Can You Put Popcorn In An Air Fryer? (read this first)

Everyone loves popcorn, but nobody likes to clean up after making popcorn in the traditional way on the hob. You could go out and buy a popcorn maker but can you justify the expense when in reality you don’t eat popcorn that often?

There’s no need to buy a popcorn maker, you can make popcorn in an air fryer!

Why You’ll Love Air Fried Popcorn

Making popcorn in the air fryer has many benefits including;

  • It’s fun
    Making popcorn in an air fryer is a fun activity you can get your kids involved with. From measuring the kernels, pouring the corn into the air fryer, watching it pop in the inspection window, and of course, eating freshly cooked popcorn.
  • It’s healthy
    Making popcorn in an air fryer requires no oil (although you can add some if you find it helps any toppings stick to the popped corn). Corn is also a whole grain and low calorie too.
  • It’s easy
    Making popcorn in an air fryer is simplicity itself. Just pour the kernels into the air fryer, set the heat and timer and walk away until it’s done (usually about 5 to 8 minutes).

Can You Make Popcorn Kernels In An Air Fryer?

You can put popcorn kernels in an air fryer and it couldn’t be easier. You don’t even need to add any oil if you don’t want to.


  • ¼ cup Popcorn Kernels
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 200 C (400 F)
  2. Spray the basket with oil
  3. Place the corn kernels in the basket
  4. Air fry for 5 minutes
  5. Remove all the popped corn kernels
  6. Air fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes to pop the remaining kernels
  7. Serve

Air Fried Popcorn Cooking Tips

  • We used vegetable oil, you can use any oil you prefer or no oil at all
  • Don’t use butter as it will cause the air fryer to smoke
  • Once the corn has popped and been removed from the air fryer, place it in a bowl and sprinkle any topping you prefer
  • Cooking times are for guidance only as all air fryers are different
  • Don’t use more than ¼ cup of corn kernels at a time to prevent the air fryer basket becoming overcrowded

Air Fried Popcorn Serving Suggestions

You can use any topping you prefer on your popcorn including;

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Garlic Powder
  • BBQ Popcorn Seasoning
  • Cheese
  • Caramel
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Pumpkin Spice

Can You Put Microwave Popcorn In An Air Fryer?

You can use microwave popcorn in an air fryer but you’ll need to remove the corn kernels from the bag. The bag that microwave popcorn is supplied in is safe to use in the microwave, but it will become a fire hazard if it’s put in the air fryer.


  • 2 tablespoons Microwave Popcorn kernels


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 200 C (400 F)
  2. Place 2 tablespoons of microwave popcorn kernels in the air fryer basket (as the kernels are precoated, there’s no need to add any oil)
  3. Air fry for 8 minutes
  4. Remove all of the popped corn
  5. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes
  6. Serve

Air Fried Microwave Popcorn Cooking Tips

  • Using microwave popcorn in an air fryer may result in unpopped kernels
  • As microwave popcorn is coated, there’s no need to add any toppings after cooking
  • The air fryer basket may need extra cleaning due to the added toppings and coatings
  • Cooking times may vary from air fryer to air fryer

Can Making Popcorn In An Air Fryer Cause Any Problems?

We’d like to say that making popcorn in an air fryer is all plain sailing. However, that wouldn’t be 100% truthful. The way the corn kernels pop as they get heated up causes some to fly out of the basket.

These stray pieces can then get stuck in the air fryer’s heating element and burn. This can make cleaning the air fryer after cooking popcorn something of a chore.

If you choose to use microwave popcorn in your air fryer, you are likely to get considerably more mess in the basket than using regular corn kernels. It’s because of the coatings added to microwave popcorn that leak into the air fryer basket and beyond.

There’s also the problem of the unpopped kernels. There are always unpopped kernels whichever way you pop corn, but they tend to get burnt in an air fryer and can cause extra mess.

What music do corn kernels listen to?
Pop Music! 😂


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you pop corn in an air fryer?

You can make popcorn in an air fryer. Just place 1/4 cup of corn kernels in a preheated air fryer and cook for 5 minutes at 200 C (400 F).

Why is my air popped popcorn not crunchy?

The main reason why popcorn becomes chewy and not crunchy is because it has been left out in the open for too long. You should consume fresh popcorn as soon as possible after popping.

Is air fried popcorn better than microwave popcorn?

Air fried popcorn is a healthier option than microwave popcorn as there’s no need to use oil when cooking popcorn in an air fryer. However, the coatings used on microwave popcorn makes it taste better.

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