Best Oil for Popcorn (10 Types of Popcorn Oil Reviewed)

Best Oils For Popcorn Machines Buying Guide

As you can see there are many varieties of popcorn oil available. Below we have listed some factors that we would advise you to consider before purchasing your product.

The Flavor

Many oils claim to replicate the flavor of movie theatre popcorn, however, you will find some that are better at doing this than others.

Your personal preference is going to be a huge deciding factor in the type of oil that you choose. Selecting one that doesn’t cater to your tastes is likely to result in a wasted purchase.

The product packaging will state the flavor so you know exactly what you are buying beforehand. 

Versatility 

A great thing about many popcorn oils is that they are not solely restricted to popcorn making uses, in fact, many can be used for a range of other cooking applications too.

Because of this, you can enjoy the delicious flavor of the oil in many other recipes if its use is required. 

Dietary Requirements

Of course, it is super important to consider your own dietary needs before choosing your popcorn oil.

Many are now made to cater to those on vegan and gluten-free diets. If you are uncertain of any of the ingredients, it is always worth double-checking the packaging and product specifications beforehand. 

The Ingredients 

The packaging of the product will state the ingredients.

You will find that many are now made using natural, low fat alternatives which is great for those who are conscious about eating healthy because they can still enjoy a great tasting snack. 

The Quantity 

Many brands offer their popcorn oils in multiple quantities and others offer their product in individual packs. It is important to bear this in mind before making your choice.

While opting for a multipack is great as you have several bottles available to make plenty of portions of popcorn in the future, popcorn oil can expire when stored for a lengthy period of time, so they may end up being a wasted purchase.

The Bottle/Jar Size

The size of the bottle or jar of oil that you require will depend on how much popcorn you expect to make.

Of course, you don’t have to use it all in one sitting and larger jars offer plenty of servings for future batches of popcorn.

It’s worth noting that those that come in larger jars may be more difficult to store. Popcorn oil that is stored incorrectly is likely to become solid and difficult to use.

Also, consider the design of the bottle. Many come in jars meaning the oil will need to be scooped out and added into your popcorn machine.

Others come in bottles designed with convenient tops which allow you to pour the oil directly into the machine making minimal mess in the process. 

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Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Oils For Popcorn

Smoking point

Popping your kernels using oil with a low smoking point can be a nightmare. Usually, the recommended popping temperature for your kernels is 356 degrees Fahrenheit. A popping oil with a high smoking point may help to save time as it is likely to pop your kernels at a faster rate. Also, note that cooking oils with a higher smoking point are more processed and refined. While you can use them to pop your kernels, you can also use them for other cooking purposes like sautéing, stir-frying among others.A good example of popping oil with a high smoking point is avocado oil. Aside from having a high smoking point, the oil is known for its health benefits and its ability to retain flavor and taste. It is unlikely to burn or catch fire when exposed to high temperatures, which makes it a great pick not only when popping your kernels but also for other cooking purposes.

Ingredients

If you want your homemade popcorn to taste and smell good, you will need to take a closer look at the ingredients used. It is important to opt for a popcorn oil that does not increase your cholesterol, blood pressure, or weight. It should not increase the risks of developing chronic diseases, too. It is always best to go for a popcorn oil that is free of trans fat, saturated fat, artificial additives, and preservatives.

Health benefits

You are what you eat and this will also apply to the type of popping oil you choose. Each brand comes loaded with different health benefits in regards to the ingredients used. This is why you need to be extra- careful when choosing your oil.

One of the most commonly used oil in movie theatres is coconut oil. The oil is rich in healthy saturated fats which are known to reduce the harmful effects of unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Coconut oil is also rich in fatty acids which help suppress appetite by making you feel fuller. This can be useful for people who react to food when stressed or are overweight.

Avocado oil is popular popping oil which is known for its health benefits. Studies have indicated that using Avocado oil can help increase HDL cholesterol which is beneficial to the body and helps prevent heart complications.

People with diabetes and gum diseases can also benefit from Avocado oil. Extracts of avocado are known to prevent periodontal gum diseases and reduce knee and hip pain as well as stiffness for osteoarthritis patients.

Canola oil is also commonly used oil for popping kernels. It is cholesterol free and a good source of healthy fats and vitamin E. Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant which helps promote a healthy skin. Studies have indicated that Vitamin E can help reduce cancer, heart disease, and memory loss.  

Soybean oil and beta-carotene are some of the ingredients used to produce healthy popping oil. Some brands may use soybean or combine it with beta-carotene to increase the health benefits. Beta-carotene is known to be a great source of Vitamin A. A vitamin which promotes a healthy skin, improves the body immune system and boosts eyesight.

