Best Popcorn Makers

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Popcorn. When nature graced us with it’s glorious bounty, it gave us one of the easiest, tastiest and most ubiquitous snacks on the planet. Although corn is an incredibly versatile grain, the popcorn version is universally enjoyed by many. The long history of popcorn dates back thousands of years. Corn itself was domesticated from a more basic grass plant around 9,000 year ago in Mexico. Fast forward to today, and we are still enjoying it in its various forms, and especially in the popcorn version. Popcorn can be seen as a comfort food or a healthy snack, depending on what you decide to make it with and put on it after it’s made. Whether you’re into buttery, salty popcorn, sugary and sweet popcorn, or you like yours just plain without anything on it, you’re likely a fan of popcorn of some type. If you don’t have a popcorn maker, or your current one is no longer working the way it should, it’s time for an upgrade. We’ve searched the web for the best popcorn makers on the market. You’ll find the three popcorn makers on our list easy to use and ready to go, right out of the box!

Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop

Whirley-Pop Popper Kit - Nylon Gears - Silver - 1 Real Theater All...
  • PERFECT POPCORN IN 3 MINUTES: The Original Silver Whirley Pop Stovepop Popcorn Popper takes the guesswork out of...
  • NO BURNT POPCORN: The patented stirring system in this stovetop popcorn popper prevents burning so you always have...
  • EASY CLEAN UP: Once you’re done popping your popcorn, you don’t have to worry about a big cleanup! This silver,...

Why we like it: If you’re in the market for a more unique popcorn making experience, the Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper is going to be your go-to, hot-selling option. This popcorn popper screams “trendy”, and for many of us (especially the millennials out there), trendy is a good thing. The sleek metal construction and interesting twirling handle for getting just the right mix are all features that makes this one of the best popcorn poppers on the market. Likewise, this popcorn popper introduces a different heating element than the other two: stovetop heating. No need to find a place to plug in! You’ll be able to place this popcorn popper right on the stove and get your popcorn going, right in the comfort of your own home.

This popcorn popper from Wabash Valley Farms holds up to 6 quarts of popcorn. You and your family will be able to enjoy heaping, delicious popcorn with each batch. This oil-based cooking pan comes with a clip on aluminum lid, including air vents. If you’re tired of your popcorn getting damp from moisture in the enclosed cooking container, you’ll be happy with the dry popcorn that you get with this popcorn maker. The included cranking arm will help keep the popcorn rotated well inside the pan, ensuring that the oil coats and heats the popcorn evenly. If you’re trying to get a good butter and salt coverage, you’ll find that this popcorn popper will give you movie-theater quality popcorn in a way that you’ll never be able to get with an air popper.

Few products come with long warranties these days. Yet the Wabash Valley Farms Whirley Pop comes with an incredible 25-year warranty. They believe so strongly that you’ll love this product, that they are willing to replace it if you find something wrong with it during that time. This best-selling product has seen great success on Amazon as well, with a 4.2/5 average star rating on and over 3,000 customer reviews. Customers enjoy the easy clean up that comes with this product, but some dislike that it is not dishwasher safe. Consistent negative reviews complain about faulty construction and the unit’s plastic gears coming apart very easily.

Pros

  • Stovetop popping
  • 6-quart capacity
  • Unique design and stirring arm

Cons

  • Plastic gears may fall apart too quickly
  • Not dishwasher safe

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Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper

Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper, Yellow
  • Pops popcorn with hot air, not oil
  • Pops regular or gourmet popcorn
  • Butter melter doubles as measuring cup

Why we like it: If you’re in the market for a fast, cheap and efficient air popper, you’ve come to the right place. The Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper is undoubtedly one of the best in the market. This popcorn popper is also one of the most popular and highly purchased popcorn making devices on Amazon. Over 6,000 customer reviews and a 4.3/5 average star rating give a very good indication of just how impressive most customers find this popcorn maker to be. National Presto Industries introduced its first air popcorn popper in the 1970s, and since then the market has never been the same. Is it any wonder, then, that one of their coveted popcorn makers is on our list?

Air poppers such as the Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper offer the great tasting popcorn that you love, with much less of the hassle of oil poppers. While the application of such things as butter and salt are much more difficult with this device, the speed with which you can make your popcorn is unmatched. Imagine this: your have a host of friends over and you’re watching a movie. The popcorn runs low, but you need to keep the movie going. Two and a half minutes later, you’ve got another 18 quarts of popcorn. Guess what? That’s what the Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper can offer you! Once it’s up and running, this fully-electric air popper can just keep the popcorn coming. Although this popcorn popper is only designed to handle about a ½ cup of popcorn with each batch, the unmatched speed will get you the equivalent amount of higher-capacity poppers in the same amount of time.

This popcorn popper comes with a ½ cup butter dish that sits on top of the device. The butter dish doubles as a measuring cup, so you can be sure that you get the right amount of popcorn each time, as well as have hot, melted butter ready to pour over your perfectly popped corn after it’s all done. Make sure that you have a bowl ready! This popcorn popper spits out the popped corn once the basin starts to become full, so you’ll need to ensure you have a large bowl with a wide circumference to catch it all without spilling. As an air popper, you will not need to be concerned with burned popcorn. However, you will need to be cautious with using more than the recommended amount of kernels, as this may result in unpopped kernels and an excessive overflow of popped corn. The few negative reviews that do exist on this product consistently complain about unpopped kernels flying out of the mouth during the popping process.

