Are you tired of old microwavable popcorn, which leaves an oily and cheap taste in your mouth? Everyone loves the taste of movie-theater popcorn, but shy of giving up your day job to watch the big-screen day in and day out, it’s hard to bring that taste home. That is – unless you invest in the same technology your local theater leverages. That’s right – your very own popcorn maker.
Now we know what you’re thinking. How is it THAT different from the microwavable variety? The truth is, the kind that comes in a sealed bag is covered in low-quality butter and saturated in chemicals. By using your own popcorn maker, you control the ingredients, the heat, and the rotation of the corn itself, allowing you to create more popcorn, tastier popcorn, and healthier popcorn!
As you may have guessed, however, not all popcorn machines are equal. To help you make the right buying decision, here we’ve broken down the top tier selection of 2018, featuring the best specs, durability, price points, and of course – final taste!
The best popcorn maker is the one that does not leave a kernel uncooked. Let’s introduce you to yours, while covering the accessories you’ll need and any extra concerns you may have.
|West Bend||$ 27.48|
|Great Northern Red Matinee||$ 131.99|
|Wabash Valley Farms||$ 27.59|
|Great Northern Red Tabletop||$ 52.00|
|Great Northern 6010 Roosevelt||$ 148.29|
If you do not want to waste kernels, then this is an excellent choice. One of the best brands of popcorn poppers for home use is the Presto Pop-Lite. It is easy to operate and ideal because it works faster than the microwave poppers. If you want more popped kernels in less time, then this is a perfect choice. You can prepare almost 18 cups of popcorn under 2.5 minutes. Another excellent thing about this popper is that it works faster than many other models – up to 30% faster.
It not only prepares the corn quickly, but it is tested to produce nearly 100% of popcorn used. It does not leave any kernel unpopped. So, if you want to save time and money, this is the model you should buy.
Another feature which makes it worthy of buying is that you do not need any oil. The popcorn which is prepared without oil has almost 50% less calories, making it a healthy choice too.
It is an easy to use the machine. All you need is to plug in the power and start it. There are no complex settings that you need to worry about. This machine comes with a lot of accessories such as the measuring cup. You can use the same cup to melt the butter. This feature allows you to get freshly buttered popcorn in an instant.
The design of this popcorn maker is quite ergonomic. Putting in the kernels is easy. Also, the shape is such that it is simple to clean. The machine is made of plastic material. It comes with a one-year warranty at Amazon. It is available in white/yellow color. There are no shipping charges, which makes it even more affordable. One of the things which may irritate you is the addition of salt. You will have to add salt to the bowl while preparing the popcorn.
The capacity of this popcorn maker is four to five quarts. You can get the Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper at Amazon for just $16.94.
|Making Capacity||18 cups|
|Cooking Time||< 2 1/2 minutes|
|Dimension||11.6 x 10 x 7 in|
|Customer Rating||4.3/5 By 9,474 Customers|
The Westbend Stir Crazy Electric Popcorn Popper is a stylish home-based popcorn maker. As the name tells, it is also an electric popper, meaning there’s no need to include your oven in the cooking process. You can cook six quarts of popcorn in less than five minutes.
It is a popcorn maker which gives you more taste. So, if you are looking for flavorful buttered popcorn, this is the popper that you should buy. All you need is to coat the popcorn with oil or butter.
One of the handy features of this popper is the built-in well. You do not have to worry about melting the butter to cook the kernels. The well has a mechanism to melt the butter. You just need to make sure that it is not frozen butter that you add to the machine, as it will struggle with this. Room temperature is best.
It is an easy to use electric this popper. The shape is round and quite beautiful too. You can also use the top cover of the machine to serve the popcorn. It will reduce the cleaning time. It is named as the stir-crazy popper. It has a stirring arm which makes cooking the popcorn and adding flavor easy. The benefit of stirring the popcorn is that you will not burn the kernels. If you are looking for less mess and 100% popcorn preparation, you should buy this one.
