The Best Popcorn Oils Compared (for a Healthy, Authentic-Tasting Treat)

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Whether you're making it on the stove or in an air popper, most popcorn kernels need an oil base to soften them up, and ensure they pop into smooth, delicious popcorn.

While you can use simple cooking oil or butter, the true popcorn gourmet won't conscience anything other than coconut oil, which produces a soft, smooth, buttery taste, without the health risks that might deter some people from using butter to flavor their popcorn once it's piping hot and freshly popped.

What Are The Best Popcorn Oils?

Best Choice
Paragon - Manufactured Fun
Premium Pick
Snappy Popcorn Colored Coconut Oil
Best Value
Golden Barrel Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
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Coconut oil also leaves very little residue, meaning cleaning up is a breeze. And anything that makes clear-up easier is definitely a professional choice!

So, oil the wheels of your popcorn making process, and give your kernels the best possible chance of becoming the best possible popcorn.

We've reviewed five different coconut oils, and placed them in order of the best end result, so you can be rest assured your home made popcorn will go down a storm.

If you're using one of the top air poppers recommended in our popcorn machine guide, your user manual will tell you how much oil to use.

If you are making your popcorn on the stove, use just enough oil to very lightly coat the very bottom of your kernels. In most cases, this will be as little as a tablespoon of oil for an average serving of popcorn. Make sure, if cooking on the stove, not to heat the oil too high – you don't want burned popcorn!

Reviews – The Best Coconut Oils For Popcorn Making


Coming in a gallon jug, so you'll have enough for all of your kitchen and household needs, Paragon Coconut Oil produces crisp, golden, flavorsome popcorn, which evokes memories of the movie theaters and circuses of yesteryear. While it doesn't offer the deeply buttery taste some popcorn fans crave, Paragon Coconut Oil does sweeten your popcorn in a light, healthy way. And there's nothing stopping you adding butter, and whatever else you prefer, once your popcorn is done, piping hot and waiting for you.

Some people have commented that the gallon measure is far more than will ever be needed, although it is worth remembering that coconut oil has many uses beyond cooking popcorn. If you are an all-round gourmet, or simply do a lot of home cooking, this may be the perfect economy.

Paragon Coconut Oil doesn't need to be refrigerated, so you can keep it on the counter, in easy reach, or in a store cupboard, and save space in your refrigerator.


Used by movie theaters, Snappy Popcorn Coconut Oil doesn't need to be melted before use, and produces an excellent and enjoyable plain popcorn. If you're after a buttery taste, you will need to add butter to your warm, finished popcorn.


Wabash Valley Farms offer a light, premium grade coconut oil. Less messy to use than other coconut oils on the market, thanks to its packaging design, Wabash Valley Farms could do with having a stronger flavor.

As with most cooking oils, the resulting popcorn will be fairly bland, and flavor will need to be added once the popcorn is done, ideally while it is still piping hot.


Just Poppin' Butter Flavor Coconut Oil provides packs of individual, two-serving coconut oil, which is ideal for those living alone who still want to enjoy quality snacks.

The butter taste is very subtle, and ensures a light, easy-to-enjoy popcorn. For some people, however, it may be necessary to add extra butter once the popcorn is done.


Finally, Golden Barrel Butter Flavored Coconut Oil is dairy free and vegan friendly (although not suitable for those sensitive to soya).

Coming in a range of sizes, it offers options for popcorn-loving families, right through to those living alone who just fancy an occasional treat.

While the butter flavor comes through fairly strong, some people who like slick, truly buttery popcorn may still want to add butter once their popcorn is done.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains natural saturated fat, which produces the “good” HDL cholesterol our bodies rely on for cell growth, and protecting vulnerable muscle groups from damage. HDL cholesterol also helps neutralize the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is what's being talked about when people shake their heads over “junk” food and fattening snacks.

By increasing the amount of HDL in the body, coconut oil can play an active role in helping to lower an individual's risk of heart disease. Coconut oil is also a high-energy nutritional source, as the body can break it down to use for energy in just three steps, as opposed to the thirty-six steps some other oils require.

Many people may already be aware of the use of coconut oil in beauty products. When ingested, for example after having been used in cooking, coconut oil continues providing benefits for skin, hair, nail, and teeth condition, improving not only your appearance, but your all-round health.

So – use coconut oil in your popcorn maker, or when making popcorn on the stove, and you're not “snacking” - you're taking an active role in improving your health! Can't be bad, can it?

Other Oils

As a true gourmet, you're obviously going to want to explore the results, in both taste and texture, that come from using oils other than coconut oil to make your popcorn.

Some other suitable oils include canola oil or olive oil, both of which have high nutritional value and low smoking points. This means not only are they good for you, but, more importantly (for some people, at least!) they are less likely to burn your popcorn. Smoked salmon may be a delicacy, but smoked popcorn is rarely as appreciated.

Note that to minimize the risk of burning, you can invest in a stainless steel popcorn machine that has arms that turn the kernels and prevent them from sticking.

Vegetable and corn oil can be used, but lack the nutritional benefits of coconut, canola, or olive oil, and are also somewhat heavy, meaning they can impair the delicate flavor of your popcorn.  

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