Popcorn Machine Buying Guide

You made the decision to buy a popcorn machine to get that great tasting and smelling theater popcorn that you love. You need a popcorn machine buying guide and tips to make your purchase – now is not the time to get careless.  Do some research on popcorn machines; you will find that there are a huge quantity of them available, including many that would not make you happy to own.

And now is also not the time to simply try and save a few bucks on the purchase. Your popcorn machine is going to be used very frequently, and a better quality machine is going to last longer, and give you better quality popcorn. When you buy your popcorn machine, you will find that you can get a lot of important additional benefits without spending that much more money. Here is a popcorn machine buying guide and tips for purchasing your popcorn machine.

Popcorn Machine Buying Guide Tip

Consider buying a popcorn machine that is a bigger than you need. For instance, buy a 6 ounce kettle when you only need a 4 ounce, or even buy an 8 ounce – and you really don’t want a 2 ounce kettle. You can always make less popcorn than the capacity, and you will get multiple benefits from the bigger machine:

(1) the bigger kettle will help keep unpopped kernels from jumping out

(2) the bigger machines will likely have more wattage, which will make the popcorn faster

(3) the bigger machines will give you more room to put in the ingredients

(4) the bigger popcorn machines will give you more room to get inside for cleaning

(5) And the bigger machine will be easier for scooping out that great tasting popcorn 

More Popcorn Machine Buying Guide Tips

Buy a popcorn machine with a heating deck or warming tray that uses a heating element instead of a lamp. This will do a much better job keeping the popcorn warm and fresh until it is eaten.

Keeping the kettle clean is probably the most important thing for having appealing looking and great tasting popcorn – if it isn’t easy to clean, then you might be lax in doing so. Look for a kettle that rotates down to give easy access.

You will need to add the popcorn and oil to the kettle after it is preheated. Look for a popcorn machine that gives you plenty of room to get into the kettle. Get a machine that has a magnet that the lid will stick to, or one where there is a latch that will keep the lid open.

Your popcorn machine has controls for multiple functions – the heating element for the kettle, the kettle stirrer, and the warming light or element. Look to buy a popcorn machine that has a separate control for each of these. Besides having less wear on the individual components, there is no reason to listen to all the noise of the stirrer when the kettle is only preheating.

Popcorn machines have walls that are made of tempered glass or plexiglas. If you will get a machine that has tempered glass walls, you will find that they are easier to keep clean, and you also won’t have to be concerned with scratching them.

Look for a popcorn machine that has rubber casters, or go to the hardware store and purchase them yourself. The machine is going to move some during operation, and these will both keep it from sliding, and possibly scratching the surface you have put it on.

What is the warranty period on your popcorn machine? I have seen machines with warranties from 1-5 years. I would get a popcorn machine that had a 3 year warranty instead of 5, but not one with a 1 year warranty only.

Buying A Popcorn Machine

I hope that this popcorn machine buying guide and tips will be helpful to you in making your purchase decision. Here are a couple of very good popcorn machines for you to look at. They are both high quality 8 ounce antique style popcorn machines made by Great Northern Popcorn – we like the Roosevelt very much.

Roosevelt Eight Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine

  • Deluxe model with 3 position control switch instead of the 2 position; 860 watts instead of 640
  • Switches include: spot light warmer, stirrer and pot heater; Heated Warming Deck
  • Built-in warmer light; Popcorn scoop is included; Reject kernel tray Kernel and oil scoop included
  • Heavy-duty powder coated steel and stainless steel construction; Cleans up with water

Pasadena Eight Ounce Antique Popcorn Machine

  • Deluxe model with 3 position control switch and 860 watts
  • Switches include: spot light warmer, stirrer and pot heater
  • Warming Deck
  • All metal gearbox
  • Reject kernel tray

Home Popcorn Popper and Making Great Tasting Popcorn

Well, you have finally had it. No more of that burned microwave popcorn that makes the house smell for days.  So, you go out and buy a good home popcorn popper, make that first batch of popcorn – and instead of great tasting theater popcorn, it tastes worse than the microwave stuff.

Making great tasting popcorn from your home popcorn popper takes more consideration than just plugging the thing in and adding popcorn.  If you want that movie theater popcorn taste, then you need to be sure that you are using the kind of popcorn and other critical ingredients that will give this to you – especially the popcorn oil, which may be the most important ingredient of them all.

No, you are not going to get great tasting popcorn by using any cheap discount store kernels, popped in vegetable oil, and then salted with regular table salt – here are some tips for getting great tasting popcorn from your home popcorn popper.

Popcorn For Your Home Popcorn Popper

Let’s start with the popcorn.  After all, we know that the best home popcorn popper that is made cannot make great popcorn out of inferior kernels.

This is not the place you want to cut back on in quality.  Do not use discount popcorn or kernels that are of dubious quality – those tend to give smaller popped corn, along with more kernels that remain unpopped. Also, be sure than your kernels are fresh, and have always been well sealed so there is no issue that moisture has gotten into them.

