It is kind of difficult watching a movie without some snacks around. It is more of a ritual and one thing cannot go without the other. There are a lot of different snacks to choose from but popcorn has always remained the best treat for a good movie. A bowl of freshly made popcorn that is still steaming is a great way to start a movie. The smell alone is mouth-watering but not any kind of popcorn works. Microwave popcorn is good but it tends to be a bit mushy. Regular popcorn that is made with a special maker has a much more fresh and crunchy texture. This type of popcorn truly replicates that great cinema experience.
A good popcorn maker should be able to cook popcorn fast and by using a little oil and just hot air. The good news is that these little machines are quite affordable. They are made to be simple using a rather basic air heating system that cooks the popcorn. Some models use a heating element to make popcorn. There are some slight differences between them that will need to be showcased before moving to our picklist of the most popular models on the market.
Things To Keep In Mind
As a general rule, popcorn makers that use hot air tend to be quite small. They take very little shelf space in a kitchen and they are very easy to use. There are some safety concerns as it takes a bit of care not to place the hand too close to the outlet out of which the popcorn comes out as the hot air can be a bit dangerous. These are just some simple rules that every person with common sense should be aware of.
Best Popcorn Makers in 2021
The other models available, the larger ones, use a heating element. They heat up a recipient in which the popcorn is placed. They need a bit more oil but the end product is fairly similar. Also, they are a bit more expensive but the ones that want popcorn maker similar to the ones used in cinemas might want to look at pretty much any type of popcorn maker except for the hot air ones. With these things in mind let’s get right into our list of the top 10 best popcorn makers.
Last update on 2021-12-02 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. West Bend Air Crazy 82702GB Popcorn on Demand
West Bend is a great brand that offers several interesting products. They even have more than one model of hot air popcorn makers but there are marginal differences between them. The Air Crazy 82702GB is a small model with an affordable price tag and a decent construction. It has a plastic body with an on and off button. It also features a small dial that can be used to adjust the portion. What makes it better than other models is the fact that it has a kernel storage built-in which can hold a decent quantity of corn.
Looking at the cons of the model, the popcorn maker seems to be unable to get hot enough. It is unable to pop all the corn. It manages to pop most of them but there are also some that get left out. This is also influenced by the type of corn used. With some brands, the results can get better.
9. Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper
Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn popper is a great choice for the ones that need something cheap and easy to use. It is a compact model that was designed to prepare popcorn in just a few minutes. The model does not need oil but it does have a butter melting cup that can also be used to add flavorings. A single batch translates into 16 cups which is quite decent. Due to how it is designed this type of popcorn that is made with hot air is probably the most healthy option for the ones that are trying to avoid fat.
Since it comes with such a low price tag it should be expected that the machine itself does not have an impressive build quality. The plastic body feels a bit cheap and could have been a bit better. On the other hand, the model does work well, probably better than others.
8. Nostalgia 16-Cup Air-Pop Popcorn Maker
Nostalgia is a brand that focuses on building electronics with a particular design. Their Air-Pop Popcorn maker was built to have a classic look that gives it a certain appeal. It is a simple model that just looks good. It has all the basic features such as a measuring cup and an on and off switch. Other than that not much is needed. It can pop about 16 cups per batch but what makes it a decent choice is the fact that it gets hot enough to pop the corn properly.
What we didn’t like about the model is the fact that it is being sold with a low price tag but the shipping cost actually exceeds the price of the unit. It is a bit odd. Also, there is no special tray to melt butter or add some kind of flavoring. It is just a simple hot air popcorn maker.
7. Ozeri OZP1 Movie Time 26 Cup Healthy Popcorn Maker
Ozeri is a brand that many might not have heard of. They have been around for quite some time and have a rather decent popcorn maker. The OZP1 Movie Time popcorn maker is a good pick for the ones that have a limited budget. It is a simple popper. All it takes it to turn it on and make sure that the feeder is not empty. A single batch can pop about 26 cups which is more than enough even for a large family.
One of the few cons of the model is the build quality. On the other hand, the price of the popper is fairly low and big expectations are not justified. It is made with a plastic body but what matters the most is how well it works and truth be told it is a great little popcorn maker.
