Can You Make Popcorn In An Air Fryer?

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Popcorn Made in the Air Fryer

Wondering, can you make popcorn in an air fryer? The answer is, yes! However, we will share some prerequisites for safely popping your popcorn.

Popcorns are not high in calories, sugar, and fat but relatively high in fiber. Therefore, they can perfectly fit into your fitness regime. We all know we can make popcorn in a microwave, but the question is can you do the same in air fryer? Let’s find out.

Can You Make Popcorn In An Air Fryer?

Yes, you can easily make air fryer with or without oil. Simply put the popcorn in the fryer basket, set the time and temperature, let it cook. The hot air will pop the kernels, giving you delicious popcorn without oil.

Note: We are not talking about putting a popcorn bag in the air fryer; instead, we refer to popping popcorn from kernels.

Things You Need For Making Air-Fried Popcorn

Popcorn is the easiest snack you can make. Air frying popcorn requires a few things only, and they are:

  • Air Fryer: It goes without mentioning that you need to have the best air fryer for making popcorn.
  • Plain Popcorn Kernel: You can easily find them in the snack aisle of any nearby grocery.
  • Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil is required to line the basket bottom because air fryer baskets often have big perforations at the base. If not lined, these holes will let the kernel pass through them.
  • Oil: In an air fryer, making popcorn with oil is not mandatory. But some people like their popcorn to have a buttery taste. So adding oil to the air fryer is more about taste than it is a requirement of this recipe.

You can also use butter instead of oil to enjoy a buttery taste. Oil also helps the seasoning flavor, such as salt, stick to the popcorn.

Note: When using oil in the air fryer, choose the oil with high smoke, which can withstand high temperature and does not produce smoke. Avocado oil can be a good choice.

How To Air Fry Popcorns

We will not deny that it will take some trial and error attempts before you master the art of cooking popcorn in the air fryer. Once you get the skill to use an air fryer for making popcorn, you will get addicted to tossing a spoonful of kernels in the air fryer basket and having your way with them in just a few minutes!

Follow the below-mentioned Air fryer popcorn recipe for better taste and results:

  • Place a piece of foil or parchment paper at the bottom of the air fryer basket to cover the perforations so kernels do not escape through the holes and drop on the air fryer drawer.
  • Take one-fourth cup of popcorn kernels and mix one teaspoon of oil/butter.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Put marinated kernels into the air fryer basket.
  • Put the basket back into the air fryer and cook the kernel for 6-8 minutes at a temperature of 390F to 400F. Stop the air fryer when no popping sound comes out of the unit.
  • Take out the basket and transfer the popcorn into a bowl.
  • Put the basket again in the air fryer if there are unpopped kernels and repeat the process.

You can also make sweet popcorn in the air fryer by following the same method.

Why Air Fried Popcorns A Better Choice

Choosing an air fryer for popping popcorn is a good choice. Here is why!

Need Less or No Oil

The traditional method requires you to add at least two to three tablespoons of oil to make one batch of popcorn. An air fryer, on the contrary, requires no or just a small amount of oil (1 teaspoon). So, this air fryer recipe add less calories to your food and no-fuss recipe!

Free of Chemicals

Do you know some microwave popcorn uses diacetyl to enhance the flavor and smell and give a buttery taste? This chemical is not good for your health and has been linked to a lung condition called popcorn lung.

On the contrary, you use fresh popcorn kernels in an air fryer that are completely free of toxins and chemicals such as diacetyl. So, air frying popcorns is free of chemicals.


Making air-fried popcorn is an economical option. One cup of popcorn kernel costs less than $1. Also, using an air fryer to make popcorn is a fast method. Also, air fryer does not consume much electricity, so enjoying one of the most delectable and healthiest snacks this way is cheap.

What are the risks associated with making popcorn in the air fryer?

Now is the time to talk about the elephant in the room. The biggest risk associated with making popcorns in an air fryer is that the kernel or popcorns can bounce and reach the heating element of the air fryer because they are not heavy enough to stay down.

Popcorn reaching the heating element can cause air fryer smoke or erupt fire. For this reason, people might be hesitant to make pop corn in an air fryer. But there is a way around this problem.

  • You must never leave your air fryer alone while the popcorn is popping inside. Turn the unit off if you smell any smoke to avoid more damage.
  • As soon as you hear that no popping sound is coming from the air fryer, stop the air fryer and dish out the popcorn.

Note: If you are apprehensive about using an air fryer and don’t want to risk your air fryer, using the traditional method of making popcorn in a pan is still better than eating microwaved popcorn.


Can you make popcorn with out oil in an air fryer?

Yes, using an air fryer to make popcorn without oil is quite easy. But if you want your popcorn to be extra buttery and fresh, mix a little butter or oil with the kernel before putting them in the air fryer basket.

How long does popcorn take in the air fryer?

Making popcorn in the air fryer does not take approx. 8 minutes. Put a foil in the air fryer and toss popcorn kernels on it. Turn on the air fryer for five-to-eight minutes at 400F. Open the air fryer drawer when the popping sound slows down.

Is air-popped popcorn healthy?

Yes, they are totally healthy. Air-popped popcorns are low in calories and high in fiber. Besides, air frying does not require any oil. So, they are healthier than the most popular low-calorie snack foods.

Why is air fryer popcorn not popping?

Popcorn kernels don’t pop up if they are low or high in water content. For the kernels to pop, they must have 14-15% moisture, and anything less or more won’t let them pop up. You can check the moistness with your fingers.

Can you put a bag of microwave popcorn in an air fryer?

No, you should not put bag of microwave popcorn in the air fryer basket. The popcorn bag has a microwave safe coating that will burn with the hot air of the air fryer. 

Wrapping Up!

Using an air fryer is an incredibly easy way to make popcorn. You also don’t need many ingredients to make this recipe. But you have to make sure not to leave the air fryer unattended when kernels are being popped in the air fryer. Also, if you smell burning, pull out the air fryer drawer and remove the contents immediately.