Best Popcorn Maker and Popper Reviews

Reviews

Jan 28

Reports show that Americans on average eat 68 quarts of popcorn each year, and 17.2 billion quarts per year. That's a lot of popcorn, right? But who can blame us! Freshly popped corn is definite the best, but using a pan on the stove, or a microwave to achieve this can be hard going and result in either lots of un-popped kernels or worse, burnt popcorn. Not good! So for the best quality popcorn you'll have anywhere, you need a popcorn maker for the job. This article will take a look at what's on offer and give you our top three best popcorn makers and poppers. Enjoy! 

The Best 3 Popcorn Makers

There are basically two options when buying a popcorn maker and popper. The electric popcorn maker and the stove top maker. All of our top three are the first type. Although a stove-top popcorn maker works well, it does require a stove (obviously!) and we loved the flexibility and speed afforded by the electric popcorn makers. 

2nd

West Bend 82306 Stir Crazy 6-Quart Electric Popcorn Popper

( 4.2 out of 5.0 )

  • Popcorn popper with motorized stirring rod to ensure all kernels pop
  • Produces up to 6 quartz in 5 minutes; built-in butter well
  • Non-stick-coated popping surface
  • Heat-resistant handles and base; plastic cover doubles as serving bowl
  • If you use with butter or oil, it will get very greasy and need cleaning after each use

1st

Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper

( 4.3 out of 5.0 )

  • Pops faster than the microwave; up to 18 cups in less than 2.5 minutes
  • Users regular and gourmet popcorn for a savings of up to 70% on microwave bags
  • Pops without oil for up to 42% fewer calories than microwave popcorn 
  • The bowl gets quite hot, especially for children to handle

3rd

Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker

( 4.1 out of 5.0 )

  • Makes up to 10 cups of popcorn in under 3 minutes
  • Removable chute and butter warming tray; dishwasher safe
  • No oil necessary for a healthier snack
  • Chute design means the popcorn stay crunchy
  • Chute can be a little forceful and result in popcorn not landing in the bowl but shooting over the kitchen

Why Buy a Popcorn Maker and Popper? 

C.Cretors & Co invented and made the first ever popcorn maker for commercial use in 1885. So for over 130 years we've been enjoying popcorn from popcorn makers in the US! Popcorn can be a treat (with butter, salt, caramel etc.) or a healthy snack when made without oils and flavorings. So something for everyone. Popcorn makers offer a great alternative to the microwave makers. They're just as fast but much healthier and as such, the popcorn maker has become more and more popular since the 1970s with many of us now owning our own maker and popper

  • Healthy Snack: You control the oils and sugars that are added (or not) to your popcorn when using a popcorn maker and popper. Popcorn itself is wholegrain and a good source of antioxidants.  
  • Speed: A healthy snack can  be created in around the same time as popping popcorn in a microwave if not sooner
  • Save Money: Making popcorn yourself from scratch is very inexpensive, particularly compared to microwaved popcorn or bags of ready-popped corn. 
  • Variety: For a treat you can add any flavor you can think of; sweet, savory, salty. The only thing stopping you is probably your imagination! 

It is hassle-free, safe and results in the popcorn you want every time. 

What to Look Out for When Buying a Popcorn Maker and Popper

There are different types of popcorn makers. All of our top three are electric (rather than stove-to) but even within this there are different types. Let us explain! 

  • Hot Air Popper: This means you will always cook without any oils or salt. Popcorn becomes very low-calorie and low-fat and is something you can enjoy whenever you want! You can add powdered seasoning for flavor but this will mean this becomes more of a treat as the calories ramp up! 
  • Oil Poppers: These do provide most of the health benefits of the hot air popper, but are for people really want a little oil in the popcorn. It often makes the popcorn crunchier, and many of us really do like our popcorn this way. If that's you, go for an oil popper! They don't use much oil, you can choose to (or not to) add salt, sugar or any other flavoring.
  • Stove Top Poppers: They may not have made it into our top three, but there is something great about a stove-top popper. You definitely feel more involved in the process but with this means you need to pay attention. You can end up with burnt popcorn if you don't stay on top the process with regular stirring and shaking throughout. They require oil (not a lot) and season them as you would with the oil popper. 

Look out for oil poppers where the oil is optional. A good compromise if you've got different popcorn tastes at home! 

A Note about Ingredients

With toppings, there are so many options. From low calorie flavors such as chilli, cinnamon and garlic, potato chip style flavors such as bar-b-q, salt and vinegar and cheese powder to sweet options of caramel, toffee and sugar. Definitely something for everyone, and you should have fun trying out new options! 

There are also different oils you can try which will affect the flavor. Coconut oil is thick, sweet, nutty and lasts a long time without going over. Great for nut allergies too! Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor and is very sticky so works well with powdered flavorings. Rapeseed oil (or canola oil) is very healthy, kind to the environment and inexpensive with a high tolerance for heat. Finally corn oil has a mild taste, easy to find, inexpensive and complements popcorn well. You could even try out different oils as you experiment with your popper. Also consider, Sunflower oil and nut oils. So much choice! 

Detailed Reviews of the Best Popcorn Maker and Popper

So finally our top three! We rated them according to taste, ease of use, crunch and cost. 

Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper

We all loved the popcorn from this popcorn maker. It is so easy to use, with virtually no wasted un-popped kernels and even though it's oil-free the popcorn was delicious and crunchy. Loved it! 

Features

  • Pops faster than a microwave - up to 18 cups of gourmet corn in less than 2.5 minutes
  • Pops without oil but loses nothing on flavor and crunch. 
  • Easy to clean (no oil!) - just wipe clean
  • Can add butter with the butter-melter, so options for healthy snack or treat

What's Good About It?

The popcorn is delicious and crunchy, it's quick easy and great value. Also not a bulky item to store. 

What Could Be Improved?

The bowl where you catch your popcorn can get quite hot. It isn't a problem, just keep little-hands away! 

West Bend 82306 Stir Crazy 6-Quart Electric Popcorn Popper

Another electric popcorn maker, this time an oil not hot air model. Great popcorn, quick, easy and delicious. 

Features

  • All kernels will be popped thanks to the motorized stirring rod
  • You get a lot! 6 quarts in about 5 minutes. Built in butter well for added flavor
  • Non-stick coated popping surface and heat-resistant handles and base

What's Good About It?

This is great popcorn, and as long as you want an oil popper, we can't recommend this product highly enough. Delicious, easy to use and you can make a lot of popcorn in one batch. 

What Could Be Improved?

As with all oil popcorn makers, it will need regular cleaning after each use. 

Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker

Another hot air popcorn maker. This one isn't quite as fast as the Presto but it is good! 

Features

  • 10 cups in under 3 minutes
  • Removable chute and butter warming tray
  • All removable parts are dishwasher safe

What's Good About It?

A hot air maker again with the option of a melted butter addition. Makes great popcorn, although not quite as fast as the Presto. That said, it does feature an on-off button so you don't have to turn it off at the plug which is good. 

What Could Be Improved?

The chute can be a little over-forceful. We'd recommend a dishcloth to help funnel the popped corn into your bowl! 

Final Verdict on Best Popcorn Maker and Popper

We definitely recommend the electric popcorn makers and poppers. But whether you go for the hot air or oil popper is personal choice. Each of our top three gives great popcorn flavor at a good price every time.