A popcorn maker may not be something you think of as an essential piece of kitchen equipment but you will be amazed how much you will use it.
Traditionally eaten while watching the latest blockbuster, in recent years popcorn has become more and more popular as it’s health benefits have been discovered.
Popcorn is extremely high in fibre while being low in calories. It contains important nutrients including vitamins, minerals and polyphenol antioxidants. Unlike a lot of health foods, it is cheap and tastes delicious. And the best way to get all the benefits from popcorn is to make at home with a popcorn maker!
Interestingly, humans have been eating popcorn for thousands of years. The world’s oldest known popcorn maker, a shallow vessel with a handle and hole on top was designed around A.D. 300. The first modern day popcorn maker was unveiled at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The oldest popcorn found so far was in Mexico and it is believed to be over 5,000 years old.
A good popcorn maker will provide you with a cheap, healthy snack and be safe and simple enough to use that even the kids can have a go!
The trouble is that when you start looking at popcorn makers it can be confusing and difficult to get a machine that actually works well. There are so many options and confusing advertising campaigns that it is very easy to end up paying too much for a poor quality machine.
To help out, we have searched out the best popcorn makers available in the UK right now. We’ve looked at how well they pop the corn, how easy they are to use and if they provide value for money. At the bottom of the page you will also find some helpful tips as to which features to look for in a popcorn maker.
Below you will find detailed reviews so you can decide which machine will be the best popcorn maker for you.
|Product||Rating||Style||Power (Watts)||Extras||Warranty (Years)||Price|
|Andrew James – Standard Red||4.7||Hot Air Circulation||1200||4 Boxes||2||Find best price|
|Andrew James – Classic Retro||4.5||Hot Air Circulation||1200||4 Boxes||2||Find best price|
|Lekue 1-Piece||4.5||Platinum Silicon Tub||Not Electric||No||10||Find best price|
|VonShef – Standard||4.3||Hot Air Circulation||1200||4 Boxes
|1||Find best price|
|UKayed ® Mini Power||4.2||Hot Air Circulation||1200||5 Boxes
|1||Find best price|
* At time of publishing
Antony Craig Popcorn Machine
Halogen Popcorn Maker – Home Popcorn Machine by JMP
Best Popcorn Makers
(4.7 / 5)
Find best priceThe first thing we noticed about this popcorn maker from Andrew James was how cheap it is. However the machine itself belies it’s price and is solidly made and durable.
This Andrew James Hot Air Popcorn Maker is small and compact so it’s not going to take up too much room in your kitchen. It is 31cms high and very light. It comes in a choice of red, white or black but we thought the red version was the smartest.
The popcorn maker has a sturdy base with non-slip feet. It features a cool touch technology so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself or the counter-top.
The lid is transparent so you don’t miss out on watching the kernels pop. There is also a handy measuring spoon included. One scoop makes about 2 litres of popcorn with usually 95% of the kernels popped.
The popcorn maker is powered by a 1200 Watt motor. It works by circulating hot air to pop the corn so no butter or oil is needed. There is a simple on and off switch on the side.
If you fancy some extra flavour on your popcorn, the measuring spoon can fit on top of the lid and the hot air used to melt butter, chocolate, caramel or whatever other ingredient you can think of.
To add to the fun, you get four retro cardboard boxes to put your popcorn in. And for peace of mind, there is a two year warranty.
Andrew James Hot Air Popcorn Maker is quick and powerful which means the popcorn shoots out quite briskly. Make sure you have a large bowl ready to catch the popcorn or they can fly everywhere. Some suggest using kitchen paper to funnel the popcorn but if your bowl is big enough this shouldn’t be necessary.
None of the components are dishwasher proof. However, since this popcorn maker cooks using hot air it doesn’t usually need much more than a quick wipe down. The only thing that needs to be cleaned is the measuring spoon if you have used it for flavourings. Unfortunately, there are no recipes or popcorn kernels included.
