Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn in An Air Fryer? [Here’s What You Need to Know]

You could make all styles of things in an air fryer, but what about microwave popcorn? We've researched whether air frying is possible for pre-packaged microwavable popcorn kernels. Here's the scoop.

Bagged popcorn is intended for microwave use only, not an air fryer. If placed in an air fryer, always remove the bag. Use caution because the flavoring applied to the kernels will probably burn. 

Now, you're likely wondering what kind of popcorn kernels to pop in an air fryer. We go into great detail in this post! Continue reading as we break down hints and strategies to assist you in making the perfect popcorn.

Air Frying Popcorn

Plain popcorn kernels can be used in air fryers. However, you should not use microwave popcorn in air fryers. Food is heated differently in microwaves compared to air fryers. While an air fryer uses a tiny layer of oil and extremely hot air to heat the food's exterior, a microwave vibrates the water molecules within the food.

Left hand scoop the popcorn from the tray of the black deep fryer or oil free fryer appliance into the black dish on the gr

Before adding the popcorn, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit; this should assist the oil in heating up faster and hasten the popping of the popcorn. After around 10 minutes, if any kernels haven't popped at this temperature, they are unlikely to pop at all and can be discarded.

Keep in mind that if you want to cook microwave popcorn in your air fryer, you must remove the popcorn from the paper bag it comes in because this is way too hot for it.

Getting every kernel to pop at once might be challenging. We're taking out the popped popcorn in batches and doing so because of this. The kernels that popped first will burn if you keep the basket in until all of them do.

Seasoning Air Fryer Popcorn

You may be wondering how to flavor this type of popcorn without having the flavorings burn in the air fryer. Since butter has a low smoke point (usually around 300 degrees F), it shouldn't be air fried. The flavorings are added after the popcorn has been cooked.

After the popcorn has finished cooking, place it in a big bowl, add the preferred toppings, and swirl to combine. Another method is placing the popcorn in a paper bag, such as a brown lunch bag or repurposed microwave bag. Add the seasoning to the bag and shake for 60 seconds. If not evenly coated, mix again or add more seasoning to the bag or bowl. 

Overall, air-fried popcorn is a delicious, healthful snack that you may flavor whatever you choose! Interested in more tips? Check out: "Does Soaking Popcorn Kernels Make It Pop Better?"

Different Popcorn Flavors For You To Try:

Popcorn in a tin, four flavors

We all know the favorite way to eat this air fryer popcorn is by keeping it classic with salt and butter, but there are some tasty seasonings and sweet flavors that you can add if you want to change things up a bit.

  • Kettle Corn
  • Caramel Corn
  • Spicy Sriracha
  • Pepper Asiago
  • Dill Pickle 
  • White Cheddar

What is the fastest way to cook popcorn?

A stainless pan full of popcorn. Focus on the edge of the pan. Soft focus background

The corn will be properly cooked thanks to the microwave's speed and efficiency. However, popping popcorn on a stove is a lot quicker. Here is a simple guide to having your perfect popcorn:

  1. In the bottom of a medium-large skillet, add about 2 teaspoons of oil. The bottom of the pan needs to be generously coated in oil: "10 Types Of Oil For Popcorn To Consider."
  2. Over medium-high heat, warm the pan.
  3. Put the cover on the pan after adding 3 test popcorn kernels.
  4. Remove the lid once the test kernels have popped.
  5. Put the lid back on the pan after adding the popcorn kernels (see remarks below).
  6. Give the popcorn time to pop.
  7. To prevent burning the kernels during the initial minutes of the procedure, gently move the pan around on the burner.
  8. When the popping sound of the kernels calms down, remove the pan from the heat. The entire popping process ought to only take around 3 to 4 minutes.

Can microwave popcorn be cooked in the oven?

Never put the bag from the microwave popcorn into an oven or toaster oven. It can catch fire. Instead, remove the kernels from the bag if you intend to cook them using an oven or toaster oven. Here are the steps:

  1. Put some oil and some popcorn in a pouch made of aluminum foil. 
  2. Cook at a high temperature of about 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Between 8 and 15 minutes should pass before it pops.

How do you make microwave popcorn taste like movie theater popcorn?

Concept of homemade popcorn on wooden. - Can You Cook Microwave Popcorn in An Air Fryer? [Here’s What You Need to Know]


Start off with a big metal pot, like a large soup or saucepan. Add 3 tablespoons of peanut oil to the pot. If you'd rather, you can use coconut oil instead of peanut oil to prepare the popcorn, as some movie theaters do. Before adding the oil to the pot, heat it until it is liquid. 

Add 1/2 cup of popcorn and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Create a lid out of aluminum foil for the popcorn to prevent the kernels from escaping. Cut holes with a knife in the top, though, to allow the steam to escape. A crispier popcorn is produced by letting the steam out. 

You can use Flavacol, the popcorn salt with flavorings that many movie theaters use in place of salt. 

Get Flavacol seasoning and coconut oil at Amazon.

Warm up the pot; set the burner to medium heat. Allow 3 minutes to heat. The kernels should not remain in one spot, so move the pot about. To safeguard your hands, use oven mitts. As the popcorn pops, keep listening for it to stop. You should turn off the heat if it stops before three minutes.

Stir the popcorn. Remove the foil from the popcorn, then toss in the salt.

Add Clarified butter, two to three tablespoons. Pour the butter over the popcorn in a steady stream while swirling it to provide a uniform coating.

Final Thoughts

Because microwave popcorn is designed to be cooked in a microwave and frequently contains a coating that may burn if exposed to hot air and oil, you shouldn't put a bag of it in your air fryer. Normal popcorn kernels can, however, be cooked in an air fryer, and many people like this technique.

So that's how you cook popcorn in an air fryer. It really couldn't be simpler to make, and the popcorn always comes out perfectly crunchy, buttery, and salty.

You can enjoy this addictive snack by yourself or with the entire family. If you want more, simply prepare another batch or double or triple the original recipe.

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