Something you need to take care of is adding a measured amount of butter to this popper. Otherwise, it will not cook it right.
Another great feature is that you can use this popper to roast beans and nuts too. You may prefer a machine that does multitasking. So, this is an excellent choice. You do not have to worry about the design. It is easy to handle. Also, the handles and the base are heat resistant. So you will not have any problem taking off the cover, handling it, or having it burn your counter top.
The capacity of this popcorn maker is six quarts. You can get the Westbend Stir Crazy Electric Popcorn Popper for just $27.94 at Amazon. The Stir Crazy popper comes with a one-year warranty, and it is available in a black color.
|Making Capacity||6 quarts|
|Cooking Time||< 5 minutes|
|Dimension||11.8 x 14.2 x 9.5 in|
|Customer Rating||3.9/5 By 3,958 Customers|
The Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker is an excellent choice if you want to prepare quick popcorn for only a couple of people. It does not have a large capacity, coming in at just 2.5 quarts. The cooking time is, however, less than three minutes. This popper works on a 1500 watt power supply which is quite a lot. You can prepare 10 cups in about three minutes using this popper.
One of the benefits of this popper is that it has a removable chute. The butter tray is also removable. It makes the machine easy to clean, fill, and refill. So, if you are looking for ease of use, this is a perfect choice.
At the top, it has a multipurpose cup. You can use the cup to measure the kernels and to pour in the melted butter, meaning you have full control over how buttery the final taste is. It keeps the popcorn crunchy and tasty, and the popping chamber is also quite durable.
The design of the popcorn maker is easy to use. All you need is to put the kernels in and start the machine. Add butter and get it ready. Once you are done, remove the tray and wash it.
If you are looking to save electricity, then this is not the popcorn popper for you. It will produce tasty popcorn but will consume a lot of power. However, if you prefer the taste over that expense, then it is the best choice.
You can get the Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker for just $35.52 at Amazon. The item is shipped in the US within 24 hours. One of the best things about this product is that it comes with a three-year warranty.
|Making Capacity||10 cups|
|Cooking Time||< 3 minutes|
|Dimension||7.5 x 15 x 10 in|
|Customer Rating||4.0/5 By 141,4 Customers|
The Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style 8 oz. Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine is yet another versatile option. It is not for home use, but it is preferred for use at a commercial level. The machine works on 640-watt power.
It is the best choice if you want to prepare large quantities of popcorn in less than 5 minutes. With its eight ounce kettle, it will prepare 12 quarts of popcorn in 5 minutes. The size of the machine is quite large, but still, it is easy to prepare. The reason is the three-position control switch. This switch makes the machine easy to maneuver the kettles and prepare the popcorn quickly.
It is, however, important to read the manual carefully. Without the manual, you may not be able to use it. The unit is all glass and at the bottom is the kernel tray. It includes the uncooked kernels. It is what makes this machine easy to use. You do not have to worry about separating the grains from the pops. The machine can hold at least three gallons of popcorn.
The style and design of the machine are perfectly blended. The tube to pour in oil and the stir handle all are easy to access. With the heating mechanism, it does not waste any kernels. You can add oil to the kernels while cooking to add taste. The machine has popcorn scoops, making it easy to measure the quantity you need to prepare. There are also three measuring cups shipped with the machine.
The body of the machine is quite sturdy. It is made of premium quality steel. It is available in a red color, and the design of the machine is quite robust. The price of Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style 8 oz. Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine is $131.94 at Amazon. It is also available in gift-wrap. It is a very versatile machine. It comes with a three-year warranty. It also has the 30-day warranty for items such as bulbs and kettles.
|Brand||Great Northern Red Matinee|
|Making Capacity||3 Gallons|
|Cooking Time||< 5 minutes|
|Dimension||13.6 x 14.5 x 22.8 in|
|Customer Rating||4.3/5 By 503 Customers|
This one is a stove-type popcorn popper, meaning it is a good choice for those who want to make popcorn in the kitchen with only their stove and some time. The style of the machine is intuitive and easy to use. It also has a stirring rod for keeping the popcorn moving while cooking. It adds more taste and allows for the proper distribution of oil or butter on all the kernels. You can also sprinkle the seasonings and stir them in equally.
