Making popcorn in an air fryer is easy, fun, and gives extraordinary results. Microwaving is also another common and fastest way to make popcorn.
But can you put microwave popcorn in an air fryer?
The answer is yes. Unfortunately, you may not get the best results without a suitable microwave popcorn bag.
If you do so, there’s a higher chance of burning or overcooking your popcorn.
This article will help you make microwave popcorn in an air fryer. So, keep reading to discover more!
How To Make Popcorn In An Air Fryer
An air fryer is a machine that heats food by rapidly circulating hot air.
It retains the food’s taste and lowers the chances of burning or overcooking them.
That’s why many people opt to use air fryers to make popcorn.
While it may not be the fastest way to get the job done, it’s an excellent option.
Critical Ingredients for Air Fryer Popcorn
Here are the essential ingredients you need to make popcorn in an air fryer:
- Oil (olive oil or coconut oil)
- Popcorn kernels
- Salt (optional)
How To Make Popcorn In An Air Fryer
Follow these easy steps to make tasty and remarkable popcorn in your air fryer.
Preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about three minutes.
Meanwhile, put the popcorn kernels in a suitable bowl. Then spray the popcorn kernels with olive or coconut cooking spray oil.
Shake the bowl well to coat all the popcorn kernels with oil. You can as well add seasoning in this step.
Add a little salt for seasoning. You can add other flavors or sugar only after cooking.
Now put the popcorn kernels in your air fryer. Cover the air fryer with a lid to prevent the popcorn kernels from popping out and sticking to the heating unit.
Drop the temperature of the air fryer to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then set your air fryer timer to about 8 minutes to allow the kernels to pop fully.
Shake the basket with the kernels halfway through for even cooking. In this stage, don’t detach the lid.
If the kernels continue to pop at the end of cooking time, leave the air fryer’s basket until the popping reduces.
What if you don’t have a large air fryer and want to make plenty of popcorn?
Well, replace the cooking basket with a new one and repeat the steps above till you have the amount of popped popcorn you desire.
Remove the popcorn from the air fryer’s basket at the end of the popping. To add taste, sprinkle some sugar, butter, or other seasonings.
Store your freshly made air-fried popcorn in an airtight container to keep it fresh and crunchy.
Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn Any Other Way?
It is not always a good idea to cook microwave popcorn in an air fryer. But the question is, can you cook microwave popcorn any other way?
The answer is yes! There is nothing so special about microwave popcorn that it differs from regular popcorn.
It comprises popcorn, oil, and various seasonings like salt, butter flavor, and more.
So, you can grab your microwave popcorn and pop the popcorn in a pot on top of a stove. You may also use a popcorn machine, a toaster oven, or the regular oven.
See also: Best Cabinet Depth Microwaves
What’s The Difference Between Air Popped Popcorn And Microwave Popcorn?
The method of heating the popcorn kernels is the main differentiator between air-popped popcorn and microwave popcorn.
An air popper often relies on hot air to cook the popcorn kernels. On the other hand, the microwave sends radio wave elements through the popcorn kernels.
These kernels are inside a bag to help trap heat, making the popcorn pop.
An air-popped popcorn doesn’t need any extra oil or seasonings.
As for microwave popcorn, you’ll find it with additional ingredients like oil, salt, butter, and other chemical flavors to enhance the taste.
It is more time-consuming to make air fryer popcorn than microwaving. But it’s less messy than cooking in the microwave if you use aluminum foil to restrict the kernels from flying out while popping.
Air fryer popcorn is also cheaper and easier to make than the microwave version.
In addition, microwave popcorn bags also have perfluorinated compounds that prevent the oil from draining through the container.
These chemicals regrettably may find their way into your popped popcorn resulting in many concerns about whether microwave popcorn is safe for your health.
Can You Put A Bag Of Popcorn In An Air Fryer?
The answer is yes, but you should look for an all-natural microwave popcorn bag without PFC compounds.
Upon heating, these chemicals might melt and find their way into your popcorn. And this could affect your health in the long run.
How To Make Microwave Popcorn In An Air Fryer
You won’t like it getting unsatisfactory results by air frying microwave popcorn. So, these steps should help you make nice and tasty microwave popcorn in an air fryer:
Put the air fryer at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil to the air fryer.
Put the microwave popcorn bag into the air fryer and let the kernels pop.
And that’s it.
Wrap a paper towel around your hand and open up the microwave popcorn bag.
You can serve your air-fried popcorn plain. Or, add seasonings like melted butter, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Pros Of Making Popcorn In An Air Fryer
There are many benefits of using an air fryer to make popcorn. Some of the main pros include:
Popcorn made in the air fryer is cheaper than microwave popcorn (in terms of money and calories). That’s because they don’t contain lots of seasonings.
The air fryer uses less oil than a conventional oven. In most cases, two tablespoons of fat can make tasty and crunchy popcorn.
So, no worries about consuming plenty of unhealthy unsaturated oils.
All you have to do is; wipe the inner surface of your air fryer with a damp cloth. There’s no lengthy cleanup process needed like the one in your conventional oven.
Reduced Calorie intake
Many people like using an air fryer to make popcorn as their calorie intake will gradually reduce.
The air fryer uses less oil. So the calorie intake is less. Unlike microwave popcorn, you control how much fat you add.
This way, you can ensure your daily calorie intake stays within a reasonable range.
The lower calories will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
Cons Of Making Popcorn In An Air Fryer
There are also some disadvantages to making popcorn with an air fryer. Here are some things that you might not like about it.
Doesn’t Make Gourmet Popcorn
As mentioned earlier, the taste of air-fried popcorn is not as good as those prepared on a stovetop or the microwave. The taste is very bland. And the smell of the oil it comes with would turn you off.
Most air fryers have higher price tags than other methods, like an oven or a stove. However, its advantages and many features make it a worthwhile investment.
Takes Longer Time to Make Popcorn
Because air fryers use hot air for cooking, the time needed to make popcorn can be longer, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Air fryers have limited capacities, meaning you can’t use them to make popcorn for a big family. This is unlike the traditional cooking methods where you can use a large pot.
Not all air fryers can cook for more than three people. The most common capacity is 2-4 servings.
Is Air Popped Popcorn Healthy?
Yes. Air-popped popcorn is healthy. It has few seasonings, making it a healthy snack.
Besides, high-fiber whole grains help reduce the risk of diabetes. It may also limit certain cancers, heart diseases, and other health issues.
Unlike microwave popcorn, air-popped popcorn isn’t concerned about harmful PFC chemicals seeping into your popcorn. Therefore, it’s safe for your health.
Can You Make Microwave Popcorn Without Microwave?
Yes! You can use a stovetop, a popcorn machine, or an oven (toaster oven).
Just take the contents inside the microwave popcorn bag and use the above methods to cook your microwave popcorn.
You can also use an air fryer. You’ll need to use a suitable and safe microwave popcorn bag or aluminum foil inside the air popper.
That’s because microwave popcorn comes with oil and other seasonings, which may be dangerous to place straight into your air fryer.
You put microwave popcorn in an air fryer as long as you pop kernels inside the air fryer in a suitable microwave popcorn bag.
You can also create an aluminum foil pouch to help keep your popcorn kernels inside the air fryer.
Make sure you pop them under average temperature to prevent overcooking. The popcorn may cook longer, but you’ll get remarkable and clean results.