Best Oil For Popcorn

Popcorn is a food that is adored by many. What once began as kernels will soon pop into a great-tasting snack. A popcorn machine provides a great way of enjoying this snack from the comfort of your home.

However, it is possible to burn the Kernels and dry out the popcorn if it is not prepared and made correctly. When you've spent the day looking forward to your popcorn movie night, you of course want to ensure that such issues are avoided. 

This is where popcorn oil comes in. Adding the oil into your popcorn machine will prevent it from drying out or burning.

It is important to ensure that the correct amount is added otherwise your popcorn may become mushy and unappealing. The oil that you choose for your popcorn machine is going to be determined by your personal taste preference.

While coconut oil tends to provide the most popular option, those seeking a healthier alternative may opt for canola oil. For popcorn lovers who are yet to find the best oil fear not as we have you covered.

Below, we have selected and reviewed our top 5 picks of the best oils available for popcorn machines. We've also provided you with a buyer's guide containing our top tips for selecting the best option.

Best Oils For Popcorn

OUR TOP PICK

Orville Redenbacher's Popping & Topping Buttery Flavored Oil, Keto Friendly, 16 Fluid Ounce, Pack of 6

The Orville Redenbacher's Popping & Topping Buttery Flavored Oil can be used to pop or top your popcorn. If you enjoy popcorn that is rich in flavor, you may wish to use it during both stages. 

It is simple to use as it is very similar to butter. Shake the bottle beforehand and then pour it onto your popcorn for even coverage. It comes in a generously sized 16 OZ bottle which is likely to see you through many uses. 

The richness of this oil encourages unpopped kernels to pop with a light and fluffy texture. It is also free of artificial preservatives, colors, and dyes and it is keto-friendly with 0 grams of net carbs.

Because of this, it is great for those who want to enjoy their snack without feeling as though they are overindulging.

Pros

  • Quantity - this popcorn oil comes in a pack of 6 so you have plenty available.
  • Value - as a multipack, this popcorn oil is great value for money.
  • Keto-friendly - provides a healthy alternative for those who don't want to miss out on eating this snack.
  • Versatility - it can be used with all popcorn machines including hot air poppers and stovetop popcorn poppers.

Cons

  • Taste - some customers have suggested that this oil lacks the taste intensity that they were expecting.

EDITORS CHOICE

Snappy Pure Colored Coconut Oil, 1 Gallon

For those looking to create movie theatre-style popcorn from the comfort of their own home, the Snappy Pure Coconut Popping Oil provides a great option.

Though it may be coconut oil, it has a delicious buttery flavor and it doesn't need to be melted beforehand so you can make your popcorn without having to worry about it burning. 

This popcorn oil has been made without using preservatives or chemicals and has been colored using beta carotene, a natural ingredient that is found in carrots. It is also a refined, non-hydrogenated oil that doesn't contain any trans fats either.

As a result, you can enjoy your popcorn without feeling as though you are consuming a hugely unhealthy snack.

Impressively, this popping oil comes in a generously sized 1-gallon tub which is expected to last for around 256 servings. As a result, you have plenty available to create many portions of great-tasting popcorn.

Pros

  • Versatility - the uses of this product aren't solely restricted to making popcorn as it can be used for many other cooking purposes too.
  • The Size - as this oil comes in a generously sized tub, it can see you through many uses.
  • Healthy - made from coconut oil, this popping oil provides a healthy alternative.
  • Easy to store - as it doesn't require refrigeration you don't have to worry about it taking up a lot of room if you have a smaller fridge.

Cons

  • The Container - Because this popcorn oil comes in a tub it can be a little difficult to get out as it can't be poured. 

BEST VALUE

Franklin’s Gourmet Popcorn Butter Flavored Coconut Oil - 30 oz. Tub - Delicious, Healthy, Zero Trans Fat - Gluten Free/Vegan Popcorn Oil - Authentic Movie Theater Taste – Made in USA

The Franklin's Gourmet Popcorn Coconut Oil creates mouthwatering, buttery popcorn just like you would enjoy at the movie theatre, except you can make it from home. It's super versatile.

Not only can it be used in popcorn machines, but it can also be used on the stove, in a saucepan, or in the microwave. 

A great thing about this oil is that it is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Made with all-natural ingredients it can be enjoyed by those with dietary requirements ensuring that no one has to miss out on a delicious snack. It doesn't contain any trans fats either which is great for those seeking a healthier option.

