Popcorn Poppers

Popcorn Poppers come in a variety of types. Which type is best for you? That depends on how you like to pop your popcorn. I love the scent and sound of fresh popcorn popping in the popcorn popper.

There are several types of popcorn poppers for home, camping, and commercial. We can take a look at several types in each category.

Looking for information about antique popcorn poppers? Try here.

Popcorn Poppers for Home Use

There are basically four (4) major types of popcorn poppers for home use:

·         hot air poppers that do not use oil

·         stove top poppers that use oil

·         electric poppers that use oil

·         microwave popcorn poppers

Let’s look at each type. Popcorn poppers that use oil are fairly easy to use and offer the best results for individuals who are interested in adding their own seasonings.


Hot-Air Poppers

Hot air poppers are the healthiest of the three. The popcorn that results in this process has as little as 90 calories per three (3) cups of popcorn. Now, what you put on the popped popcorn may increase that 90 calorie count.

hot air popcorn popperHot-air popcorn popper

One of the challenges of the hot air popper is that there is no oil for the salt to stick to. For those who like salt, there is the option to use cooking oil spray and spray the bowl. Add popcorn salt (which is finer than table salt) or other seasoning and sprinkle it into the bowl.

Then when the hot kernels hit the bowl the oil and salt will stick to the popcorn and season it. This method does not add a lot of calories to the healthy snack, but allows you to have the salty and crunchy snack that makes popcorn so popular.

Hot-air popcorn poppers come in a large variety of styles, sizes, colors, and anything else you want to consider.


Stove Top Popcorn Poppers

stove top popperStove top popcorn popper

Popcorn poppers used on the stove top were very popular several years ago. This is the oldest type of home poppers. There is a disadvantage to these types of popcorn poppers in that it requires the user to shake or stir the popper so that the popcorn pops evenly. Most of these poppers require the use of oil, which adds calories to the popcorn.


Electric Style Popcorn Poppers

electric popper (not hot-air)Electric popcorn popper

Some companies have upgraded the old-style poppers that were used on the stove tops. These poppers are electric and require only a few tablespoons of oil to pop a large bowl of popcorn in just four (4) minutes. The popper is equipped with a motorized stirring arm to make sure most kernels pop. They use only 1000 watts and give you theater-quality popcorn with only a tablespoon of un-popped kernels.

There are other types of electric popcorn poppers that use a small amount of oil. These, also, come in a large variety of styles, sizes, shapes, colors, and so on.


Microwave Popcorn Poppers

I’m not a fan of microwave popcorn, so haven’t done much research on it. If you like microwave popcorn, that may be the easiest way to prepare it. There have been issues regarding the ingredients of microwaveable popcorn which might not be favorable to your health. Plus it’s expensive.

microwave popperMicrowave popcorn popper

If you want to pop your popcorn in the microwave, but not use the microwave packages, try putting one (1) or two (2) tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag and place it in your microwave. You’ll probably need to experiment to determine how long to pop your popcorn. Turn the microwave off when the sound of popping stops.

There are now popcorn poppers to use in the microwave with regular kernels--not those in microwave popcorn bags.  


Popcorn Poppers for Outdoor Use

outdoor popperOutdoor popcorn popper

Popcorn poppers for outdoor use enable you to have your favorite snack while enjoying the campfire. You can also use these poppers over fire pit, a charcoal or gas grill, or even a fire place. These poppers have long handles with hardwood grips that keep your hands away from the fire or heat.  


Commercial Popcorn Poppers

Commercial popcorn poppers also come in a wide variety of sizes, styles, colors depending on your needs. Most of these poppers are electric, use oil, and have a warming tray of some type. There are, however, some air-pop commercial poppers.

small commercial popperSmall commercial popcorn popper

Basic commercial kettle sizes start at four (4) ounces up and go up to 14 ounces of kernels. A 4 oz. commercial popcorn popper can produce 60 oz. of popcorn per hour. The large commercial poppers go from 12 to 60 ounces of kernels.

What size a vendor needs depends on the several factors:

·         the number of people who will be eating popcorn simultaneously

·         your budget

·         how much time you want to spend making the popcorn

The larger the kettle size the less time it takes to pop the popcorn because you get more popcorn every time you make a batch.


If you love popcorn and have a large family, you may find a small commercial popcorn popper to work really well for you—depending on your budget.


Click here for a review of popcorn poppers for 2018.