When the mood for a movie strikes, the first thing we all think of is popcorn. It’s a given, right? But let’s not reach out for those microwave packet popcorns yet. Research is hinting that they have some really unhealthy and harmful ingredients. Try making fresh popcorn with your kind of kernels, seasoning, and spices in the best microwave popcorn popper instead. This will marry great taste with good health. So, let’s read some reviews about the best microwave popcorn poppers around.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
The Best Microwave Popcorn Poppers
One of the easiest ways to make a great bowl of popcorn is to use your own kernels. Then comes healthy seasoning in the form of a light oil and spices according to taste. And of course, the best microwave popcorn popper in town to make that popcorn in the microwave. So here go five of the best microwave popcorn poppers of 2018 in random order.
1. The Original Salbree Microwave Popcorn Popper
- The Most Colors to Choose From; We're...
- Collapsible Space-Saving Design; allow...
- Convenient Easy-Grab Handles - The...
- Easy to Use; our popcorn maker is easy...
- Save Money; using the Salbree popcorn...
Firstly, we love the 14 color availability. It may sound silly but to be able to make your kind of popcorn in the best microwave popcorn popper in a color of your choice is a great thing to have. It is made from silicon so is virtually indestructible, and is also BPA-free.
Another great thing about this particular microwave popcorn popper is that it is collapsible so it reduces your storage space to almost next to nothing. It also comes with handles for easy removal from the microwave, though the manufacturer recommends you do so with care because of the heat involved.
There are also markings at the bottom of the bowl for you to figure how much corn kernels to put in for the ideal amount of popcorn you need. Many recommend you air cook the popcorn in it minus any oil, but some prefer adding a teaspoon or two of melted butter, or olive oil along with seasonings.
Overall, the product is durable and dishwasher safe as well. It is non-porous and resistant to bacterial action as well and will last you many popcorn binges to come.
- Collapsible design makes it easy to store
- Has cool-to-touch handles
- The silicon is durable and BPA free
- Is dishwasher safe
- It is a bit flimsy and can collapse without warning
- The handles do get pretty hot so oven mitts are recommended for removal
- Some users have complained of a smell
- Part of the popcorn kernels remain unpopped
2. The Hotpop Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper
- WHY CHOOSE SILICONE POPCORN MICROWAVE...
- TASTY POPCORN IN MINUTES - Just pour...
- TOXIN-FREE - Now you can stop using...
- EASY TO STORE & CLEAN - Hotpop has a...
- VIBRANT COLOR - Add a pop of color to...
This one is very similar to the Salbree one in design and looks. The Hotpop Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper is another solid popcorn popper to get and keep. It is collapsible too, so storage is no problem for this nifty little popcorn maker.
The Hotpop Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper comes in seven colors and is also made of BPA and PVC free silicon. It is non-toxic, dishwasher safe and can churn out bowls of flavorful and hot popcorn in minutes.
It also comes equipped with heat resistant handles that let you remove the popcorn from the microwave comfortably. However, remember to test the product beforehand lest you burn your fingers. In any case, wearing oven mitts or protective gloves while using the microwave is always a good idea, right?
It comes with markings on the bottom for you to know how many kernels to put in and the method is simple. Add in the kernels and the seasoning and you are ready to pop. The oil or the butter is completely optional so you can make the popcorn as diet-conscious as you like, or simply opt for great taste.
- Comes in plenty of color options
- Collapsible and dishwasher safe
- Is made of BPA-free and PVC-free food grade silicon
- Makes 15 cups
- Heat resistant handle for easier use
- Promises refund if you are unhappy with the product
- The silicon is a bit flimsy
- The main bowl tends to get burningly hot
- Some say the popcorn isn’t as flavorful
- Some kernels do remain unpopped
3. Presto PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper
- The microwave popper that really works!
- Pops with or without oil for popcorn the...
- Leaves virtually no unpopped kernels.
- PowerBase and PowerCup concentrators...
- Yellow, white or hybrid popcorn pop...
The Presto PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper is a little smaller in output, making about 12 cups of popcorn. The good thing is that its compact size can fit into compact-sized microwaves as well so it can work perfectly in that tiny microwave in your dorm as well.
The bowl and the lid are dishwasher safe while the base can be wiped clean and need not (cannot) be washed. The PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper can be used to pop yellow, white and even hybrid popcorn and is also endorsed by Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn.
It is designed to ensure that no unpopped kernels remain and each flavorful kernel pops into crunchy and healthy popcorn for you to enjoy. The manufacturer claims that the PowerBase and PowerCup concentrators are so made that they combine and focus microwave energy so perfectly, that every kernel does pop.