And if you buy popcorn kernels in bulk, which can be a good way to reduce the cost, remove them from the bag they came in and immediately transfer them to an air tight jar or container. This way, no moisture can seep in, and you will keep them as fresh as possible.

Use the best quality popcorn possible, that has always remained dry and fresh, and you will be on your way to getting the best tasting popcorn possible from your home popcorn machine.

Paragon Popcorn

Paragon, who is a top rated name in popcorn machines and high quality ingredients, makes a 12.5 pound bag of yellow corn that I have been very happy with for a good price, and finished popcorn that is tender with good size and good taste.

Paragon TP-4 Theater Home Popper Popcorn Machine

Paragon Reviews

“I bought this recently for hosting movie nights at my home (with 10-12 guests). I decided to spend a “little” extra for an American made product and couldn’t be happier. It’s built like a tank, easy to use (remember- the popping kettle is hot!), has a fairly quiet motor when running, and simple to clean.  It is well worth the price difference from imported poppers- for example, the Waring popper that can be seen at major retailers is much smaller and looks like an easy bake oven when comparing materials and construction.”

“I did quite a bit of comparison shopping and decided on this machine and can’t be happier. When I took it out of the box I was amazed at how well made it was, and felt happy that I had chosen to pay a little more for a very great value. My sister has another brand the same size but made in china and it looks and is cheaply made. This one has a warming plate on the bottom, a light, old maid catcher, and a higher watt kettle than most.”

Oil For Your Home Popcorn Popper

You have the best popcorn kernels to use, but If you want that great movie theater popcorn from your home popcorn popper – the popcorn popping oil may be the single most important component.

What Is the Best Oil for Your Home Popcorn Popper

Your Home Popcorn Popper Depends On the Oil You Use

What Popcorn Oil Do The Movie Theaters Use?

If you want that great movie theater popcorn from your home popcorn popper – the oil that you use for popping may be the single most important component.

People think that canola oil is best for popcorn. Canola oil has no taste. It is bland. This is the reason why it’s good for baking because it does not alter the taste of cakes. It also has a high smoking point, so popcorn can cook at high heat without being burned. Except that it’s popcorn we’re talking about and not cakes. If you use canola oil for popcorn, yours will taste bland, too. If you want move theater concession stand quality popcorn, use what they use. And that is coconut oil.

Back when saturated fats and good and bad cholesterol were just starting to be understood, coconut oil was branded as high in saturated fats. It lost favor for a little while until researchers figured out that the kind of saturated fats in coconut oil made a big difference.

Lauric acid is present in coconut oil in huge quantities. Lauric acid is helpful in preventing high blood pressure and is also packed with HDL, or the good cholesterol. It is definitely better than oils that contain trans fatty acids found in hydrogenated oils.

Coconut oil, especially extra virgin coconut oil is the best oil that you can use for popcorn. Just like extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil comes from the first pressing. It’s also the cold press method that’s used to extract the oil. With the first pressing, nothing is added, so the oil is purer. It also doesn’t yield as much, so this is where because quality is high, the quantity or total output is low.

Extra Virgin Coconut oil is light, has a faint, pleasant aroma and has a slight and subtle taste. This is why when extra virgin coconut oil is used for popcorn, you’re guaranteed that your popcorn will be fully popped (it also has a high smoking point) and that each kernel is coated with this delicious and flavorful coconut oil. Just remember not to put too much oil in your popcorn machine. Use the least amount of oil that’s recommended.

Studies show that coconut oil has other health benefits, too. It’s even said to aid digestion and help you lose weight. It’s also highly effective as a skin moisturizer for dry and damaged skin. It’s also great for hair, and is used to prevent hair loss and also for dandruff control.

This very versatile coconut oil or the extra virgin coconut oil’s benefits go beyond cooking and your popcorn. Use it and then explore its other uses.

Use Coconut Oil In Your Home Popcorn Popper

For the best theater tasting popcorn from your home popcorn popper use coconut oil like the movie theaters do when they make popcorn.

Coconut oil, taken from the meat of matured coconuts is very  stable even in high heat. which is important when used for popcorn and retaining the best popcorn quality.

This is the secret ingredient used in those big theater kettles of popcorn. Coconut oil not only makes popcorn taste good, it also makes popcorn smell so good – and you can get the same thing using your home popcorn popper.

And for the best coconut oil – use Nutiva Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Not only will Nutiva Coconut Oil give you great tasting popcorn – it actually can be beneficial to your health.

Nutiva Coconut Oil is 100% pure extra virgin coconut oil. What makes Nutiva so special is that the coconut oil is made by using a technique that is called the cold press method. As well, once the coconut is chopped, it is then processed within 2 hours, which further ensures the taste and aroma.

You want to make great tasting popcorn, and you want to make your popcorn using a healthy oil – then use Nutiva Coconut Oil for making your popcorn.

Nutiva’s coconut oil is cold-pressed, organic extra-virgin coconut oil, with its light taste, pleasant aroma, and pure white color, and industrialized coconut oil, with its bland taste, faint aroma, and off-white color. Please note that any tiny brown specks found at the bottom of Nutiva’s coconut oil are from the coconut fiber and are indigenous to extra-virgin coconut oil. It is deliciously healthy cooking oil. Better than butter and are USDA organic. Unrefined with no trans fats, and rich in lauric acid.

