An at-home cinema experience is incomplete without the services of the best popcorn makers, and we’ve found all the very best oil and hot air popcorn poppers for healthy snacks or indulgent, buttery popcorn. Popcorn makers are the easy way to create hot popcorn at home, and we guarantee it’s tastier (and probably healthier) than the stuff you’ll buy at the store. What’s more, popcorn kernels are cheap, so you’ll be able to make your money back in no time.
Ready in 4 - 5 minutes
The West Bend popcorn maker prepares 24 to 28 cups of popcorn with virtually no burnt kernels in about four or five minutes. This popcorn popper uses a non-stick heating plate on the bottom with a stirring rod. It heats up oil to make delicious popcorn. There are handles on either side of the maker that won’t get hot during the process, which is a nice safety touch.
No oil, no mess
The Presto popcorn popper uses only hot air to make light and fluffy popcorn. It pops up to 18 cups of popped kernels in under three minutes. The top of the popcorn maker doubles as a scoop that measures exactly how much kernels to pour into the machine before turning it on. Because it only uses air, this popcorn popper doesn’t really get dirty, and it wipes clean with a dry cloth.
The Cuisinart Microwave Popcorn Maker is a great way to make popcorn without investing in a whole new appliance. This silicone popcorn maker uses hot air and your microwave to pop traditional popcorn kernels in about 3 minutes. The popper doubles as a serving bowl, holds 10 cups of fresh-popped popcorn, and collapses for easier storage when you’re done.
The Great Northern stovetop popper has a manual stirrer which can be operated by turning the wooden handle. Its vented lid allows moisture to escape. This creates crispy corn every time, and you get the added bonus of choosing whether you add oil or butter, or keep your popcorn low-calorie with air popping. This popcorn popper can be cleaned with a quick wipe of a paper towel.
Lid doubles as bowl
The Orville Redenbacher's Stirring Popper has a large 20-24 cup capacity, plus the lid flips over and becomes a bowl to eat straight out of. It uses a heating plate that you put oil and kernels on and doesn’t have any vents or crevices for unpopped kernels to get stuck in or fall out of. When we tested this popcorn maker we were pleased to see that this popper left no unpopped kernels at all, and there was no burnt popcorn either.
Low-calorie air popping
The Presto PopLite is a small air popcorn maker without many frills or features. It is very easy to use, especially since you don’t have to use oil, and easy to clean up – which is perfect if you are looking for a quick, tasty low-calorie snack. All you have to do is plug in the PopLite, wait for it to heat up, add your popcorn kernels and in two to three minutes you’ll have a bowl of hot, fresh popcorn to enjoy.
A thing or two about popcorn poppers
Many top brands such as West Bend, Cuisinart, Presto, and Great Northern, create dedicated popcorn poppers to achieve perfect popcorn every time. Some of these require oil, and others simply use hot air to pop your kernels. This is obviously the healthier option, so if you’re watching what you eat we’d suggest opting for a hot air popcorn maker.
Popcorn machines tend to come with a large capacity of up to 28 cups of popcorn, meaning you’ll never run short in the middle of a movie. However, these appliances can be a little bulky, so if space is an issue we’ve also included compact popcorn poppers to save you valuable kitchen space.
Finally, not all the best popcorn makers need to be plugged in. Although popcorn machines are a brilliant investment, there are also stovetop and microwave popcorn makers to consider. These popcorn makers are designed to be easily cleaned and offer some of the most simple storage options available.