Small Popcorn Machines – Compact Poppers Buyer’s Guide

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small popcorn machines

If you haven’t got much time and are just looking for the Best Small Popcorn Machine to pop your kernels in, this is the one for you (if you have more time, keep reading!)

Dash Deluxe Electric Popcorn Machine

Popcorn perfection in minutes!

Indulge in hassle-free popcorn bliss with the Dash Deluxe Electric Popcorn Machine, making popcorn time a deliciously effortless experience.

  • Safe and Family-Friendly
  • Built-in measuring cups
  • Easy to use and easy to clean
  • Built-in Butter Melting Tray

Small Popcorn machines come in many different sizes and styles, and they range in cost from around $25 up. Most of them have non-stick surfaces, and they use a metal kettle and a stirring mechanism to pop as many kernels as possible.

At a Glance – Best Small Popcorn Machines

West Bend Stir Crazy Movie Theater Popcorn Popper with Nonstick Popcorn Kettle, Measuring Tool and Popcorn Scoop for Gourmet Popcorn Machine , 4 Qt., Red
Nostalgia Popcorn Maker, 12 Cups Hot Air Popcorn Machine with Measuring Cap, Oil Free, Vintage Movie Theater Style, Red
Editors Choice!
DASH SmartStore™ Deluxe Stirring Popcorn Maker, Hot Oil Electric Popcorn Machine with Large Lid for Serving Bowl and Convenient Storage, 24 Cups – Aqua
Pop Pup Popcorn Machine - 2.5oz Popper with Stainless-Steel Kettle, Serving Tray, Warming Light and Accessories by Great Northern Popcorn (Red)
Elite Gourmet EPM-250 Maxi-Matic 2.5 Ounce Classic Carnival, Tabletop Kettle Popcorn Popper Machine, Retro-Style, Movie Hot Buttered Popcorn, Red
Product
West Bend Popcorn Machine
Nostalgia Old Fashioned Popcorn Machine
Dash Deluxe Electric Popcorn Machine
Pop Pup Countertop Popcorn Machine
Maxi-Matic Tabletop Popcorn Machine
Size
10.27 x 10.87 x 17.72 inches
10.5 x 7.5 x 16.5 inches
13 x 13 x 10 inches
9.75 x 11 x 18.75 inches
10 x 11.25 x 18.75 inches
Kettle Size
4 oz
1.92 oz
5.5 oz
2.5 oz
2.5 oz
$74.73
$52.95
$44.99
$81.53
$66.99
West Bend Stir Crazy Movie Theater Popcorn Popper with Nonstick Popcorn Kettle, Measuring Tool and Popcorn Scoop for Gourmet Popcorn Machine , 4 Qt., Red
Product
West Bend Popcorn Machine
Size
10.27 x 10.87 x 17.72 inches
Kettle Size
4 oz
$74.73
Nostalgia Popcorn Maker, 12 Cups Hot Air Popcorn Machine with Measuring Cap, Oil Free, Vintage Movie Theater Style, Red
Product
Nostalgia Old Fashioned Popcorn Machine
Size
10.5 x 7.5 x 16.5 inches
Kettle Size
1.92 oz
$52.95
Editors Choice!
DASH SmartStore™ Deluxe Stirring Popcorn Maker, Hot Oil Electric Popcorn Machine with Large Lid for Serving Bowl and Convenient Storage, 24 Cups – Aqua
Product
Dash Deluxe Electric Popcorn Machine
Size
13 x 13 x 10 inches
Kettle Size
5.5 oz
$44.99
Pop Pup Popcorn Machine - 2.5oz Popper with Stainless-Steel Kettle, Serving Tray, Warming Light and Accessories by Great Northern Popcorn (Red)
Product
Pop Pup Countertop Popcorn Machine
Size
9.75 x 11 x 18.75 inches
Kettle Size
2.5 oz
$81.53
Elite Gourmet EPM-250 Maxi-Matic 2.5 Ounce Classic Carnival, Tabletop Kettle Popcorn Popper Machine, Retro-Style, Movie Hot Buttered Popcorn, Red
Product
Maxi-Matic Tabletop Popcorn Machine
Size
10 x 11.25 x 18.75 inches
Kettle Size
2.5 oz
$66.99

Last update on 2024-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Small Popcorn Machines

When you are choosing the best small popcorn machines, you have a number of options. You should find one that is the ideal size and has the look you want.

Take a look at some of our top picks:

West Bend Popcorn Machine

This popcorn machine by West Bend is perfect for anyone wanting a small popcorn machine. It is a four-quart machine with a four-ounce kettle, and it makes five to six servings of popcorn. It uses Stir Crazy stirring rod technology to ensure the kernels don’t burn or stick to the kettle. The kettle is non-sticking, and it tilts to dump the popcorn. It is also easy to remove for cleaning.

The popcorn machine has an old-fashioned look to it, and it is durable and sturdy. It comes with a measuring cup, tray, measuring spoon, and serving scoop, and it has a tilt door that makes it easy to serve. It is also easy to clean. It measures just 10.87”W x 10.27”DX x 17.72”H.

