Best Popcorn Maker 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Popcorn is no longer a treat just to be enjoyed at the cinema. Whether you’re settling down for a night in with a film on Netflix, or love it as a healthy snack, having a popcorn machine to hand makes the process so much easier.

You may have previously made popcorn at home in a microwaveable bag or a pan, but you’re always left with some unpopped kernels and burnt bits. Dedicated popcorn makers cut out this likelihood, and use hot air technology as opposed to oil to pop the corn which makes it healthier. Plus, they’ll be cheaper in the long run.

If you’ve decided that it just has to be your next kitchen appliance addition, then browse our selection of some of the best electric popcorn makers on the market.

The Best Popcorn Maker – Our Top Picks

Best Hot Air Popcorn Maker

Savisto Hot Air Popcorn Maker

Use the lid to measure out one serving of kernels, switch on and let the corn pop of its own accord.

The aluminium heat chamber rids the need for oils, butter or any other cooking materials. With the power of hot air, the kernels are transformed.

If you want to add butter to the popcorn afterwards for a topping, then use the lid as a cup to melt it while the corn is being produced. This not only allows you to keep an eye on just one appliance but also use the otherwise wasted heat. Perfect for low running costs.

There are six popcorn boxes included for when you are ready to serve. To clean, all you have to do is wipe with a dry cloth. It is small enough to hide away in the cupboard in between uses, and everything can be stored in or on the maker to save space.

It produces popcorn of a chewier nature, but it certainly isn’t the chewiest we tried. Great for that happy medium which will keep everyone happy. The price isn’t bad at all to say you get everything you need either. Just buy the kernels, and you’re good to go.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25 x 16 x 18 cm
  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Power: 1200W

+ Downloads

Savisto Hot Air Popcorn Maker User Manual

Download

We like

  • Price
  • Boxes included
  • Simple to clean

We dislike

  • Gets quite hot so needs time to cool down

Final Verdict

Does what it says without any fuss - a fab product if you want an easy life but good results

American Originals Popcorn Maker

From a brand we love for making high-quality fun kitchen appliances, this popcorn maker has all the necessities you need for perfect popping.

A single batch will be ready in around three minutes thanks to the high power. Ideal if you’re one of those last-minute ‘there is nothing on the telly so we will pop a film on’ families. You can watch the kernels pop thanks to the clear plastic lid, and there seemed to be no hint of burning popcorn throughout any of our tests which is welcome.

A built-in cut off switch is present in case it happens to overheat so you’ll always be safe, and the body is cool to touch which is perfect for little hands. It is lightweight and feels a little low-quality, but the proof is in the performance, and this is superior.

There are a few unpopped kernels in the portions, but this is nothing out of the ordinary. The noise is also notable, but as it is running for a short time, it isn’t bothersome and is nothing more than a cake mixer or blender in operation. In all, a product which does as it should for a good price.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: H30.5 x W15 x D18cm
  • Weight: 1.38kg
  • Power: 1100W

We like

  • Design
  • Fun to use
  • Price

We dislike

  • Some popcorn goes astray as it flies out

Final Verdict

Good across the board, and we don’t see why it wouldn’t cope with your demands for years to come

Global Gourmet Popcorn Maker

Able to have your popcorn ready in 3-5 minutes, this is the perfect popcorn maker to assist with your last-minute cravings and film nights.

It is great for anyone who wants a machine like this for the novelty and fun, yet doesn’t really have space for one. The dimensions are small and compact. Perfect for taking on the go or if the children want to take it to a friends house, too.

The retro design is a nice throwback to the classic 70’s film era, in an eye-catching red finish. As it uses no oil or butter to pop, the goods produced are as healthy as you can get. If you do want to add flavouring, simply do so when it is all done.

If you’re getting the kids involved, then safety will be a concern. There is an on/off switch, non-slip feet to keep it steady on your workbench, and a closed design so they will be shielded from flying goods.

It makes a surprisingly large amount at any one time, so you’ll need a large bowl to catch it all. The price is great, whether you’ll be using it every night or once in a blue moon. Plus, it is easy to use so won’t feel like a chore to set up.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25 x 24.2 x 14.6 cm
  • Weight: 1.18kg
  • Power: 1200W

We like

  • Simple to clean - just wipe with cloth
  • Compact
  • Popcorn quick to prepare

We dislike

  • Feels a little flimsy in places

Final Verdict

In all, a wallet-friendly, simple and well-designed piece of kit which is reliable in its popcorn production

Elgento E26009 Popcorn Cart

Dispensing popcorn straight into your bowl in under three minutes, this appliance is simple to use and has a brilliant fun design which will please anyone who likes a little something different.

