Picture yourself sitting down to watch a movie you’ve been dying to see. Your phone is on silent; you’re in your comfy seat; your partner is alongside you and you’ve got your thirst-quenching drink within arm’s reach. What’s missing? The popcorn. Popcorn is without a doubt one of the best accompaniments for on-screen entertainment, which is why having one of the best popcorn makers in your possession is a smart idea.
Not only are popcorn makers a fun appliance to own, but they can also be extremely efficient and cost-effective, too. The type of popcorn maker best suited to you will depend on where and when you’ll be using it. There are also these three important factors to consider:
Cooking Method – Oil and hot air are the two most popular types of modern popcorn makers. There are also more traditional designs that utilize microwave power in a similar way to pre-bagged packets. Hot air popping is a calorie-friendly way to make this fiber-filled snack compared to using oil. Of course, you’ll have to ditch the excess salt and melted butter for the healthiest results, but popcorn on its own can be very satisfying and won’t break your diet.
Materials – The materials from which popcorn makers are made are based on their safety and hygiene capabilities. It’s worth keeping an eye out for tempered glass to avoid explosions and sharp edges. In addition, heat-resistant silicone can protect your hands and the countertop, while food-grade stainless steel offers top-level cleaning standards.
Size – From personal portions to a home cinema full of friends, there are popcorn makers to suit all group sizes and hunger demands. You can usually control the amount of popcorn produced by altering the number of kernels you put into the maker. Just be sure not to get greedy and overload the device. If you need more than your popcorn maker can handle, you should cook multiple batches instead.
We’ve put together a list of the best popcorn makers available right now. Each of these devices is ideal for creating beautifully popped popcorn every time. Ask yourself where you’ll be enjoying your popcorn. Will it be on your sofa, out camping with friends or at a large family gathering? From campfire compatible poppers to microwavable pots, there’s a popcorn maker or everyone’s popping needs.
1. Original Salbree Microwave Popcorn Popper
The Original Salbree Microwave Popcorn Popper makes producing microwave-popped popcorn effortless. Simply fill the popper with the amount of kernels you want to pop and place the included lid lightly over the top. Microwave the corn for around two minutes, remove it using the built-in carrying handles and then enjoy delicious popcorn at your leisure. This popper also sports a collapsible design, which makes it easy to store, and it’s available in 18 different colors, ensuring your popper matches your kitchen interiors.
Pros: The microwave-compatible popper is easily stored and provides freshly popped popcorn in as little as two minutes.
Cons: The personal size only makes enough for one or two people, meaning families and large groups may need to use it over and over again to make enough popcorn.
2. Rome’s Fireplace Popcorn Popper
If marshmallows aren’t really your thing but you still want a delicious camping treat, add Rome’s Chestnut Roaster and Fireplace Popcorn Popper to your outdoor accessories. This old-fashioned style popper can be used with campfires, firepits and open-flame fires. The design includes an extended arm with a wooden handle along with a hinged lid to keep your corn inside once it’s popped. You’ll also find a leather hanging strap is included for easy storage, and you’ll have a choice of either grey or black for your popper. As an added bonus, this popper can also cook chestnuts as an alternative snack option.
Pros: The durable build quality and long arm make this device ideal for popping corn over an open flame.
Cons: If you want to make popcorn at home and you aren’t popping corn over an open fire, other options are better.
3. Majestic Popcorn Machine
The Majestic Popcorn Machine is capable of producing perfectly cooked popcorn for you and your friends. The fairground-style device sports easy-to-use buttons for the heater, stirrer and warming light, putting you in complete control. It incorporates a quiet and efficient motor so the device can be used without disturbing your guests or the movie you’re watching. The tempered-glass walls of the popper let you see what’s going on and when your popcorn is ready for eating. This is an ideal addition to at-home theaters and man caves.
Pros: This countertop popcorn popper is ideal for feeding a large group freshly popped popcorn in style.
Cons: Single-person portions aren’t really an option with this large-capacity device.
4. Presto Poplite Popcorn Popper
Integrated into the top of the Presto Poplite Popcorn Popper is a measuring cup that doubles as a heat-resistant dish for melting your butter topping. Once popped, popcorn pieces shoot up and out of the chute and into your bowl, which results in minimal unpopped kernels. Plus, by utilizing hot air for popping power rather than oil, this popper produces healthier popcorn.
Pros: A built-in bracket for cord storage is integrated into the side of the popper.