Another feature in the design of this stove top popper is that it provides more heat to the kernels. This makes the popper become hotter than many other models. It also ensures that the kernels are well cooked, even if they’re abnormally large. This machine is useful if you want to purchase a popper that prepares bigger-sized popcorn.
Another excellent feature is the four steam vents. With these vents, the steam is allowed to escape, giving more “crunch” to the popcorn. On the top, the clip is made of aluminum, and the handle is wooden. This design ensures it’s easy to handle and use. The lid on the top and the aluminum pan have a 25-year warranty. It’s also easy to clean, only taking a few minutes to wash entirely, and you can even clean it with a paper towel; no need to use water or detergent. This device will prepare six quarts of popcorn in less than three minutes.
The price of Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper is $29.59 on Amazon. It is available as a new device and also as used. The best part is that it comes with a long warranty on all the movable parts.
|Brand||Wabash Valley Farms|
|Making Capacity||6 quarts|
|Cooking Time||< 3 minutes|
|Dimension||16.5 x 16.5 in|
|Customer Rating||4.4/5 By 4,154 Customers|
Yet another excellent popcorn machine with brilliant and useful features, the Great Northern Popcorn 2-1/2-Ounce Red Tabletop Retro Style Compact Popcorn Popper Machine prepares one gallon of popcorn in less than five minutes. It is one of the fastest machines on the market, especially considering its output. No matter how much power it utilizes, with the preparation time and the quantity, you will not feel the expense. It works on electricity and utilizes 120 volts.
This machine provides convenience like no other, including an industrial-grade removable popcorn serving tray. All you need is to remove the tray once you’ve prepared the popcorn, without need for an extra tray to serve on. It is an excellent choice for home use if you host a lot of parties. Now you do not have to worry about buying expensive popcorn. The machine is affordable and will save you a lot of money.
The kettle is made of pure steel. It is quite sturdy and prepares the popcorn easily. The manufacturers give a 30-day warranty on the kettle, and its capacity is 2-1/2-ounces. You will find the popcorn prepared by this machine to be quite tasty, since it has a built-in stirring system. So, you do not have to worry about handling the stirring rod with difficulty.
The overall body of the machine is made of steel, making it remarkably sturdy. The machine includes two popping kettle hangers, and also a cup and a measuring spoon. If you want to keep the popcorn warm for a long time, then this one is for you; it has a warming light built into the system which ensures that the pops stay warm for a long time. You can purchase the Great Northern Popcorn 2-1/2-Ounce Red Tabletop Retro Style Compact Popcorn Popper Machine at Amazon for just $52. It is also available for gift-wrapping, and has a three-month warranty.
|Brand||Great Northern Red Tabletop|
|Making Capacity||1 Gallon|
|Cooking Time||< 5 minutes|
|Dimension||9.8 x 11 x 18.8 in|
|Customer Rating||4.1/5 By 431 Customers|
The Great Northern Popcorn 6010 Roosevelt Top Antique Style Popcorn Popper Machine is an excellent choice if you need a commercial quality popcorn machine. It is a great machine with great features and an industry-grade mechanism to prepare all you need.
The machine has parts which are easy to clean and wash. The kettle is also easy to maintain as it is made of pure stainless steel, with the ability to keep the popcorn warm for a long time with the heated warming decks. Now you do not have to rely on the warming light to keep your treat ready to go at all times; the machine itself has an excellent mechanism to do that.
The machine also features a drawer for unprepared kernels. It allows for easy cleaning by the removal of the kernels which remain uncooked. The power usage is on the higher side, since the large eight-ounce kettle works using 860 watts of power. You can prepare 12 quarts popcorn in one batch in less than five minutes, and the machine comes with a five-year warranty.