There are eight paper liners that come with one pack, each lasts 24 times without oil or 12 times with oil. More can be purchased later too.
- Is compactly sized and can fit any microwave
- Comes with a two-year guarantee
- Can pop yellow, white and hybrid popcorn
- Parts are dishwasher safe
- Pops almost all the kernels into crunchy goodness
- Comes in just one color
- The plastic tends to yellow over time
- Lacks handles so isn’t as convenient to use
- Comes in a small size so the yield of popcorns is smaller
- Contains BPA so may be a bad choice for those with young kids or expecting
- Once the paper liners/cups are finished, more need to be purchased
4. Cestari Kitchen Microwave Popcorn Popper
- USE REGULAR POPCORN, NOT COMMERCIAL...
- THIS POPPER WORKS FAST! Unlike other...
- NO OIL NEEDED. Just add kernels and pop...
- SIMPLE AND CONVENIENT : Just add...
- SAFE FOR YOUR FAMILY: 100% FOOD GRADE...
This feels closer to a popcorn bag at the movies with its rectangular shape, right? The Cestari Kitchen Microwave Popcorn Popper just comes in one color and it’s by far the smallest of the lot – able to make some 8 cups of piping hot and flavorful popcorn in just a few minutes.
The product is covered under a lifetime guarantee with a no-questions-asked policy. The silicon is BPA free and food grade, set to match European standards of food safety.
This popcorn popper comes with a lid with a steam vent on it to let the steam out whilst the popcorn pops. This ensures the popcorns remain crisp and tender but not tough. And you can make oil-free popcorn in it as well. There are no handles to the popper so take proper care while removing it from the microwave lest your fingers burn.
In case you want to shake the popcorn to ensure seasoning has been done evenly, remember that the popcorn popping may have loosened the lid because of steam, so take care while you do. The lid of this one-of-the-best microwave popcorn popper can be slipped inside the container for storage.
- BPA-free food grade silicon of high food safety standards
- Lifetime guarantee
- Small, compact size
- Dishwasher safe
- No handles so removal can be a bit of a problem
- Can yield only 8 cups popcorn
- Comes in only one color option
5. Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper
- FAST GOURMET POPCORN: Choose beautiful,...
- PREPARING AND SHARING: Great for a...
- MONEY WELL-SPENT: Make homemade popcorn...
- WHY GLASS IS BETTER: Watch your popcorn...
- USE AND CARE: For use with microwaves...
If plastic and silicon aren’t really your style, then this may be the best microwave popcorn popper for you. Why? Because it is made of durable borosilicate glass. Honestly, it looks like a cute little jug, except that instead of holding liquid, this one is used to pop popcorn.
We call it one of the greats – one of the best microwave popcorn popper among many others because it is made of glass, and you can see the popcorn pop in front of eyes. This makes it easy to check for any burning popcorn, or any unpopped kernels as well. The glass is temperature safe, obviously, and the handle is rather convenient as well.
Also, for those who do not trust silicon or plastic all that much, this kind of glass popcorn popper makes sense. The Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper is healthier and environmentally safer as well.
It is dishwasher safe and that lid is a clever construction. It can be used to measure the kernels and seasoning as well. Also, you can choose to slip in some butter in the lid indent and let it melt while the popcorn pops.
It fits almost all kinds of microwaves and also comes in two sizes – a snack size single quart and a 3-quart family size popcorn popper.
- Comes in two sizes
- BPA-free temperature safe glass
- See-through glass to easily check on the popcorn
- Butter can be melted on the lid
- The lid can also measure ingredients
- Comes in only one color
- Some users mention a little condensation inside the glass
- It’s a pricey option for the family size
- Sometimes, the butter melts too fast and can burn
Do I Really Need A Microwave Popcorn Popper
If you are a popcorn addict like me who can forgo even juicy chicken legs in favor of buttery hot popcorn, you too must have fallen for microwave popcorn packets. And somehow, the moment you pop that first butter-scented popcorn in your mouth and go crunch, your taste buds go up in arms. Packet microwave popcorn simply doesn’t taste all that good, or all that right. And there’s a reason why it doesn’t.
Is Popcorn Bad For You?
As a basic snack, popcorn is fairly healthy. But we aren’t talking about the movie theater popcorn, or the microwave packet one. We are talking about the kind of raw kernels you get in the organic aisle of your health-oriented departmental store. They pretty much look like the kernels you get on corn on the cob, except that they are dried and when heated, they pop. The kind of popcorn that pops is specifically grown for better grain and better popping.
Why Is Microwave Packet Popcorn Bad?
