Can You Make Popcorn in an Air Fryer?

What is the world’s most difficult task? Probably holding off on eating our popcorn till the movie starts!

Given that popcorn is very probably one of your favorite snacks, you might want to experiment with quick and healthy ways to make popcorn. And an obvious place to start is with an air fryer.

So, can you make popcorn in an air fryer? Yes, you can make popcorn in an air fryer! In fact, it’s a great way to prepare your healthy snack.  What’s more, it is especially practical if you need to cook a small batch or don’t have access to a microwave or oven.

To get the best results, every time, there are a few tips that we are willing to pass.

Keep reading to learn everything there is to know regarding making popcorn in an air fryer.

Popping Popcorn in an Air Fryer

popcorn and air fryer

Many people will ask, “why should I make popcorn in an air fryer?” when they can simply make it using more traditional, well-known methods. The answer to this question is quite simple: popcorn made in an air fryer will be more flavorsome, possess fewer calories, and will require less oil.

In addition, air fryers circulate air that aids the synchronized popping of the corn from all sides. This results in airy, fluffy popcorn – and surely that’s the best kind there is?

Furthermore, you only need a few ingredients to produce air fryer popcorn:

  • Natural Popcorn Kernels: Make sure not to use microwave popcorn or kernels with added flavors, because neither will work. Instead, use white or yellow kernels.
  • Aluminum Foil: To prevent the kernels from falling through the holes in the air fryer basket simply place a piece of foil inside the basket.
  • Oil: We recommend you use peanut, olive, or avocado oil. All of these options have a high smoke point.

Another great snack that comes out really well in an air fryer is hot chips. Check out our Best Air Fryer Potato Chips Recipe for helpful tips.

How to Make Air-Fried Popcorn

Can you make popcorn in an air fryer ? Definitely. And you’re going to tell you how.

Using an air fryer to make popcorn is pretty straight forward, once you get the hang of it. And once you’re done it a couple of times, you’ll find it’s such a simple way to prepare your favorite low-calorie popcorn snack.

First, put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of your basket. The basket holes are typically big enough for the popcorn to fall through, so this is purely to keep them safely in the basket.

After you’ve covered the basket with aluminum foil, it’s time to add the un-popped kernels. Since there’s not an excessive amount of room in the basket, it’s not a great idea to fill it with a large quantity of kernels. We suggest you use 1/4 cup of kernels. Also, make sure that the kernels are in one layer.

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The next step is to spray oil on the kernels. You can either cover the kernels in any oil or simply spray them with your preferred coconut oil or other oil.

It’s now time to prepare your healthy snack. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes at 400°F, or until you no longer hear the popping of the kernels.

The final step is to open the basket, remove the popcorn, and season it as you like. We love tossing it in salted caramel if you’re going sweet, or sprinkling it with salt and smoked paprika when we’re feeling savory.


Once you’re mastered Air Fryer Popcorn, why not give our Air Fryer French Bread Pizza a try?

Can You Make Popcorn in an Air Fryer? Benefits and Drawbacks

Making popcorn in an air fryer comes with both benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of these:


  • Cooking popcorn in an air fryer requires far less oil, making it a healthier option.
  • Compared to microwaved popcorn, freshly popped air fryer popcorn has a better flavor.
  • It contains less calories, which makes it a healthier option overall.


  • Cooking popcorn in an air fryer takes requires a little more preparation time than simply tossing a bag in the microwave.
  • It’s possible for kernels to fly up onto the heating elements and start a fire or smoke.
  • You can’t make large quantities of air fryer popcorn at a time.

The PowerXL Air Fryers come in a range of shapes and sizes, meaning there’s one that’s perfect for your kitchen and the way you like to eat. For more information and prices, see here.

Some Extra Tips for Making the Best Popcorn

young man eating popcorn

Your safety should always come first when it comes to preparing any tasty snack. To be on the safe side, there are a few precautions that should be taken.

Avoid Smoke

First, limit the amount of kernels you put inside the air fryer. If your popped kernels overfill the container, you risk burning the fryer’s heater.

The biggest risk here is that the light weight of this popped corn may not be sufficient to prevent contact with the heating source. They mostly just bounce around: however, some may get trapped, which could cause smoke or a fire. Don’t let children use the air fryer to prepare popcorn unsupervised.

If you’re looking for a handy Oil Sprayer for Cooking, this mister is both attractive and practical.

Prevent Burning

Pull out the basket right away if you sense something burning. Remember, don’t remove kernels stuck in the element until the machine has cooled down sufficiently. In addition, avoid inserting your hand into the heating source.

Top Tip: If you find the heating element issue stops you from popping corn effectively, create a tin foil ball to enclose the kernels: this will prevent kernels from flying out.

Type of Kernel

Another piece of advice is to avoid using microwave popcorn.

Why? Because microwave kernels are manufactured specifically for microwaves. Unfortunately, both the kernels and the bag have the potential to overheat and burn if put in an air fryer.

Our final piece of advice is to only use fresh, all-natural popcorn kernels when using an air fryer. Keep in mind that the older the kernels, the less they’ll pop.

Another of our favourite Air Fryer Recipes is How To Make Dino Nuggets In An Air Fryer. 

Final Thoughts

We appreciate you taking the time to read this entire article. We hope our tips on preparing your favorite homemade popcorn were helpful.

So, can you make popcorn in an air fryer? You surely can!

Best of all, you can quickly make a comparatively healthy bowl of your favourite snack. And without creating dirty pots and pans. Then all you need is your friends to come over for a movie night!

Remember to line the basket with aluminum foil, add the right amount of kernels, and supervise them until the cooking time is over.

Adding black pepper, garlic powder, and melted butter to our air-fried popcorn is another of our favorite popcorn recipes. What are your favorite recipes and flavor ideas?

To get more in-depth details about air frying, go to

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