4 Different Types of Popcorn Makers for Movie Night at Home

Who doesn't love kicking back at home to watch movies or some of the amazing TV series on Netflix, HBO and elsewhere? It's even better with a big bowl of popcorn (our 3 year old certainly thinks so - he's a popcorn fanatic). Discover the 4 main types of popcorn makers you can get for your home.
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Hot air popcorn maker

With the new season of Game of Thrones creating such a massive buzz, most GOT fans prefer watching the new episode in great peace and silence. They often also make great preparations to watch the episode like creating a comfortable seating space, connecting loud speakers to the television, and, most importantly, having big bowl of popcorn ready because where there is fun and drama, there has to be popcorn too!

Not just GOT, but no movie night at home is complete without that crunchy, airy, and fluffy popcorn to much on.

If you are also an avid popcorn lover, you are probably well aware of how bad those microwave popcorn bags are. Not only are they oily and soggy sometimes, but are also full of extra calories.

So, what do you do? You can’t have a movie night without an endless supply of popcorn, right? Perhaps, it is time for you to invest in a handy, easy-to-use popcorn maker to devour and enjoy fresh and crispy homemade popcorn with your favorite seasonings and toppings!

The most important question that arises here, though, is what type of popcorn maker should you get?

There are different types of popcorn makers with minor to massive differences in terms of convenience, speed, output, cost, and durability. Each type also has its own key advantages or pros, as well as some disadvantages. However, they are all fairly easy to use.

These are the four main types of popcorn makers along with popular examples of each type.

1. Microwave Popcorn Makers

As the name obviously suggests, a microwave popcorn maker is one that you place in the microwave. This type of popcorn maker brings you the great ease and convenience of being able to enjoy fresh and healthy popping popcorns within a matter of few minutes.

A typical microwave popcorn maker is made from temperature safe borosilicate glass that you can fill with kernel corns till the top. Since the main glass container is microwavable, you can also microwave your popcorn without using any oil. There are also other varieties that are made of microwavable plastic.

The lid of this popper is often made from silicon and serves two main purposes: it acts as a kernel measure, and is also used to melt butter. So, if you like your popcorns with a little salted butter, all you need to do is put a small dollop of butter on the lid. Once the kernel corns begin popping, the lid will help melt the butter and you can enjoy delicious salted butter popcorn!

On average, any microwave popcorn maker takes about two to four minutes to pop almost twelve cups of popcorn. However, that also depends on the size of the maker and the container that comes with it.

Some of the best and most popular microwave popcorn poppers include:

HOTPOP Microwave Popcorn Popper

This popcorn maker is a solid investment if you often find yourself craving for quick and healthy popcorn. It comes in a variety of colors, and has the ability to pop over 15 cups of popcorn within a few minutes. All you need to do is measure out a cup of corn kernels and stir in a small amount of any oil that is available. Set the appropriate temperature on your microwave and you will have a delicious bowl of salty, nutty popcorn ready right in front of you.

One of the most beneficial features of this popcorn maker is that it is easily collapsible which makes storage incredible easy and convenient. It is also super easy to clean, so a soapy sponge might just do the job. However, the bowl tends to get really hot when used continuously so you must watch out for that.

Utopia Kitchen Popcorn Popper

Utopia Kitchen Popcorn Popper - Microwaveable - Collapsible and Compact Silicone Bowl - Dishwasher Safe - No Oil Needed - BPA Free - Cool Touch Handles

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This popcorn maker is perfect for those who are big on eating healthy food. The materials used to make this popper machine are free from BPA which helps ensure that that there are no health-risks of any kind.

The main container of the popper is made from silicon which is not only safe and durable, but also has the ability to handle a wide range of temperatures.

This popcorn maker is super affordable and can pop about 15 cups of popcorn at a time. it has cool touch handles and you will also find graduated markings on the inside that help make the whole process super quick and convenient. The major downside of this popper is that the bowl is not collapsible so storage can be a slight hassle for those with limited space.

2. Hot Air Popcorn Makers

These popcorn makers make use of heated air to make popcorn. They consist of an in-built fan system that is located in their main compartment. Once the air heating process is turned on, the popper will shoot out fresh popcorn within a few minutes that helps cook the kernels properly and thoroughly.

The most distinctive feature or quality of a hot air popcorn maker is that it produces super fluffy and airy popcorn that is not oily at all. It also allows you to choose how much butter or salt you want on your popcorn.

Although many people prefer microwave popcorn makers since they are so amazingly convenient and quick, air-popped popcorn is actually a more affordable and healthier alternative.

A typical hot air popcorn maker comes with the main popping machine that has a plastic guard attached to it at the top. Some varieties also come with a measuring cup that helps make it easy for you to measure out the exact amount of the kernels.

Many people often prefer using the measuring cup on the top in order to melt the butter. So while the kernels pop in the machine, the butter melts simultaneously which you can then pour over your freshly popped popcorn and devour yummy butter popcorn within just a few minutes.

If you ever wish to purchase an excellent hot air popcorn maker, here are some of the best options for you.

West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

West Bend 82505 Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper Machine with Stirring Rod Offers Large Lid for Serving Bowl and Convenient Storage, 6-Quart, Red

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This is an incredible hot air popcorn maker with unmatched performance, top-notch quality, and immense convenience. This popper consists of a triple-layer heating plate that results in increased insulation in order to fully and thoroughly pop the kernels and make them super airy and crispy.

