Otherwise known as a popcorn popper, a popcorn maker is a machine used to pop popcorn. From time immemorial, popcorn has been a very popular snack. It's produced by the explosive expansion of kernels of heated corn.
The commercial popcorn machines were manufactured by Charles Cretors in the late 19th century. They became so popular and became a mainstay at movie theaters and carnivals. Notwithstanding, many types of small-scale methods for popping corn were created. Hence still exist to date. The 19th-century popcorn makers produced popcorn that has approximately 45% of its calories derived from fat.
In the late 1970s, hot air popcorn poppers were invented for home use. And these produced popcorn that has only 5% of its calories derived from fat.
Today, however, the greater amount of popcorn that's sold for home consumption is now packaged in a microwave popcorn bag for use in a microwave oven.
- Popcorn Maker Machine by Paramount - New 8oz Capacity Hot-Oil Popper
- 8 oz
- Read review
- Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style 8 oz. Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine
- 8 oz
- Read review
- Hamilton Beach 73310 Party Popper Popcorn Maker
- 24 cups
- Read review
- Great Northern Popcorn 6010 Roosevelt Top Antique Style Popcorn Popper Machine
- 8 oz
- Read review
- Great Northern Popcorn 6210 POPHEAVEN Commercial Quality Style Popcorn Popper Machine with 12-Ounce Kettle
- 12 oz
- Read review
Buyer's Guide for Choosing the Best Popcorn Maker
Searching for the right popcorn machine to buy can be overwhelming and disorienting. Outlined below are some of the things you should put into consideration while shopping for a popcorn machine. They will help you to best determine the machine that will suit your needs.
The higher the wattage of your popcorn machine, the quicker the cooking time. If you want to buy a home theater machine that will allow for quicker popping times, we recommend that you go for a model with at least 640 watts. Models that have lower wattages are ideal for you if you don't need to be making large batches of popcorn. If you need your popcorn quicker or are hosting an event, then go for a popcorn machine with 860 watts or more.
You may be wondering how much popcorn is best suited for your household. The size of the kettle will help you determine the home popcorn machine that is right for you. The larger the kettle, the greater the quantity of popcorn your machine will produce. If you will be popping corn for only one or two people, smaller popcorn machines will be ideal for you. On the other hand, if you will be popping corn for a family, look for a popcorn maker that has about 12-cup capacity or more.
Materials and construction
Ensure that the manufacturer you choose makes use of premium grade steel and tempered glass. It should be scratch resistant. Hence less prone to warping, in constructing the machines. Also, look for the quality of different parts; ensure that the machine is made with metal gears too.
Purchasing your own popcorn machine is a lot less expensive than you might think. Bearing the size of your wallet in mind, remember to look at consumer reviews. Especially when selecting a quality economy machine.
The manufacturer's warranty is one big thing to put into consideration. Make sure that you are dealing with a reputable company and that you can reach them by phone. Search for the manufacturers that offer intrinsic details of their warranty. Such as, "3 years on machine 30 days on kettle and lights". Especially for electric units, popcorn poppers can malfunction. It is ideal that you go for a machine that has a warranty of at least a year against manufacturer's defects.
Warming deck and heat lamp
Superior popcorn machines have warming decks for superior popcorn holding. Having the heating element positioned underneath the deck helps to keep the popped corn crisp. Hence reduces the problem of having your popcorn coming out chewy. A combination of this feature with the lamp/light offers you popcorn that remains warm and fresh for hours. Look for the machines that have these features, to ensure that your popcorn stays fresh and warm.
Packaging and the ease of buying online
Superior popcorn machine companies have products that are packaged in double-wall boxed cardboard. They ensure to deliver the popcorn machine to your doorstep safe and sound.
Average pop time
Most popcorn machines can pop about 10 to 14 cups of popcorn in two to four minutes. Some others require a bit of trial and error to discover the right cooking time. This is to avoid burning popcorn while minimizing kernels that have not been popped.