The manufacturer recommends that after making two batches you give the machine a ten minute rest to cool down a bit. However, this popcorn maker produces such a generous amount of popcorn that you will have plenty to eat while you wait!
Such a good quality machine at such a low price makes the Andrew James Hot Air Popcorn Maker probably the best popcorn maker you can buy.
(4.5 / 5)
Find best priceThis popcorn maker is very similar to the model above from the same company. However it’s stylish design makes it a popular choice.
As the Andrew James Retro Hot Air Popcorn Maker is almost identical to the Andrew James popcorn maker reviewed above we have only highlighted the differences.
This popcorn maker is slightly taller and wider but still reasonably compact and light.
The stylish design is the most obvious change. The only style available is red and stainless steel but the sleek design definitely gives it a retro vibe.
The delivery chute is wider and better directed so this version is slightly better at delivering your popcorn but a large bowl will still be needed.
The outside of this popcorn maker will get hot during use.
The manufacturer suggests only running the popcorn maker for 5 minutes with a 10 minute cool-down.
The Andrew James Retro Hot Air Popcorn Machine is a brilliant, well-priced machine and you may feel that it is worth paying a little extra for a more stylish popcorn machine.
(4.5 / 5)
Find best priceThe Lekue 1-Piece Popcorn Maker is a silicone bowl that goes in the microwave.
This popcorn maker is the result of scientific research into the best way to cook popcorn in a mircowave, conducted in collaboration with the Alicia Foundation, a research centre devoted to technological innovation.
The bowl is made from 100% platinum silicone. This means the heat is confined inside for faster and more efficient corn popping. It is free from BPA and other harmful materials. The bowl handily folds up into itself to save on storage. Just flatten it with your hands and it takes up half the space.
The lid is transparent and designed to float on the popcorn and rise up as the kernels pop. Both the bowl and lid are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
This popcorn maker couldn’t be easier to use! Simply put 50 – 75 grams of popcorn kernels in the bowl (there are measuring lines marked on the bowl), put the lid on and microwave for a few minutes.
If you would like to flavour your popcorn, ingredients can be added before you put it in the microwave. The instruction book includes four film themed recipes to get you started.
On average, 90% of the kernels pop and any that are unpopped can be put back in the microwave for a little longer, making this one of the most efficient popcorn makers available!
Reassuringly, there is a 10-year guarantee included with this popcorn maker.
Care has to be taken when removing the lid to avoid the steam trapped under it.
There is no choice when it comes to colour, red is the only option.
As the bowl is designed to collapse it is not quite as sturdy as a standard bowl
A innovative, well designed product, if you want a microwave popcorn maker this is the best one to get.
(4.3 / 5)
Find best priceThe VonShef Hot Air Popcorn Maker is one of the bestselling popcorn makers on Amazon.
The VonShef Hot Air Popcorn Maker is one of the cheaper popcorn makers available but also one of the better products.
This popcorn maker has a simple, robust design. A solid, thick base protects your countertop and provides stability. The glossy black and grey provides a change from the more popular red.
A powerful 1200 watt motor powers this popcorn maker. For safety, it has cool-touch housing and it is designed to stop working if it overheats.
The lid is transparent so you have the fun of watching the kernels pop. The centre of the lid is also a measuring spoon and can be used to melt butter while the popcorn is popping.
Also supplied are four cinema-style boxes and a 500g bag of kernels soyou can get started popping straight away.
Like all hot-air popcorn makers, this machine doesn’t need any oil. You simply measure out your kernels, drop them in the machine and turn it on. It doesn’t need pre-heating and popping will start in under 30 seconds. There is very little wasted, with an estimated 95% of the kernels popped.
Helpfully, it comes with a two year warranty and the customer services are very favourably reviewed.
As it is a hot air popper, The VonShef Hot Air Popcorn Maker can be a bit noisy and it will produce heat.
The chute is well-designed so the popcorn doesn’t fly out quite as randomly as some models but you will need a generously sized bowl to catch it.
