Nothing quite beats theater style popcorn. But how can you recreate tasty popcorn from the comfort of your own kitchen?
Whenever you try to make it on the stovetop or in the microwave, very little kernels actually pop enough to give you the large quantities of tasty popcorn that you’re after. Sometimes they can even catch and burn on the bowl or pan.
This is where a popcorn machine will come in handy. This is a machine that has been designed with creating tasty popcorn in mind. So you will be able to enjoy theater quality popcorn year round without having to worry about differing results.
By using a popcorn machine, you can get the consistency that you’re after from your homemade popcorn. But with so many different popcorn machines on the market, how can you be sure that you’ve found the best popcorn machine?
That’s where we want to help! We’ve done all the hard work for you so that you don’t have to. We’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of products to find the very best that the market has to offer.
So you can rest assured that all of the popcorn machines that we have reviewed in more detail below will be just the thing that you’re after. So let’s take a look at the best popcorn machines!
Best Popcorn Machines
OUR TOP PICK
The West Bend Hot Oil Theater Style Popcorn Machine easily ranked top in all of our tests when it came to finding the best popcorn machine.
This particular popcorn machine comes with a range of great features to help you make the most of your favorite treat. It even comes with a range of accessories to get you started, including a popcorn scoop, kernels scooper, and oil scooper.
You’ll be able to enjoy popcorn in no time at all if you opt for this particular popcorn machine. When we tested this popcorn machine we found that it was able to make tasty popcorn in as little as 5 to 6 minutes.
It was also super easy to use, and came with a comprehensive list of instructions to show you how to use the machine for the first time.
Another great feature of this popcorn machine is that it was super easy to clean once we’d finished testing it.
The kettle of the popcorn machine is non-stick, so the leftover kernels and oil were easy to clean up. The kettle also featured a removable lid and stirring rod to make it even easier to clean.
- Space saving design - won’t take up lots of room in your home
- Easy to use - comes with a range of features to make the machine easier to use
- Fast popping - you’ll have all the tasty popcorn that you can eat within 5 to 6 minutes
- Smaller cooking capacity - you can only cook 1 cup of kernels at a time
If you’re serious about your popcorn, then the Great Northern Popcorn Machine should be your top choice. This particular popcorn machine features a more commercial design so that you can enjoy theater quality popcorn in no time at all.
What we really liked about this popcorn machine when we were testing it was how easy it was to move around. The design features a wheel to make it easy to move around your home as needed.
So once you’ve finished using it, you can simply store it away in your nearest cupboard.
This popcorn machine couldn’t be easier to use. It features a 3 switch design to make the process even more straightforward. It also comes with stainless steel parts to make the popcorn machine easier to clean once you’ve finished using it.
- Portability - features a wheeled design to make it easier to move as needed
- Easy to clean - comes with stainless steel parts to make it easier to clean
- Commercial quality - enjoy all the theater quality popcorn that you could wish for
- Large - will take up a fair amount of space in your home
Searching for a more compact design? Then the West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine should be your popcorn machine of choice.
This particular popcorn machine features the stirring style, which is much more compact. You won’t have to worry about it taking up lots of room in your home.
You won’t have to worry about this popcorn machine taking ages to clean once you’ve finished using it. This particular popcorn machine comes with a non-stick hot plate inside so that you can simply wipe it down with a damp cloth once you’ve finished using it.
What we really loved about this popcorn machine when we tested it is that it comes with an easy to use stirring rod. This automatically turns the popcorn and kernels inside the machine to ensure that you get the maximum amount of kernels popped.
- Compact design - won’t take up lots of space on your countertop
- Easy to clean - features a non-stick coating on the internal hot plate
- Efficient popping - comes with a stirring rod to move the kernels around
- Wipe clean - doesn’t come with dishwasher friendly parts
Enjoy a bowl full of tasty popcorn, but don’t like the idea of it being slathered in hot oil?
Then you should choose the Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Machine. This particular style of popcorn machine gives you healthier popcorn overall, as it only uses hot air to get the kernels to pop.
Another great feature of this popcorn machine is that it is wonderfully versatile. It comes with a butter melter so that you can add melted butter to your popcorn if you so wish.
However, when we tested this product, we found that this butter melter could also double as a measuring cup for your popcorn.
We also found that this popcorn machine was highly efficient in terms of how quickly it could pop its contents. We discovered that this popcorn machine was able to pop around 18 cups of popcorn in as little as 2.5 minutes.
- Healthier popcorn - uses hot air to pop your popcorn instead of oil
- Versatile - the butter melter also doubles as a measuring cup for your popcorn
- Compact design - easier to store away in the cupboard when it’s not in use
- Power - model doesn’t come with an on/off switch
To get the best of both worlds in terms of capacity and quality, you should opt for the Popcorn Maker Machine by Paramount.
This particular popcorn machine is capable of popping up to 8 ounces of popcorn without taking up too much space on your kitchen countertop.
A great feature that we noticed when testing this product is that it is super easy to clean. This is all thanks to the non-stick kettle where your kernels start popping.
This popcorn machine is also super easy to use, and features a front door so that you can scoop out the popcorn you need.
What we really loved about this popcorn machine is that it came with a range of additional accessories for you to use. So you won’t have to worry about purchasing that popcorn scoop to get your tasty popcorn out of the machine!
- Efficient popping - gives you more popped kernels thanks to the non-stick kettle
- Large capacity - can hold up to 8 ounces of popped popcorn
- Additional accessories - popcorn scoop included as standard
- Reduce popcorn - some customers found fewer unpopped kernels if you reduced the popcorn placed in the machine
Best Popcorn Machines Buying Guide
Searching for the best popcorn machine can be a real challenge. Especially if you’ve never bought one before!