Home Popcorn Poppers

If you love popcorn, and feel that a movie just isn’t complete without enjoying a tub of freshly popped popcorn, then you need to have a home popcorn popper. Just think, with a simple home popcorn maker, you can recreate that move theater experience in no time at all.

Who wouldn’t get excited anticipating the mouth watering buttery flavor of freshly popped popcorn made in your very own home? The constant popping of the corn kernels, and the delicious scent that will fill your home, will certainly get your taste buds salivating in anticipation. And if you are more health conscious and want to eliminate the oil and butter – there is a home popcorn popper for you too.

When choosing you home popcorn maker, you have a number of things to consider – price, capacity and ease of use are just some of the product features to look out for. There are five basic popcorn makers to chose from, and each one has different advantages, but all the home popcorn poppers can make delicious fresh popcorn.

Electric Popcorn Popper

An electric popcorn popper is the easiest to use of the different model types. It has a large tub capacity and is easy to assemble, use and clean.  These are compact models and are easy to put away when not in use. Electric poppers take about five minutes to make delicious popcorn.

Models, such as the Back to Basics Electric Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper and the West Bend Stir Crazy have a nonstick surface as well as a motorized mechanism that keeps the kernels in motion to ensure that everything pops evenly. There is also a West Bend electric popper that also can be used to roast or glaze nuts.

Do be sure that your model has stay-cool handles for easily turning over the base when the popcorn is finished – then just flip it over, and use the dome-shaped cover to serve your popcorn.

Hot Air Popcorn Popper

For the health conscious, a hot air popcorn popper is the way to go.  These are faster and more economical than microwave-bag popcorn, and virtually leaves no unpopped kernels.

These poppers use hot air to ‘burst’ the kernels into fresh popcorn.  By using hot air instead of oil or butter, your popcorn will still cook evenly, giving you a ower calorie and healthier popcorn treat.  In less than three minutes, you can have hot air popped popcorn using these makers.

It’s quite fun for children to see the popper churning out their fresh popcorn from the chute. – just don’t let them take off the cover too soon, or you will be chasing popcorn all over the room.  And while a few kernels may spring out as the machine heats up, the chute does do a good job directing the popcorn into a bowl.

Microwave Popcorn Popper

I don’t know about you, but I do not like what is normally thought of as microwave popcorn.  But it’s not using a microwave to make the popcorn that is the problem – it’s those expensive, greasy bags that always seem to burn and leave unpopped kernels.

However, you can make delicious popcorn in your microwave buy using a special microwave popcorn popper.  So, if you’re concerned about space and storage issues, and don’t want to have another kitchen appliance in your home, then get a microwave popcorn popper.

Like a hot air popcorn popper, your microwave popper can pop the corn without the use of oil, so there is a health benefit. But yes, if you chose to you can add butter and other seasonings to get more flavor.

These are bowls with lids that are specially designed to cook popcorn evenly using your microwave.  Clean up is a breeze as these are dishwasher safe, and your popper also doubles as a serving bowl.  It is additional convenient that there are no cords or other appliances that you need to use with a microwave popcorn popper.

Home Theater Popcorn Popper

Now if you’re a serious popcorn aficionado and like the recreate theater style quality popcorn, then you need to have a home theater popcorn popper. It’s perfect for the homeowner who likes to have an authentic looking old style popcorn popper in the home. It’s perfect for parties and other large gatherings, such as a super bowl party.

There’s even a warming light or a heated base to keep the popcorn hot and fresh. Both children and adults will find a tabletop home theater popcorn popper irresistible.

These are a lot bigger than the other home popcorn poppers.  If space is an issue, these popcorn makers will not be a good alternative. Also, these are meant to make popcorn in larger volumes than the other poppers.  So if you want to have just one serving, it’s not the most practical way to go – unless of course, you like popcorn for breakfast as much as I do.

Stove Top Popcorn Popper

If you want to go old school, then nothing beats a stove top popcorn popper.  I can remember these from when my daughters were little kids, and what fun we all had making popcorn and watching Disney movies together – and the popcorn was great.

These popcorn makers are usually made of non stick aluminum, and have a special cover that has a crank handle for mixing the popcorn and ingredients while while they are heating. Simply place the popcorn popper on the stove, place your popcorn kernels and oil in the popper, and start cranking.

The lid has steam vents to keep your popcorn crisp while its popping, and in less than five minutes you’ll be eating delicious popcorn from your stove top popcorn popper.

Let’s Get Popping!

As you can see, all of these home popcorn poppers and popcorn makers have different features to  consider for deciding which one is best for you to buy.  I have to say, that if you have the room and don’t mind spending some extra money, then there is just nothing like making popcorn at home from a home theater popcorn popper.

But whatever you chose, all of these popcorn makers can make very good tasting popcorn right in your very own home.  So enjoy your favorite snack – and let’s get popping!