This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Freshly-popped popcorn that’s cooked in high-fat oils, drenched in butter and covered in a sodium-filled seasoning is, unfortunately, a treat. Many popular cooking methods add fat or salt at every level and leave popcorn a greasy mess. However, popcorn doesn’t need to be unhealthy. By air-popping your popcorn, you can cut out harmful ingredients while enjoying your favorite snack. 

In this article: Great Northern Organic PopcornEcolution Patented Micro-PopDutchman’s Popcorn Coconut Oil.

The good and bad of popcorn

Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island, spoke to the American Heart Association about the unhealthy way movie theater popcorn is made and the healthiest way to make it at your home. 

“Air-popped would be a good way to prepare popcorn because it gives you some control over the seasonings that you add afterward, how much salt, or how much oil or butter,” Vadiveloo told the American Heart Association. 

Air popping lets you control every step of the process, but you don’t have to sacrifice delicious flavor with your fat and oil. There are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy a bowl of air-popped that may even compete with your local theater’s. 


Q: What are popcorn’s health benefits?

A: The American Heart Association notes how high popcorn is in fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help with blood circulation and digestion. On its own, popcorn is low in calories and fills you up quicker than fattier, more heavily-processed snacks.

Q: Why air-popping?

A: Put simply and obviously, air popping cooks popcorn with hot air that circulates around until it pops. It’s a simple, satisfying way to pop that’s not only easier than cooking it on your stove, but it’s better for you too.

Some air poppers include the bowl, while the classic air popper blows popped kernels through a shaft on the top and into your howl. Don’t want a new appliance? There are plenty of top-notch microwaveable air poppers too. 

Q: Why won’t the seasonings stick? 

A: Unless you like the flavor of plain popcorn, you’re going to need some help getting the seasoning to stick. A small dab of olive oil, canola oil or avocado oil goes a surprisingly long way in evenly coating the kernels in the bowl. 

Remember, while salt is fine in moderation, too much wreaks havoc on your heart. Products such as the Oh My Spice low-sodium, keto-friendly popcorn seasonings have lots of flavor without the salt bombs.

Best products for delicious air-popped popcorn

Best Orville Redenbachers Gourmet Popcorn Kernels

Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popcorn Kernels 

You don’t need to go far for delicious popcorn kernels. Orville Redenbacher is a household name for a reason, and with 8 pounds of yellow popcorn kernels in a secure container, you’ll have plenty to experiment with. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Great Northern Organic Popcorn

Great Northern Organic Popcorn

The Great Northern Popcorn Company is another giant in the industry. This 7-pound jug of organic popcorn is free of genetically modified organisms and the harmful pesticides and chemicals often found in other brands. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Presto 04821 Orville Redenbachers Hot Air Popper

Presto 04821 Orville Redenbacher’s Hot Air Popper

This air popper lets you appreciate your Orville Redenbacher popcorn in its purest form. It’s as easy as measuring and pouring your kernels and plugging the machine in for less than three minutes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Ecolution Patented Micro-Pop

Ecolution Patented Micro-Pop

This 3-quart microwaveable air popper is made from temperature-safe borosilicate glass that withstands the violent pops within. The round pot with a vented top that doubles as a butter melter circulates the air, preventing sticking and burning.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Joseph Joseph Microwave Popcorn Popper

Joseph Joseph Microwave Popcorn Popper

This single-serving, heat-resistant silicone cup’s pop-in lid protects your microwave and pops back open when the popcorn is done. It’s a two-pack that will feed both you and your partner, and they can be washed in the dishwasher when you’re done.

Where to buy: Amazon

Best Oh My Spice Zesty Ranch Seasoning

Oh My Spice Zesty Ranch Seasoning

Oh My Spice’s low sodium seasonings, such as the delicious Zesty Ranch, are shockingly flavorful with just 2% of your daily recommended sodium. There are no carbs, sugar or calories in this spice blend, which is part of a line of similarly healthy flavors. 

Where to Buy: Sold by Amazon

Best Dutchmans Popcorn Coconut Oil

Dutchman’s Popcorn Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may not eliminate fat and calories altogether, but this one makes a fine alternative with all-natural ingredients and no harmful trans fats. Even better, it tastes like movie theater butter without the guilt or cost. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Bradley Geiser writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.