The packet of microwave popcorn is lined with chemicals like diacetyl and even perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Both these chemicals have been linked to cancers of the lung, liver, and prostate and can also cause fertility issues. This is why staying away from microwave packet popcorn is a good idea, and investing in the best microwave popcorn popper is a better idea. Honestly, you can taste the difference between healthy popcorn made in the best microwave popcorn popper that suits your needs, and the microwave packet popcorn. The latter just doesn’t taste right and can leave a chemical aftertaste in your mouth too.
How Healthy Is Popcorn?
Let us count the ways that popcorn, minus the butter and the oil and the high sodium seasonings is actually good for you…
- It’s a low-calorie snack: Air-popped popcorn with just about nothing on it is just 31 measly calories per cup, so it’s a great thing to munch on when on a diet. And even if you are not on a diet, healthy snacking is always a good option.
- Low in fat too: One cup of popcorn has 31 calories, with just 1 gram of fat in it, and that too in the form of natural plant oils. Just a little sprinkling of salt should make it a great low-fat and low-calorie snack. Just hold off on the butter, oils and the other calorie-heavy seasonings.
- High in fiber: That same 1 cup of air-popped popcorn has 1.2 grams of fiber in it, which means it should keep your digestion doing well. Fiber is important to keep the digestion healthy. And a good digestive system will keep you up and running too.
- It’s all unprocessed: We seem to be eating a whole lot of processed food. Think white bread, processed meats, and sugary cereals. A bag of popcorn kernels is 100% unprocessed whole grain, so it’s as healthy as healthy can get. The more whole foods you eat, the healthier your body will be.
- Its gluten free: For all those with gluten sensitivity, it’s a great gluten-free snack to get by. So if there is someone in the friend and family circle with an allergy, this is a safe and healthy snack to offer them.
- It’s great for the heart: What’s great about air-popped popcorn is that it contains no cholesterol, sodium or sugar. This makes it healthy munching for anyone with diabetes, hypertension or cardiac issues. That said; if you slather your popcorn with butter and a too much salt, the goodness does go down the drain.
- Its antioxidant-rich: Air-popped popcorn contains plenty of antioxidant polyphenols, and research has linked antioxidants to longevity and disease prevention. The research is still in its nascent stage, but with scientists going gaga over antioxidants, more is always better.
- It has a low glycemic index: Any food that keeps your blood sugar level giving you constant energy and keeping hunger at bay is good food. And popcorn tops the list with a low GI. So eating a cup or two will keep you in a constant flux of energy minus a sugar or salt rush.
- Its vitamin and mineral happy too: So no, popcorn doesn’t have too much of any vitamin or mineral to classify as a superfood. But it does have a little of a lot, so makes for a decent addition to your snack menu. We need all the nutrition we can get, so let’s not pass on that crunchy air-popped popcorn the best microwave popcorn popper just made.
- It satisfies savory cravings: We all need a little crisp now and then, right? But having a cup or even two of popcorn is far better than a bag of chips. And just a little seasoning will satisfy that salty craving as well and keep you off any unhealthy munching so go for it, minus unhealthy seasonings and garnishes.
Are Microwave Popcorn Poppers healthy?
Microwave popcorn poppers work on the same principle as a stovetop popper – they heat the popcorn kernels in a pressurized environment. And you can air pop the kernels very easily in your microwave popcorn popper, no oil or butter is needed. So health becomes a top priority here. Let’s look at the other benefits of the best microwave popcorn poppers:
- Makes air popping popcorn easy and efficient. So healthy snacking is just minutes away.
- You can set the time in a microwave. So there is no risk of burning the kernels like on a stovetop in case you got busy with another chore.
- The microwave popcorn poppers are usually compact and storage-friendly so you do not need to invest in a bulky stovetop popcorn popper
- Most of the best microwave popcorn poppers are simple to use, easy to wash and very economical on the pocket.
- They are durable and BPA and other additive-free as well, so non-toxic for the family and environment.
How Do Popcorns Pop?
Each corn kernel contains just a little moisture and oil. When these kernels are heated in a closed environment, the little liquid inside begins to steam under pressure. This pressure keeps building till it reaches “popping” or breaking point at a little over 350F. The popping happens when the shell finally ruptures and the stuff inside the kernel basically turns inside out and expands.
And if you think that popcorns became synonymous with movies and are basically a modern invention, you’d be way off the mark. Popcorns were even used by the Aztecs in ceremonial garlands to honor Aztec Gods. So it’s royal food indeed…
The Best Microwave Popcorn Popper Brands
Let’s take a look at the brands that make the best microwave popcorn poppers…
- Nordic Ware: The name may sound Norse, but Nordic Ware is as American as it gets. It was founded by a husband and wife at the end of WWII with tons of good ideas and only $500 in their pocket. This is a complete kitchenware, cookware, bake ware, outdoor cooking, and microwave brand.
