Who makes the best popcorn?

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Looking for the best popcorn? (you won't go amiss with the Amish...)

Every popcorn-making area will, naturally, claim that their corn is superior. That's simply the nature of food production. And, while the Amish are certainly known as producers of popcorn the jury's still out on whether theirs truly is the best popcorn available. Of course, the Amish still use traditional farming methods, so are more likely to produce a kernel that harnesses that old-time taste so many people are keen to enjoy.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what community grows the best popcorn kernels: with the right popcorn popper, the answer to “Who makes the best popcorn?”, at least for your neighborhood, is going to be a resounding “Me!”

So, get your parties popping, gather the family around, and have a look at our reviews to see which is the best counter top, air-based popcorn makers for you.

Air-based popcorn makers can typically make popcorn with no need for oil, which is ideal for those who want to enjoy zero-fat snacking (although, remember, not all fats are created equal, and those found in many high-grade oils are actually good for you). They are also quicker than making popcorn on the stove, which is probably best if you have excited youngsters who are agitating for their favorite snack!

How to Become the Best Popcorn Maker In Town

The Great Northern “Antique” Style Popcorn Maker offers stainless steel food zones, and a three position control switch. There is also a drawer where unpopped kernels – referred to by those in the know as “old maids” - are deposited, meaning the popcorn you take out of the popcorn maker will be the light, fluffy snack you were hoping to enjoy. The “old maid” drawer also makes disposing of unpopped kernels a breeze.

With its classic style and contemporary functionality, the Great Northern is a stylish and practical addition to any family. Being a large-capacity popcorn maker, it is also perfect for families.

Some people have commented that they found the popcorn produced by the Great Northern to be too chewy. It has also been observed that the “old maid” drawer is slightly too short, leading to unpopped kernels falling down the back. This can make the popcorn maker difficult to clean thoroughly.

The main popcorn kettle also seems a little large for the base unit, which produces a clumsy appearance, and can make the popcorn popper a little awkward to use.

The Great Northern comes with a range of accessories, so you can make an immediate foray into the world of popcorn making.


The West Bend 82505, available in red or black, offers genuine practicality. The lid of the popcorn popper doubles as a bowl for the finished popcorn, while the cord wraps away under the machine, avoiding unsightly, dangerous counter top tangles.

The bowl is dishwasher safe, and the West Bend can also be used for roasting coffee, making it an ideal addition to the kitchen of any all-round gourmet.

However, it does have a tendency to cook popcorn unevenly, burning some kernels whilst not popping others. It also spits kernels, and therefore it is important to ensure the lid is firmly on while the popcorn maker is in use.

The Presto 04820 Poplite is even faster than microwaving your popcorn, and produces far tastier results. It pops more kernels than most other brands of popcorn maker, meaning more yummy finished product for you to enjoy, and less mess at the end of the day.

Like the West Bend, the Poplite can also be used for roasting coffee, making it an excellent addition to the gourmet kitchen. The measuring jug, used to ensure you get perfect popcorn every time, can also be used to melt butter, to create that ultimate popcorn taste.

The Poplite does run very hot, some might say too hot, and therefore it is important not to go dashing straight for your popcorn the minute it's made. For maximum efficiency, it is also recommended to pre-heat the Poplite before use.

The Cuisinart CPM 100 Easy Pop comes in four colors, including a modern, stylish metallic red, and includes convenient cord storage.

It is easy to clean, with all removable parts being dishwasher safe. Like the Poplite, the Easy Pop's measuring cup can also be used to melt butter to drizzle over your finished popcorn for a delicious, old-fashioned taste and fantastic flavor.

The Easy Pop produces fresh, crunchy popcorn, although it is important to note that it cannot handle small kernels, such as those used in Amish County Baby White Popping Corn.

The Easy Pop would also benefit from a less flimsy shield and closer fitting lid, as it does have a tendency to spit hot kernels whilst in use.


Finally, the Hamilton Beach 73400 is a large capacity popcorn maker, which can take up to 16 cups of kernels per use, resulting in eight sizeable servings of popcorn.

The 73400 is easy to clean, and as with other popcorn poppers, the measuring cup can also be used to melt butter.

Despite its large capacity, the Hamilton Beach would sit neatly on a small kitchen counter, so would be a good investment for apartment dwellers who still want to enjoy their hot, buttery snacks.

However, it does produce a lot of flying kernels.

More in Our Popcorn Series