How are you meant to know which features you should prioritize when it comes to choosing the best popcorn machine? Which features will be essential to ensure that you get the quality popcorn that you’re after?
We’ve taken the guesswork out of the process for you and collated together everything you need to know about popcorn machines in this handy buyer’s guide.
We made sure to include all of the essential features that we used to select our favorite products that we’ve reviewed in more detail above down below. So as long as you bear the below features in mind, you can rest assured that your chosen popcorn machine will be perfect for your needs.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about popcorn machines below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.
Style of popcorn machine
One of the most important factors that you will need to consider of course is what style of popcorn machine that you would like to opt for.
There are three different types of popcorn machines that you can choose from: theater style popcorn machine, stirring popcorn machine, and a hot air popcorn machine.
Arguably the best of the three is the theater style popcorn machine. These are typically large capacity machines that can help you to craft ounce after ounce of delicious popcorn.
These are very efficient machines that use a cooking pot to heat up the popcorn kernels, then eject these popped kernels into the main body of the machine.
However, these machines are also the largest of the three, so will take up a lot of space in your home. They are often more expensive than the other two models, too.
The stirring popcorn machine is just the thing that you need for making popcorn from the comfort of your own kitchen without taking up too much room.
These styles of popcorn machine are basically like the cooking pot of the theater style popcorn machine but without the larger external storage for fresh popcorn.
These are more compact than the theater style popcorn machine, however, you need to make sure that you use coconut oil with them as butter will catch and burn on the bottom of the pan.
The third type of popcorn machine makes use of hot air to pop the kernels. This is of course much healthier than popcorn that has been doused in liters of oil. They are typically more compact too, and a lot more budget friendly.
However, because they only use hot air to pop your popcorn, they aren’t as efficient as the other two types of popcorn machine that we’ve mentioned.
Ultimately choosing the best out of the three will depend on your personal preferences, and what you’re looking for from a popcorn machine.
Size and capacity
Now that you’ve decided to invest in a popcorn machine, you will need to think about how much space you have to play with in your home. What size popcorn machine can you accommodate?
Do you have the room for a larger theater style popcorn machine, or do you require something a little more compact?
It will be important to measure the space you have available beforehand. This will give you a better idea of which type of popcorn machine you can opt for.
Another important factor in terms of size is to think about the capacity of your chosen popcorn machine. This will dictate how much popcorn your machine can hold at any one time.
One of the best things about the theater style popcorn machine is that it features a naturally larger capacity. Stirring style popcorn machines will have a much smaller capacity, and hot air style popcorn machines will have an even smaller capacity than those.
If the capacity of your chosen popcorn machine is important to you, then you should make sure to check what the capacity of your chosen popcorn machine is before you commit to your purchase.
Easy to clean
It will be important to opt for a popcorn machine that will be easy to clean once you have finished using it.
Can you easily disassemble the individual components of the popcorn machine so that they are easier to clean? Or do you have to wash several parts of them together with a damp cloth? Are there dishwasher friendly parts included to make the process even easier for you?
Ultimately, the easier your popcorn machine is to clean after each use, the more useful it will be. Nobody wants bits of burnt popcorn from several batches ago lurking in their bowl! Make sure that your chosen popcorn machine is easy to clean once you have finished using it.
Easy to use
Another important factor to consider is how easy the popcorn machine will be to use. Does your chosen popcorn machine come with a comprehensive list of instructions for you to follow before you first use it?
Is the whole process fairly straightforward? Does it come with all the essential hardware you need to get started?
It will be crucial to opt for a model that is super easy to use. This will make your life even easier, and will mean that you can enjoy your popcorn treat without too much hassle.
If you opt for a model that is fairly complicated to use, this will mean that you have to wait for even longer before you can tuck in to your favorite treat.
Once you have chosen your style of popcorn machine, the size you would like, among many other factors, you should start to think about any additional accessories that you would like. This will include things such as scoopers, measuring cups, butter melters, and serving cups.
If your chosen popcorn maker includes a variety of additional accessories as standard, this will save you from having to purchase these separately.
Lastly, you will need to think about how much budget you have to play with when it comes to choosing the best popcorn machine for your needs.
Some of the more efficient models such as the theater style popcorn machines often cost a lot more than the smaller, more compact stirring machines. So if you want a highly efficient machine, you will need to accommodate its larger price tag.
It will be best not to opt for the cheapest popcorn machine that you can find. This is because cheaper machines won’t last you as long as a popcorn machine that you have invested a reasonable amount of money in.
If you buy cheap, you often have to buy twice. Similarly, you shouldn’t splash out thousands of dollars just to find the best popcorn machine. There are lots of reasonably priced popcorn machines that we have reviewed in more detail for you above.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of popcorn maker is best?
Out of the two styles of popcorn maker on the market, the best type to opt for is
The best popcorn machines on the market are:
- West Bend Hot Oil Theater Style Popcorn Machine
- Great Northern Popcorn Machine
- West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Machine
- Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Machine
- Popcorn Maker Machine by Paramount
How do I choose a popcorn machine?
There are several factors that you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the best popcorn machine for your needs.
These factors will include: which style of popcorn maker you would prefer; the size of the machine and how easy it is to store when not in use, the capacity of your chosen machine; how easy it is to clean when you’ve finished using it; how easy it will be to use; what kind of budget you have to play with; and whether your chosen popcorn machine comes with a range of additional accessories for you to use.
Is a popcorn maker better than a microwave?
Yes, a popcorn maker is better for making popcorn than a microwave. This is because a popcorn maker has been designed with crafting perfect popcorn in mind, so you won’t have to worry about burnt or uncooked corn kernels.
By opting for a popcorn machine to make your popcorn, you will get the consistent results that you are after.