Most people will agree that it’s hard to enjoy a movie without munching on popcorn. When it comes to flavor, the possibilities are endless. Season your popcorn with a range of different seasonings and spices, depending on what tickles your fancy. 

You can add seasoning to some popcorn makers, but it’s better to season your popcorn after it has popped and once you’ve transferred it to another bowl. That’s because adding seasoning too early can affect the consistency of the popcorn and potentially damage the machine. 

The type of popcorn maker you have will determine whether or not it’s safe to add seasoning to it. Before using the machine, always read the instruction manual carefully to avoid accidents. Keep reading as I discuss the types of popcorn makers you can add seasoning to, the best ways to season popcorn, and whether or not you should coat your popcorn with water instead of oil.

What Type Of Popcorn Maker Can You Add Seasoning To?

Microwave and stovetop popcorn makers are the only types you can add seasoning to. For all other popcorn makers, you’ll need to add your seasoning once the kernels have popped.

If you want to add seasoning to your popcorn maker before the kernels have popped, you need to use either a microwave or stovetop popcorn maker. That’s because these types don’t have tiny crevices and chambers where seasoning can get clogged, resulting in the machine being damaged.

While it’s safe to add seasoning to both microwave and stovetop popcorn makers, it’s best not to. Adding seasoning to the popcorn maker before the kernels have popped can make the popcorn tough and chewy depending on the seasoning. Unless you enjoy this texture, seasoning your popcorn after it pops is recommended. Adding seasoning to the kernels before they’ve popped also results in them absorbing less flavor.

The main types of popcorn makers are:

  • Microwave popcorn maker
  • Stovetop popcorn maker
  • Hot air popcorn maker
  • Electric popcorn maker

What Popcorn Maker Type Should You Never Add Seasoning To?

You should never add seasoning to electric or hot air popcorn makers. Before using your popcorn maker, read the manufacturer’s instruction manual, which will guide you on using it and what you can put inside. 

Adding seasoning to the machine will clog up the appliance for most electric and hot air machines. Doing so will make it difficult to clean and possibly damage it. If you use seasoning when the manual advises against it and it breaks, it’ll no longer be covered under the manufacturer’s guarantee. 

A less severe but pretty annoying problem with adding seasoning to your electric or hot air popcorn machine is that it’s difficult to clean. The seasoning gets stuck in the tiny parts, which will require a lot more time and effort to clean. 

Why Does The Seasoning Not Stick To The Popcorn?

Seasoning doesn’t stick to the popcorn because the popcorn is dry and requires a binding agent like oil. The oil helps to stick the seasoning to the popcorn. Such a problem is typical for air-popped popcorn.

It’s pretty disappointing when you season your popcorn, but as you eat it, you find it bland with all the seasoning pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Many people are tempted to add seasoning to their popcorn machines, thinking that this method will ensure the seasoning sticks to the popcorn. 

Unfortunately, adding the seasoning to the popcorn machine won’t guarantee it sticks to the popcorn. The reason it doesn’t stick is that the popcorn is dry. As discussed earlier, this typically is the case if your popcorn is air-popped. 

What Is the Best Way To Season Popcorn?

The best way to season popcorn is to season it when it’s fresh out the popcorn machine. While the popcorn is still warm, coat it with oil or butter for the seasoning to stick. 

As soon as the popcorn pops, pour it out of your popcorn maker. Transfer it to a bowl, and season immediately. All the flavors will be absorbed if you season your popcorn while it’s still warm. The seasoning is also more likely to stick to warm popcorn than cold. 

To get popcorn that’s evenly seasoned, it’s a good idea to coat your popcorn in a bit of butter or oil. Choose a light, mild-flavored oil like peanut, olive, or coconut oil if you’re going for oil. Mild flavored oils won’t clash with the flavor of the seasoning. These oils are also healthier, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessarily adding to the calorie count.

Add in a seasoning of your choice once your popcorn is coated in the oil or butter. The oil will ensure the seasoning sticks to the popcorn so you won’t be left with most of the seasoning collected in the bottom of the bowl. 

Can I Use Water Instead of Oil To Help Seasoning Stick?

You shouldn’t use water instead of oil to coat your popcorn. Doing that will only leave you with a stodgy, inedible mess. While you might be tempted to use water (as it might seem like a healthier option than oil), you best avoid it.

Popcorn is often the go-to snack for many health-conscious folks who are mindful of their calorie intake. Popcorn is easy to prepare, low in calories and fat, and budget-friendly making it accessible to most people, so it’ll come as no surprise that folks watching their weight have found ways to make it even healthier by swapping popping in water rather than oil. But, topping your popcorn with water isn’t an option that we think you would enjoy. The crispy light snack will turn a little soggy and lose its texture.

A tiny bit of butter or oil won’t derail your diet. Opt for oils that are considered good fats like coconut oil or olive oil, and remember that a little goes a long way. You just need a little oil for your seasoning to stick to the popcorn. The oil also brings out the seasoning flavor, resulting in a delicious snack.

Final Thoughts

While adding seasoning to some popcorn makers is perfectly fine, adding seasoning to others can be disastrous. It can become extremely difficult to clean or cause the machine to malfunction. Always read the instruction manual first.

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