Are you looking to buy the best home popcorn machine to make movie nights in your house all the more enjoyable for yourself and your family or friends? Let’s take a look at some things you might find helpful when you’re considering various popcorn machines for sale out there. Later on in the article, we’ll also see which home popcorn maker models have the best reviews by consumers.
Kinds of Home Popcorn Machines
There are several kinds of popcorn makers that you can use at home, and they all work on the same basic principle: they heat up the moisture in the popcorn kernels until they explode into soft, puffy goodness.
The devices that do this come in several variations:
Stove-top popcorn machine: You can basically use any type of cookware with a lid to make popcorn on your stove. But nowadays, there are many types of popcorn makers that are specifically designed for cooking popcorn on your stovetop. You can also use this type of cookware outdoors, for example, on an open fire during a camping trip.
Microwave popcorn maker: This device uses is designed to concentrate a microwave oven’s radiation onto the popcorn. You have the option of adding oil or not to your popcorn before putting it in the microwave, which is good if you’re counting calories. One of the things that people like about microwave popcorn devices is that it results in fewer unpopped kernels than a stovetop popcorn machine.
Hot air popcorn popper machine: This machine is almost as simple and easy to use as a microwave popcorn maker. It’s a small electric appliance that uses only heated air — no oil — to pop corn. It’s also a good device to consider if you’re cutting down on your oil intake. It’s available in various prices, capacities and styles.
Theater-style popcorn machine: This type of appliance is reminiscent of the popcorn machines you see at the movie theaters. Colorful and eye-catching, some models are small enough to place on a countertop while others are large stand units that you can park in your yard whenever you have a party at home. Some look like an old fashioned popcorn machine, something that brings about a sense of nostalgia. If you think you’ll be entertaining regularly, and your guests love popcorn, this is a handy device to have since it produces large batches of popcorn.
Things to Consider Before You Buy a Home Popcorn Maker
The amount of space you can allot to a home popcorn machine is one thing to keep in mind. If space is limited, you probably wouldn’t find something like a popcorn machine cart handy to have at home. Even tabletop or countertop popcorn makers may take up too much space for some.
The number of people for whom you’ll be popping corn is another factor to consider. For small households, a device that can produce amounts similar to a commercial popcorn machine’s output may be a bit of an overkill. Countertop machines come with various kettle sizes, from two ounces all the way up to eight ounces.
The machine should be easy to take apart for cleaning. If it takes too much work to disassemble it, you might find yourself not cleaning it often enough. This could significantly lessen the product’s life span since its parts could be damaged if oil or unpopped kernels are left in it for a long time.
Another feature you shouldn’t overlook concerns how the device keeps your popcorn warm. Many tabletop popcorn makers have two switches: one switch lets you turn off the kettle when the popcorn is done while the other switch allows you to turn on a heat lamp in the device to keep the popcorn hot. Don’t worry about the lamp making your home theater overly bright and affecting the ambiance; you can use a light bulb with a lower wattage that will keep the room dark yet maintain the popcorn’s warmth.
Finally, it’s a good idea to read up on reviews about various popcorn-making machines. Learn from other consumers about things like the machine’s user-friendliness, ease of cleanup, how effective it is, and whether it comes up with great-tasting popcorn.
3 Best Popcorn Machine Models According to Reviews by Consumers
Whether you are planning to buy a used popcorn machine or a brand-new one, you’ll find lots of reviews about various makes and models online. We’ve gathered three of the bestselling popcorn popper machines based on the 5-star ratings they have received from consumers.
1. Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
This is one of the most highly-rated stovetop popcorn machines, with more than 450 five-star reviews on Amazon.com alone. The aluminum pan features a stainless steel stirring system that keeps the corn kernels in constant motion at the bottom of the pan. This ensures that heat and oil are distributed evenly. It has a clip-on lid with vents that keeps the popcorn inside crisp and dry, and a wooden handle that stays cool to the touch. It weighs two pounds and can make six quarts of popcorn in three minutes. Here are some of the other things that consumers think about this popcorn maker.
– It makes a pot of fluffy popcorn using a minimum amount of oil.
– It’s inexpensive.
– There’s no bruising or shredding of the popcorn.
– A couple said their Whirley-Pop was still working well after six years.
– A number of reviewers said the popcorn from the machine tastes superior.
– It’s easy to clean.
– Some reviewers complained that the plastic gears connecting the crank shaft to the stirrer tend to come off.
– The thin aluminum pan can cause the kernels to be burned if high heat is used.
– The aluminum tabs on the lid may bend when popcorn is being shaken out.
2. Presto 114316 04820 PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper
Another bestseller, this electric hot air popcorn maker enjoys almost 400 five-star reviews from consumers. Weighing 3.5 pounds, it’s compact enough to use on a small countertop. It’s capable of making around two large bowls or 18 cups of popcorn in approximately 2.5 minutes. No oil is required to cook the popcorn, although the measuring cup atop the product can be used as a butter melter to flavor the popcorn.
– It is functionally identical to the more expensive Presto Orville Redenbacher Popper.
– It’s inexpensive.
– It produces popcorn very fast with a minimal amount of unpopped kernels.
– It is remarkably easy to clean.
– It can even be used to roast coffee.
– Kernels may fly out of the device while popping.
– There’s no on/off switch.
– Some reviewers find that the butter melter did not melt the butter by the time the popcorn had finished popping.
3. Maxi-Matic EPM-450 Elite Tabletop Old-Fashioned 4-Ounce Kettle Popcorn Popper Machine
“Perfect for the home theater” is what one reviewer said to describe this appliance. The design resembles that of an old fashioned popcorn machine and adds a festive touch to the room. The four-ounce stainless steel kettle — detachable for easy cleaning — can make up to 1.5 gallons of popcorn, enough for four people. The built-in stirring system helps ensure even cooking while the heating lamp keeps the popcorn warm long after it has been cooked. This countertop popcorn maker also comes with a measuring cup, a pull-out kernel crumb tray, a measuring spoon, and a scooping trough. The plexi-glass windows and door allow you to safely watch the popcorn kernels as they pop out of the kettle.
– It has features that are comparable to more expensive popcorn machine units.
– It’s easy to add popcorn to the kettle because the lid sticks to a magnet on the underside of the device’s top.
– It’s easy to clean and maintain.
– The construction is solid with its glass and steel structure and steel hinges.
– Kernels pop quickly.
– The heating element at the bottom of the unit keeps popcorn warm.
– Popcorn tastes very much like the ones sold at movie theaters.
– It’s pricy.
– It can take some work to master the kettle’s use.
– A reviewer complained about splattering oil inside the unit.
As you can see, these products have both their pros and cons. But we recommend you check them out further and see if one of them is the best home popcorn machine for your needs and budget. Make movie nights at home even more enjoyable with the right popcorn popper machine.