Chill nights of watching movies and sharing snacks with your loved ones are priceless. But what to do when those snacks don’t pop quite right? Microwave popcorn should be ridiculously easy to make, but finding that sweet spot when setting the temperature and time is often challenging.
That’s where a microwave with a popcorn button steps in. These appliances have a dedicated popcorn setting that calculates the power and time based on the bag size. Popcorn aside, you can also use the appliance for cooking microwave meals, reheating leftovers, and defrosting frozen foods.
With this in mind, you might wonder what’s the best microwave with a popcorn button you can find. To make things easy, I already did the research on your behalf and found the best models. Check them out below.
How Does the Popcorn Setting Work?
In essence, the popcorn button is nothing but a shortcut to a pre-programmed cooking function. Some microwaves have only one preset popcorn option. When you press the popcorn button, the oven adjusts the power and time to pop one average-size bag of popcorn kernels.
Other microwaves – typically the more modern models – have a button that allows you to choose from three options for small, medium, and large-size bags.
Lastly, there are the last-generation microwaves with popcorn functions. These appliances don’t have pre-programmed time and power but use advanced technology to detect the humidity level in your bag or corn kernels and calculate the right cooking time and power accordingly.
Should I Use the Popcorn Button?
If you’ve ever paid attention to the instructions printed on the popcorn bags, you might know that some brands advise against using the popcorn button.
That could leave you wondering what’s the purpose of a popcorn button in that case and whether you should use it.
In short, popcorn brands advise against using the popcorn button because old appliances don’t have a humidity sensor. Without such a sensor, the risk of burning popcorn is high if you don’t stick close to the microwave and pay attention to what happens while the kernels pop.
Even a small quantity of burnt popcorn in a bag can make the entire bag taste awful. Thus, instead of taking chances of dealing with unsatisfied customers, popcorn brands simply prefer to advise against using the popcorn button.
That said, you can use the popcorn button regardless of what microwave you have. Once you’ve turned on the microwave oven, listen to the sound of the kernels popping. When the interval between one pop and another lengthens, it’s time to stop the cycle.
How Do you Choose a Microwave With a Popcorn Button?
If you want a microwave that can produce perfectly fluffy popcorn without burning them, there are a few things to consider:
Does the popcorn button have one pre-programmed setting, or can you shuffle between three or more settings when pressing it?
One setting might suffice if you only like one popcorn brand and the bag size doesn’t vary. More settings give you more control when you want to pop a smaller or larger bag.
The secret to perfectly fluffy microwave popcorn is power. The more watts you have, the faster you can pop the kernels without burning them.
Even if you’re buying a microwave oven with one purpose alone – aka, making popcorn at home – chances are you’ll want to use it for cooking other meals too or to defrost or reheat foods. Match the oven’s capacity with the size of your household.
Best Microwave With Popcorn Button
1. Panasonic NN-SN65KW Microwave Oven with Popcorn Button
The Panasonic NN-SN65KW is one of the best microwave ovens with popcorn buttons on the market. Designed with versatility in mind, it can suit most families and is compact enough to fit in a smaller kitchen.
This oven has a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet and reaches up to 1,200 watts of power. Three pre-programmed popcorn settings make it a perfect choice for popping small, medium, and large bags alike.
Cooking-wise, the oven features 15 pre-programmed options as well as ten power levels. That makes it easy to cook pretty much any meal in this microwave oven. And, as you’d expect from a modern microwave, its smart technology adjusts the cooking time automatically to prevent burning.
Why I love it
Inverter technology and smart cooking sensor may not tell you much in terms of features, but when it comes to usability, they make a difference. The inverter technology ensures even heating, meaning that you won’t have to worry about hot spots or uneven thawing. The smart sensor adjusts the cooking time and power based on the meal’s weight and water content.
Not many microwaves feature more than one popcorn option, but the Panasonic has three for 1.5oz, 2.7oz, and 3.2oz bags. In addition to the pre-programmed setting, you can also adjust the time if necessary.
