Who doesn’t love the crunchy bite of popcorn while watching a movie? With the classic combo of salt and butter, the scent of freshly popped popcorn is an iconic presence in theaters and homes alike. And now, popcorn poppers can make this delicious kernel a staple in your home too! Besides, this is the healthiest alternative to satisfying your popcorn cravings. When you have your very own popcorn maker decked neatly on the kitchen counter, you can kiss unhealthy microwaved popcorn packs goodbye.
A bunch of these poppers have flooded the marketplace, spoiling the customer for choice. But with the right selection, your home made popcorn will be giving movie theatres a run for their money. Read on to find out more about the best popcorn makers for a bowlful of piping hot popcorn, made in your own home.
The Best Popcorn Maker
Perfectly popped popcorn without any oil? The original Salbree microwave popcorn popper is what you are looking for. Add oil if you must but this popper still works wonders without. Made from BPA free silicone, its collapsible design saves you space while also doing the environment a favor.
Besides, with this microwave popper, unpopped kernels are a thing of the past. When you get your bowlful of smoothly popped popcorn, just spray it clean with water and you will never have to deal with a sticky popcorn popper. Best of all, this microwave popper comes in a wide range of color selections. Red, blue, green and many more shades in between, you certainly won’t be strained for choices.
The original Salbree microwave popcorn popper weighs about 9 ounces
There are easy grab handles on the sides to make it easy to remove when it’s hot from the microwave
With its collapsible design, you can store it anywhere, even in a small drawer
- Weight9 ounces
Movie nights, housewarming parties and even a simple night in with family- with the Silver Whirley popcorn popper- are going to change forever. This popper introduces a patented stirring design which makes sure your kernels are fully popped and never burnt. Cleaning it is a breeze too. Just grab a paper towel and wipe it for a good as new popcorn popper. If you’re thinking about whether you should purchase it, the delicious popcorn kit which comes along with it is going to seal the deal. This includes fresh corn, gourmet popping oil and a secret buttery salt – all you need for the perfect popcorn.
This weighs 2 pounds.
It claims to cook up to 6 quarts of popcorn in just 3 minutes
It has a cool-to-touch wooden handle for easy grabbing
It’s backed with a 25-year warranty
- BrandWabash Valley Farms
- Weight2 pounds
Have an intense case of popcorn cravings? Say hello to the West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper. Just like the name suggests, this popper, with a motorized stirring rod, stirs like crazy to get you the evenly cooked popcorn you are craving for. Besides, the built in butter well ensures your popcorn is rich in buttery delight. And if you are looking for a bowl to serve popcorn in, its transparent glass lid doubles as that too!
It weighs about 3.35 pounds
It uses a triple layer heating plate, ensuring peak performance.
It has a capacity of 6.75 quarts of popcorn, cooking it in just 4 minutes
This electric popcorn popper uses an easy-to-reach on/off button to operate it
- BrandWest Bend
- Weight3.35 pounds
Treating yourself to quality popcorn is now just a matter of minutes. The Hamilton Beach Popcorn Popper is another electric gem for your kitchen, promising beautifully flavored popcorn with minimal effort. Dress up your popcorn with a variety of seasonings like cheese, chili flakes or chocolate shavings or dress it down with the basic butter salt. Your popcorn will be cooked to a hot melted perfection regardless.
This popcorn maker weighs 6.1 pounds
It can pop from 4 to 24 cups of popcorn per batch
The popcorn is popped on a non-stick heating plate
The lid can be inverted to serve as a bowl
A motorized stirring arm ensures even cooking of the kernels
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight6.1 pounds
With the Cuisinart popcorn maker in your home, you will never run out of popcorn for your next Netflix marathon. Designed exactly like the ones in movie theaters, this is a great buy if you are going to be serving home-cooked popcorn for a themed party or simply are a cinema aficionado. The popcorn scoop and the two measuring cups for adding kernels and oil make this machine an even more desired item. And if cleaning household appliances has ever left you in a huff, this popcorn popper is what you need in your life. With removable doors and kettle, you can reach every nook and cranny of the Cuisinart popcorn popper to clean it to shiny perfection.
