How To Use A Popcorn Maker? (Step by Step Guide)

Popcorn with a perfect pop and buttery flavor screams cinema to me.

A salty, crunchy, and buttery snack perfect for going to the movies or for watching the latest movies at home. 

How do you get that movie popcorn experience at home if you can’t go out?

In order to avoid burning your popcorn and stinking up your house for days, you’ll need to invest in a popcorn maker and learn the skills needed. 

Many popcorn makers are available for sale; you can use a stovetop model, a microwave model, a counter model, or even a popcorn cabinet with a scoop like the professionals. 

What are some tips for using a popcorn maker? Popcorn machines are typically self-contained machines, and they need only be filled with oil, kernels, and any other ingredients needed for the popcorn-making process.

You’ll have to determine which kind of pop you’re going to use before you get started.

Learn what you can buy and how you can use different popcorn poppers to make your perfect bowl of popcorn.

Oil-Popped Vs Air-Popped Popcorn – What’s The Difference?

Popcorn can be made either with hot air or hot oil. 

Hot air is used to pop the popcorn kernels in air-popped popcorn, as you might expect. Popcorn made with this method is also less fattening than oil-popped popcorn.

Despite the positives, its taste and texture can be bland and somewhat cardboard-like.

Hot oil is used to make delicious oil-popped popcorn.

A stovetop oil popper can be used, as well as an electric popcorn maker and an old-fashioned, professional popcorn maker.

It’s also more messy to clean up after oil-popped popcorn since it’s higher in fat. However, the flavor and crisp texture of the oil method are so delicious that I recommend it for those who prefer that style. 

What To Buy 

You will need a few crucial items on hand in order to make your perfect bowl of popcorn. The basic ingredients are simple and include:

  • Popcorn kernels. Microwave popcorn is not to be bought in bags. For popping popcorn, you should use plain kernels. At the store, they should be clearly marked as such. Depending on the style of popcorn maker, you may need to buy its kernels for best results. 
  • Pops corn kernels in an oil popper. Oils including canola, coconut, avocado, and olive oil can be used. You can experiment with different oils each time to create different popcorn flavors to give your popcorn a unique taste. 
  • Salt. Popcorn is only as good as its saltiness. You don’t need to use a lot of salt for an excellent popcorn eating experience, but using some will awaken the taste buds. 

In addition to the three essential ingredients, you can experiment with other toppings if you want to create a truly gourmet bowl of popcorn.

Depending on my mood, I like to use combinations. I enjoy the following:

  • Butter. Butter on popcorn is like nothing else. Then, after your popcorn has been popped, gently melt the salted variety and pour over it. 
  • Popcorn seasonings. Among the flavors to try are salt and vinegar, dill pickles, cheddar cheese and more. Grab a few bottles of your favorite movie-style popcorn to enjoy at home. 
  • Nutritional yeast with coconut palm sugar. “What are those things? “, you might ask.This cheesy umami flavor makes nutritional yeast a favorite cheese substitute among vegans. This salty and sweet combination is irresistible when combined with coconut palm sugar.
  • Dried herbs. You can turn your popcorn from ordinary to extraordinary by adding dried herbs like rosemary and lemon zest. You can test some of your favorite spices on popcorn by looking through your spice cabinet.
  • Curry powder. It’s a little different than the others because you’re going to add it during the cooking phase. Curry has a fragrant taste only when its spices are soaked in oil prior to consumption. To add an extra punch of flavor to your treat, you can sprinkle curry powder on the oil before you add your popcorn.

It is by no means an exhaustive list. Make your own popcorn bowl by combining them. 

How To Use A Microwave Popcorn Maker

Buying a microwave-safe popcorn maker is the easiest way to make popcorn. Their ease of use and affordability make them attractive.

If you want a lighter snack, this model might be the best option, since they do not require oil like electric or stovetop models. 

They are made in either glass or silicone and circulate hot air inside to prevent burning. 

How To Use A Glass Microwave Popcorn Maker

  • Popcorn can be measured using the lid.
  • The popcorn should be placed in a glass container, and the microwave should be set for two minutes and thirty seconds. Add 30 seconds to the cooking time if it is still popping as the timer counts down. 
  • You can then season your popcorn maker with butter, salt, or your favorite spices, and enjoy. 

