What's more exciting than having a batch of freshly-popped popcorn ready to eat the next time a craving hits? If this sounds appealing, you'll want to find one of the best hot air popcorn poppers to have in your kitchen.
While microwave popcorn is arguably more convenient, air-popped popcorn has come to be known as a healthier, more affordable alternative. Not only can you purchase the kernels alone for a much better value, but, with a hot air popper in your kitchen, you can avoid any extra ingredients like oil, salt, and potentially harmful chemicals.
Popcorn alone is a great choice for a light, nutritious snack, though. And hot air poppers give you the freedom to choose what — if anything — you add to the kernels. Don't let the convenience factor turn you off from the idea either. Air poppers are easy to use and do most of the work for you.
From an old-fashioned popcorn machine that doubles as a trendy piece of decor to a super convenient and easy-to-use electric air popper, below, I've outlined the four best popcorn makers that offer tons of different features and come highly-rated by users. Keep reading to get poppin'.
The Overall Best Popcorn Popper That's Super Easy To Use & Has A Built-In Serving Bowl
The Stir Crazy popper by West Bend is the overall best choice based on reviews, function, and price. For only $30, this electric air popper is super easy to use and makes a gallon and a half of popcorn in one batch, meaning you'll have large batches ready quicker. It also includes a coated, nonstick inner plate and a motorized stir-rod for faster, fool-proof popping. The clear, vented lid doubles as a serving bowl for the popcorn once it's ready, and the heating base handles make it safe to pick up. The best part? All the parts are dishwasher-friendly. One Amazon reviewer called it "the best popcorn unit ever invented."
A Basic Air Popper With 11,000 Amazon Reviews That Gets The Job Done
If you're interested in a basic air popper that'll do the job without fancy features, you'll love the Orville Redenbacher Presto popper. The $24 popper — which has a whopping 11,000 reviews on Amazon — heats up fast and cooks about 1 gallon per batch. Pro tip: Have a serving bowl ready. This one's fountain design means the popcorn falls right out of the side when the kernels pop. It's also important to note that this machine doesn't have a power switch, so it starts heating up as soon as its plugged in. Users warn that the plastic material on top can start to melt if it's plugged in without kernels inside, but as long as your kernels are ready before starting it up, it'll work great. One reviewer called it the "best decision we ever made," highlighting its compact size and "clean/simple design."
The Best Stovetop Option That's Perfect For Traditionalists
If you're into the traditional way of doing things, the Whirley Pop stovetop popper by Wabash Valley Farms is your best bet. The aluminum popper can pop up to a gallon and a half of popped kernels in three minutes. Its design features a wooden handle that won't get too hot to the touch as well as a patented stirring system that prevents any burning and ensures all the kernels get popped. It also has a relatively affordable price $24 tag and over 5,000 Amazon reviews. "It seems strange to say that I love a popcorn popper," reads one. "But I really do. This is sturdy, easy to use, and well designed. Popping is even and I hardly ever have an unpopped kernel."
A Retro-Style Popcorn Maker That Doubles As Decor
This Pop Pup machine by Great Northern Popcorn acts as both a handy air popper machine and a cute, old-fashioned decoration for your home. Its stainless steel design looks like a retro popcorn stand and comes with lots of extras including two popping kettle hangers, a measuring spoon and cup, and a built-in stirring system. Once the kernels are popped, the convenient pull-out tray provides easy access, while the built-in warming light keeps the remaining popcorn hot. Customers love how fun this mini machine is, and its features warrant its slightly higher price point. A happy reviewer wrote: "My family has an obsession with popcorn and this machine has made popping popcorn fun and easy. It's very simple to put together. Even easier to use. There is hardly any clean up and it makes popcorn really fast."
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