A Guide to the Best Popcorn Machines
Why should you purchase a popcorn machine?
Popcorn is both a tasty and wholesome snack, which is popular among adults and children alike. Popcorn is a nutritious and low-fat food—a great alternative to the sugary or greasy commercial snacks that you see on the market. If you want to enjoy some fresh-popped popcorn in the comfort of your own home, there are a number of affordable, small popcorn machines available on the market. After reading thousands of on-line reviews, we have listed some of the factors that you need to consider before buying a popcorn machine.
Types of Popcorn Machines
What are the types of popcorn machine?
Following are some of the most popular popcorn makers:
- Microwave Popcorn Makers: With this popcorn maker, you can enjoy fresh popping popcorn in just a few minutes. The main glass container is temperature safe and microwaveable, so you can also microwave your popcorn without even using oil. There are also varieties made of microwaveable plastic. So for those of you who enjoy healthy, fresh popcorn quickly, this is a great option
- Hot Air Popcorn Makers: A popcorn maker is also known as an air popper and uses heated air to make popcorn. There is a fan system built into their main compartment. Within minutes of turning on the air heating process, the popper will start shooting out fresh popcorn, which helps to properly and thoroughly cook the kernels. With this popcorn maker, you get fluffy and airy popcorn that is entirely oil-free and you can choose how much butter or salt to add.
- Stovetop Popcorn Makers: Stovetop popcorn makers are a great way to make a large amount of popcorn without compromising on taste. The main popcorn pot is usually made from stainless steel, which gives it great durability, while also making it easy to use on the stove. A popcorn maker of this type heats quickly and does not require much oil in order to make healthy and delicious popcorn. Seasonings may also be added along with butter to create a more flavorful batch of popcorn.
- Commercial Popcorn Makers: Also known as 'Professional Popcorn Makers,' these machines are some of the most expensive popcorn makers on the market. They are perfect for large events or when you need to make large quantities of popcorn. This popcorn maker is relatively simple to use and requires just a few ingredients: kernels, salt, and oil.
What should you consider when buying a popcorn machine?
There are several ways of popping popcorn. It can be done using a microwave, an air-popper, a stove or a kettle. The traditional popcorn makers are the kettle ones. They are usually found in movie theaters or carnivals. The flavor remains intact in the kettle. The kettle popcorn machine works by means of cooking oil and a built-in heating element. But, in order to be the proud owner of a good popcorn machine, you need to consider several factors:
Countertop or stand-alone: Check whether the popcorn machine is a counter-top or stand-alone model: This will give you an idea about the amount of space that it occupies. Countertop units are usually smaller than the stand-alone ones. A stand-alone unit is in the form of a cart, rather than just sitting on your kitchen counter.
Kettle size: There are different types of popcorn machines available. Each one has a different size or capacity. The size is usually measured in ounces. There are kettles available in the range of 4 oz to over 31 oz. A 6 oz kettle is adequate for a big family, while a smaller family can make do with a kettle of 4 oz size capacity.
Wattage: You should check the wattage of the kettle to get an idea about its power consumption. A machine with greater wattage will consume more electricity. Check the popcorn machine reviews on-line to know the exact wattage of the product.
Power: More power means it heats faster, which means popcorn is ready quicker. An electric popcorn machine with a power rating of about 650 W is sufficient for general use. However, if you plan to make a large amount of popcorn, you should get a machine with more power than 700 watts.
Material: Steel and glass make up the strongest and most durable popcorn machines. Machines made of plastic are less durable. It is, therefore, recommended to opt for glass and stainless steel which is thermal shock-resistant.
Special Features: Consider machines with special features, such as the keep-warm function. With this feature, you can keep your popcorn warm, crispy and delicious. Various accessories, such as bowls, collecting shovels, measuring cups, spoons, and trays are also useful.
Maintenance: Check whether the machine and its removable parts can be cleaned easily with water to remove any oil or sugar residue. Having a pop machine whose parts are removable is important and makes cleaning a breeze.