6. Nostalgia RHP310 Retro Series 8-Cup Hot Air Popcorn Maker
The Nostalgia RHP310 Retro Series hot air popcorn maker is a gorgeous little device. It has a vintage design that actually gives a nostalgic feel. Its construction is surprisingly good and it works just like any other popcorn maker. It has just an on and off button and can yield about 8 cups of popcorn per batch. It includes a measuring cup and does not require any kind of oil making it a healthy choice for the ones that simply love popcorn.
The only thing that would have made the model better is a recipient to melt butter and add flavoring to the popcorn. Other than that there is not much to complain about when it comes to this model. It is simple, gorgeous and affordable.
5. West Bend Crazy Air Hot Air Popcorn Popper
West Bend Air Crazy hot air popcorn popper is a simple little machine that comes with a very low price tag. It has a simple design, decent construction and it is very easy to operate. All it takes is to hit the on button, fill the corn cup and wait. According to the description of the popcorn maker, the model can make about 3.5 quarts in 3 minutes which is quite decent.
As with any other product the popcorn maker is not perfect. Its design is good, the model gets hot enough but because of its shape sometimes, when the corn pops, some unpopped corn gets thrown out before it even gets the chance to be heated properly to pop. This is fairly common with hot air popcorn makers.
4. Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style 8 oz. Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine
The Great Northern has several interesting popcorn makers such as the Red Matinee Movie Theater Style popcorn machine. It has a classic design that resembles the way old popcorn machines used to be made in traditional cinemas. This means that it is also quite large and a bit more expensive than regular hot air popcorn poppers. Also, it needs oil to make popcorn which gives the end product a more classic taste. Creating flavored popcorn is also quite easy as they can be added directly into the kettle.
There are many great things about the machine but what some might dislike about it is its size. It is simply a bit too big making it difficult to find a spot for it in a regular household. The ones that do have a designated place in mind for it will surely enjoy the popcorn it can make.
3. OUR FAVORITE PICK: Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker
Cuisinart CPM-100 EasyPop hot air popcorn maker is one of the more expensive hot air models in our list. It is also quite popular and that is because it does not leave all that much corn unpopped. Its design helps it retain the corn that jumps and did not get to pop, throwing it back into the warming tray. A bit plus is the presence of a butter tray. The butter tray gets warmed up and spreads the butter over the popcorn, adding more flavor to it. Since it is a hot air model this means that it does not require any kind of oil.
There isn’t much that needs improvement when it comes to this particular model. It is a bit more pricy but it is vastly superior to the cheaper hot air popcorn makers. It is stylish easy to use and very efficient.
2. BEST VALUE: West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper
West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Popcorn popper is a great choice for the ones that want a classic popcorn maker for a good price. It makes classic popcorn in a steel kernel with a stirring rod. It requires oil to make popcorn and comes with a large lit that can also serve as a bowl. The model itself is very easy to use and just as easy to clean. It takes very little counter space and can make about 27 cups of popcorn in 4 minutes.
In terms of cones, not much can be said. The model works great, has a great price tag and makes excellent popcorn. Some might even prefer it over a regular hot air popcorn maker.
1. BEST SELLER: Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper
The Presto 04820 PopLite hot air popcorn maker is by far the most popular model in our list. A lot of people actually own the machine and most buyers end up getting one. It is a simple hot air popcorn popper with a low price tag that can popcorn without using a single drop of oil. At the top of the popper a butter melting tray has been placed that can be used to add flavoring. Using it is very simple as all it takes is to turn it on. It can make about 18 cups of popcorn in less than 3 minutes and it is quite easy to clean.
In terms of cons, nothing bad about the model is worth mentioning. It works great and has an excellent price tag.
Things Worth Knowing
When it comes to popcorn makers, all the models that work with hot air do not need oil. The ones that are concerned about eating a healthier snack would want to avoid oil and go for a hot air model. However, the taste is different and everyone agrees that the classic models that use oil tend to make the popcorn a bit more savory. On the other hand, the classic models are a bit more expensive.
An important aspect that needs to be considered is that not all hot air popcorn makers are good. There are plenty of models that have serious problems in terms of heating up properly or even being capable of popping all the kernels. We attempted to select only the most appreciated models that actually work and can make decent popcorn.