popcorn in an air fryer

Air fryers have taken the cooking world by storm and now the question is whether you can pop popcorn in an air fryer.  The air fryer is a simple appliance to use, and it can be a great tool for movie night as well.

You can make popcorn in the air fryer in 5 steps:

  1. Preheat the air fryer
  2. Line the air fryer basket with foil and put in kernels and oil
  3. Cook the popcorn
  4. Melt the butter for your popcorn (if desired)
  5. Add seasoning to your popcorn and enjoy

This article will detail the method of making popcorn in an air fryer.  It is a fast and easy method that we are sure you are going to want to try.

Is Making Popcorn in an Air Fryer Easy?

Making popcorn in your air fryer is rather simple. The directions are easy to follow, and you will not need to shake the pan like you do when you cook popcorn on the stovetop.  You also won’t have to worry about your hands getting burned on the microwave popcorn bag as you open it and all the steam floods out.

Using the air fryer, popcorn pops in less than 5 minutes, which gives you time to get the movie cued up and your drinks ready to be consumed.

Benefits of Using an Air Fryer to Make Popcorn?

When you use your air fryer, you do not have to use any additives or preservatives.  You can add the perfect amount of butter or other seasonings of your choice. 

You reap the rewards of a fiber-rich snack without the unhealthiness. You’ll have little to no fat (unless you add more oil or butter) but will receive all the nutrients of the popcorn, including vitamin B6, vitamin A, and iron, among others. 

Are you curious if you can make popcorn in a toaster oven? Get the answer here.

What are the Steps to Air Frying Popcorn?

Air Fyer Popcorn Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (for topping)
  • Salt if desired (for topping)

Steps to Air Fry Popcorn

Following these steps should ensure you have the perfect bowl of popcorn.  If you have your instruction book, see if it has directions for popping popcorn.  The directions will vary based on the size and brand of your air fryer. 

These are general steps that should work for most air fryers. 

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes

In most cases, 400 degrees is the hottest setting on an air fryer. In some cases, though, an air fryer won’t even get that high. In this case, you should turn it up to the highest setting possible. 

  1. Line the air fryer basket with foil and put in kernels and oil

Rip off a piece of foil large enough to line your air fryer’s basket.

Then, line your basket with the foil. It should form a bowl inside the basket. Then, put your popcorn into the foil. Mix in a quarter of a teaspoon of oil.

Make sure you mix the oil all the way through so it lightly covers some of the kernels. Use avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil for the healthiest, most nutrient-rich oil. 

  1. Cook the popcorn in the air fryer

Finally, you can cook the popcorn. Ideally, you should put the popcorn in the air fryer for 11 minutes at 400 degrees. After 5 minutes, pause your air fryer and open the basket and remove the popped popcorn.

Put the air fryer basket back and start the air fryer again. After 3 min, pause the air fryer and pull out the popped kernels. Return the air fryer basket and start to cook again. After another 3 minutes your kernels should be popped.

Remember that each air fryer will be different and you do not want to burn the popcorn. Make sure you pay attention as it pops and stop the air fryer if you hear the popping has slowed.  Not all the kernels will be popped but there should only be a few leftover. 

Every time you pause the air fryer to pull out the popped kernels make sure you give the basket a shake to move the unpopped kernels around.

  1. Melt the butter (if desired) for your popcorn

Before all your popcorn has popped, melt your butter if you plan on putting it on top of your popcorn. You may do this by placing the amount of butter you want in the microwave and heating it for a few seconds.

  1. Add seasoning to your popcorn

To perfect your popcorn, toss with the butter. Add salt to taste. Try parmesan cheese, garlic powder, or pepper on your popcorn for a bit of a savory taste. You could also toss with sugar to create a rendition of kettle corn. 

Are you wondering why your popcorn will not pop? Read the article here.

Do I Remove the Popped Popcorn From My Air Fryer?

A tip that will help keep your air fryer popcorn from burning is to remove the popped popcorn from the air fryer as it pops.  Every few minutes, open the fryer and pull out the popped popcorn.  

If you don’t want to pull out the popcorn every few minutes, then you can cook the popcorn in smaller batches until you have popped enough to fill your bowl. 

I like to remove the popcorn as it pops to avoid burning and having to start over making another batch.  The choice is yours! It took me a couple of tries to decide which method I liked best. 

Can You Really Use Aluminum Foil in the Air Fryer?

You can use aluminum in the air fryer without any issues. With popcorn, it helps to keep the kernels from popping all over the air fryer and lodging in the heating element.

Make sure the aluminum foil isn’t covering your kernels but instead it is a nice bowl shape so the air can flow. It makes cleaning the air fryer a simple and easy unlock cooking popcorn on the stove top.

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