Wabash Family Farms “Whirley Pop” Popcorn Maker

You know something I just realized? After all these years, we’ve somehow never once mentioned the Whirley Pop here on T&T. Doesn’t seem possible, yet it’s true.

In case you’ve never owned one, the Whirley Pop is a hand-cranked stovetop popcorn maker that requires a bit more effort and attention to use than just tossing a presealed paper bag into a microwave, but once you’ve eaten the deliciously fluffy and crisp popcorn that comes out of it — not to mention how there’s almost never an unpopped kernel — you’ll know it’s worth every bit of that extra work.

While different people approach the process in various ways, the basic idea is pretty simple. After an initial one-time seasoning of the pan with some vegetable oil, all you have to do is…

  1. Toss in your preferred high-temp oil and some popcorn kernels, then close the lid.
  2. Heat on the stove over medium-high for a few minutes, slowly and continuously turning the crank handle until the kernels have popped enough that it’s hard to turn anymore.
  3. Immediately pour it out into a bowl so the steam doesn’t turn it chewy.
  4. Add your favorite seasoning(s) and serve.
  5. (You’d normally see cleanup directions at this point, but really all that’s required is to wipe out the inside of the pot with a paper towel and put it away. The only time washing with soap is necessary is after popping sweet/sugary stuff like kettle corn or caramel popcorn.)


There are lots of recipes you can try, but a common go-to is popping half a cup of kernels in 2–3 tbsp of coconut oil and then adding 1 tsp of Flavacol seasoning afterward for that classic movie theater taste. But really the options are endless, so have fun experimenting!

The Whirley Pop comes in a variety of color options, including the original aluminum silver (not induction compatible), stainless steel, red, copper, and even color-changing.

Note: As you shop, be aware of whether or not you’re buying a model with die-cast metal or heavy-duty nylon gears — the metal ones will likely last longer but are noisier and more prone to rust, while the nylon ones operate more smoothly but have the potential to warp or melt over time. Either way, they can be swapped out as needed so at least you’re not locked into one type forever.