Finding the best popcorn popper for your money
Freshly made, movie theater style popcorn doesn’t have to come only when you go out to see a movie. And you certainly don’t have to pay $7 for a little bag!
With the right kitchen appliance, specifically, the right home popcorn popper, you can make delicious, movie theater style popcorn in the comfort of your own home.
Besides being a staple of the movie going experience, you will find that popcorn is far more healthy than you know. It all depends on the method of preparation that you use. Of course, your popcorn will be unhealthy if it is drenched in salt and artificial butter, as you’ll most likely find at the theatre.
If you prepare your popcorn without any additional unhealthy ingredients, it is one of the least fattening foods you can find. Consider how small your average piece of popcorn is and how light it is.
It makes sense that popcorn would not be overly fattening considering that it consists of little more than a bit of starch.
This is why it is important to be able to prepare your popcorn and make it in a manner that you most prefer, as opposed to purchasing it premade. This brings us to today’s topic, the best popcorn popper you can buy for a reasonable price.
While popcorn poppers may sound like expensive kitchen appliances, they have significantly dropped in price recently. Whether you are interested in making a fun snack for the kids, or you just enjoy the taste of popcorn, finding the best popcorn machine doesn’t have to be expensive.
We will first examine some of the more crucial aspects to search for when looking for the best popcorn maker. It is important to know what to look for in the best machine because it is hard to find the perfect product without even knowing what criteria to evaluate.
Knowing the essential characteristics allows you to answer the question of what is the best machine while relying less on reviews and more on your needs. If you can recognize what goes into making a good popcorn popper, your search will go far more smoothly.
After examining the more crucial aspects of the best popcorn poppers, we will then delve into our reviews, taking into account the intended purpose of each of the appliances. If you would rather skip down to our reviews since you already know what you want in your popcorn machine, feel free to do so.
Why You Should Carefully Choose Your Popcorn Popper
There are many options to recognize when buying your popcorn popper. Primarily, it is important to understand that your popcorn popper is an investment. You do not want to spend a lot of money on an appliance that will break within months of your purchase.
When making your purchase, you will be better off spending a little bit of extra money to ensure that your popcorn maker will last. If you spend a few extra bucks on your popcorn machine in return for more years of functionality, it is safe to say that it is a good investment.
Beyond durability, it is also important to ensure that you get a good quality popcorn popper that functions effectively. You can have the most durable and long-lasting popcorn machine in the world, but if it burns your popcorn every time, it is still not a good product.
When it comes to products like popcorn poppers, it is hard to judge their effectiveness without having used them before. This means that reviews are far more crucial to finding the right product as opposed to other appliances. Doing the right amount of research and finding decent reviews is an integral part of the buying process.
What to look for in the Best Popcorn Popper
We will now go over our list of aspects that are crucial to finding the best popcorn popper for your money.
There are many different types of machines that you can purchase. Knowing the best type for your needs is crucial to finding the ideal popcorn popper. You may prefer a commercial popcorn popper or a stovetop model depending on your needs and your budget. There is quite a large difference between these types.
Commercial popcorn poppers are typically very large and expensive. Think of the machines that you see at movie theaters. Unless you plan on eating nothing but popcorn for the rest of your life, these models are typically overkill.
If you are looking for a convenient option for home use, you may consider the electric popcorn popper. Electric Popcorn machines can vary regarding functionality, and they tend to vary greatly depending on the price.
Stovetop popcorn poppers are similar to ordinary pots, except they feature gears and stirring mechanisms to ensure that your popcorn does not stick or burn during the cooking process. These are typically excellent at making classic style popcorn in a convenient fashion that does not require electricity.
Vintage popcorn makers can function either through electricity or on the stovetop, depending on the level of authenticity. They typically feature colorful vintage designs so that they resemble the popcorn makers in old movie theaters for that added bit of nostalgia.
Professional popcorn makers, on the other hand, are similar to commercial popcorn makers in that they are typically more expensive than the common choices. They differ, however, in being smaller than commercial models, making them far more convenient for home use. Plus, if you are looking for a decorative feature for your room these models may be the best option.
As you can see, there are many choices when it comes to choosing the right popcorn popper. They depend on your particular needs as a customer and how much you are willing to spend.
The material that your popcorn maker is made out of will have an effect on the cooking time of your popcorn, the weight of your maker, and the price. There are many options when it comes to the materials that are used for your popcorn machine, including glass and stainless steel popcorn poppers.
There is no ideal material used to make a popcorn popper; it simply depends on your needs. If you prefer a model which is more lightweight, you would be better off purchasing an aluminum popper.
Aluminum popcorn makers also have the advantage of improved heat distribution when compared to other materials, such as stainless steel.
Materials such as glass, are transparent and allow you to see the kernels popping. This makes for a good looking appliance in your kitchen. The material will have more of an effect on the aesthetics of your popcorn popper than anything else.
