8 Best Popcorn Makers for Movie Night

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Crispy flavorful popcorn makes any movie night much more enjoyable. And you can make a quick snack in your microwave using store-bought popcorn. But preparing your own yummy crunchy treat is a healthier and tastier way to enjoy this movie night staple. And with the right popcorn maker, you can have fresh tasty popcorn in a few minutes.

There is a wide selection of poppers in the market. You must consider capacity, popcorn flavor, simplicity, storage, and ease of cleaning. Now, that can be a bit overwhelming. But worry not: our researchers have done the heavy lifting for you.

Below, we have details on 8 of the best popcorn makers for quick delicious snacks to make your movie night epic. Before we get to those, let’s answer a few important questions about poppers.

Let’s get started.

Popcorn Maker Magic

What makes a popcorn maker better?

It may surprise you to find out that popcorn can be a nutritious snack. It’s a low-calorie wholegrain full of antioxidants and fiber. If you pop the raw kernels at home using a reliable popcorn maker, you can reap the health benefits while enjoying this crunchy treat. Additionally:  

  • Using a popcorn maker ensures you have popped popcorn that is consistent in taste and texture. Plus, you’ll have fewer burnt kernels.
  • You control the oil/butter, amount of salt, and type of corn kernels. Microwave and store-bought popcorn may have lots of calories, salt, and artificial flavorings.
  • With a reliable popper, you can enjoy fresh, hot, and tasty snacks every movie night or whenever you’re craving a crunchy treat. However, when it comes to bagged popcorn, the fresh taste diminishes with time.

How do you choose the right popcorn maker?

The most important thing to consider when buying a popcorn maker is how efficiently it pops your corn kernels. No one wants to end up with burnt popcorn or batches of kernels that didn’t pop. Apart from that, you should consider how often you’ll use the popper, capacity, price, convenience, storage space, and ease of cleaning. Take your family or roommates’ popcorn needs into consideration so you can buy an appliance for all to enjoy.

Are there different types of popcorn makers?

Yes! Popcorn makers vary based on the method used to heat the kernels. There are 3 major types of popcorn machines:

  • Hot-air poppers use electric power to circulate hot air onto the corn kernels. Though they are more expensive, they are compact and have great designs. Also, they make the healthiest popcorn because they don’t require oil.
  • A stovetop popcorn popper offers a more hands-on experience and control. A stovetop popper is similar to lidded pots but is designed with stirring mechanisms that prevent kernels from sticking to the bottom or burning.
  • Microwave poppers are the easiest to use and clean. You simply add kernels to the bowl, microwave, and serve. Because, they are made of silicone, glass, or plastic, check if they are BPA-free before making a purchase.

Is stovetop popcorn healthier?

As we’ve mentioned before, depending on how you prepare it, you can have healthier fresh popcorn at home. Compared to the pre-packaged microwave stuff, stovetop popcorn allows you to adjust the select healthier oil/butter and salt amounts. You should also note that there are popcorn makers (including hot air models) that don’t require oil and therefore, make healthier snacks.

Best Popcorn Maker for Quick Delicious Popcorn

Here’s our best selection of poppers for tasty and healthy popcorn that will impress family, friends, and guests.

1. Whirley-Pop Popcorn Popper

By Sur La Table

Whirley-Pop Popcorn Popper

What makes the Whirley-Pop popper different from any lidded pot already in your kitchen? Well, the appliance uses a patented stirring system similar to that of commercial popcorn machines.

The hand-cranked mechanism ensures that almost every kennel pops to produce crunchy, tasty snacks. Plus, kernels won’t burn or stick to the bottom of the popper.

After use, clean the inside using a soft paper towel. We found the popcorn from this popper to be light and crispy. And with just a teaspoon of oil, you’ll get enough popcorn for your whole family.

2. Glass Microwave Popcorn Popper

By Sur La Table

Glass Microwave Popcorn Popper

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to bagged popcorn, grab this temperature-safe glass microwave popper for fresh fluffy popcorn. Without using oil or butter, you can have a healthy snack in a few minutes.

But if you like delicious buttery snacks, put some butter on the lid, and it will melt through the spaces and over the popcorn. This dishwasher-safe popper makes 3 quarts of popcorn which you can enjoy right from the serving bowl.

3. Cuisinart EasyPop Popcorn Maker

By Sur La Table

Cuisinart EasyPop Popcorn Maker

This easy-to-use Cuisinart Pop popcorn maker with a non-stick cooking tray makes a large bowl of delightfully crunchy snacks for movie night. Simply add oil, salt, and popcorn to the cooking plate and turn on.

The bowl has vents to release steam so that your popcorn stays dry and crunchy. When the stirring mechanism slows, your popcorn is done. Turn off the popper, flip over the bowl, season the popcorn, and enjoy! The removable parts can be washed with soap and water.

This vertical Cuisinart popper will not take up much space in your kitchen and has non-slip feet.

4. Cuisinart Classic-Style Popcorn Maker

By Crate and Barrel

Cuisinart Classic-Style Popcorn Maker

Nostalgic for movie theater popcorn?

Then go for this classic popcorn machine.