It can be annoying if it overheats and cuts out when you are halfway through popping a batch of popcorn. However, if the manufacturer’s guidelines on running and cooling times are followed this shouldn’t be a problem.
The VonShef Hot Air Popcorn Maker is popular for very good reasons. It is cheap but well-made. Thought has been put into making sure it is safe and durable. Everything is included so you can start popping immediately and it produces plenty or delicious popcorn.
Antony Craig Popcorn Maker
If you can afford to spend a bit more then the Antony Craig Popcorn Maker is for you. It is the closest you are going to get to making cinema popcorn at home.
It looks fantastic. It has an attractive red and stainless steel retro design. An interior light can be turned on and off as desired.
The stainless steel kettle in the centre holds 2.5 oz. It makes over four and a half litres of popcorn at a time. If you want to make more than one batch, all you need to do is add more ingredients with no cool-down time required. If you are wanting to make popcorn for a party or a large number of people, this is the machine you need.
Everything is contained inside the case so you don’t have popcorn flying around your kitchen. Most of the popcorn spills out of the kettle but there is also a handle to tip it so you get every bit. The plastic tray in the bottom collects all the popcorn and is easily removed so you don’t have to go anywhere near the hot parts of the machine.
A 300 watt motor powers this popcorn maker so it heats up quickly. It is designed with a built in stirring system make sure the popcorn is evenly cooked. This also means you get very few unpopped kernels.
It’s very straight-forward to use. First you turn it on to heat up. To be safe, turn it off while you use the small measuring spoon to put the oil in the kettle in the centre, followed by a large measuring spoon of kernels. The flap has a plastic handle so you won’t burn your fingers. You can also add sugar or salt at this point and the stirring system will make sure the popcorn is evenly coated. Close everything up and turn the machine back on. Your popcorn will begin popping almost immediately.
The kettle is removable for easy cleaning, as is the tray. The insides can be wiped down with a damp cloth once the popcorn maker has cooled down.
Included are six popcorn buckets. It also comes with a year’s warranty.
The main thing is the popcorn is delicious!
The Antony Craig Popcorn Maker is the biggest and heaviest popcorn maker we have reviewed. It is 43cm high, 25cm wide and 28cm deep.
None of the components are dishwasher safe so you will have to wash them by hand.
Some basic assembly will be needed and it’s may produce a burning smell and a bit of smoke the first time you use it.
It can get hot so it would be prudent to use oven gloves.
You have to use oil so the popcorn isn’t quite as healthy as other cooking methods.
If you can afford the space and money this is the best popcorn maker to get. It’s fun to watch and it produces vast quantities of delicious popcorn.
Some Factors to Consider
Before getting your wallet out, you might want to consider these factors:
- Size: The kettle size can be an important factor and will depend on the space available in your kitchen and the number of people your household. Ultimately though, if you have regular movie nights and have 5-6 people in your family, you might have to consider a machine that has a large kettle size
- Power: You want a machine that is efficient, quick and powerful. At the same time though, you need to consider what effect it will have on your electricity bills. It is important to consider the wattage each machine has, and in our opinion, it should be at least 600 watts.
- Price and Guarantee: Price is obviously the major factor when making any decision. There are lots of choices available and due to this, you can expect a high quality machine for less than £20. It might be a good idea to look out for a longer guarantee than the standard 1-year one that comes with most products.
- Overall Package: Some options have a lid that doubles up a butter-melting cup while others come with a measuring cup. Some include kernels and most include cinema-style boxes. Find out which of these matter most to you and choose accordingly.
You should now hopefully have a good idea of what to look out for in a high quality popcorn machine.
We have listed some very good options on this list and can confirm that they work extremely well.
The prices are quite reasonable as well, and considering how just 1 family trip to the cinema can easily cost over £50, some of these options are a bargain.
Each option comes with a wide range of different features so we would highly recommend you decide what your requirements are first.
Once you have done that, choosing the best popcorn machine will become a much easier task.