- Salbree: A relatively new player, Salbree products come with a 30-Day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee. They make nifty kitchen accessories to help the modern day cook save time and effort.
- Cestari Kitchen: The products from Cestari Kitchen are backed by a lifetime guarantee, and that’s one tall standard in kitchen tools indeed. They make helpful an nifty kitchen tools to ease the load.
- Presto: Founded in 1905 in Wisconsin, Presto has a whole range of cookware and kitchenware for just about every kind of kitchen in the world. Today, it is a well-known name in the housewares and small electric appliance industry
- Ecolution: For all those who care about the environment and carbon footprints, Ecolution offers eco-friendly kitchen product to put consciences at ease. All products are safe and non-toxic to you, your family and the environment.
In case you are having trouble making up your mind, let’s talk a bit more about the best microwave popcorn poppers around…
Q: Do I need to add oil or butter to make the popcorn?
A: Actually, no. The very idea of microwave popcorn poppers is that you air pop the kernels to make delicious, healthy and crunchy popcorn. You could use a paper bag to do so as well, but if you are a serious popcorn fan, we suggest you get the best microwave popcorn popper to suit your needs. To make the healthiest version, just add popcorn kernels to your popcorn popper as per the instructions and leave the oil or butter be. You can add some healthy seasoning like Italian herbs in the beginning, or toss the popped popcorns with parmesan cheese shavings to add some flavor.
Q: Do all the kernels pop?
A: Most of the best microwave popcorn popper brands put in enough research to ensure that their products to do pop virtually all the kernels put in. However, a lot depends on your microwave as well, and the kind of power output it gives. Zap the popcorn on too high a heat and you may end up burning some, while if the heat is too low or the time too less, kernels can be left unpopped. It would be best to follow the instructions on your product and experiment with a few types of kernels before you become a microwave popcorn popper whiz.
Q: Are they safe to use?
A: The best microwave popcorn poppers have all passed food safety tests from the requisite agencies. Many are BPA-free and also free from other harmful plastic components like phthalates, PTFE and other chemicals. You can choose silicon, plastic or even glass microwave popcorn poppers, depending on your needs and budget. All are food grade and safe to use; as long as you stick to the best microwave popcorn popper brands.
Q: I used one and my popcorn burns or much remains unpopped. Now what?
A: As we stated earlier, a lot depends on the microwave you have and how deft you are in using it. Here’s a simple way to ensure no burning and little to no amount of kernels left unpopped. As per the microwave popcorn popper’s instructions, add ¼ cup popcorn kernels to it. Cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Now keep zapping on high in bursts of 30 seconds till the popping sounds get more than 2-3 seconds apart. Don protective gloves and take out the popper. Open the lid carefully since there will be steam inside and serve hot, tossed with favorite seasonings.
Q: Which are the healthiest seasonings to use?
A: The best way to eat popcorn is to air pop it in the best microwave popcorn popper you have, and eat it hot, as is. If that seems too bland to you, then try to use seasonings low in fats and sodium. Try a little smoked paprika and just a drizzle of olive oil. Or how about some jerk seasoning? Even chocolate or parmesan cheese shavings work. You can go here for more healthy seasoning ideas.
Which Is The Best Microwave Popcorn Popper For You?
So now that you know all the goodness that comes out of a cup of air-popped popcorn, we know you have to get the best microwave popcorn popper. But which one is the best for you? Frankly, it’s the one you like and the one that fits your requirements. Do you need to make popcorn for one, two or a whole family? How much are you willing to shell out? Do you prefer glass over silicon or plastic?
For me, it’s the Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper because I do prefer glass over silicon or plastic. Plus Ecolution makes eco-friendly products and makes my life that much happier. Finally, I can melt butter on that lid – with two little boys – the popcorn I make is slathered in butter for sure.
The Salbree or HotPop microwave popcorn poppers are pretty nifty too, and rather economical as well. Plus they still give a good yield for 3-4 people watching a movie.
If your needs are more compact, then perhaps you can go for the Presto PowerPop Microwave Multi-Popper. The Cestari Kitchen Microwave Popcorn Popper will also fit the bill. Both these microwave popcorn poppers are smaller and fit even the tiniest of microwaves. Plus they are budget friendly as well.
So here’s to a cup of air-popped, healthy-seasoned popcorn! Its great for health and has been made in the best microwave popcorn popper by you with the best of seasonings.
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