The West Bend Clear Air Popcorn Machine (89013) is one of the most stylish appliances for popping corn. The contemporary look of the popper matches well with other stainless steel kitchen appliances, and the clear chamber uniquely provides a view into the popping action.
The Clear Air Popcorn Machine has a compact, silver-grey base which includes a power switch and a cord storage area underneath. The main chamber is clear, glass lined, and permanently affixed to the base. In addition to providing a view, the glass also acts a sound insulator, making the Clear Air Popcorn Machine the most quiet air popper we’ve tested.
In our test, we added kernels to the fill line marked near the bottom of the chamber. The popper takes 1/2 cup of corn, but there is no measuring cup included. Once plugged in, the unit finished popping in approximately 3 minutes. There were a few unpopped kernels in the bowl, but only slightly more than average.
In repeated testing, we found two issues with the West Bend Clear Air Popcorn Machine. When adding kernels to the chamber, it can be hard to see the fill line depending on the lighting in your kitchen. We slightly overfilled the chamber on two occasions, and both times the kernels began to burn and produce smoke. When overfilled, the updraft of air is not sufficient to agitate the kernels.
The other issue we experienced was with the chute. The chute on this popper is plastic, and rests atop the popping chamber. It has a very small lip to hold it in place, and can be knocked off easily. It will not fall off unless bumped. This happened a couple of times when moving the bowl or adjusting the popper, blowing popcorn all over the counter each time.
West Bend provides an instruction manual and a one-year warranty. There is no measuring cup or butter melting capability included.
The West Bend Clear Air Popcorn Machine is one of the quietest and most stylish poppers we’ve tested. The compact design and low noise output make it a nice addition to smaller kitchens or apartments. The only two issues we experienced with the appliance are easily avoided.