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Popcorn Machine

Updated on December 7, 2009

Who doesn’t like some popcorn as a nice, healthy snack.  Nowadays, there is a good market in selling microwavable popcorn.  Just slip it in the microwave and pop according to instructions.  But they are not always the healthiest or tastiest popcorn you can come by.  Before microwave popcorn, if someone wanted popcorn, a popcorn machine could be used.  Even before that, popcorn was popped on a kettle.  And long before that, before industrialization, popcorn was popped in heated sand by Native Americas.  While it’s probably not the way you would want to pop popcorn now, there are a few machines that can be bought to reenergize your love of popcorn.

Before Buying…

Consider what you want in a popcorn machine. There are a lot of options out there, and a lot of budgets out there.  You’re going to want to think about the capacity, budget, and efficiency you hope for in a machine.  Also, often more expensive machines equal higher quality machines, and you can get the most use out of them.  Popcorn machines and poppers range from mini serving popcorn machines to theatre sized machines. 

The Classic Popcorn Basket

The popcorn basket popper is the classic popcorn popper. It’s the one that looks like a covered skillet, some with a long handle for popping over an open flame. These popcorn makers are good for camping trips or nights by the fire, and can also be used on the stove top. There are, however, stove top popcorn poppers made especially for the stove.

Stove Top Popper

The same idea as the popcorn basket, these poppers are usually designed to move popcorn around inside the popper so that it doesn’t stick or burn, and also to keep the oils moving for an even cook.  With a handle on top to turn popcorn with, it helps to avoid that nasty burnt popcorn smell and create a better popcorn than popping in a skillet alone.

Air popper

The air popper is a far better known version of the home-made popcorn trade.  Air poppers use hot air to pop popcorn, allowing the consumer to have healthy popcorn without all the oils and fats.  Even if flavors were added, it would eliminate a few hundred calories of oil, making the air popper preferable for people who enjoy a healthier snack.

Microwave popcorn popper

While microwave popcorn in a ready made bag is all well and good, many people are not turning to microwave popcorn poppers.  There are usually made of microwave save plastics to put the desired amount of popcorn and oil inside.  Be wary of burning your popcorn, however, as it may ruin the popcorn maker.  For those who are environmentally conscious, or worried about consuming things heated in plastic, they also make clay microwave popcorn poppers.  This not only looks nice, but makes the popcorn a little more organic a snack to consume.

Theatre popcorn maker

The theatre popcorn maker for home use is more expensive than other selections, but nice to have in the home for décor or to add to the festivity during parties.  Usually seen as a cart, or with red and white stripings, the theatre popcorn maker can make larger quantities of popcorn, and there are usually good quality, long lasting poppers.  When not in use, larger popcorn poppers can add an eclectic feeling to the house.  And they’re wonderful for movie nights.

There is, of course, the choice of renting a popcorn popper for parties and sleepovers.  Search for a popcorn renter in your area.   

Popcorn Ideas

Now that you have popcorn makers, here are some ideas for popcorn that any one would love:

Kettle Corn – a sweet and salty treat often seen at fairs.  Made at home as simple as having unpopped popcorns, a stove top popper, vegetable oil and sugar.  Find the recipes online for more details.

Popcorn cakes – like rice krispies have become popular to make into many different treats, popcorn cakes can be used in the same fashion.  Depending on the recipe, often the popcorn is held together with marshmallows and can have M&M’s, gummy bears – any of your favorite candies inside, and then drizzled with chocolate or caramel. 

Popcorn Balls – Yummy little treats, fun for kids and children’s parties, and can be colored for more fun, these treats are classic and can be used for any occasion.

So that's it!  I hope you enjoy your popcorn maker and all the treats you can make! 


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    • Sadie Valentine profile image

      Sadie Valentine 7 years ago

      Well, it depends on the popper as air poppers use hot air to pop the popcorn, but oil can withstand higher temperatures and should be used. Butter is more of a flavor or topper.

    • profile image

      alyssa 7 years ago

      how do you pop the popcorn in a popcorn machine? do you use the butter? or do you use olive oil?

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      I have been popcorn lover for a long time and I just don't like those microwave bags.