Whether it be a movie night or a party, the fun of the fair can be brought into your kitchen. You just pour the kernels into the opening at the top. Then, the hot air gets to work popping them all.

As the body is clear, you can see them all in action which adds to the experience. Plus, you can smell the popcorn too – great if you’re entertaining, not great if you’re trying to keep it all to yourself!
Operation is simple, as you just need to flick it on and let it do the rest of the work. Cleanup is also effortless. Just wipe with a cloth or piece of kitchen paper to remove the residue. Hardly any unpopped kernels were left behind during our tests. Adding any flavourings can be done afterwards in a pan or bowl.

It has to be left to cool for around 15 minutes between batches, but produces enough to keep you all going in this time anyway.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25.5 x 18.3 x 38 cm
  • Weight: 1.29kg
  • Power: 250W

We like

  • Easy to use
  • Design
  • Popcorn produced is good

We dislike

  • Waiting time in between uses

Final Verdict

Fun, fairground design and good popcorn is produced - perfect for anyone who wants something a little different. It may be double the price of most models, but for the extra touches it is a price worth paying

VonShef Fat-Free Hot Air Popcorn Maker

Allowing you to really experiment with the flavourings of your popcorn, this popcorn maker is a fab choice for anyone who loves to be adventurous.

Popcorn is prepared in around two minutes per batch. No hanging around waiting for it to produce the goods.

The lid doubles up as a butter melting cup, so if you love butter flavour, you don’t have to juggle the preparation of both items. Once the popcorn is done and is still warm, just drizzle over the butter and mix through. You could even add flavourings such as salt or cinnamon to this butter.

A single scoop of kernels is enough to make approximately one serving, and there is a little measuring cup included. This means no waste and no shortages. There are four popcorn boxes included for the authentic cinema experience.

The popcorn produced is a little chewy we found. If you like it this way, then it isn’t a problem. But if you’re used to slightly crunchier popcorn, then you may be a little underwhelmed. Still, the actual cost of the machine is worth a try, and the fact that it is all fat-free will please a lot of people.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 28.2 x 18.2 x 17.6 cm
  • Weight: 1.11kg
  • Power: 1200W

We like

  • Price
  • Quick to get going
  • Sleek design

We dislike

  • Slightly noisy when at work

Final Verdict

Great price and design, and even though the popcorn won’t be to everyone’s taste, it solves the debate of which healthy snack to have after your dinner

Russell Hobbs RU-24630 Popcorn Maker

One of the more well-known models on the list, so we had high expectations. While it did the job, there were a few disappointing flaws.

First of all, the positives: one measure of popcorn kernels produces 12 cups of cooked popcorn, so it packs a surprising punch for the size; there is no need to add oil; the lid doubles up as a measuring spoon which is a nice space-saving touch; it is easy to clean thanks to the removable lid and cover.

It is one of the most lightweight on the list so great if you want something which can be moved around the house or stored away with ease. The power is also one of the highest we reviewed, so it is quick.

The flaw of this, however, seems to be that it misses rather a few kernels. Plus, the popcorn flies out at quite a force and can go everywhere if you don’t plan ahead and have a large bowl in place.

The popcorn made is on the softer side so good for anyone who likes it chewy as opposed to crispy. These flaws aren’t to say that it doesn’t work well, though. It is still a great choice, and if you’re a stickler for the big brand names, then it will keep you happy for a good while.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 16.4 x 28.7 cm
  • Weight: 0.953kg
  • Power: 1290W

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs RU-24630 Popcorn Maker User Manual

Download

We like

  • Fun design
  • Simple on/off switch
  • Quick to get to work

We dislike

  • Downsides of the rapidness
  • Requires 15 minutes of cooldown between each use

Final Verdict

It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but the few niggles we have with it don’t outweigh the performance

Global Gizmos 50300 Fun Fairground Party Popcorn Maker

The fun of the fairground can be enjoyed year-round with this little popping wonder sitting pride of place in your kitchen.

The looks aren’t the only selling point. Popcorn is well shielded when it comes out, so there is little which goes astray. Its compact size means it can be left out on display at all times without getting in the way.

It produces tasty popcorn that wouldn’t be out of place in the cinema. Perfect if you’re a bit picky about this. There is no oil required, and the power means it is done in a few minutes. Suits those impatient people out there well.