Soybean oil, on the other hand, is a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. Vitamin K is known to promote healthy bones while Vitamin E protects the skin from damage. Omega 3 promotes a healthy skin and good eyesight.

Peanut oil is another quality popping oil which is ideal for people with allergies. Like Olive oil, peanut oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which are good for a healthy heart. The oil is also cholesterol free, Tran’s fats free with low saturated fats content.

Taste and smell

Some oils will have a stronger smell than others depending on the ingredients used. People with allergic reactions should be careful when choosing their preferred brand. You should always check out the ingredients carefully before buying the popcorn oil to prevent any health hazards. Note that, organically extracted oil will always smell and taste the same as the ingredients used in the extraction. Any other smell is a good indicator of other additives or artificial flavors which are unhealthy.Another thing worth noting is that organically extracted oils are high in omega 3, 6, 9, and fatty acids which typically have a lower shelf life and require proper storage. Improper handling of naturally extracted cooking oil can ruin its color and taste. To ensure your popping oil does not become rancid, always store it in a cool and dark place.

Quantity

Most people like buying in bulk in order to save money but when it comes to organic extracted cooking oil, you should be extra careful on the quantity you buy. As mentioned earlier, naturally produced oil has a lower shelf life as compared to fully refined oil. For people who do not snack daily, it is highly recommended to invest in smaller quantities. The more your oil gets exposed to oxygen, the higher the chances of becoming rancid and losing its nutritional value.

Uses

While some brands are only recommended for popping purposes only, others can serve as popping oil and cooking oil at the same time. If you are looking forward to saving money, purchasing oil that can be used in varied cooking needs will help you prepare healthy meals without having to break the bank.

Fatworks USDA Premium Pasture Raised Pork Lard

A highly stable type of fat, lard has been used for years in traditional cooking. It is suitable for preserving cooked meat, which is what it was used for before refrigerators existed. It can be used for frying or in pie crusts, making the fried food crispier and the pie crust flakier. It also adds a mild savory flavor to foods, so it is ideal for popcorn.

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How to pop mushroom popcorn kernels

These kernels can’t be popped to a mushroom shape in a microwave so you need a stove-top popcorn popper.  In a microwave there is not enough heat so those kernels will only come out looking like regular popcorn. It’s not what we want.  Stove-top popcorn poppers are best suited for popping mushroom popcorn at home because you need really good heat for mushroom kernels to pop into proper balls. They aren’t expensive and will last a long time with proper care. You can make any kind of popcorn in them, not just mushroom popcorn.

Can you put oil in a hot air popcorn maker?

We researched several hot air popcorn makers, and they all said not to add oil to the machine. Since the popcorn is cooked using extremely hot air, oil is unnecessary. Furthermore, if you add oil to a hot air popcorn maker, it can cause damage to the unit.

If you want to, apply oil or melted clarified butter to your popcorn after popping to add flavor. If you want to liven up your popped popcorn, check out these flavored popcorn recipes from Taste of Home.

Designed with a bigger heating chamber, this hot air popcorn machine can make up to 3.5 ounces of fresh popcorn within two to three minutes. Click here to view the Hirifull hot air popcorn machine on Amazon.

Risks

While grapeseed oil is natural and safe, there are possible risks due to how it is extracted. Most experts recommend using grapeseed oil that has been cold-pressed because this process does not involve any chemicals.

Most grapeseed oil products on the store shelves have been extracted using a chemical like hexane. This makes the extraction process easier and cheaper but hexane is classified as a neurotoxin.

It’s unclear how much of the chemical is present in grapeseed oil products, so look for cold-pressed options when you can. Grapeseed oil can also be extracted using heat, but that process may inactivate any of its beneficial properties. 

What About Allergic Reactions?

If you have never used grapeseed oil products before, it might be helpful to start with a drop on a tiny patch of skin. If you don’t notice any reactions, such as redness or itching, then it is probably safe to try a larger amount. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to grapes, then it’s best to pass on grapeseed oil for now. 

The Different Types of Oil for Making Popcorn

Source: youtube.com
Source: youtube.com

Which one of these oils do you like most? If you already picked one, then check the review of that particular oil below.