How To Use A Silicone Microwave Popcorn Maker

  • 1.4 cups of popcorn kernels should fit into a collapsible popcorn maker. Salt and oil can be added if you like. 
  • Microwave the popcorn maker for two minutes. Continue to wait until the number of kernels is close to zero if they are still popping. The popping will slow down as you repeat this.
  • Pop the popcorn out of the microwave and season it with more seasoning before enjoying. 

How To Use An Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Maker

It is a great idea to purchase an electric popcorn maker if you want to try a technique that does not involve the microwave.

There are a few models available, but one of the simplest contains a lid and a stir rod to move the kernels and pop your corn evenly.

The following steps will help you use the popcorn maker with a lid (that can often be used as a bowl as well):

  • 1/8 teaspoon of kernels, 1/4 cup of corn. Combine one teaspoon of your favorite oil with one teaspoon of sea salt. Coconut oil has been very effective for me. 
  • Popcorn maker should be turned on and let it work. It will be done when you hear it in the kitchen. It is done popping when the kernels have slowed down. It can be left to pop for a little longer as long as you don’t let it go too long, or it can burn.
  • As soon as the popcorn maker has finished popping, turn it off, flip it upside down, and remove the base. 
  • Enjoy it straight from the lid (or pour it into a separate bowl. 

How To Use A Standing Electric Popcorn Maker

Air-popped popcorn is a great alternative to oil-popped popcorn with these standing popcorn makers.

You can generally tuck them away easily, as they are small and easy to use. If space is limited in your kitchen, they are a great option. 

Follow these instructions to air-pop popcorn with your standing popcorn maker:

  • Take your popcorn out of the maker and measure it out.
  • For delicious popcorn, place a large bowl beneath the spout.
  • The cooking process begins when you press the button. Butter warmers come with some models, so you can put butter in them or microwave it to melt it.
  • As soon as they have popped, drizzle them with butter, salt, and seasonings. 

How To Use A Whirley-Pop Popcorn Maker

Make perfect stovetop popped popcorn with the Whirley-Pop popcorn maker and feel as if you are back in the olden days.

The popper consists of a stovetop aluminum and wooden handle that you turn to cook the kernels within 3 minutes. 

Try making stovetop popcorn by following these instructions: 

  • Pour one to three tablespoons of popping oil into your pot along with 1/2 cup of popcorn. 
  • Activate the medium-high burner. 
  • Cover the pot with its lid.
  • For about 3 minutes or until the popping of the kernels slows significantly, hold the wooden handle in one hand and turn the crank with the other hand. 
  • You can open the lid once your popcorn kernels are popped and pour them into a large bowl. Add butter, salt, and seasonings then enjoy with your favorite movie. 

You’ll need to be a little more hands-on with this method than the others, but that can be a benefit if you love playing in the kitchen.

In addition to being a fun activity to do when watching movies with your children. Be sure the lid is closed completely to avoid spills.

How To Use A Dropping Kettle Popcorn Maker

With kettle-style popcorn makers, you can get the movie theater experience while using the hot oil popping method.

With these models, you can use the included scooper to scoop popcorn from the door that opens. 

Using these devices will produce crisp, decadent movie-theater popcorn right in the comfort of your living room. 

These are the instructions for using a popcorn maker of this type:

  • Mix 1/2 cup of popcorn and 2-3 tablespoons of your chosen oil in a kettle. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on top of the popcorn. 
  • Let the machine do its work. Rather than straining the popcorn out yourself, the kettle tilts and empties itself as it fills with popped popcorn. 
  • After the popping sound has stopped, turn off the machine and gently remove any remaining kernels from the kettle using the scooper to prevent them from sticking.
  • You can add butter and flavors to your popcorn or enjoy it plain. 

Final Thoughts

There are popcorn makers available on the market for air-popped and oil-popped popcorn.

Using either method, you’ll be able to make professional-level popcorn in your own home in just a few minutes. 

To pop like a pro, just choose which method you like and then grab your ingredients.

Combinations of flavors are endless. See what you can find in your pantry and spice cabinet that catches your eye.

Are there any popcorn makers or methods you prefer? We would love to hear from you!

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