Overall, it doesn’t offer anything overly different, and you are paying a little more for the design. But it is fun and reliable, so fab as a gift or if you have young kids and would give anything to keep them entertained for a few minutes.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 41 x 26.5 x 21.2 cm
  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Power: 1200W

We like

  • Can see the corn as it pops
  • Quick to set up and work

We dislike

  • Can get cheaper models which do the same thing

Final Verdict

Makes a lot of popcorn with a small number of kernels, and provides a lot of fun

Best Kettle Popcorn Maker

Cooks Professional Popcorn Maker Machine

If you firmly believe that preparing popcorn should be a fun, entertaining experience, then this fabulous creation is sure to keep everyone happy.

One for the larger get-togethers, it will produce 19.5 litres of popcorn in just 1 hour. Yet, it still features a one-touch operation to keep things simple. A crank handle lets you access the goods and tip the popcorn out, straight into the bowls and boxes ready for serving.

The popcorn is produced in a small stainless steel kettle within the container. Once it is ready, the clear outer allows you to watch the popcorn fly out. Because the kettle is heated and stirs the kernels, few come out unpopped.

A measuring scoop will allow you to keep on top of portions. It needs around a teaspoon of oil to help with the process. You can add flavourings such as sugar and salt as well. Perfect if everyone loves a different flavour but it would be too much faff to add it all afterwards.

We like how it lights up as an extra touch. As this is controlled with a separate switch, you could even have it on to add to the atmosphere when it isn’t in use.

Even though it is on the pricier side, it will keep everyone entertained with each use. A real experience buy.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 30.5 x 29.5 x 49.5 cm
  • Weight: 3.9kg
  • Power: 310W

We like

  • Retro 50’s design
  • Fun process
  • Popcorn produced is perfect

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

You’re paying more for the design, but it will create a huge amount of popcorn in a short time. Plus, being able to add flavourings easily will make it worth it for some people

Help and Resources

Popcorn Maker Buying Guide

Types

There are two broad versions of popcorn maker. A hot air model will require no oil, and is generally compact and modern in style. The popcorn is dispersed straight into a bowl which you have to place near the opening.

A kettle model is designed to look like a traditional funfair/cinema style popcorn maker. The kernels are popped inside a small metallic ‘kettle’, and then fly out of this into the clear chamber where they can be scooped out.

Cleaning

Unfortunately, there aren’t any popcorn makers which can be popped in the dishwasher for ease. That isn’t to say they are hard to look after, though.

If your chosen model uses hot air, the lack of oil means it will likely only need a wipe with a dry cloth. Oil models often have removable sections which can be washed by hand, and if yours is one of the funfair-style models which use an internal kettle to pop the corn, you will be able to take this out and wipe.

Always follow manufacturers instructions, and don’t use harsh chemicals.

Price

Most standard hot air popcorn makers sit at the £20/30 mark, so they aren’t out of reach. Some of the larger classically-styled kettle models may be nearer £60.

In the long run, you will save money compared to always buying it ready made or in the microwaveable packets, and it is a lot less effort too. A bag of popcorn kernels is often around £2/£3, which will produce quite a few servings.

Size

This isn’t important in terms of performance, but if you want something which can be stored in the cupboard in between uses or even left out on the bench, you need something which will be accommodated in your kitchen.

Kettle models are much larger, so best for events as opposed to frequent use if they will be stored away.

FAQs

Which Kernels Will I Be Able To Use?

The majority of machines will work with any kernels which can often be found in supermarkets. A standard bag will only cost a few pounds, and could produce around ten serving bowls worth of popcorn. You will save money in the long run.

How Can I Add Flavourings?

You can’t often add the flavours to the popcorn machine as this would cause it to clog up and possibly become damaged. Our preferred method is to melt some unsalted butter and add the extras to this, then pour over the popcorn in a large bowl when it is warm and mix through.

You can also use spray oil to create a sticky surface then sprinkle over some ingredients. There are plenty of ready-made sauce flavours out there which can be poured over for ease too – take a look on Amazon for some.

There are a few kettle models which allow you to add the flavourings before the pop, but they often retail for a higher price.

Which Flavours Of Popcorn Are Best?

All down to personal taste of course. You can stick to butter or salt, or add sugar for a sweeter touch. For the latter, icing sugar is best, so it doesn’t fall to the bottom.

Other popular flavours are cinnamon powder, chocolate sauce, honey and syrup. You may have a more savoury tooth, however, in which case parmesan cheese, herbs, tandoori spices and even chilli powder can be used.

There are plenty of tips out there to help you out. If you have kids, why not add some food colouring to the mix too?