Stovetop popcorn might result in charred corn and unpopped kernels, but microwave popcorn is often overly oily. You can make movie theater-quality popcorn at home every night with a specialized popcorn machine.
Popcorn machines range in size from little microwave units to big industrial popcorn carts. How do you choose the best one for your living room with so many of these entertaining devices on the market?
Continue reading to know the best Popcorn machines that can help you to make perfect popcorn.
WHY BUY A POPCORN MACHINE?
Let’s start with some of the reasons why you would wish to buy a popcorn machine.
- You will save money if you own your own popcorn machine. Popcorn kernels are cheap and go a long way, particularly when compared to microwave or ready-made popcorn.
- For a low-calorie snack, many new popcorn makers air to pop kernels instead of using oil.
- It’s considerably simpler to operate a popcorn machine than a burner, and you’re a lot less likely to burn it.
- Popcorn machines are ideal for movie evenings or gatherings.
TYPES OF POPCORN MACHINES
Home electric popcorn machines
These are tiny countertop versions intended for usage at home. Many household electric popcorn makers are air poppers, which use heated air alone to pop popcorn. There are, however, more classic models that utilize oil. An automated stirrer should be included with a home electric popcorn maker to ensure uniform popping and to prevent kernels from being caught on the bottom of the device and burning.
Home electric popcorn makers are small in size, operate rapidly, and are often quite easy to use. However, they are not suited for making huge quantities of popcorn.
A home electric popcorn machine will cost between $20 and $40.
EXPERT TIPSome machines have convenient bags for packing popcorn. You may also discover wonderful buckets and accessories on Amazon by Googling “popcorn container.”
Microwave popcorn makers
Microwave popcorn producers are uniquely formed bowls designed for maximum popcorn popping power. You may add oil before or after popping your popcorn, but you can also leave it oil-free if you prefer.
The amazing thing about microwave popcorn makers is how easy they are to operate. They’re also reasonably priced. Of course, if you don’t have a microwave, you can’t use a microwave popcorn machine.
Most microwave popcorn makers range in price from $10 to $15.
Commercial countertop popcorn machines
Commercial countertop popcorn machines are the huge devices used on movie theatre counters. This is the kind of unit you need if you want to offer popcorn at your cinema, shop, or restaurant. People do, however, purchase commercial countertop popcorn poppers for home usage. They are great for presenting popcorn to party visitors. If you have a big home theatre, you may want to consider purchasing a commercial-size popcorn machine for movie nights.
One of the most important characteristics of commercial countertop popcorn makers is their enormous capacity. These machines can produce a large amount of popcorn while also keeping it heated until ready to serve. However, since most of these devices utilize oil, you’ll need to search around if you’re solely interested in air-popped corn.
Smaller commercial countertop popcorn machines start about $70, while larger versions may cost up to $200.
Commercial popcorn carts
Commercial popcorn carts are comparable to commercial countertop popcorn machines, except they are mounted on a cart that can be pushed about. This not only gives you an attractive antique vibe, but it also allows you to conveniently move your popcorn machine about your home.
Popcorn carts are perfect for earning funds at school fairs and other community activities. They’re also great focal pieces for any home theatre.
If you’re looking for a commercial popcorn cart, you should budget between $200 and $300.
EXPERT TIPIf your machine is powered by an electric wall socket, disconnect it before cleaning or washing it down with water and mild soap solution.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A POPCORN MACHINE
Popcorn machines transform hard kernels into crisp, fluffy popcorn by using oil or just heated air. While both ways are equally effective, most popcorn aficionados prefer one over the other.
- Oil: Oil-popped corn is said to have a superior flavor and texture than air-popped corn. Seasonings often adhere better to oil-popped popcorn than to air-popped popcorn.
- Air: The biggest advantage of air-popped popcorn is that it has no oil, therefore it is fewer in calories. It’s also appropriate for anybody who must avoid oil or excessive fat for health reasons. Of course, if you don’t need to avoid oil for any reason, you can always add oil or butter to your air-popped popcorn after it’s popped.
Smaller compact popcorn machines may only create four or five cups of popcorn each batch, but larger commercial units might generate three gallons or more in a single batch. A typical electric home machine can make between 10 and 20 cups each batch. We suggest a machine with a minimum output capacity of 12 cups if you’re preparing popcorn for a large household.
EXPERT TIPTry using oil scented with chile, rosemary, garlic, or brown sugar for a unique taste in your oil-popped popcorn. Simply ensure that any oil you choose has a high smoke point or the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke. Extra virgin olive oil, for example, smokes at 325-375 degrees, butter at 350 degrees, and safflower oil at 510 degrees.
Average popping time
Nobody likes to wait for their popcorn when it’s time for it. The benefit of popcorn machines is that they create their harvest swiftly. A typical countertop device can make a 10- to 20-cup batch in two to five minutes. In only five minutes, commercial versions can generate up to three gallons of popcorn.
Ease of use
Modern popcorn machines are relatively simple to use. The majority of household models merely include an on/off switch. Commercial versions may feature a few switches – to start a batch of popcorn and to turn on and off the light and heater – but they should still be simple to use.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING AND USING A POPCORN MACHINE
- Consider the size of the popcorn machine. Is there space on your countertop or in your home theatre for it? Do you have a place to keep it while it’s not in use?
- Think about how often you’ll use your popcorn machine. If you want to use your popcorn machine for weekly movie nights or frequent snacks, it is worthwhile to invest in a high-quality model. If you just want to use it a few times each year, a simple model will suffice.
- Discover new popcorn seasonings. Popcorn spices are more than just salt and sugar. Once you’ve got your new popcorn maker, experiment with more unusual spices like ranch, parmesan, or jalapeno-lime.
Q. How do I clean a popcorn machine?
A. It is critical to maintain your popcorn machine clean. Bacteria may otherwise grow and infect the following batch. The sort of popcorn machine you purchase will determine how you clean it. For detailed cleaning recommendations, see the owner’s handbook for your popcorn machine.
Q. Will my popcorn machine get hot to the touch?
A. Some popcorn machines have cool-touch exteriors, which means the machine’s exterior does not become hot even while it’s heated inside. This is an excellent feature to have if your children want to help cook popcorn since it eliminates the risk of burns or scorching. Other popcorn machines, on the other hand, may become quite hot on the outside, so use them with care.
Q. Can I add seasoning to my popcorn before popping it?
A. Certain popcorn machines enable you to season the unpopped kernels with spices such as oil, salt, and sugar before starting the machine. This results in more uniform flavor dispersion and means your popcorn is ready to consume straight away. However, not all popcorn machines offer this capability, so be sure to verify before purchasing.