Having your own popcorn popper at home gives the family a treat during a movie and helps build a memorable tradition. Why pay exorbitant prices for what often turns out to be less-than-tasty theater popcorn? With great-quality home popcorn makers, you can whip up terrific popcorn in your own kitchen, plop down on your own couch and just chill with your loved ones while you immerse yourself in some wonderful film. All you need is the best popcorn maker you can find. Try our top three products: the Cuisinart CPM-700 EasyPop, the West Bend Stir Crazy 82505 and the Presto Stirring Popper 05200. For more information, check articles in our learning center.
Popcorn by itself is an easy treat to make for large crowds and is quite light when it comes to calories – unless you love to pour on the melted butter. However, even with plenty of finger-licking butter, popcorn is still a high-fiber snack and certainly won't hurt your overall meal planning if you eat healthfully at other times. The popcorn you make yourself often has a better texture than the microwaved variety, and you can control how much butter, salt and seasoning goes on.
Without a doubt, the first thing you want from a good popcorn maker is superb performance. The amount of popcorn that it produces, how many unpopped kernels remain after the popping process and the amount of popcorn it burns are all factors in determining which device is the best popcorn machine. Undoubtedly, you also value easy cleaning and probably favor either the hot-air variety of popcorn maker, which uses no oil, or the countertop popper that needs at least a little oil. Each has its perks depending on diets, the kinds of flavorings you want to add and other factors.
When you buy any kitchen appliance, it is always helpful to get exactly what you want. Some consumers want absolute simplicity, while others enjoy additional features for convenience or safety. One helpful feature is an on-off switch. Although it seems a little thing, virtually all popcorn makers heat up while in use, and it is safer to push a button in front to turn the machine off than to reach past it to unplug the electrical cord from the wall.
A short cord is also helpful for safety, because it avoids the risks of lengthy cords that loop down over kitchen counters and tempt small children into yanking on them, though long cords offer more flexibility as to where you can pop the corn. It's especially convenient if some or all of the device's removable parts are dishwasher safe. That makes less mess for you to clean after the popcorn is done.
Some popcorn makers come with additional items or features. Many of the best popcorn makers come with a measuring cup, which sometimes double as the lid covers, and this comes in handy. Other poppers provide recipes and serving suggestions in user manuals or on their company websites. You can also find popcorn makers made of plastic containing no bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that sometimes seeps into food and can be harmful, though it is usually safe in trace amounts.
Warranty & Support
You probably won't need to use the warranty with the best popcorn makers in our lineup. However, if heating elements in a popper begin to fail, the result is unevenly cooked and frequently burnt popcorn. A lengthy warranty offers some helpful protection against defects. The industry standard is one year, though the best popcorn makers have warranties up to three years. There should also be options for contacting the manufacturer with any questions or problems you have with the machine, such as a company website that includes an email address and phone number.
Popcorn poppers create a relatively healthy treat, because they require less oil and preservatives than prepackaged popcorn. Investing in the best popcorn popper for your household can also save you money on prepackaged or concession-stand popcorn in the long term. It is sure to be a popular attraction among your family and friends during parties, movie nights or other fun gatherings.