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The Best Popcorn Makers for In-Home Snacking

Almost every person on Earth goes head-over-heels at the sound of the first kernel popping in a popcorn maker. It’s hot and fluffy, crunchy and munchy, and the perfect snack for almost every occasion. It’s the snack that brings the family together and one you have to fight over when others are feeling a bit too greedy with the popcorn bowl. So, if you’re in the market for a bit of movie theatre enjoyment in the comfort of your own home, then here are a few popcorn poppers that we think you ought to check out.

Popping Every Last Kernel in the Batch

Consider these factors when making a selection:

  • Cooking Style: Popcorn makers come in all sorts of designs and models, so it’s important that you find one that’s up to your cooking style. It’s a multifaceted battle, really. Are you looking for a mostly hands-free operation? Then you’d head to an electric option, where even more questions must be posed, like the perk comparisons between hot air cooking and hot oil cooking. There’s a lot that goes into your ideal popcorn machine, so consider more than just its speed.
  • Popping Capacity & Efficiency: It’s also important to consider a popcorn machine that can dish popcorn out by the massive bowl-full, given their popularity among crowds and parties. Every popcorn machine can hold a fair amount of kernels per batch, anywhere from a few quarts and up to 10 cups of kernels. However, ensuring that they pop is another question entirely. Consider an option that can provide ample heat distribution per kernel through heating chambers or mechanized stirring rods without leaving any leftovers.
  • Convenience: Finally, any popper that knows how to bundle the most bang for your buck is a choice you don’t want to pass up. You’re looking for the ideal popping experience, from pouring kernels into the machine to pouring popcorn into your bowl. Consider an option that features all of the right essentials to cater to your treat, like popcorn measuring cups, scoops, or butter trays.

Best Electric Popper: West Bend Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper

Providing an all-around convenient way to get to your favorite snack, this electric popcorn maker from the West Bend Store allows you to pop kernels with ease and with an always exciting view. This electric option features a PTFE nonstick popping surface with a motorized stirring rod to keep kernels in motion and evenly toasted to yield more popcorn per batch. Additionally, the clear cover dome doubles as a 6-quart capacity bowl, so once you have your popped corn, you can just flip the machine over, detach the cover, and start snacking.

Best Electric Popper

West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine Electric Hot Oil Popper Includes Large Lid for Serving Bowl and Convenient Nesting Storage, 6-Quart, Red

This popcorn maker features a surplus of opportune perks, like an electric heating design and a 6-quart lid that doubles as a snack bowl.

Best Budget Electric: DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper

A simple-to-use machine that favors a healthier way to pop kernels, this DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper is the go-to option for smaller kitchens and college dorm rooms. Like its name suggests, this electric popcorn maker utilizes a heat chamber with hot air to get your kernels fluffy and always crunchy. There is no oil, butter, or other added preservative involved in its popping process. Just add your desired amount of kernels to the chamber, press start, and get warm popcorn in mere minutes. Other notable perks include its 16-cup chamber and its multifunctional measuring cup, which can be used as a butter melting tray for added flavor.

Best Budget Electric

DASH Hot Air Popcorn Popper Maker with Measuring Cup to Portion Popping Corn Kernels + Melt Butter, 16 Cups - Aqua

This popcorn maker favors a healthier method of popping kernels and does so in a sleek, space-saving package.

Best Microwavable Popper: Ecolution Original Microwave Micro-Pop Popcorn Popper

Another healthy alternative to oil and butter popcorn makers, this Original Micro-Pop from Ecolution cooks up fast gourmet popcorn via a means we already love to rely on: the microwave. This 1.5-quart device is less a popcorn “maker” and more so the middle man between loose kernels and the microwave. Nonetheless, this option provides an easy-going way to get your snack on. The receptacle itself is constructed from a durable, temperature-safe borosilicate glass that is shaped to circulate hot air throughout and prevent burning. The inclusion of a glass receptacle rather than one made from silicone materials means that you don’t have to worry about any wear-and-tear or any chemical leakage that is typically produced when items are placed in the microwave

Best Microwavable Popper

Best Stovetop Popper: Cook N Home Aluminum Stovetop Popcorn Popper

Seeking more of an old-fashioned means of getting your movie-watching snack into your hands? This Cook N Home Aluminum Stovetop Popcorn Popper offers a traditional and wildly fun method of cooking kernels. This device doesn’t rely on plugins or microwaves, but the power of a good old-fashioned gas, glass, electric, or ceramic stovetop. Its all-aluminum frame heats a thin layer of popcorn along the bottom of its 6-quart body. Up top, a vented lid allows the kernels to crisp, while a wooden handle and knob attach to a stirring rod to keep kernels constantly in motion and cared for evenly. This is a classic option that you and your kids will enjoy using before pressing play.

Best Stovetop Popper

Cook N Home 02626 6 Quart Aluminium Stovetop Popcorn Popper Silver

This popcorn maker provides a much more traditional means to cooking kernels.

Best Vintage Appeal: Cuisinart Classic-Style Popcorn Maker

It’s large, in charge, and definitely strikes the right tone for your at-home movie nights: this Classic-Style Popcorn Maker from Cuisinart is for the user who wants to feel like they’re headed to the cinema every time they pop a bowl of kernels. This option can create up to 10 cups of hot popcorn in minutes, thanks to a 500-watt heater that requires no advance warm-up time. On the external side of its popping process, this maker also features a mechanized spinner to ensure even kernel cooking, as well as a tilt access door for easy serving once you’re ready to eat. Additional items included with this popcorn maker include a popcorn scoop, a kernel measuring cup, an oil measuring cup, and a free recipe book.

Best Vintage Appeal

Cuisinart CPM-28 Classic-Style Popcorn Maker, Red, DAA

This popcorn maker is an ideal choice for the person who wants to feel like they're headed to the moves every time they make a new bowl.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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