The design and the body of the machine are quite beautiful. This deluxe model includes a three-position control system. This system makes the preparation even easier than other models, in addition to its built-in stirrer and pot heater.
With every machine, you will also get three plastic serving cups for free. You will get 50 serving bags, a popcorn scoop, and the measuring cups. You can purchase the Great Northern Popcorn 6010 Roosevelt Top Antique Style Popcorn Popper Machine for $148.29 at Amazon.
|Brand||Great Northern 6010 Roosevelt|
|Making Capacity||3 Gallons|
|Cooking Time||< 5 minutes|
|Dimension||17.5 x 20.5 x 25.8 in|
|Customer Rating||4.4/5 By 713 Customers|
The question has the answer in it. It is a machine which prepares popcorn for you and your family. A popcorn popper or maker is a very handy machine, which allows you to easily make delicious popcorn at home or for sale (if you get a commercial one). There are dozens of models manufactured by different companies, and they differ in size, make, type of motor, heating mechanism, etc. You can purchase these online, thanks to Amazon.
Here are a few things that you need to consider before purchasing the best air popcorn popper.
• How will you use it?
The very first thing you need to know is how to you intend to use the machine. The reason is that there are two types of popcorn makers: home and commercial. So, if you plan on using it for your home, then you need to purchase a smaller popcorn maker. For commercial use, or if you want to make more popcorn in one batch, then you should purchase the larger, industrial-capacity makers.
• Know the models
As we mentioned earlier, there is home based and commercial popcorn makers. Each of these has a different mechanism.
The home models include tabletop varieties, hot air popcorn poppers, and round counter top stirring poppers. Among these, the hot air popcorn poppers are better.
The commercial models include automated popcorn vending machines, gas powered machines, air popper machines, and freestanding machines. Among these, the best are the air-popper machines.
• The wattage
Wattage is a crucial factor. If you want a machine for your home and also for quick preparation time, then the wattage should be 640 or more. It will prepare you enough popcorn for a few people. But if you are looking to make more popcorn, then consider a machine with 860 watts or more.
• The cooking time
Each model of the popcorn machine has a different cooking time. There are many home-based poppers which take two minutes, four minutes, five minutes, or even less than a minute and a half to prepare the popcorn. It is thus important to know the exact preparation time. You will be glad to know that our reviews provide exact times for various models.
• Is it easy to clean?
Always choose the popcorn machine which is easy to clean at home. Never choose a machine which takes too long to clean or has parts which are hard to reach. It may take less time to prepare popcorn for the family, but it will be a headache to maintain.
There are many types of machines available on the market, and each has a different warranty period. Make sure that you purchase the machine which has the longest one. The popcorn machines which we reviewed all have good warranties. Make sure that you read the reviews carefully.
The home-based poppers range from $20 to $60. The commercial popcorn makers range from $130 to $250.
When choosing a popcorn maker, you should always choose a top quality manufacturer. Choose the one that delivers premium grade steel, since these will be scratch resistant, rust resistant, and not prone to warping.
The size does matter a lot. When buying a popcorn maker for the home, you should consider the kettle’s build and weight. Make sure that you consider the largest possible size of the kettle for this purpose, as there are various kettles which prepare three quarts, six quarts, or twelve quarts at one time. When considering the commercial popcorn machine, pay attention to the size of the stand and the cart also.
• Convenience in buying
Another important thing to consider is the convenience of buying online. The products that we reviewed are all easily available at Amazon. So, you will not find it difficult purchasing these popcorn machines.