Just like our previous pick, this popcorn oil is a multipurpose product. While it is primarily intended for popcorn making, it can also be used for cooking a variety of other foods including meat, eggs, vegetables, and more. 

Pros

  • Money-Back Guarantee - If you are not satisfied with your purchase, the brand will offer you a refund.
  • Made in the USA - As this popcorn oil has been Made in the USA, you can be confident in the source of your product.
  • Vegan - the ingredients used to make this oil are suitable for those on vegan and gluten-free diets.
  • Taste - This coconut oil creates popcorn that is rich in a tasty buttery flavor.

Cons

  • Cost - this popcorn oil is a little pricey which may make it unappealing to some.

RUNNER UP

Dutchman’s Popcorn Coconut Oil | Butter Flavored Oil, 30oz Jar - Colored with Natural Beta Carotene, Makes Theater Style Popcorn, Vegan, Healthy, Zero Trans Fat, Gluten Free, Made in USA

The Dutchman's Popcorn Coconut Oil has a buttery flavor that is very similar to the popcorn that you would enjoy at a movie theatre.

It has a rich orange color which is created by the BETA carotene, a natural ingredient found in carrots that don’t contain preservatives or chemicals.

A great thing about this popcorn oil is that it is suitable for vegans and those that are on a gluten-free diet. Because of this, your diet requirements don't have to restrict you from enjoying great-tasting popcorn. 

For those looking for a healthier way of eating popcorn, this coconut oil provides a great alternative. It is non-hydrogenated and also doesn't contain any trans fats. The versatility of this coconut oil means that it can be added to several other recipes too.

Pros

  • The Size - as this popcorn oil comes in a 30-ounce container it is likely to last for many uses.
  • The Quantity - It can be bought alone or in a pack of 12 so you can choose the amount that you require. 
  • Affordable - in comparison to competitor offerings, this coconut oil is good value for money.
  • The Taste - this coconut oil oozes lots of flavors and creates delicious tasting popcorn.

Cons

  • Storage - if left at room temperature, this coconut oil will become solid and this will make it difficult to scoop out. 

RUNNER UP

Kernel Season's Movie Theater Popcorn Oil, Butter, 13.75 Ounce (Pack of 6)

The Kernel Season’s Movie Theatre Popcorn Oil comes in a pack of 6 so you have plenty available to cater to future popcorn cravings. As implied by the name, this oil will recreate the buttery taste of the popcorn that you enjoy at the theatre. 

This oil can be used as a popping oil inside your machine or a topping. If you intend to add it to your popcorn machine you simply need to pour it over the kernels and wait for them to begin popping.

If you would prefer to use it as a topping, you can simply pour it over the freshly popped popcorn ensuring that it is all evenly coated.

A great thing about this popcorn oil is that it is gluten-free certified so it accommodates different dietary requirements. Each serving only has 120 calories so you can enjoy your snack without feeling as though you are indulging in something that is super unhealthy. 

Pros

  • Made in the USA - this oil has been made in the USA so you are aware of the source of your purchase. 
  • Servings - you only need one tablespoon per serving and each bottle is expected to serve approximately 28 servings.
  • Bottle Design - the flip-top cap makes it easier to pour the oil directly into the machine. 
  • The Flavor - many customers praised the flavor of this popcorn as it tastes just like movie theatre popcorn.

Cons

  • Consistency - as this oil is a little thin it's sometimes easy to overpour it unintentionally. 

Best Oils For Popcorn Buying Guide

As you can see there are many varieties of popcorn oil available. Below we have listed some factors that we would advise you to consider before purchasing your product.

Best Oil For Popcorn

The Flavor

Many oils claim to replicate the flavor of movie theatre popcorn, however, you will find some that are better at doing this than others. Your personal preference is going to be a huge deciding factor in the type of oil that you choose.

Selecting one that doesn’t cater to your tastes is likely to result in a wasted purchase. The product packaging will state the flavor so you know exactly what you are buying beforehand. 

Versatility

A great thing about many popcorn oils is that they are not solely restricted to popcorn making uses, in fact, many can be used for a range of other cooking applications too. Because of this, you can enjoy the delicious flavor of the oil in many other recipes if its use is required. 

Dietary Requirements

Of course, it is super important to consider your own dietary needs before choosing your popcorn oil. Many are now made to cater to those on vegan and gluten-free diets.

If you are uncertain of any of the ingredients, it is always worth double-checking the packaging and product specifications beforehand. 