This appliance weighs 9.9 pounds
It is powered by a 500 watt heater and does not need advanced heat up time
It can cook up to 10 cups of popcorn per batch
Serving is easy because of its tilt-able door
- Weight9.9 pounds
Cuisinart strikes with yet another great popcorn machine. If you’ve ever wanted to relive your childhood, this popcorn maker will take you on a walk down the memory lane, with the delicious scent wafting from its popcorn. An explosion of fluffy flavors with an unmatched ease of convenience, chowing down on popcorn is so easy with the EasyPop popcorn maker.
Cuisinart has also made a number of brilliant structural changes with this model. The dome of the appliance, for instance, is sturdier and built to last a long time. Special vents inside the dome push moisture out, so you never have to taste another soggy popcorn ever again. To top it all off, the capacity is much larger than previous models. The more popcorn, the better.
It weighs 4.2 pounds
It can pop up to 16 cups of popcorn at a time
It is backed by a 3 year warranty
The non-slip feet of the machine ensures it doesn’t slip and crack
- Weight4.2 pounds
Have got a hungry crowd driving you insane for some munchies? The Hamilton Party Popper to the rescue. Hamilton is definitely a trusted name in the world of kitchen appliances and no wonder. From a range of great popcorn poppers under its belt, this one is a prize. Claiming to pop more than 3 times than those in theaters, a bowl of crunchy popcorn is just a button away. Pour in your kernels, drizzle with oil or butter and any seasoning of your choice and this appliance will pop it to fluffy perfection. Besides, the futuristic and sleek design of this popcorn popper will only add to the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen.
The Hamilton Beach Party Popper Popcorn Popper weighs 7.3 pounds
It can serve up to 24 cups of popcorn at a time
The popping chamber is removable and dishwasher friendly too
Storage space can be brought down by nesting the top and bottom chambers together
- BrandHamilton Beach
- Weight7.3 pounds
Popcorn Maker Buying Guide & FAQ
For a conscious foodie, just any popcorn maker won’t do. You want the best for your household, one that cooks popcorn which can strike all the right tastebuds and leave you wanting for more but doesn’t come along with any additional chemicals or harmful preservatives. There is also so much more to consider when buying the correct appliance for your kitchen. With this guide, though, we break down the complex art of popcorn maker shopping and answer all your burning questions.
Different Types of Popcorn Poppers
Baffled by all the options in front of you? Struggling to make sense of all the popcorn popper names? Here’s our list of the types of popcorn poppers available in the market and what they actually mean.
- Oil Poppers - A popular choice for homes, this type uses oil to pop the corn to a delicious richness. Usually, oil poppers are covered with a transparent lid. Watching the kernels pop right in front of you is a treat for the eyes. Besides, everybody knows that the taste of popcorn cooked in oil is an absolute winner. So, if you are a low maintenance person looking for buttery rich popcorn, oil poppers may be the right choice for you.
- Air Poppers - Have you been avoiding oil for health reasons? Still can’t curb your craving for some popcorn? Well, the air popper may just be the lifesaver you are looking for. Using just hot air with a revolving mechanical fan, you will never have to say no to a handful (or a bowlful or more) of popcorn. From a chute to a bowl too straight into your mouth, fun and fat-free can now go together.
- Stove Top Poppers - Popcorn is one of those snacks which are all about the experience. Perhaps you want to relish the experience of popping kernels yourself. Or maybe you just want to avoid using the unhealthy microwaving technique. Stovetop poppers here make popcorn not just about the munching but also a fun activity for everyone to chip in. You simply place it on a stove and hold and shake all the way through, making sure all your kernels are popped perfectly and to the right consistency.
- Professional Poppers - If you often need to entertain large crowds of guests in your home, consider investing in a professional popper. Sure to be the show-stealer of all your parties, these are close replicas of the ones we see in movie theatres. Its large capacity with a ton load of controls and options for you to pick from makes it perfect to serve hot, crunchy popcorn everyone is going to talk about for days to come.