  • Canola Oil: If you are health conscious, this oil might be your pick. Extracted from grapeseed, I like the fact that it has a high level of MUFA and has low saturated fats. Its taste is mild, so it can’t affect the popcorn flavor. However, this type of oil can easily be bad comparing to other types.
  • Olive Oil: When it comes to nutrition, olive oil always ranks first. Olive oil has a high level of unsaturated fats and has a strong flavor. Because of it, the popcorn is tastier, especially with your favorite spices. Olive oil is applicable for popping and dressing.
  • Coconut Oil: If you miss the familiar taste of popcorn in the movies, then you might like to try coconut oil. The nutty quality of taste a coconut oil brings is what makes popcorn extra yummy. However, it has a high level of saturated fats that have been said to be bad for your health. This is the most popular popcorn oil in the market.
  • Check Badge Peanut Oil: Peanut oil also have a naturally nutty taste that makes popcorn tastier. This is the best alternative to coconut oil. It has a low level of saturated fats and contains antioxidants like vitamin E. Take note though that this is not recommendable for those who have allergies to nuts.
  • Check Badge Soybean Oil: Rising to be popular as cooking oil, soybean oil is high in omega 3 that is good for your health. The taste of this oil is not that prominent; hence it’s perfect for popping kernels.
  • Check Badge Corn Oil: What makes the best oil for popcorn when you want a natural taste? Corn oil is an excellent choice. It has the lowest level of saturated fat and is famous for dressing.
  • Check Badge Sunflower Oil: This type of oil has a mild flavor, which makes it great for popcorn making. It’s also perfect for dressing. Besides containing a low level of saturated fat, it also has PUFA and MUFA that are beneficial to our health.

4th Heart Original Grass-Fed Ghee

This is lactose-free Ghee cooked the old-fashioned way from milk from New Zealand. 4th & Heart Ghee is one of the best options if you’re not in the mood to make your own.

It can replace any butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, it is diet-friendly and doesn’t require refrigeration.

Many people recommend using it for making popcorn and say that it gives popcorn the same taste as that of movie popcorn but with only natural ingredients.

It smells like popcorn butter and it is perfect for cooking and flavoring.

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2. Refined Olive Oil

It is important to use refined olive oil when prep

It is important to use refined olive oil when preparing popcorn since it has a smoke point of 410 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas extra virgin olive oil has a much lower smoke point. It has a neutral taste, so it will not affect the flavor profile of your popcorn. You will want to add clarified butter or a butter-flavored salt after popping if you crave that buttery essence.

A big positive of this type of oil is that it contains monosaturated fats, which are good for your health. The suggested serving size of olive oil contains about 13 grams of fat.

Not sure what cooking vessel is best to prepare your popcorn in? Read this article to learn the answer to this question: What Is The Best Pot For Making Popcorn?

How to Make the Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Prepare yourself for how easy it is to make a show-stopping batch of light, fluffy popcorn right on your very own stovetop. In a few simple steps, you’ll be movie-ready in no time.

First, get a heavy-bottom Dutch oven or large stockpot

You want a pot that is going to be able to withstand the heat, oil, and provide enough room for the kernels to pop around.

Can you use a smaller pan? Yes, I have in a pinch (like when I’m making half of the recipe and I’m just in a NEED POPCORN NOW mood). That being said, stick with the larger pan for the best results when possible. Use a lighter stockpot as opposed to a cast-enameled dutch oven if it’s easier for you to swish around.

Heat the pan over high heat with the oil and three popcorn kernels

Why add just a couple of popcorn kernels? They’re our tester kernels and will indicate to us when the oil is hot enough to add the rest.

Once the tester kernels pop, it means the oil is hot enough that when the rest are added to the pot, they will all pop almost immediately once added to the hot oil, giving us perfectly popped kernels with none leftover.

Without knowing if the oil is hot enough, our kernels would pop intermittently and this would result in unpopped kernels and burnt pieces, which no one wants either of.

Add popcorn kernels to the hot oil

Add popcorn kernels to the hot oil

Once the tester kernels have popped, immediately add in the rest of the kernels,cover, and remove the pan from the heat, shaking it gently side to side for 20 seconds. Once the 20 seconds have passed, immediately return the covered pan to the heat and in no time the kernels will be a-poppin’!

Pro tip: pre-measure the popcorn kernels before adding the tester kernels. You don’t want to waste time once the oil is hot and ready!

Let them Pop!

The kernels will bounce around in a flurry. Allow them to pop undisturbed for at least the first 30 seconds to a minute.

Once the pan is about halfway to three-quarters of the way full of popped kernels, crack the lid open to allow steam to escape. Allowing the steam to escape will prevent the kernels from becoming soggy, and keep them nice and crisp.

As the popping slows, you can gently shake the pan side to side to allow any unpopped kernels to make their way to the bottom (don’t shake it up and down; side to side only!). Once the popping has drastically slowed and/or stopped, immediately transfer the popped kernels to a serving bowl.

If you want to be really diligent about adding butter and/or toppings, you can easily do so in layers as you’re transferring the popcorn.

Types

Depending on the benefits you're looking for, grapeseed oil can be taken by mouth or through the skin.