An inbuilt butter well
Electric popcorn makers that have inbuilt butter wells make it easy to melt. Hence distribute butter evenly during the cooking process. You can buy a machine with this installation if it suits your needs. This way, you will not have to soil another dish to melt butter.
A stirring mechanism to reduce burning
The best hot-oil popcorn makers have an integrated stirring mechanism. This keeps the kernels moving. Thereby popping most of the kernels without scorched or burnt popcorn. However, a stirring mechanism is not needed in a hot air popper.
Popcorn machines make use of heat to pop kernels. This implies that the machines can become extremely hot to the touch. You should go for popcorn makers that have handles, ventilation, and other features. Thus ensuring safer use.
Ability to add seasonings
If you love salt, butter, sugar, milk, and other toppings on your popcorn, go for a popcorn maker that provides for the addition of seasonings. Most microwave poppers, for instance, allow seasonings to be added before cooking. This will help an even distribution and built-in flavor.
What are your dietary restrictions?
If your goal is to cut out extra calories, you are free to narrow your choice of popcorn machine to a stand-alone hot air popper. Or a microwave popper that does not need oil. However, if you can't see yourself bailing out totally on oil, there are poppers that are able to produce flavorful popcorn with a little amount of oil.
Put into consideration whether you want an appliance that will sit on your kitchen counter permanently. Or you would prefer to store it in a cabinet or closet. Also, take a look at the shape of the popper. This is to ensure that it will stack neatly with other items in your cabinet. Hence without taking up a lot of cabinet space.
Size of your microwave
If you want to buy a microwave popper, you have to take measurements of your microwave's cavity. If your microwave is too compact, certain microwave poppers might not fit inside.
Do you have a preferred brand of popcorn?
Manufacturers of popcorn machines have stated that some popcorn makers work best with certain brands of popcorn.
However, this is a matter of personal taste. If you have a preferred brand, you should try to read the owner's feedback. So, you'll find out if your popcorn maker works well with your choice of kernels.
In addition, manufacturers of popcorn machines offer suggestions on flavoring and seasoning combinations. They work well with various popcorn makers and some models that come with recipe books.
Our Top 10 Popcorn Makers Reviews
The Paramount - New 8oz Capacity Hot-Oil Popper is an amazing machine. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and has a maximum capacity of 8 ounces. Also, it has a rotational and detachable hot-oil kettle. As well as an inbuilt electric steering system with a low noise motor.
It features a convenient on/off control switch, a popcorn scoop, a detachable clear acrylic door. Moreover, it also has clear acrylic walls and a full instruction manual. It is very easy to use and clean and operates on a standard outlet of 110v with 480 Watts. It is highly efficient and compact.
It is ETL approved. This machine is not ideal for commercial purposes. Hence is not designed for high volume applications. The machine body and clear walls are basically made of plastic.
|It comes with a warranty.||It does not have a light.|
|Very easy to use and clean.||Basically made of plastic.|
|Highly efficient and compact.|
|The kettle and door are easy to remove and install, for easy cleaning.|
|This popcorn maker is lightweight and very affordable.|
The Great Northern Popcorn Red Matinee Movie Theater Style 8 oz. Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine is completely made of tempered glass. It works on a standard outlet of 110v with a power of 640 Watts.
This machine has superior paint and enhanced colors. It has a 3 position control switch and makes roughly 2 to 3 gallons of popcorn per batch. It comes with 50 free popcorn bags, large scoop, 3 hard plastic containers, and measuring scoops. Also, it comes with a 3-year warranty on the machine. And a 30-day limited warranty on all consumable parts including kettles and/or light bulbs.
|Easy to set up and use.||The directions in the manual are not clear and could be misleading.|
|Leaving the light on will make your popcorn crispy for hours.|
|It comes with a 3-year warranty on the machine and 30days limited warranty on the parts.|
Hamilton Beach Party Popper makes sure that you enjoy theater-quality popcorn. You can even customize the flavor to the taste of everyone. During the popping of the kernels, they are automatically stirred around the nonstick cooking surface. This will give you fluffy results of delicious popcorn.