Cons: The open mouth of the chute can often lead to the spray of popped corn being difficult to control.
5. DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper
Compact and stylish, the DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper is an appliance you can keep on your countertop. Controlled by a large on and off button located on the side, this popcorn maker is very user-friendly. The butter melting dish integrated into the lid of the maker doubles as a kernel measure to ensure you use the correct amount every time. Plus, for a healthier pop, no oil is required, as this maker utilizes hot air technology.
Pros: A flavor-filled recipe book is included to inspire popcorn toppings to suit all snacking situations.
Cons: The retro-inspired design might not match your kitchen’s decor.
6. Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Popcorn Popper
With a 25-year warranty, you can be confident in the quality of the Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Popcorn Popper. It comes with fresh popping corn, buttery salt and gourmet oil, so you have all you need for a full theatre experience. The corn is grown at the brand’s own farms in Monon, Indiana where their popcorn story started. From supplying large distributors to creating their own popcorn processing factory, Wabash Valley Farms eventually set their target to make the perfect popcorn popper. And, here is it.
Pros: Everything you need is included, just place the maker on a hot stove and listen as the kernels begin to pop!
Cons: The durable metal pot gets very hot, so watch out for your hands and only hold onto the handle.
7. West Bend Popcorn Machine
Located in the middle of the West Bend Popcorn Machine is a stirring rod to ensure the kernels keep moving until they pop. This clever mechanism along with the safety lid, which doubles as a six-quart bowl, make this hot oil popper a one-stop shop for tasty popcorn. Thanks to the user-friendly design, both cleaning and storing are easy tasks. The large, non-stick surfaces are easy to scrub, and the dual-purpose lid can nest in the main body of the popcorn machine. Plus, there’s an integrated cord wrap for neat storage.
Pros: All exterior surfaces of this popcorn machine are covered with a PTFE non-stick coating for an easy and efficient clean.
Cons: Although this maker has the appearance of an air popper, it actually uses hot oil.
8. Uncanny Brands Star Wars Popcorn Maker
The Uncanny Brands Star Wars Popcorn Maker is ready to pop your movie snacking supply. This countertop-sized R2D2 is a must-have for any Star Wars fans. It uses hot air power to pop up to 98% of kernels from each batch and has a detachable lid for easy access to the chute. The detailing of this little droid design makes it an artistic asset to your home before it even begins popping. But, once it does, you can feel good knowing your snacking on healthy, hot-air-popped corn.
Pros: A fantastic gift for any Star Wars memorabilia collector as well as a handy snack machine.
Cons: If you’re not into Star Wars, this isn’t the popcorn maker for you.
9. Great Northern Popcorn Machine
If you’re looking to produce popcorn at a professional level or cater for a special event, like a wedding or family reunion, why not make it extra special with this professional-standard Great Northern Popcorn Machine? Available in black, red or blue, the fancy design includes a cart with wheels for easy portability. The kit also includes a scoop, shaker and other essentials required for making the best popcorn possible. In addition, the beautifully decorated popper and cart is available in either red or black.
Pros: This professional-standard popper can make enough popcorn to please crowds of people.
Cons: If you want a personal, single-person portion of popcorn, this isn’t the popper for you.
10. Ecolution Microwave Popcorn Popper
The clever three-in-one lid design of the Ecolution Microwave Popcorn Popper makes it easy to measure your kernels, pop them safely and melt your butter topping. Made of tempered safety glass which is also easy to clean, the large bowl has a wide mouth for kernel pouring and for snack sharing post-pop, too. Colored highlights available in a range of colors, including pink, red and blue, highlight the lid, the base and the heat-resistant ergonomic handle.
Pros: This popper is available in a 1.5-quart snack size for personal use or a three-quart family size ideal for sharing.
Cons: Movement is important when heating this popper, so it’s not well suited for fixed-position microwaves.
11. Presto Fountain Popcorn Popper
The unique fountain design of the Presto Fountain Popcorn Popper ensures optimal popping performance and compact storage, too. Up to 30 cups of popcorn can come to life in under four minutes. Once ready, you can flip the machine upside down and remove the base to be left with a bowl of fresh and healthy hot-air-popped corn. Additionally, the advanced engineering of the stainless steel restrictors located in the middle of the machine ensure that next to no kernels are left unpopped
Pros: The lid features optional vents for opening when the machine is popping and closing when using it as a bowl.
Cons: Although usually sturdy on the countertop, this top-heavy popper could topple over.