It has a clear cover that lets you see the whole popping action. On the top of the cover, you will find a butter well in which you can place your butter cube or stick and allow it to melt. The heat from the popper allows the butter to melt and then slowly drizzle over the top of the popcorn.

The popper makes about 27 cups of fresh, healthy popcorn within just 4 minutes. The non-stick heating surface allows you to have the best popcorn experience without having to worry about kernels stuck to the bottom of the machine.

Another great feature of this popper is that it has really steep side walls that help the kernels stay on the hottest part of the machine and pop at a faster rate.

Presto Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popper

PRESTO POPCORN POPPER AIR (Blue)

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This air popper is ideal for those who are looking for a simple and basic popcorn maker that gives you fresh and delicious popcorn minus all the fancy features. It pops 30 percent faster than a microwave with zero amounts of un-popped kernels – guaranteed!

The machine has a fountain design that lets the popcorn fall right out of the side once they are done popping. An excellent feature of this popper is that it easily pops with using any oil so all the weight watchers out there can eat popcorn with 42 percent fewer calories compared to microwave bag popcorn.

3. Stovetop Popcorn Makers

These popcorn makers have been reviewed to be the best of all the popper options in terms of convenience, durability, popcorn quality, and quantity. It works really well for times when you want to make a lot of popcorn without compromising on the quality.

Stovetop popcorn makers have been said to have the ability to produce that kind of taste popcorn that you get at movie theaters. The main popcorn pot is usually made from stainless steel that ensures great durability, and also makes it easy to use on the stove top.

These are basically specialized pots that can cook popcorn at the preferred temperature. All you need to do is crank your stove burner to low heat, and then add in the desired amount of kernels with a few tablespoons of oil. While the kernels pop, you can also add your favorite seasonings along with butter for a more flavorful batch of popcorn.

There is a great variety of stovetop popcorn makers out there, each with its specific features and characteristics.

Franklin’s Whirley Pop Stove Top Popcorn Maker

This stovetop popcorn maker is one of the best of the lot and is quite a novelty purchase for all popcorn lovers. It is made from incredibly lightweight aluminum that heats up quickly and allows for the kernels to be cooked thoroughly and evenly.

The aluminum kettle pan is extra large and 6-qt that helps distribute the heat evenly. The real wood crank handle is easy to move, and the metal gears prevent the burning of kernels by carefully distributing heat to all of them until they are popped to perfection.

It is also really easy to clean and all you have to do is just wipe the pot with a paper towel once you are using it.

Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper

Wabash Valley Farms - Stovetop Popcorn Popper - Whirly Pop with Popping Kit - Silver - Perfect Popcorn in 3 Minutes

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With a stainless steel stirring system, a wooden hand crank, and a six quart aluminum pot, this stove top popcorn maker is another great option for all those who fancy quick, homemade popcorn. The stirring system prevents the kernels from being stuck to the bottom of the surface while the size of the pot provides an equal distribution of heat and oil.

The best part about this popper is that it comes with a delicious real theatre popping kit that includes gourmet popping oil, fresh kernel pops and their secret buttery salt, all which help provide you with the ultimate movie theatre popcorn!

4. Commercial Popcorn Makers

Also known as ‘Professional Popcorn Makers,’ these are some of the most expensive popping machines available out there. While their prices range from $150 to $400, they are equally promising in terms of quality, durability, convenience, and efficiency.

The downside of these poppers is that they are bulky and large, so they end up taking a lot of space. However, they are just ideal for large events and galas, or for those times when you need to make really large batches of popcorn.

Using these commercial popcorn makers is fairly easy and all you will need is kernels, salt, and some oil. They usually come with metallic holding trays that are attached on the top of the machine which needs to be turned off when the machine is turned on. In other words, when you pour in the kernels with the salt and oil, you must close the metallic top and turn on the machine. One the kernels have fully popped, simply turn off the machine, pull the lever that is there on the side of the container, and take out freshly popped popcorn into a bowl.

When purchasing a commercial popcorn maker, it is extremely important to check the key features since it can be quite expensive and you don’t want your money to go to waste.

Paragon Theater POP 16 Ounce Popcorn Machine

Paragon Theater Pop 16 Ounce Popcorn Machine for Professional Concessionaires Requiring Commercial Quality High Output Popcorn Equipment

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This has to be the most incredible of all commercial popcorn makers out there. It consists of a high-output and a hard coat anodized aluminum kettle that provides exceptional performance. The construction of the machine is super sturdy that makes it able to withstand heavy commercial use.

The Paragon Theatre popcorn maker has a built-in warming deck with 50 additional elements that provide uniform heat throughout the popping process and also keeps the popped popcorn super fresh, airy, and fluffy.

The huge size of the aluminum kettle allows it to produce an astounding 295 one-ounce servings every single hour. Not only are the functions of this popcorn maker super impressive, but it also has some amazing aesthetic value. It has tempered glass and stainless steel, both which are further adorned by crimson panels that have “Popcorn” written on them in a sticking mustard color.

This popcorn clearly stands out with its simple yet beautiful design, high quality, and robust construction, and an efficient and matchless performance.

Cart popcorn maker on wheels

Nostalgia CCP510 Vintage Professional Popcorn Cart-New 8-Ounce Kettle-53 Inches Tall-Red

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If you love the vintage movie theater look and eat a lot of popcorn, get a popcorn maker cart on wheels like the one above.

Now you can call all your friends over for a fun movie night plus sleepover and make as many batches of delicious salted and buttered popcorn as you want!

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