Popcorn poppers have become more and more popular over the years. With the technological evolution of home entertainment centers, families often want to enjoy the same movie theater experience that is beyond most people’s budgets. However, popcorn makers offer a fun way to discover how popcorn is popped (not just in your microwave) and provide that movie theater fun that most people seek.
Tips for Choosing the Best Popcorn Popper
Purchasing a popcorn popper is not hard, but it can certainly feel overwhelming when you first take a look at all of the options available. There are a few things that you need to understand about purchasing the right popper, and below, you will find some comprehensive tips to get you started.
1. Look at the Price
It is important to set a realistic budget when purchasing a popcorn popper. However, you don’t have to think that only the most expensive popcorn poppers do a good job. In fact, numerous popcorn makers that are valued at under $50 (many found on Amazon) can perform a great job without costing too much. The only thing you need to pay attention to is how accurate the temperature setting is, as your popper needs to reach a certain temperature in order to pop perfect kernels each time.
2. Kettle Size
The kettle size determines how much popcorn can be popped at one time. This means that if you entertain a large number of friends and family members on a frequent basis, consider purchasing a large sized kettle. What you always need to keep in mind is how much you will need for sure on a constant basis. If you only host parties every once in a while, then you won’t need a large sized kettle. For small groups of people, it is perfectly acceptable to purchase a smaller sized kettle without worrying that anyone will be left out.
3. Oil Based Popcorn Poppers
These types of poppers can either be electric or stovetop style in nature, but it is important to note that oil must be used in the popcorn popping process. This means that the popcorn you are popping will contain higher calories, which may not always be the best option. However, for many years stovetop poppers have been the most popular among families.
4. Hot Air Based Poppers
These types of poppers use air instead of cooking oil to pop kernels. This choice is most often appreciated by those who seek a healthier lifestyle. This popper blows hot air at the kernels in order to pop them, and users can expect evenly popped corn without having to worry about burnt kernels. Since the corn is in constant motion, users don’t have to worry about unevenly popped corn or burnt pieces throughout the batch. Some consumers do argue that this type of popcorn popper makes less tasty popcorn as the corn isn’t brushed with oil.
5. Microwave Based Popcorn Poppers
Microwave popcorn poppers are probably the quickest and easiest to use of all the options. This option is not only quick, but allows you to pop the corn during a movie without missing any scenes. However, the downside to this type of popcorn popper is the tendency for the kernels to get scorched or burned in the process.
6. Commercial Style Popcorn Poppers
The most expensive of all the options available are commercial style popcorn poppers. These are similar to the machines found at your favorite movie theater and will often have a glass case on a cart with a large metal bowl on top to pop the corn. These are stylish for sure, but most families just don’t have the space to store them.
Top 4 Best Popcorn Popper Reviews
Now that you know more about what you should be looking out for, it is time for you to get out there and buy a popper. Here are our top picks:
1. Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper
In less than 2.5 minutes, users can eat up to 18 cups of healthy corn. Since this popcorn popper requires gourmet corn, it can save users quite a bit of money over months of usage. Users can also delight in the fact that this popcorn popper is one of the most accurate ones with almost no unpopped corn or scorched pieces left behind. The great design elements such as the easily cleaned base cover, the popcorn chute and the specially designed butter holder cup make this a great choice for under $20.
2. West Bend 82306X Stir Crazy 6-Quart Popcorn Popper
This great popcorn popper features a glass dome and a stirring device in the middle to ensure the popping of all the kernels. The device contains a built in butter well and can produce up to 6 quarts of popcorn in less than 5 minutes. The popping surface is coated in a non-stick texture to ensure the corn is evenly distributed within the machine and the dome cover can double as a quick serving bowl. At under $30, this is an ideal choice for those looking to appease several family members and pop the corn quickly.
3. Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
In just 3 minutes of usage, consumers can make up to 6 quarts of gourmet popcorn. This device features a stirring mechanism which allows the kernels to pop evenly without the user having to worry about burnt kernels still residing in the popper. It is very easy to clean this popper up just by wiping it clean with a paper towel. This is a great traditional popper to add to your collection for under $30.
4. Presto 04830 PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper
This popper contains microwave energy to help ensure that the heat is directed in a way that helps pop every kernel. In less than 2.5 minutes, users can pop hybrid, yellow or white popcorn types. Seasonings can easily be added to the popper without having to worry about even distribution. The popping bowl is entirely dishwasher safe, so at under $15 it is not only a steal, but very easy to care for.
Purchasing a popcorn popper is a fun way to add some entertainment to your home. After all, it is more fun to watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn in your hand!