We found that this popper makes crispy popcorn that is full of flavor. It has a non-stick kettle and mechanized spinner for even distribution. All the tasty popcorn falls to the plastic tray at the bottom.

There is some assembly required, but this commercial style popper is a great addition to a kitchen, home theater, or office. Plus, it comes with a measuring spoon, kernel measuring cup, and popcorn scoop.

5. Dash Smartstore Stirring Popcorn Maker

By Williams Sonoma

Dash Smartstore Stirring Popcorn Maker

This electric popper is great for popcorn-loving families. Using the built-in measuring cup, which also doubles as the lid, you can choose to pop 8, 16, or 24-cups.

Plus, the steam vent on the bowl also works as a butter melting tray. You can serve savory, crisp popcorn using its sturdy dishwasher-safe plastic bowl.

This efficient machine leaves behind few unpopped kernels. After use, wipe down the rest of the machine with a damp cloth after it cools. Place the base of the popper inside the bowl for convenient storage.

6. W&P Popcorn Popper in Charcoal

By Bed Bath & Beyond

W&P Popcorn Popper in Charcoal

Don’t have room for another big kitchen appliance?

This collapsible W&P microwave popper is for you. After preparing 9-cups of tasty popcorn, flatten the popper and stack it away.

You can make yummy popcorn without the oil just be sure not to leave it in the microwave too long. The hot kernels can lead to damage on the lid. When the popping slows down, stop the microwave to avoid damage and burnt popcorn.

7. Great Northern Popcorn Company Retro Style Popcorn Popper Machine

by Great Northern Company

Great Northern Popcorn Company Retro Style Popcorn Popper Machine

If you simply can’t imagine watching a movie without popcorn, and you need your popcorn several times a week, consider this retro-style popper. It makes fantastic movie theater popcorn and has a heat lamp to keep the snacks dry, warm, and toasty.

Reviewers raved about the sweet aroma and taste of the popcorn, even after trying different kinds of corn kernels. Plus, the machine is affordable, lightweight, easy to assemble, and easy to clean. Handle gently to prevent damage to the door handle.

8. Presto Poplite Hot Air Popcorn Popper

by Presto Poplite

Hot Air Popper

Looking for a popper that works fast and pops almost all of the kernels each time you use it? Then try the Presto popcorn maker. With this popper, you can have two bowls of healthy popcorn in less than three minutes.

We should mention that at the beginning of a popping cycle, this popper may spew out a few unpopped kernels before it directs the rest of the crunchy treats into a bowl.

Keep in mind that this popper does not have an on/off switch, relying on the plug to turn on and off. We didn’t mind, but some reviews did.

Popcorn Maker FAQ

What can you make with a popcorn maker?

You don’t have to cook plain popcorn in your popper. There are many delicious recipe variations that you can try. Plus, you can use different types of kernels and colored popcorn.

But perhaps you’ve wondered if you can use a popper to make other treats. Well, it’s not recommended because you may cause damage to the popcorn maker.

That being said, poppers have been used to cook other foods. So, if you’re feeling adventurous and can find a safe recipe to follow, you can try making pumpkin seeds, rice, and coffee beans in a hot air popper. Use a kitchen thermometer to get a temperature reading. And avoid food with grease because that will make clean-up difficult or cause small fires in poppers that don’t use oil.

What kind of popcorn should you use for popcorn makers?

The sky is the limit! There are so many varieties of popcorn kernels available, we recommend you try them all to find your favorite. There are differences in taste, texture, and size. There are two basic types of popcorn: mushroom and butterfly. Butterfly popcorn is crunchy with irregular shapes while mushroom popcorn is fluffy, has a round shape, and is more compact.

Here are the basics on different kinds of popcorn kernels colors:

White: neutral flavor and are great if you like to add and experiment with different seasonings and flavors.
Yellow: very common and affordable. They are used by most movie theaters.
Blue: crunchy, light, and have a slightly nutty flavor.
Red: smaller and have more crunch than other varieties. They pop up white.
Purple: have more flavor than red or blue varieties. Pop up slightly yellow with tiny purple spots.

What kind of toppings are there?

Once again, the only limit is your imagination. Sweet, salty, or spicy toppings can take your popcorn to the next level and make movie night more amazing. Experiment to suit your taste. You’ll find tons of creative recipes online. Salt and melted butter are the most common toppings. But if you’re looking for something extra, try these delicious toppings on your popcorn:

•Salted caramel
•Peanut butter
•Cookies and crème
•Trail mix
•Olive oil
•Freshly squeezed citrus juice

What is the best oil for preparing popcorn?

When it comes to making popcorn, you need an oil that is light and has a low saturated fat content. Canola, coconut, sunflower, and avocado are great options for healthy popcorn. You can also use olive oil to make popcorn, but cook over medium heat because the oil burns quickly.

Wrapping Up…

Whether you need popcorn for movie night, parties, or personal snack time, the poppers listed here are great choices. And as you can probably guess, we are huge fans of tasty crunchy popcorn. That’s why delved into the details to ensure you’ve got all the info you need to choose the best popcorn maker for your home.

We bet there’s a popper that caught your eye. So, stock up on high-quality corn kernels and some yummy toppings. Choose a popcorn maker from this list, and you’ll never have another movie night without your favorite snack.

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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