This popcorn machine pops up to 24 cups per batch. The base can be used as a convenient serving bowl. It has a detachable popping chamber, which is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. It has a top and bottom nest for storage, as well as a unique measuring cup for oil and kernels.
|Very easy to use and clean.||Kettle gets hot enough to scorch or melt whatever it touches, after the popping process.|
|Pops large batches of popcorn.||The cord should have been longer.|
|Has a foolproof measuring cup.||Very expensive and takes up a lot of space on the kitchen counter or cabinet.|
|The kettle is well ventilated, leaving the popcorn crisp and fresh.|
The Great Northern Popcorn 6010 Roosevelt Top Antique Style Popcorn Popper Machine, 8-Ounce is a nice deluxe model. It comes with 3 position control switch instead of the 2 positions. It has a whopping power of 860 Watt. The switches include spot light warmer, stirrer and pot heater.
It has a heated warming deck, an inbuilt warmer light, a popcorn scoop, a reject kernel tray kernel, and oil scoop. It's constructed with heavy-duty powder-coated steel and stainless steel. Hence cleans up with water. It pops roughly 3 gallons of popcorn per batch and only requires minor assembly.
|Assembly is fast and easy.||The kettle will get rusty after a series of extended use.|
|It is affordable.|
|Pops extremely fast.|
|Ideal for a large type of family.|
|Big size, can accommodate up to 7 or 8 batches.|
The Great Northern Popcorn 6200 Bar Style Popcorn Popper Machine Commercial gives people the type of popcorn they desire. This durable popcorn machine is perfect for home uses. Also, it makes an unbelievable 80 cups of delicious popcorn per batch. All you need to do is to put the kernels in the kettle, let them pop, and then prepare to serve. It has a power of 1350 watts and works on a standard outlet of 110-volt.
This machine is scratch-resistant, has tempered glass doors, and ensures very quiet operation. It features a popcorn scoop and a reject kernel tray. Moreover, it only requires a very minor assembly. Its 3 switches include spot light warmer, stirrer, and pot heater.
It is very easy to clean with water, for convenience. The kettle holds 12ounces of kernels. Also, it comes with a scope, salt shaker, measuring cups, and 3 plastic popcorn boxes.
|Pops corn in very large batches.||It’s expensive.|
|Very easy to clean with water, for convenience.||This machine takes too much space.|
|Easy to set up and use.|
|Ideal for commercial use.|
The Cuisinart CPM-28 Classic-Style Popcorn Maker requires no time to heat up. As the mechanized spinner moves kernels to ensure even cooking. It has a tilt access door that ensures easy serving. The door and nonstick kettle are detachable for fast and easy cleanup. It comes with a popcorn scoop, kernel measuring cup, and oil measuring spoon.
|Relatively affordable.||There should be a separate power switch to heat the kettle and another to stir. This is to avoid popcorn still inside from burning. Hence to ensure that kernels that have not popped still have a chance to pop.|
|Very well made and sturdy.||The stirrer should be wider as it leaves kernels that have not been popped outside its reach.|
|The motor is very quiet and it pops very fast.||The plastic used to house the popcorn maker is of low quality and very flimsy, as it cracks easily.|
|Easy to set up, use, and clean.|
If you are in the market for a popcorn popper, look no further. The Great Northern Popcorn top quality machine features stainless steel food zones. It has easy cleaning stainless steel kettles and an exclusive warming deck. Also, it has old-maid drawers, tempered safety glass panels, and an industry-leading 8-ounce kettle. It comes with a FREE Starter Kit: 25 FREE serving bags, measuring cups and a popcorn scoop with every popper.
This machine features a deluxe model with 3 control switches and a power of 820 watts. Its motor is very quiet. The switches include spot light warmer, stirrer and pot heater. It has tempered safety glass walls, high impact polycarbonate doors, warming deck, and inbuilt warmer light. Other features include a popcorn scoop, reject kernel tray, kernel, and oil scoop.