Another consideration before you make your purchase is the size of the kettle in which the corn is popped. You will want your kettle to be big enough to make sufficient amounts of popcorn for your needs, and maybe a little bit more in case you have guests or you are throwing a party.
On the subject of parties, popcorn is an excellent party food. If you wish to add a little bit of novelty to your parties with some homemade popcorn, you can always opt for a kettle which is bigger. This will allow you to make a decent amount of popcorn without having to resort to making a larger number of batches. However, this also means that the product may cost more.
A smaller kettle simply means that you will have to refill the kettle with unpopped kernels more often. This choice depends on two aspects: how much popcorn you imagine yourself making regularly and how much you are willing to spend on your new popcorn maker.
Our Top Picks
We know how difficult it is to choose the best popcorn popper from so many options, so we took it upon ourselves to find the more popular options. They have been tested and reviewed by many people. So, here are some popcorn poppers that are most sought after:
Best Stovetop Popcorn Popper – Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Popper
Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Popper is one of the more famous manufacturers of popcorn makers for over 30 years. Thanks to their long history, they have a rather impressive pedigree in making what are widely known as the best machines on the market. Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn is the maker of the original Whirlypop Popcorn Popper. Here are some of the products pros:
- Product includes Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn, Kit
- Features a lifetime product warranty
- Six-quart aluminum kettle
- Features a real wood handle
- Includes a patented stirring mechanism
- Incorporates an all metal gear mechanism
This product is, in fact, a Whirleypop Popcorn Popper. Knowing this, the product is an excellent choice for reliability and effectiveness. The aluminum kettle ensures that this product has an excellent level of heat distribution when compared to competing models.
If you are looking for a classic, stovetop popcorn maker, you will have a hard time finding a product better than this one. Thanks to the simple design, you will find this model easy to use compared to other options available for purchase.
This model also includes several features to ensure that the popping process progresses smoothly. Chief amongst these mechanisms is the inclusion of a stirrer to keep your popcorn from sticking to the bottom of the pot and potentially burning.
Most low-cost popcorn poppers typically feature gears and stirrers which are ineffective at their job, which can result in ruined batches of popcorn. If you want to make sure that your popcorn always comes out perfectly the first time, a Whirlypop Popper such as this model is the best one you can purchase.
Best Hot Air Popcorn Popper – Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker
If you would like to ensure that your popcorn is as healthy as possible, there is no better choice than an air popper. Air poppers function without the need for oil, so you can ensure that your popcorn will not any added ingredients that adds calories!
The best model of air popper that we have reviewed so far is the Cuisinart EasyPop. Here are some of the products pros:
- Air popping process means healthier popcorn
- Features intuitive design which is easy to clean
- Features a cup for melting and distributing butter
- Popping chute is dishwasher safe
- Pops corn within 3 minutes
If you would like a simple, convenient and healthy way to make your popcorn, this product is nearly unsurpassed. The inclusion of a detachable chute and bowl allows you to clean this appliance easily. It helps that these two components are dishwasher safe, so you will not have to waste time cleaning it manually.
When it comes to popping speed, you can easily have your popcorn ready within three minutes, which rivals the speed of even microwave popcorn. Many people imagine popcorn makers as being inefficient and slow when compared to microwave popcorn, but that is certainly not the case with this model.
The inclusion of a small cup in which you may melt your butter is a nice addition. This allows customers who enjoy buttered popcorn to have a simple and convenient method for melting the butter.
This product is perfect if you would like a healthier way to make your popcorn. Additionally, the popcorn cooks faster than most other models.
Best Professional Popcorn Popper – Great Northern Popcorn Topstar 12 oz Machine
If you would like a popcorn machine which is as authentic as you can get to replicating the movie theater experience, you will find that Great Northern Popcorn’s Topstar is the ideal choice. Compared to other types of machines, this model is rather large, so be prepared to clear a reasonably large space for it. Here are some of the products pros:
- Includes a spot light warmer
- Incorporates a popcorn stirrer
- Includes a pot heater
- Features metal gearing mechanisms
- Made of durable powder coated steel
- Runs on 110V power
If you have been searching for a commercial/professional popcorn maker that can run on 110-volt power, you will find that this model is the best purchase you can make. Manufactured from both stainless and powder coated steel, you can rest assured that this popcorn machine is one of the more durable models on the market.
This model is surprisingly easy to use for such a large appliance. Compared to other types of popcorn machines, it is slightly more complex, but the three switch system makes this model much easier to use. The three switches will turn on either the warming spot lamp, the pot heater or the popcorn stirrer.
One of the biggest obstacles to customers purchasing a large popcorn maker such as this one, is the complexity of the operating mechanism. However, this model is rather ideal. Combining user friendliness with effective functioning and efficiency, this model is a powerful yet pricey choice when it comes to making homemade popcorn.
Wrapping up with the Best Popcorn Popper
To conclude, there are many types of popcorn poppers, and it helps immensely to know which type would be ideal for you. We hope that our reviews have been both helpful and informative. Buying the best popcorn popper does not have to be as complicated as many customers make it out to be.