documents). It only outputs 600mA, max., so it will charge, but at a relatively slow rate. If the device is powered on and in use, the best it can do sometimes is slow the battery depletion of my older 3.2"-screen smartphone--a larger device is only going to overwhelm it more so. If your device is powered off while you use the GearPower to charge it, a 600mA output will transfer the 2000mAh capacity to your device's battery in about three hours twenty minutes.READ FULL REVIEW