The machine is constructed with heavy-duty powder-coated steel and stainless steel. It cleans up easily with water and produces about 3 gallons of popcorn per batch. It works on a standard outlet of 110 volts with a power of 820 watts.
This awesome machine's robust design and craftsmanship are backed up by a 5-year warranty on the machine. As well as a 30-day limited warranty on all consumable parts including kettles and/or light bulbs. It only requires minor assembly.
|It is easy to set up, clean, and use.||Leaves behind too many kernels that won’t be popped.|
|Relatively affordable and lightweight.||The kettle is small.|
|Ideal for a little group of people.|
|Sturdy construction that can withstand abuse.|
With the Waring Pro Popcorn Maker with Melting Station, you are able to make up to 20 cups of irresistible popcorn. And so as your favorite melted topping in minutes. A motorized stirrer keeps the corn in motion. So every kernel pops to fluffy, crisp-tender perfection. While the built-in warming pot heats up butter, chocolate, or caramel for drizzling on top.
This popcorn machine features a motorized stirring mechanism. It keeps the corn in constant motion. This is a time-honored technique that has an even distribution of heat. So that every kernel pops perfectly. The machine pops 20 cups of popcorn quickly in minutes.
The durable lid is vented to prevent condensation and soggy popcorn. It also doubles as a serving bowl when popping is complete. Its attached lift-out melting pot comes with clear lid features for high and low settings. It's perfect for melting caramel, chocolate sauce, butter, and more. Besides, it makes use of the halogen heating system for a quick heat-up time, no. There are recipes included too.
|The kettle is easy to remove and wash after popping.||The butter melter makes the popcorn soggy.|
|It has a small pan and stirrer for melting butter.||You have to watch it and turn it off when the popping is done, to avoid burning the popcorn.|
|The machine is of high quality.|
|Pops corn very quickly.|
The Pop Pup popcorn maker features a revolutionary removable serving tray. It is the first of its kind.
When the corn has finished popping, remove the tray and enjoy your fresh theater popcorn in the convenience of your home. The slide-out popcorn serving tray makes cleanup easy, as it is dishwasher safe. This retro-styled countertop popper is stylishly designed and it features a 2.5oz. stainless steel kettle and a warming light to keep the popcorn warm and fresh.
It pops approximately 1 gallon of popcorn per batch. It is ideal for couples, popcorn family nights, and movie time.
This wonderful popcorn machine comes with a removable popcorn tray. As well as measuring spoon, measuring cup, and instruction manual. It requires only a minor assembly. Also, it comes with a 30-day warranty on Kettle, and a 90-day warranty on the machine. It also features 2 popping kettle hangers, a removable popcorn tray, a measuring spoon, and a cup.
|The machine is easy to use.||It pops corn in tiny batches.|
|Setup and cleanup are easy with this machine.||Not ideal for commercial purposes.|
|It is self-stirring and pops almost all the kernels.||Made of thin plastic.|
|The machine has a light that acts to keep the popcorn warm.||The cable is a little too long and gets in the way.|
The Superior Popcorn Company 4660 Movie Night Popper Machine and Cart, 8 oz, Black is a deluxe model. It comes with 3 control switches and a power of 850 watts. In this machine, the popcorn is stored in the base. Its switches include spot light warmer, stirrer and pot heater. It works on a standard 110 volt.
|Relatively affordable.||It could be a bit wider so loading popcorn would be easier.|
|Works efficiently and is attractive.|
|Easy to assemble.|
|Well built and of good quality.|
|It comes with plenty of storage at the bottom.|
Choosing the right popcorn machine can bring about a positive turnaround in life and family. Or how you enjoy your favorite snack during family hangouts or movie night in your home. If you are a popcorn lover, investing in the best popcorn maker will not be a decision to regret.
Having gone through some models of popcorn machines, we recommend that you buy the Waring Pro Popcorn Maker with Melting Station. This is due to its high quality, durability, affordability, and speed.
In conclusion, choosing the best popcorn maker is your very own decision. But if what you desire most is the best to use in your family bonding time, in your business and occasions.
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