What Should You Look For In A Popcorn Maker?
Armed with your new knowledge about popcorn makers, you are now ready to buy the best popcorn maker money can buy. But wait. Have you considered all the vital factors you need? After all, every individual has their own preferences and reasons driving them towards any purchase decision. So, instead of making impulse buys and later finding that it simply was not the right choice for you, dig in a little deeper and understand your needs in a popcorn popper.
- Type of popcorn - You don’t want to be stuck with a popcorn maker that just won’t cook the way you want it to. For instance, perhaps you are on a low oil diet. Oil popcorn makers i.e. those which can simply not function without large servings of oil is a major no-no for you. Therefore, ask yourself what is the kind of popcorn that you will be making the most and start searching with that in mind to narrow down all your options.
- Size - If you have a small kitchen or one that is already struggling with the weight of many appliances, bulky popcorn poppers are not for you. Popcorn makers come in a large variety of sizes, styles, designs and even colors. So, you will always have plenty of options to pick from. Quickly look at your counter space and make a mental note of the right side of the popcorn maker for you. If you don’t want your popcorn maker to be lying around after use, think about where you are going to store it. In this case, detachable popcorn Poppers are your friend.
- Capacity - Before buying any popcorn popper, check out its maximum capacity. Because exceeding it is not an option unless you want to wreck your newly purchased appliance, you will need to keep in mind the maximum capacity that you may require. If you hardly have visitors and are a small family, there is not a lot of thinking to do- you can have your pick of popcorn maker. But if you often have large crowds over or just have a big appetite, take a look at professional poppers. Theater-style popcorn made in your home is like a dream come true for us. Usually, the average popcorn maker can yield up to 4 to 6 quarts of popcorn at a time.
- Budget - Naturally, not all of us want to burn a hole in our pockets for a popcorn maker. After all, popcorn is supposed to be the classic cheap thrill. Once you have all your requirements sorted, do a quick price comparison to make sure your ideal popcorn maker fits the bill. Of the types of popcorn makers we discusses, oil and air poppers are relatively budget friendly. But if you want a high performance, theater style popper, you may have to loosen the purse strings a little.
- Material quality - We have all had an appliance break down on us after a couple of uses or worse, straight out of the packaging. If you don’t want to relive that heartbreaking, soul crushing feeling, better make an informed decision this time around. Quality materials such as high grade steel and scratch proof glass will last you a long time. Low quality plastic, on the other hand, is prone to accidents and overheating. Lastly, don’t forget to peruse customer reviews. These are invaluable, firsthand sources of information which can make or break your purchase decision.
- Cleaning - Cleaning up after using is undoubtedly a hassle for most kitchen appliances. Have a look at the usage instructions of your popcorn maker options to find out which ones are easy to clean. The good ones have clear, step by step guidelines to make sure you don’t have any inadvertent cleaning mishaps. Detachable popcorn makers are a great option if you always want a spick and span machine. Also, look for non-stick coating in your popcorn maker to make sure it is never greasy.
What Is The Best Oil For A Popcorn Machine?
There is more than one way to cook popcorn. And with all the different cooking oils available in the market, you definitely won’t be strapped for variety. The best oil, however, is totally a subjective opinion. Each and every type of oil adds its own distinctive flavor to the popcorn and depending on your personal preference, may be a hit or miss.
Coconut oil is a favorite of most popcorn makers for the theatre quality popcorn they make. If you need to watch your calories intake, ditch coconut oil for canola. Tasting similar, it is a far more nutritious option. Besides, you have plenty of other options such as sunflower, peanut or soy. The only kind of oil you should be steering clear from is vegetable oil. It is notorious for catching on fire as it cannot stand the heat of popping kernels.
Choosing the right popcorn maker doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Don’t forget that whatever your needs may be, the perfect popcorn maker is just a well-researched buy away. Besides, you can never have enough of popcorn melted in delicious fluffiness. So, hit the store to transform your mundane popcorn-less evenings into spectacular movie nights, all in the comfort of your home.
- 20 Things You Didn't Know About Popcorn - HowStuffWorks