Is there anything better than enjoying a good movie with a bowl of freshly made popcorn in your hands? For some years now, the popcorn maker has earned a space in the kitchen of every home.
A small appliance at an affordable price, which prepares popcorn on the spot and makes you feel like in the cinema, but at home! If you are thinking of buying a popcorn machine, for yourself or to give it to a special person who has given you some clues.
There are many models to choose from, based on what you need and the budget you have available. In this guide we will tell you all the details, also suggesting some of the best known and cheapest options.
Here we had selected some of the best models of popcorn makers that are listed below.
Everything You Need to Know About Popcorn Maker
The comparison between different models of popcorn machine has allowed us to have a clearer idea of the technical characteristics to be taken into consideration when choosing the best model for your needs.
To clarify your ideas even more and make a conscious purchase choice, here is a practical purchase guide with the analysis of the technical characteristics indispensable for a good model of the popcorn machine.
As we have seen, “automatic” popcorn machines, and therefore the actual appliances, are divided into two types: machines with a cylindrical tube and devices with a thermal plate.
The difference between the different model’s concerns only the shape and dimensions of the container in which the popcorn is prepared.
In the first case, the device develops vertically and is the typical mode of “design” devices or that in general, they develop in height; in the second case, the device develops horizontally and the corn kernels are evenly distributed on the thermal plate.
There are also other types of popcorn machines on the market, but these are more containers than autonomous devices: it is possible, for example, to find bowls to prepare popcorn to be inserted in the microwave oven.
We decided not to include these devices in our comparison because they are not real machines, but simple tricks to continue preparing popcorn in the “classic” way, that is, in the microwave, in the electric oven or in a pan.
Another element to evaluate to choose the best model is clearly in the dimensions, which determine the size of one popcorn machine compared to another.
Clearly, all devices for home use are much more manageable and smaller than the models used by commercial and catering businesses, but as we have seen from the comparison, there are more bulky models than others.
This is the case of popcorn machines with a cylindrical container, which when growing in height are larger than those with a thermal plate.
The reason is not only linked to the nature of the container, but also to the design and decorations that characterize most of the cylindrical container devices, easy to use but also and above all beautiful to see.
However, there are popcorn machines with compact cylinder containers, even smaller than those with the thermal plate, which meet the need for more refined design and the need not to clutter too much space at the same time.
While the external material of the popcorn machine is a negligible element, one must pay close attention to the composition of the internal parts of the device, i.e. those which come into contact with the corn kernels.
Almost all the models on the market are made of BPA free steel or aluminium, as also happens in other appliances, to avoid contamination of the food in contact with the container.
Also important is the possibility of using a non-stick material, especially in the case of popcorn machines with a thermal plate: this type, in fact, allows the insertion of the dressing into the machinery during preparation, therefore it will be important that it is equipped with an easy material to clean once the popcorn is prepared.
The characteristic of the capacity of a popcorn machine is a relevant element, which can depend on a series of factors, first of all, the capacity of the cylinder or of the thermal plate on which the corn kernels are distributed.
The speed of these machines, however, puts the issue of capacity in the background: especially in the case of cylinder popcorn machines, which automatically “pop-out” popcorn when they are ready, it is possible to continue filling them as the machine is running, effectively multiplying the capacity of the device.
An element to be evaluated is certainly the speed of the different models, which as we have seen can go from a minimum of 2 minutes to a maximum of 4/5 minutes.
If you are demanding and want everything immediately, you will have to choose a hyper-fast machine, while those who are “satisfied” will be able to consider this characteristic as marginal, considering also that on average all models work at a fairly high speed.
The presence and quantity of accessories in this type of device is not a fundamental element, but it can, of course, be very useful. The most popular accessory, for all popcorn machines, is the measuring spoon, so as to avoid overloading the machinery.
Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning the popcorn machine easily is an important element: clearly the internal parts must not be cleaned with too aggressive detergents, or they must be clearly rinsed.
From the point of view of ease of cleaning, the best models are those that allow you to break down all parts of the machinery and wash them in the dishwasher.
Here we are at the moment to start deciding which one to buy among the many models of popcorn machines on the market.
In this section, we will list the factors to consider, and based on these you can decide which accessory you are looking for, taking into account your budget, your needs, the use you will make of it and also the available space you have in the kitchen.
- Size and weight
Size and Weight
How much space do you have in the kitchen for a popcorn machine, and what use will you make of it? If it’s just about making popcorn for you and a few friends, a small model will be more than enough.
Consider the measurements for length, width and height (which are always shown), as well as the weight of the machine if you move it from one side to the other while you are using it. Also, check the length of the cable from the outlet closest to where you intend to place it.
Remember that if you are looking for the healthiest way to prepare your corn popcorn, you will need to orient yourself on a hot air machine that does not need any added fat.
Once they are ready, you can add salt to your liking (or another seasoning you prefer), but you will never have to pour anything inside the machine. As an alternative, there are traditional machines or microwave containers.
The manufacturing materials must be of excellent quality, such as stainless steel. If the container is transparent, it would be better if it was made of tempered glass because it is resistant to high temperatures.
Since it will be used with a machine that heats up a lot. Most popcorn machines have an on/off button, as well as an automatic shutdown system.
The power of a popcorn machine is what will define the quality of the final product, and the preparation time, especially for large quantities.
For normal consumption for a family, up to 900 W can be considered as a suitable power level. Instead, if you plan to prepare many more for parties or events, you will have to choose an appliance with a power not less than 1200 W.