Pros

  • Fast popping time
  • No oil required

Cons

  • Significant kernel loss during popping process

West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine

West Bend 8231 Stir Crazy Deluxe Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine with Removable Heating Plate for Easy Cleaning Offers Large Lid for Serving Bowl & Convenient Storage, 6 quart, Red

West Bend 8231 Stir Crazy Deluxe Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper...
  • LARGE CAPACITY: Pop up to 6 quarts of popcorn at one time - enough to treat the whole family!
  • CONVENIENT: Clear, vented cover can be used, with the butter cap, as a popcorn serving bowl
  • IMPROVED POPPING: Motorized stir rod ensures even popping result. Automatic reversal will prevent kernels from getting...

Why we like it: Few popcorn makers and companies can claim official government approval and recognition. West Bend, maker of the West Bend 82306 Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper, is quite likely the only popcorn maker on the market to hold such a valued position. In 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin declared September 11, 2011 as “West Bend Day” in the state. Even Scott Walker was able to recognize the important impact that well-made popcorn can have on the citizens of a country. Now, you too can enjoy popcorn at its best! Grabbing a West Bend Stir Crazy will be your obvious first step.

You can get some of the best tasting popcorn ever with one of th most popular popcorn machines this year. This is the West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine. Thousands of customers who have been polled have rated the West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine to be one of the best popcorn machines that deliver quality flavor. For starters, the design of the West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine is one that will have you enjoying the experience of popping popcorn. If you have little ones, they will enjoy helping in the process of making a batch of popcorn. With the vented clear cover, you will always be able to see how far you are in the popping process. Not only that, but this clear cover also doubles as a 6 quart popcorn bowl so that you never have to get any extra dishes dirty. Clean up is an absolute breeze too thanks to the nonstick coating on both the container and the pan. When you are done using your West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine, you can seamlessly store it away by easily wrapping the cord under the unit. This keeps you from having to deal with tangly cords. Making homemade popcorn has never been easier thanks to the West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine. When you are purchasing your own, you will find that there are two variations, the standard set, and the deluxe set. While the two offer the same amount of power, the deluxe set does give you the added benefit of a motorized stir rod that allows you to have even popping. 

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Butter distribution and melting tray
  • Rotating arm for full coverage

Cons

  • Oil-based popping
  • Somewhat messy cleanup process even though it is non stick

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Popcorn Popper Buyer’s Guide

There are many great popcorn poppers on the market. A good popcorn popper can come cheaply, but some can be rather expensive. Are you in the market for healthier, air-popped corn, or are you do you desire the delicious taste of an oil-popped bowl of popcorn. Regardless of what you’re looking for, make sure you are getting what you need!

Oil v. Air

Oil and air popcorn poppers work very differently, and it’s important to understand how they differ.

Air poppers: use heated, forced air to cause water inside the kernels to heat until the internal pressure forces the kernel to burst. Most air poppers will also move the kernels around until the kernels pop. Air poppers cannot hold butter or popcorn mixtures internally, and therefore any toppings must be applied after the popcorn is made. Likewise, most air poppers are designed to shoot the popcorn out of the popping basin once the basin begins to fill up. Users will need to ensure that they have a bowl that can catch the popcorn, and have not loaded the device with too many kernels, as overflow is a common problem. Air popper users may commonly find that kernels unpopped kernels will come out of the device, and pop after they have already landed in the deceiving bowl. This may result in some already-popped kernels falling out of the bowl.

Oil poppers: use heated oil to pop the corn. Most oil poppers possess some type of stirring or mixing feature that allows for even distribution of oil, and to help prevent burning. Oil poppers require more attention as burning can become a problem if left unattended. The heating source can also be a factor in how long the device takes to pop all of the kernels. Users will find that oil-based heaters will take longer to heat popcorn, but typically have larger capacities than air poppers. Oil poppers will also allow users to mix in butter, salt and other toppings much more easily and evenly. Those seeking popcorn that is more fitting with the movie-theater experience will likely be drawn to this type of popcorn maker.

Stove-top v. Electric

Most popcorn poppers are electric these days. However, some popcorn poppers are more traditional and low-tech, requiring outside heating elements, like a stovetop, to function.

Stove-top poppers: require a certain heat setting. Because stoves can differ, these can take a few tries to get exactly right. If you are purchasing one of these, make sure to fully read the instructions and heat settings, and be sure to pay close attention while popping the corn. Burned popcorn is a much bigger concern with these devices.

Electric: Most electric popcorn makers have an on/off switch. Oil-based makers may also come with automatic shut-off switches that are based on a timer. This is to help prevent burning the popcorn. Electric popcorn makers have varying power requirements, but are more likely to provide a much more even and burn-free popcorn popping experience.

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