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Upgrade Your Popcorn Game at Home with Two Popcorn Poppers

Posted on Friday, January 19, 2024 and updated on Thursday, February 22, 2024 2:18 PM

Upgrade Your Popcorn

On this National Popcorn Day, we compiled a list of free popcorn offers and other promotions at theaters around the country, but what if you're watching a movie at home tonight?

The easy option that many people choose is the trusty bag of microwave popcorn. It's hard to argue with the convenience, but no one will say its the peak of popcorn performance.

If you're looking to upgrade from that microwave popcorn bag, check out two great options that we think are worth considering!

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Ecolution Micro-Pop Microwave Popcorn Popper

Buy from Amazon.com (current price: $19.99)

We purchased this glass microwave popcorn popper a few months ago and found it to be a convenient alternative to bagged microwave popcorn. It's available in several colors, including the red in the photo above.

You choose the popcorn seed, how much you want to make, and put it in the microwave for a few minutes. For extra convenience, you can place butter in the lid and it will melt into the popcorn while it's popping. This popper comes in a 1.5 quart "snack size" and a 3 quart "family size" so you can choose which size works best for you.

If you don't need to share, the glass Ecolution popper works as a serving container. It's a little warm after coming out of the microwave, but it cools down pretty quickly. If you are sharing your popcorn, pouring the popped corn into bowls is easy.

Clean-up is easy, as the glass bowl cleans fast. The product page on Amazon says that it's dishwasher safe, but we've always washed it by hand.


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West Bend Stir Crazy Stirring Oil Popcorn Machine

Buy from Amazon.com (current price: $39.99 in black, $42.56 in red)

No matter how many microwave popcorn poppers we try, nothing matches the results you get when you pop popcorn in oil. What it lacks in convenience compared to its microwave siblings, it makes up for in the results!

We had the original West Bend Stir Crazy popcorn popper for many years, and it was showing its age. Many batches of popcorn were made in that popper and we missed it when it finally wore out. After living with just the Ecolution microwave popper above, we decided it was time to get a new Stir Crazy popper. This new model is an upgrade from the previous model, without losing any of the features that made its predecessor great. Three different colors are available, and we chose the red as pictured above.

Making popcorn this way is a tactile experience. You pour in your favorite oil, whether it's plain vegetable oil or coconut oil, add your favorite popcorn, and watch the stirring stick go to work. Popping takes just a few minutes, so if you get it started while you're pouring your favorite beverage and finding that perfect movie, it'll be ready to go when you are.

Popcorn always pops completely and you can add butter to the top of the unit so that it melts into the popcorn as it's popping. When it's done, the popped popcorn can be enjoyed right out of the lid, which doubles as a bowl that's easily held on your lap and passed around if you are forced to share. This popper can make up to 6 quarts of popcorn, which is about right for a family of four. Preparation is so quick that making multiple batches for a larger/hungrier group is fast and easy.

Clean-up is not as easy as for the Ecolution popper, but nowhere near difficult. There are a few more steps, and the base is not immersible. The manufacturer says that the bowl and lid are dishwasher safe, but we always wash it by hand. The lid does stack under the base for convenient storage, which is a big plus when compared to the original Stir Crazy popper.

Don't Forget the Popcorn, Oil, and Salt/Seasoning!

When you're not unwrapping a bag of microwave popcorn, you'll need your choice of popcorn and oil. This is largely a personal preference, it it's an opportunity to experiment with different types and brands of each. We often choose Orville Redenbacher’s Original Gourmet Popcorn Kernels and Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil, but we've also had very good results with the pre-measured packs of popcorn, coconut oil, and butter-flavored salt from Great Northern Company. It has everything you need in one place, and coconut oil is considered the best for popcorn.

Seasoning is another personal preference. Popcorn salt is finer than table salt, which adheres to popcorn better. Morton makes a good unflavored popcorn salt, but if you want to get closer to movie theater popcorn, try out the Flavacol seasoning. There are multitudes of seasonings available, so you can have fun trying different types and brands to see what you like best.


We won't judge you for making a quick bag of microwave popcorn once in a while, but we definitely recommend giving one of these upgrades a try! My top recommendation is the West Bend Stir Crazy popper, but I find myself reaching for the Ecolution popper for smaller batches as well. It's good to have both options available!

Product Links

Please note: If you purchase through the links above, we may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for supporting The BigScreen Cinema Guide!

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