Review: Whirley Pop 3-Minute Popcorn Popper

February 28th, 2010

As we discussed in Making Your Own Eco-friendly Popcorn, microwave popcorn bags are anything but green.

I used to buy them since I really wasn’t good at making stovetop popcorn and I didn’t have a lot of space for an electric popcorn maker. Even though I’d only eat a few bags of popcorn a month, I was still sick of the waste from microwave popcorn. Plus, I didn’t like the chemical additives on the bag or not being able to choose my own oils or butter.


One of my green New Year’s resolutions was to never again use microwave popcorn.

I received a Whirley Pop popcorn maker as a Christmas gift. I was a little anxious about this old-fashioned looking contraption from Wabash Valley Farms, but it turned out to be a handy popcorn maker. I was concerned about the thinness of the sides of the pan, but the bottom was thicker and it makes good corn, so I’m keeping it!


  • Features a stirring mechanism that helps prevent popcorn burning
  • Composed primarily of metal with a wooden handle (It has a couple of small plastic pieces on the crank.)
  • Stores easily without the bother of a cord or large dome
  • No nonstick finish necessary
  • Easy to use (Just open one side of the hinged lid to pour popped corn in your bowl.)
  • Affordable price at around $20
  • Makes great-tasting popcorn. I’ll talk about the GMO-free kernels I used in another post.


  • Made in China
  • The 3-minute claim is pushing it a bit, but you can make popcorn almost as quickly as in the microwave. I’d say that, if you count measuring the popcorn and oil and the time it takes to preheat the burner, then you’re looking at around five or six minutes. You’re not supposed to put the popcorn maker on a cold burner.
  • You have to stand there and turn the crank, but it’s not that big of a deal. However, it’s a little difficult to hear whether the popcorn is still popping from the noise of the stirring mechanism. Yet, you can tell when the popcorn is almost finished since the crank becomes more difficult to turn.

Overall I feel that the Whirley Pop is a good, green alternative to microwave popcorn bags. I’d buy one as a gift for someone who wants to bag their microwave popcorn habit.

Have you tried Whirley Pop?

(Image via amazon)