These seriously space saving, affordable and fun popcorn makers let you enjoy amazingly fluffy and delicious popped kernels without the hassle of cleaning up. Budget popcorn makers pay for itself many times over when compared to bags of popcorn in bags.
What’s more, you get to try out your own recipes and be creative with your movie time snack. Check out our seasoning and healthy companion snack and goes well with popcorn in the next section.
Microwave ready, pre-packed corn kernels in brown paper bags are easy but if you prefer to do it yourself so you know what goes into your favourite snack then one of these budget popcorn makers are for you.
There are two main types of popcorn makers in the budget range, ones that go into the microwave oven or on the stove top and ones that are standalone electrical appliances. The former are simply cleverly designed microwave containers or special pans requiring external heat source while the latter are self contained popcorn makers with its’ own heating elements.
For Seasoning Ideas
Use these popcorn poppers to prepare your popcorn and toss them in your favourite seasoning below:
- Parmesan cheese
- Chili powder
- Cinnamon sugar
- Caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
Mix It Up or Combination Snack Ideas
You an also mix the popcorn with other snacks to create your very own mix.
- Roasted nuts
- Chocolate chips
- Dried fruits
- Ice Cream
- Milk Shake
For even more ideas, check out the Georganne Bell’s or Kirk Castle’s 100 Recipes below:
Top 5 Best Budget Popcorn Makers
Now that we got your attention with the inspiring lists above, time to check out some of the most affordable popcorn makers available out there.
1. Silicone Microwave Popcorn Popper with Lid
This clever little popcorn maker is a microwave oven proof silicone container with lid that lets you make popcorn quickly. Apart from it being the cheapest option, it is also the easiest. Simply add a quarter cup corn kernels, seasoning such as salt, sugar, chocolate, cheese, butter or oil for taste. The latter (oil or butter) is optional as the popcorn maker does not require oil to work.
Replace the lid and cook it in the microwave oven at full power for 2 to 4 minutes or until you hear one to two second pause between pops. Take it out of the oven and carefully remove the lid then leave to cool down for a couple of minutes and enjoy your favourite popcorn.
When you are done, it is easy to clean, dishwasher proof and does not take up much space to store. There are quite a few vendors carrying essentially the same thing, just different colour and lid.
2. Ecolution Micro-Pop Glass Popcorn Popper
Capacity: 1.5 Qt-Snack Size or 3 Qt Family Size, Eco-Friendly
Looking a lot like a teapot with handle and lid, this little popcorn popper uses heat resistant borosilicate glass for less burnt on stains. The lid doubles as vents to allow moisture to escape as well as to measure and distribute the ingredients.
While oil is optional, you can add butter on the silicone lid and allow it to melt onto the popcorn. With the see through glass, you can check on the popcorn without stopping the microwave oven. It only takes 3 minutes to cook and the unit is entirely dishwasher proof. The glass pot popper is available in 1.5 Qt. and 3 Qt.
3. Great Northern Popcorn Original Stainless Steel Stove Top
If you are old school, use this stainless steel stove top sauce pan with lockable lid to make your very own popcorn at home. The popcorn popper makes up to 5-quart of popcorn in just minutes. It comes with an integrated stirer.
Simply crank the level at the end of the wooden handle to turn the steel paddle, moving the popcorn inside to avoid burning. The vented lid allows moisture to escape and is designed for easy pouring. You can find other similarly designed popcorn popper pans but Great Northern’s is by far the most popular.
4. Hamilton Beach 73400 Hot Air Popcorn Popper
This little popper makes popcorn and dispenses it straight into the bowl. Use the the measuring cup to measure the right amount of corn kernels for up to 18 cups per batch of fluffy popcorn and as a dispenser for softened butter. It uses hot air to cook the corn kernel instead of oil making it much healthier than the traditional cooking method. The hot air will also melt the butter and drizzle this over the popped kernels. When popping slows to 3-5 seconds between pops, unplug the popcorn maker.
5. Egofine Popcorn Maker Machine
This self-contained electric popcorn popper does not require stove fire or microwave oven to cook. Egofine Popcorn Maker uses 1200W heating element to prepare corn kernels turning them into popcorn in 4 minutes using circulating hot air.
This means that like the other options we considered thus far, oil is optional, Making the popper a healthy option. Just add seasoning to taste, start cooking with a press of a button and allow air to vent out from the bottom of the base, the chute and lid.
Cook up to a third cup of corn kernels or 60 grams, small grain corn is preferred. There are quite a few dos and don’ts such as leaving rest time between batches, pre-heat the unit when using it in the winter and not adding other ingredients such as oil and sugar to prolong the life of the unit. These steps are mostly common sense and you are quick to forgive them given its relatively low price.
West Bend Stir Crazy Electric Hot Oil Popcorn Popper
This West Bend 82505 is an electric equivalent of the hot pan typically used to heat up popcorn the old fashion way. The unit uses a non-stick coated cooking pan with a built-in stirrer. The stir rod is motorised moving the corn kernels and spreading them over the heating surface to allow even heat absorption and cooking. The stirring action helps produce more popped kernel with little to no wastage. The 6-quart capacity bowl doubles as a vented lid during cooking and can be stacked nestled with the main heating pan for storage.
Aicok Hot Air Popcorn Popper
Another similar electric popcorn popper, the Aicok also uses hot air and not oil to cook the corn kernels turning them to light and fluffy popcorn. It comes with measuring cup and removable lid with the same heating power of the Egofine above at 1200 Watt output.