How to Make Popcorn in a Popcorn Machine

Andy Waters
Latest posts by Andy Waters (see all)

Popcorn is a wonderfully versatile tasty treat that is often associated with the movie theatre. However, you can also make this buttery, sugary treat from the comfort of your own home. You can of course do so using your stovetop, but the process can sometimes be very temperamental. Sometimes the kernels won’t pop at all, or you just can’t imitate the tasty treat that you can get at the movie theatre.

A popcorn machine has been designed to make your life even easier. This machine does all of the hard work for you so that you can simply enjoy your tasty treat. But if you’ve never used a popcorn machine before, the whole process may seem a little confusing. Especially if you’ve had your popcorn machine second hand and it doesn’t come with the manual!

Today, we’re going to cover how you can make your favorite treat in a popcorn machine. So sit back with your empty bowl, and it’ll be filled with tasty homemade popcorn in no time at all!

How to Make Popcorn in a Popcorn Machine

The first thing to note is that there are two different types of popcorn machine for you to choose from. These include the stirring popcorn maker and the theatre style popcorn machine.

How to Make Popcorn in a Stirring Popcorn Machine

First, you will need to setup the popcorn machine so that it’s ready to go. Most stirring popcorn machines feature a bowl, a metal mixer, and a lid. Set the bowl ready to go, ensuring that it is on a stable surface. Make sure that the base is firmly in place, too, so that the popcorn won’t be going everywhere.

Next, you will need to place your popcorn kernels and oil inside the stirring machine. It’s best not to use butter for this style of machine because it will melt and sink to the bottom of your popcorn machine bowl, where it will burn.

Now all you’ll need to do is switch on your popcorn machine and watch the magic happen!

How to Make Popcorn in a Theatre Style Popcorn Machine

These types of machines tend to be much larger than the stirring machine that we’ve mentioned above. These will typically feature a metal cooking chamber in the top center of the machine. As the kernels cook in here, they get chucked out into the main body of the popcorn machine, ready for you to help yourself.

Similar to the stirring popcorn machine, you will need to add your popcorn kernels and oil to this cooking chamber. Next, you will need to switch on the popcorn machine and allow it to get to work. As the popcorn starts to cook, it will begin to fill the rest of the machine so that you can dig in.

Adding Flavors and Seasonings to Your Popcorn

It is best to do this after you have finished cooking your popcorn. This is because if you were to try and add the seasonings and flavors to your popcorn machine, these could catch and burn, leaving you with sad tasting popcorn. If you want to add things like caramel, chocolate, nuts, or cinnamon, these are best sprinkled onto your bowl of popcorn before you serve it.

Do You Put Oil in a Popcorn Machine?

Yes, you do need to put oil in a popcorn machine. This is because your popcorn kernels will need to be bathed in the hot oil so that they can pop. If you were to try and cook popcorn kernels without adding oil to your popcorn machine, these will start to burn and become inedible.

The best type of oil to use in your popcorn machine is coconut oil. This is because coconut oil is one of the best oils in terms of clean burning. So you won’t have to worry about it catching or leaving you with a smoky mess.

Other popular types of neutral cooking oils for making popcorn include canola oil. A lot of people prefer to use this type of oil because it is typically lower in cholesterol and fat. You can also use soy oil and sunflower oil if you would prefer these instead of coconut oil.

It’s best to avoid vegetable oil or oils with a low smoking point, as these will be more smoky and leave you with nasty tasting popcorn.

Can You Use Butter Instead of Oil in a Popcorn Machine?

No, you can’t use butter instead of oil in a popcorn machine. This is because butter has a lower smoking point than oil, and it typically sinks to the bottom of the machine where it will burn. If you were to try and use butter in place of oil to make your popcorn, this will likely burn and leave you with burnt popcorn.

The only time you can add butter to your popcorn is if you have opted for a stirring machine that comes with a special butter reservoir that holds butter as it melts. This will allow the butter to slowly melt and drip over your popcorn kernels as they pop, without sinking to the bottom of your machine.

How Much Popcorn and Oil Do I Use in a Popcorn Machine?

The amount of popcorn kernels and oil that you need to use in a popcorn machine will depend on several factors. These will include the size of the machine itself, as well as how many people you want to make popcorn for. Below is a rough estimate for amounts that you will need to use.

Servings RequiredOil NeededKernels NeededSize of Machine
4¼ cup½ cup4 ounces
6¼ cup¾ cup6 ounces
8⅓ cup1 cup8 ounces
12½ cup1 ½ cups12 ounces
14½ cup1 ¾ cups14 ounces
16⅔ cup2 cups16 ounces

In Summary

So there you have it! It couldn’t be easier to make your very own tasty popcorn in a popcorn maker. It has been designed for that very purpose, after all! All you will need to do is place your popcorn kernels into the popcorn machine, along with the oil or butter that you wish to use, then let the popcorn machine do its magic.

By using a popcorn machine to create your popcorn, you can enjoy this tasty treat whenever you fancy it! Movie nights will never be the same without your homemade popcorn.