Pros

  • Is easy to use and clean
  • Doesn’t require preheating
  • Comes with accessories
  • Makes popcorn quickly

Cons

  • Has a warm plastic smell the first few times that you use it

Nostalgia Old Fashioned Popcorn Machine

You get a miniature version of an old-fashioned popcorn machine when you buy this model. This great-looking machine resembles the popcorn machines from the theater and the base looks just like a miniature popcorn cart.

It makes up to 12 cups of movie theater-style popcorn and you can order popcorn kits from the company.

This popcorn machine uses hot air instead of oil and you can add melted butter once it is finished popping. The popping chamber creates swirling air that helps to ensure that all of the kernels are popped. It is the perfect size at 10.5” x 7.5” x 16.5”.

Pros

  • Mimics old-fashioned popcorn machines with its attractive design
  • Is the perfect size for 12 cups of popcorn
  • Uses hot air so no oil is needed
  • Directs popped popcorn to a bowl for easy serving

Cons

  • Not as easy to clean as other models

Dash Deluxe Electric Popcorn Machine

**EDITORS CHOICE**

You can enjoy up to 24 cups of movie theater-style popcorn in each batch using the Dash Deluxe electric popcorn machine. It has a stirring bat to ensure that all kernels pop without burning or sticking. It is easy to store because the base and the lid nest together. The lid has built-in measuring cups, so adding the amount of popcorn you want is easy.

The dash popcorn maker includes a built-in butter melting tray that lets you add butter while it is cooking and it also has a steam vent to prevent smoke from building up. The built-in bowl is removed for easy transportation once your popcorn is ready.

It is easy to use. You add the oil and the popcorn kernels and turn the machine on.

This machine measures 13 x 13 x 10 inches

Pros

  • It is easy to use with just one push button
  • It comes with butter melting tray
  • Lid flips over to become a bowl once it is ready
  • Steam vents prevent smoking

Cons

  • None to mention. Very few customer complaints.

Pop Pup Countertop Popcorn Machine

This great small popcorn machine is manufactured by the Great Northern Popcorn Company. It has a 2.5 ounce-kettle that makes around a gallon of popcorn in each batch, and it also has a 10W warming bulb at the top of the machine to keep your popcorn fresh and warm. It fits nicely on any countertop, and it is a fun design that reminds you of the carnival or the fair.

This machine is built with stainless steel and has polycarbonate sides and a door, and it is durable. It has a two-switch system that operates the kettle heater and stirrer independently from the warming light.

It comes with a slide-out serving tray that makes it simple to serve your popcorn once it is ready. It also has a measuring spoon, a measuring cup, popcorn bags, and an instruction manual.

This machine measures 9.75”L x 11”W x 18.75”H.

Pros

  • Attractively styled small popcorn machine
  • A two-switch operation that is easy to use and efficient
  • Serving tray and accessories
  • One gallon of popcorn per batch

Cons

  • Some assembly required

Maxi-Matic Tabletop Popcorn Machine

This Maxi-Matic Popcorn machine is a traditional hot oil kettle popcorn maker. It is powered at 300 watts and it makes up to a gallon of popcorn in each batch. It has a 2.5-ounce stainless steel kettle that has a built-in stirring system, and there is a warming light to keep the popcorn hot and fresh.

It comes with a removable popcorn tray, and the machine is designed with plexiglass windows and a plexiglass door. It is simple to use.

You add kernels and oil to the kettle and turn it on. It comes with a measuring spoon and a measuring cup to make it easy.

It is a countertop model that measures 10” x 11.25” x 18.75” and it weighs just 9.2 pounds.

Pros

  • Small popcorn machine is easy to use
  • It comes with a removable popcorn tray
  • Warming light keeps popcorn fresh
  • Stainless steel kettle has stirring system to prevent kernels from burning or sticking

Cons

  • Handle is inside the machine, and it gets hot

What to Look for in a Popcorn Machine

There are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing a popcorn machine, regardless of it’s size..

  • Capacity: Determine the desired serving size and choose a machine with an appropriate capacity to meet your needs, whether it’s for personal use or larger gatherings.
  • Popping Method: Decide between hot air or oil popping methods based on your preferences for healthier or traditional-style popcorn.
  • Ease of Use: Look for a machine with intuitive controls, clear instructions, and straightforward operation to ensure a hassle-free popcorn-making experience.
  • Speed: Consider the popping time of the machine, as shorter popping times can save you time and allow for quick snack preparation.
  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Opt for a machine with removable parts and easy-to-clean surfaces, making maintenance and cleanup convenient and efficient.
  • Safety Features: Prioritize machines with built-in safety features such as heat-resistant handles, transparent lids, and automatic shut-off mechanisms for enhanced user safety.
  • Durability: Choose a popcorn machine constructed with durable materials that can withstand repeated use and provide long-lasting performance.
  • Design and Portability: Consider the machine’s size, weight, and design aesthetics to ensure it fits well in your kitchen or entertainment area. If portability is important, look for a compact and lightweight machine that can be easily moved or stored.