Consumable 

Grapeseed oil is naturally found in grapes, but won’t pack the same nutritional punch. Grapes are a healthy snack, but don’t have the same concentrated amount of antioxidants and healthy fats as the extracted oil does.

Grapeseed oil is also available as an over-the-counter supplement. As with any dietary supplement, the National Institutes of Health recommends always checking its Supplement Facts label and talking with your healthcare provider before taking it. 

Cooking Oil Tips

Packed with healthy fats, grapeseed oil makes great cooking oil. It has a clean taste, so it won’t add unwanted flavor to your cooking like some other oils can (looking at you coconut oil). It also has a relatively high smoke point, making it a safer choice. An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which the oil starts to break down from the heat and won’t offer the same benefits. Grapeseed oil’s smoke point is 420 degrees F, higher than both olive and vegetable oils. 

Topical

Topical grapeseed oil products are popping up on grocery shelves and natural beauty shops. Most oils and lotions containing grapeseed oil are meant to be used once per day. Apply your product after washing your skin with a gentle cleanser.

Grapeseed oil should dry completely once applied and won’t leave a sticky or greasy feeling, so it can be applied morning or night. Avoid trying a topical option if you are currently using any harsh skin care treatments like retinol or salicylic acid, as it could cause irritation. 

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About Me Hi there, I am Jamie. I am a food enthusiast, and I love cooking. At Lacademie, you will learn simple cooking tips, nutrition advice as well as approach tasty recipes that you can make in less than 30 minutes.

How to Use

Best Kind to Buy:

Oils can be made in various ways — for example, some products are “cold-pressed” or “expeller-pressed” (like those labeled as extra virgin), while others require chemical solvents and a very lengthy process to draw the oils out.

In order to extract the oil from the tiny grape seeds, heavy machinery and sometimes chemicals need to be used. Some modern industrial machines used to make oils heat the oil to very high temperatures, which is the opposite of what we want, since this can chemically alter the fatty acids.

For this reason, the potential benefits of different grapeseed oils depend a lot on how the oils are processed and bottled.

Ideally look for cold-pressed, pure, organic grapeseed oil.

Cold-pressing, or expeller-pressing, means that the product wasn’t heated to very high temperatures during the manufacturing process. This keeps the molecular composition of the fatty acids from negatively changing.

Cold-pressing is basically using powerful machines to squeeze the oil out, without exposing it to chemical solvents or other ingredients that can make their way into the oil and be damaging to your health.

To cut costs and speed up efficiency, most manufacturers turn to solvents, such as hexane, along with high-heat machines during the processing period. Thus, you might have to pay a bit more for high-quality, pure grapeseed oil products, but it’s worth it.

To prevent the oil from going rancid, make sure it’s not exposed to light and high heat while being stored.

Note: Grape seed extract is a bit different than grapeseed oil.

Grape seed extract is also sourced from grape seeds. It’s taken as a dietary supplement in capsule form, most often to help manage conditions caused by inflammation and those that affect the cardiovascular system, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Grape seed extract contains a number of antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs).

Cooking With It:

What is grapeseed oil good for when it comes to cooking? It’s generally a good substitute for olive oil, such as when stir-frying and sauteing at moderate or low heat. It’s also definitely a step up from processed oils like sunflower, corn and safflower oils.

In terms of its taste, it’s virtually flavorless and odorless, which some people like because it doesn’t alter the taste of recipes like some other fats sometimes can. When making salad dressings or dips, other flavorful oils like virgin olive oil are probably a better choice.

That said, it doesn’t overpower the flavor of other ingredients, so as Bon Appetit magazine suggests, you may want to use it in order to let high-quality balsamic vinegars or other flavors stand out.

When it comes to cooking, pure grapeseed oil is relatively stable and can be heated without going rancid easily. However, it’s best not to fry with it, since PUFAs are not the best type of fat for this purpose.

What types of cooking methods are a good use of grapeseed oil?

  • vegetable stir-fries
  • sauteing in a pan
  • oven-roasting
  • baking

Overall, aim to use it sparingly, such as by also using avocado oil or grass-fed butter/ghee when cooking, which are recommended substitutes. This ensures your diet includes a variety of different fats, each with its own unique benefits.

5-Minute Homemade Stovetop Popcorn

This is my tried and true method for making perfectly crunchy, buttery, and salty stovetop popcorn in less than 5 minutes! Made with just a few simple ingredients including coconut oil, it is even BETTER than movie theatre popcorn and much healthier. Homemade popcorn seasoning suggestions included!

5 from 4 votes

Print Pin Rate SaveCourse: Snack

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 1 minuteCook Time: 4 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 14 cupsCalories: 223kcalAuthor: Becca Mills

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