There are various ways in which a popcorn maker works. The primary mechanism involves heating the kernels in a bowl so that they explode into popcorn. To understand the working of the popcorn maker, you should first know the components. An air popcorn maker has:
• A heating element
• A fan
• Air vents
• And a sealed container
The process is simple, as it requires heat. The first step is to start the unit. Once it is started, it will start generating hot air which blows through the path and vents out on the other side. This hot air is blown by a really powerful and reliable fan. The vent through which the hot air blows has the popcorn kernels placed in a sealed container. These kernels explode once the hot air passes over them.
A few versions of commercial popcorn makers also have a stove below the bowl (the sealed container) in which the kernels are placed. The bowl is created in such a manner that it immediately creates hot air to make the kernels pop.
To ensure that you get the best and the finest quality popcorn maker you need, these reviews will guide you to make the right decision. Just like any other machine, the popcorn makers are also available in different types. Each type has a different specification and a different way of using it. You do not want to end up purchasing a popcorn maker which you cannot use. Explore various options before making the final purchase decision.
There are four types of popcorn makers:
• Gas-Powered Popcorn Makers
To begin with, if you want to go outside and make popcorn outdoors where there is no electricity, then you should get a gas-powered machine. These are also quite common models among the commercial machines, built not for home usage because of their large size. These are also known as the oil poppers.
• Automated Popcorn Vending Machines
As the name suggests, these are also commercial popcorn makers. They are free standing machines which are operated by coin. These are not to be purchased unless you want to start a popcorn-selling business.
• Hot-Air Poppers
There are two types of air poppers: the home-based and the commercial air poppers.
The home-based poppers are small and are easily placed on top of a kitchen counter. These do not have advanced features such as carts or moving items. These machines are operated with electricity. The commercial hot air popcorn poppers only have a difference in size. These produce more popcorn as compared to the home models and also consume more power.
These are the main features of a popcorn maker:
• The container
The material and size of the container matter a lot. It is a container in which the kernels are placed for popping. There are many types of containers such as glass containers (mostly used at home-based poppers), and the stainless steel containers used in both home-based and commercial poppers.
The size of the container tells how much you can prepare in one go. There are popcorn makers available in models which have the capacity of two and a half quarts, three quarts, five quarts, six quarts, and up to twelve quarts.
• The mechanism
There are basically three mechanisms in which the popcorn makers work. The first mechanism is by using the electric power to heat the air and cook the kernels. The gas poppers utilize gas to heat the kettle or the container and the microwave poppers. These have a bowl in which you can place the kernels and then place the bowl in the oven. You should know that the best home use poppers are the hot-air poppers.
• Electric motor
The electric motor gives an idea about how quickly you can heat up the kettle or the container. The bigger the motor is or, the more powerful the motor is, the less time it will take to heat the kettle. Also, the powerful motor heats the air more quickly, which reduces the preparation time.
• Butter dispenser
Another great feature of a popcorn maker which is present in commercial poppers is the butter dispenser. Its purpose is to melt the butter and dispense it onto the popcorn’s. It is more suitable for those who want to add more taste to the pops.
• The stirring feature
The stirring feature is quite useful. It allows not only easy preparation of popcorn, but also is helpful in distributing the heat evenly among kernels.
• The fan
The purpose of the fan is to blow hot air to the popcorn kernels. The fan quality has to be optimum, as the popcorn’s production depends on the hot air. In many models, it is also labeled as the blower heater.
With dozens and dozens of popcorn makers on the market, it can be confusing to decide which is right for you. Should you shop online or pick one up at a store? How much popcorn do you really need? Is the taste in the machine or the ingredients? That’s why we’ve provided all the details for you the consider, and you can choose from there.
However, when making your final selection, it’s important to evaluate two main things. Does your choice operate at minimum power? A machine which saves on the cost of ingredients but boosts your electricity bill isn’t wise. Is it easy to clean and use? A hassle with every use is never helpful. And, finally, does it suit your appetite? If you’re looking to enjoy popcorn once a week or every few weeks, then honing in on that “perfect” option isn’t as important as preserving your budget. Try and smaller one and work up!
With these tips in mind, it’s time to bring that movie-theater taste home.