The design of the machine matters because you will want to enjoy looking at it and it should fit in with your home decor. The size is important because you will need space for it. Small popcorn machines are much easier to place on your counter or a tabletop.

In addition, you should find a popcorn machine that is easy to clean. The kettle should be removable so you can clean it and put it away. It should also have a stirring device. This helps to prevent the kernels from sticking to the kettle or burning. It will ensure that you get more popped kernels. The kettle and warming plate should also be non-stick to make cleaning easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Popcorn Machines Pop Popcorn?

Small popcorn machines often resemble movie theater-style popcorn machines, but they can fit on your counter. They don’t pop as much popcorn in each batch but work great at home when you don’t need more than a few servings.

They usually have tempered glass walls and a metal bottom and top. There is a heating element inside that heats the kettle. When turned on, it heats the oil above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The popcorn is surrounded by oil, and as the oil heats the kernel, the moisture inside turns to steam. It expands, which results in pop.

Do You Have to Use Oil in Popcorn Machines?

It is essential to look at the instructions from each manufacturer to find out if you need to use oil. If they call for oil, it is important because the oil is what allows the kernels to pop.

In those machines, the oil surrounds the kernel, and it is heated by the kettle. This heats the kernel and causes the moisture in the center to become steam and expand, ultimately leading to the pop. If you don’t use oil in these machines, many kernels may not pop at all or they may partially pop.

You can choose from different kinds of oil, so you do not have to use an unhealthy option.

Some of the best oils to use for popcorn include the following:

Coconut oil
Olive oil
Avocado oil
Sunflower oil
– Canola oil
– Grapeseed oil
– Peanut oil

Some of these oils have minimal flavor and work with other toppings, while others add flavor and keep your popcorn light and healthy.

Are Popcorn Machines Easy to Clean?

Most companies make popcorn machines that are easy to clean. Look for a popcorn machine with a removable kettle and tray, which simplifies the cleaning process. You want to have easy access to wipe down the interior of the machine, and it is essential to clean it after each use.

Your popcorn machine will last longer if you take care of it and if you do run into problems with your popcorn machine, often a good clean will sort it out.

How does a small popcorn machine work?

A small popcorn machine works by heating popcorn kernels, typically through the use of hot air or oil. The heat causes the kernels to pop and transform into fluffy popcorn.

What is the capacity of a small popcorn machine?

The capacity of a small popcorn machine can vary, but it is typically designed to produce around 2 to 4 servings of popcorn per batch.

Can I use regular popcorn kernels in a small popcorn machine?

Yes, you can generally use regular popcorn kernels in a small popcorn machine. It is compatible with a wide range of popcorn kernels available in the market.

How long does it take to pop a batch of popcorn in a small popcorn machine?

The time required to pop a batch of popcorn in a small popcorn machine varies, but it typically takes around 2 to 4 minutes for the popping process to complete.

Does a small popcorn machine require oil?

It depends on the specific model. Some small popcorn machines use hot air to pop the kernels without the need for oil, while others may require a small amount of oil to enhance the flavor and texture of the popcorn.

How do I clean a small popcorn machine?

Cleaning methods can vary among different models, but most small popcorn machines have removable components, such as the popping chamber and kernel tray, that can be washed with warm soapy water. It is important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning guidelines.

Is a small popcorn machine suitable for commercial use?

Small popcorn machines are generally designed for home or personal use. For commercial settings or high-volume production, larger popcorn machines are typically recommended.

Can I use flavored popcorn seasoning in a small popcorn machine?

Yes, you can use flavored popcorn seasoning in a small popcorn machine. Simply sprinkle or mix the desired seasoning onto the popped popcorn and toss it to distribute the flavors evenly.

Can I add butter to the popcorn while it pops in a small popcorn machine?

It is generally not recommended to add butter or other liquid ingredients directly to the small popcorn machine while it is popping. However, you can melt butter separately and drizzle it over the popped popcorn afterwards.

Is it safe to leave a small popcorn machine unattended during operation?

It is recommended to never leave a small popcorn machine (or any popcorn machine) unattended during operation. It is important to closely monitor the popcorn machine to ensure safe and proper functioning.

Can I use a small popcorn machine outdoors?

Yes, you can use a small popcorn machine outdoors, as long as it is placed on a stable surface and connected to a suitable power source, taking necessary precautions to protect it from weather elements.

What is the recommended age for operating a small popcorn machine?

The recommended age for operating a small popcorn machine can vary depending on the specific model and its safety features. However, adult supervision is generally advised when children are using the machine.

Are small popcorn machines energy-efficient?

Small popcorn machines are typically designed to be energy-efficient, using minimal power to heat the popcorn kernels and complete the popping process.

Are small popcorn machines noisy during operation?

Small popcorn machines can generate some noise during the popping process, but the level of noise is generally manageable and not excessively loud.

Final Words 💭

A small popcorn popper machine allows you to use the best popcorn maker any time you want it, but it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your home. Most of these popcorn makers can make anywhere from a few servings to a gallon of popcorn, and they are easy to use.

You can choose a retro style, a hot air popper, or a bowl design and have fresh popcorn whenever you have a few minutes to prepare this delicious snack.

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