The Ingredients

The packaging of the product will state the ingredients. You will find that many are now made using natural, low-fat alternatives which is great for those who are conscious about eating healthy because they can still enjoy a great-tasting snack. 

The Quantity

Many brands offer their popcorn oils in multiple quantities and others offer their product in individual packs. It is important to bear this in mind before making your choice.

While opting for a multipack is great as you have several bottles available to make plenty of portions of popcorn in the future, popcorn oil can expire when stored for a lengthy period of time, so they may end up being a wasted purchase.

The Bottle/Jar Size

The size of the bottle or jar of oil that you require will depend on how much popcorn you expect to make. Of course, you don’t have to use it all in one sitting and larger jars offer plenty of servings for future batches of popcorn.

It’s worth noting that those that come in larger jars may be more difficult to store. Popcorn oil that is stored incorrectly is likely to become solid and difficult to use. Also, consider the design of the bottle.

Many come in jars meaning the oil will need to be scooped out and added into your popcorn machine. Others come in bottles designed with convenient tops which allow you to pour the oil directly into the machine making a minimal mess in the process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best oil for a popcorn machine?

Coconut oil tends to be the most commonly used in popcorn machines as it is deemed to be the best tasting option. This type of oil is also typically used to make movie theatre popcorn.

However, there isn't necessarily the best option available as your personal taste is going to be the deciding factor. 

Can you use butter instead of oil in a popcorn machine?

Adding butter to your popcorn machine sounds like a great way of creating popcorn with a nice buttery taste, however, this isn't the case. As butter has a lower heating point there is a greater risk of it burning the popcorn. 

What is the popped corn equivalent of one ounce of popcorn kernels?

One ounce of uncooked kernels yields one quart of cooked corn. Another way to look at this ratio is to think of a bag of microwave popcorn. A four-ounce bag of kernels (for a four-ounce popper) yields approximately the same amount of popped corn as a bag of microwave popcorn.

Depending on how much your guests love popcorn, a four-ounce serving of popcorn could serve about 8 servings. Don't forget to buy popcorn serving bags, scoop boxes, or tubs.

What makes theater popcorn taste so much better than microwave popcorn?

The taste and flavor of popcorn are determined by the type of oil and seasoning salt that is used in the cooking process. Most theaters use a specially formulated cooking oil that is partially absorbed by the popcorn as it pops.

This is what gives the popcorn its flavor. Most microwaveable popcorn is oil-less and comes out dry and flavorless.

What can I do if my popcorn comes out chewy?

Actually, popcorn is made up of hard starch and a little bit of moisture. This moisture is locked inside the kernel.

As the temperature rises the moisture turns to steam and pressure begins to build. This continues until the kernel cannot withstand the force any longer, and explodes into the goodness we know and love.

Because popcorn kernels tend to lose moisture as they age the popping performance and quality of the popcorn can diminish.

To ensure popcorn maintains the appropriate moisture level, never store popcorn kernels in a refrigerator or freezer. This can dry them out very quickly. Also do not store them in a moist basement or a humid garage.

The best place to keep your unpopped pop corn is on a pantry shelf (at room temperature, below 90°F) in a sealed container. You can typically expect popcorn to have a shelf life of about 18 months.

Freshly popped corn quickly absorbs humidity from the air. As the popcorn absorbs moisture, it loses its crispness and it can become chewy. If you run into this problem try popping with the metal serving door on your popper in its open position to help vent the moisture.

You can even keep the Plexiglas door slightly open as Paragon recommends, but watch out for stray popcorn if you are daring enough to keep it all the way open!

After the popcorn is done popping immediately open the plexiglass door and let the steam out. Depending on where you have placed your popper you may have more or less moisture in the air.

A damp basement is less than ideal but you can get around this by trying to keep the popcorn warm but dry. A popcorn warmer is ideal for this and is sometimes included in the popper's design depending on the model you have purchased.

Other factors that can play a part are an excess of oil used in the initial popping or too much popcorn added for your size kettle (use 4 oz. for a 4 ox kettle, 6 for 6 oz, and so on). Try experimenting and above all have fun with the possibilities!

How much oil and corn do I use in my popcorn machine?

Kettle Size

Amount of Oil

Amount of Corn

2 oz. 

1 TBSP

¼ cup

4 oz.

¼ cup

½ cup

6 oz.

¼ cup

¾ cup

8 oz.

⅓ cup

1 cup

12 oz.

½ cup

1½ cups

Andy Waters
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