It’s hard to beat the taste of hot, fresh popcorn. Not the microwave bag stuff. Real popcorn you make yourself, with quality kernels and quality oil. But to make great popcorn, you need a great popper.
With an eye catching, retro design and a 4 ounce kernel capacity, the Maxi-Matic can make 1 ½ gallons of perfectly popped popcorn (enough for 2 adults and 2 kids) in about 4-5 minutes. It’s well made, with a steel frame and steel door hinges.
The sides are all plexi-glass which isn’t as nice as the tempered glass some higher-end poppers have but is still quite durable. The stirring arm that stirs the kernels is well made and evenly heats the kernels without jamming.
The Maxi-Matic is easy to clean and includes a stainless steel scoop, a 4 oz. measuring cup and salt/flavoring shaker. While it says the kettle (where the popcorn is heated) only holds 4 oz., I found it could easily hold 6 oz. without any issues. If you don’t plan on eating all your popcorn right away, the built-in warming light does an adequate job of keeping your popcorn warm for later.
This popper is mid-sized, taking up about 1.5 ft. by 2 ft. of table/counter space. It’s not the most compact popper on our list but it’s not too big either. A nice touch is a magnet that holds the lid of the kettle (where the popcorn is heated) open while you pour in kernels, oil/butter or clean it out.
It may not have some high end features like tempered glass or a heating element in the base but it has all the basic features you need for great, movie theater style popcorn at a really great price.
If you’re looking for something a bit smaller this Nostalgia Electrics is about half the size of the Maxi-Matic and around a third of the price.
It still does a great job of making popcorn and will pop 2.5-3 oz. of kernels at a time, enough for 2-3 people per batch. It doesn’t have a heating light but with a smaller batch size, you probably won’t need one.
This one takes a bit more work to clean out but you can save yourself a lot of work by lining the bottom with aluminum foil or putting a rectangular container underneath to catch the popped corn. Using a container will also help you get the popcorn out better.
Need to make popcorn for more than 3-4 people at a time? This popcorn machine from Great Northern has a bigger capacity than the Maxi-Mini, creating 3+ gallons per batch from 8 oz. of kernels, enough for 6-8 people and has some nice added features such as a heated base and a stronger warming light to keep popcorn on the top and bottom warm, a heavy-duty powder-coated steel frame and tempered glass all around.
This is a great popcorn machine for offices, churches, fundraisers and small businesses. It’s designed to stand up to added wear and tear and is very easy to clean. It also has the best warranty on our list, covering you for 5 years!
It’s takes up about the same counter space as the Maxi-Mini, a bit less actually but it’s taller and weighs nearly 15 pounds more thanks to it’s more durable construction.
If you need to make lots of popcorn, this is the machine to get.