Can You Use An Air Fryer For Popcorn

Popcorn is a beloved snack that can be enjoyed in various ways. Whether you prefer it sweet, salty, or with a hint of butter, popcorn is a versatile treat that appeals to many taste buds. But have you ever wondered if you can use an air fryer to make this delightful snack?

The air fryer has gained popularity in recent years for its ability to fry foods with little to no oil. It uses hot air circulation to cook food, resulting in crispy and delicious dishes. While an air fryer may not be the first appliance that comes to mind when thinking about popcorn, it can indeed be used to make this classic snack.

So, how can you use an air fryer for popcorn?

To make popcorn in an air fryer, you will need a few simple ingredients: popcorn kernels, a small amount of oil, and salt or seasoning of your choice. Start by preheating your air fryer to the recommended temperature for cooking popcorn, usually around 400°F (200°C).

Is Air Fryer Suitable for Making Popcorn?

Popcorn is a beloved snack enjoyed by people of all ages. Traditionally, popcorn is made by heating kernels in a pot or microwave until they burst, creating fluffy, delicious bites. However, with the rise of air fryers, many people wonder if this trendy kitchen appliance can be used to make popcorn.

An air fryer operates by circulating hot air around the food, creating a crispy texture with minimal oil. While it excels at cooking various dishes, such as fries and chicken wings, using it for popcorn may not provide the best results.

When making popcorn, the heat needs to be evenly distributed to ensure that all the kernels pop at the same time. Additionally, the kernels need room to expand, which can be challenging in the limited space of an air fryer basket. Unlike a pot or microwave, an air fryer may not have enough room for the popcorn to fully pop, resulting in some kernels remaining unpopped or burning.

Furthermore, air fryers typically lack the agitation mechanism found in dedicated popcorn makers. This mechanism helps to prevent sticking and burning by constantly moving the kernels around during the cooking process. Without this feature, the popcorn may have a higher likelihood of burning.

In conclusion, while you may be able to make popcorn in an air fryer, it is not the most suitable appliance for achieving perfectly popped kernels. For the best results and a consistently delicious snack, it is recommended to stick with traditional methods such as stovetop popping or using a dedicated popcorn maker.

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Pros and Cons of Using an Air Fryer to Make Popcorn

Using an air fryer to make popcorn has gained popularity in recent years as it offers a healthier alternative to traditional stovetop or microwave methods. However, there are both pros and cons to consider when using an air fryer for popcorn.


  • Healthier Option: Air fryers use less oil compared to stovetop or microwave methods, resulting in a healthier snack. Popcorn made in an air fryer has fewer calories and less fat.
  • Convenient: Air fryers are easy to use and require minimal preparation. Simply add the popcorn kernels to the fryer basket, set the temperature and time, and wait for the popcorn to pop.
  • Even Cooking: Air fryers cook food evenly due to their circulating hot air technology. This means that the popcorn will pop uniformly, resulting in a consistent taste and texture.
  • No Burnt Popcorn: Unlike stovetop methods, there is no risk of burning the popcorn in an air fryer. The hot air circulates around the popcorn, preventing it from getting scorched.


  • Smaller Batches: Air fryers have limited capacity, so you can only make small batches of popcorn at a time. This might be inconvenient if you’re making popcorn for a large group of people.
  • Potential for Unpopped Kernels: Due to the circulating hot air, some kernels may not fully pop in an air fryer. This can result in a few unpopped kernels in your batch of popcorn.
  • No Butter Flavor: Air fryers do not provide the same buttery flavor as stovetop methods. If you enjoy the rich taste of butter on your popcorn, you may not find the air fryer method as satisfying.
  • Price: Air fryers can be more expensive than traditional stovetop or microwave popcorn makers. If you’re on a budget, investing in an air fryer solely for popcorn making may not be worth it.
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Overall, using an air fryer for popcorn has its advantages and disadvantages. It is a healthier option with even cooking and no risk of burnt popcorn. However, there are limitations in batch size, potential for unpopped kernels, lack of butter flavor, and the cost of the air fryer itself to consider. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for you.

How to Make Popcorn in an Air Fryer

If you are a popcorn lover and own an air fryer, you might wonder if you can use it to make popcorn. The good news is that yes, you can make delicious and crispy popcorn in an air fryer! In fact, using an air fryer for popcorn can be a healthier alternative to traditional stovetop or microwave methods.


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon oil (optional)
  • Salt or other seasonings to taste


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. If desired, you can coat the popcorn kernels with a small amount of oil to help with browning and flavor. This step is optional, as air fryers are known for producing crispy results without added oil.
  3. Place the popcorn kernels in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Try not to overcrowd the basket to ensure even cooking.
  4. Cook the popcorn for about 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket every few minutes to prevent burning and ensure even cooking. Cooking times may vary depending on the brand and model of your air fryer, so keep an eye on the popcorn to avoid overcooking.
  5. Once the popcorn is golden brown and popping slows down, carefully remove the basket from the air fryer using oven mitts or tongs. Be cautious as it will be hot.
  6. Season the popcorn with salt or your favorite seasonings while it is still hot. Toss the popcorn gently to evenly distribute the seasonings.
  7. Allow the popcorn to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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Making popcorn in an air fryer is not only quick and easy, but it also results in a healthier snack without sacrificing taste. The hot air circulation in the air fryer mimics the effect of oil, providing a crispy texture without the need for deep frying.

Benefits of Making Popcorn in an Air Fryer
Benefits Description
Healthier Snack Air frying popcorn requires little to no oil, reducing the fat and calorie content compared to traditional methods.
Quick and Easy With an air fryer, you can have a batch of popcorn ready in just a few minutes. There’s no need to preheat a stovetop or wait for the microwave.
Customizable Seasonings You have control over the amount and type of seasonings you use on your popcorn. Experiment with different flavors to find your favorite combination.

So go ahead and give it a try! Whip up a batch of delicious popcorn using your air fryer and enjoy a guilt-free snack that is sure to satisfy your cravings.


Can I use an air fryer to make popcorn?

Yes, you can use an air fryer to make popcorn. However, it’s important to note that not all air fryers are suitable for popping popcorn. You will need to have an air fryer with a popcorn function or a specific popcorn accessory.

Do I need to use oil when making popcorn in an air fryer?

No, you do not necessarily need to use oil when making popcorn in an air fryer. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food to cook it, so you can achieve crispy popcorn without the need for added oil. However, some people prefer to add a small amount of oil for flavor or to help the seasoning stick.

Elizabeth Green
Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is a seasoned home chef and culinary expert who has a passion for all things kitchen-related. With her extensive knowledge of the latest kitchen products and appliances, Elizabeth provides insightful reviews and recommendations to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, blender, or cookware set, Elizabeth is your guide to finding the best kitchen products available in the UK.

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