Another thing that I like is the auto-reheat function for milk and coffee. This setting makes it easy to leave the guesswork out of the game, whether you’re heating baby formula, coffee, or other hot beverages.
What could be better
All microwave ovens are noisy, but this one seems louder. The sound isn’t particularly annoying for adults, but it could disturb young children or wake up your baby.
Overall, this microwave is intuitive to use. However, the buttons need a tougher push compared to most digital appliances. The panel would also benefit from a backlight for easier reading of the panel options.
2. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave with Popcorn Button
Slightly smaller than Panasonic, the Farberware is a stylish microwave designed to fit in traditional and modern kitchens alike. Its slightly vintage lines and brushed stainless steel finish give this appliance a timeless appearance.
Performance-wise, you can expect power up to 1,000 watts, which is more than enough for popping delicious popcorn.
It goes without saying that you can also use it for cooking microwave meals, reheating, or defrosting. As far as popcorn making is concerned, the one-touch popcorn button adds convenience to the game. The setting is perfect for mid-sized bags, or you could adjust the time and power for small or larger bags.
Why I love it
Do you want an appliance that can match the overall style of your kitchen? This microwave could be a good choice. Five color options range from classic stainless steel to black stainless steel, platinum, copper, or metallic red.
One-touch popcorn button
One-touch buttons are a god-sent when you’re in a hurry – either to walk out the door or to cook that popcorn bag before the commercial break ends. With this microwave, you don’t have to press the popcorn button first and the start button after, which speeds up the process.
Perfect for families with children, this microwave gives you the possibility to lock it and prevent young hands from operating it.
What could be better
While this microwave has gorgeous looks, the build quality could be better. The unit feels flimsy overall. Nevertheless, it’s a good choice for the money.
Another issue the brand could fix is the interior light brightness. The dim light makes it hard to monitor the cooking progress.
3. SHARP Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven with Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Preset
Designed with popcorn lovers in mind, this microwave boasts one of the best popcorn functions. The unit features an Orville Redenbacher-certified popcorn button that is tuned for optimal popping and minimal kernel wasting.
Like the Farberware, the SHARP Carousel’s popcorn button is a one-touch variety that allows you to start the machine without pressing the start button. In addition to the one-touch popcorn, a beverage button also makes it a cinch to reheat milk or coffee with just one touch.
This microwave from SHARP has a 1.1 cubic feet capacity (the same as Farberware), but it is slightly more powerful – 1,100 watts.
Why I love it
Certified popcorn button
Pre-programmed popcorn settings are nice and all, but the truth is that very few microwave ovens actually deliver good results when selecting this option. SHARP is one of those few, thanks to its certified popcorn button. Touch the button to choose the bag size (1.16oz or 3.3oz), then sit back and wait for the appliance to do its job.
Finding the perfect time and power for defrosting is sometimes challenging, but this microwave allows you to choose from auto-defrost options for poultry, meat, or seafood.
What could be better
Like Panasonic, this microwave has an intuitive control panel. However, the buttons are stiff, and making selections requires a hard press.
Another downside is the poor after-sales support. Not only is the support hard to contact, but the team isn’t very helpful.
4. Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 3-in-1 Microwave with Popcorn Button
If you’re looking for a combination microwave oven with a popcorn button, the Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 could suit your needs. This oven and microwave in one allow you to bake, roast, air fry, and microwave your meals.
Ideal for larger families, it has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet and 1,000 watts of power. The one-touch popcorn button suits mid-sized bags, and you can choose between standard or convection oven functions for all other meals.
The oven comes in stainless steel and black finishes, both of which have a black glass door. The streamlined appearance makes it perfect for modern interiors.
Why I love it
This microwave oven is perfect for all cooking needs. Combining the benefits of a convection oven with those of a microwave, it is an excellent choice for families who don’t have enough kitchen space for a separate oven and microwave.
Express cooking knob
Setting the cooking time or weight level is easy, thanks to the express knob that you can simply turn. No more frustrating pressing of a button.
What could be better
The black glass door has a sleek design, but it makes it hard to keep an eye on your popcorn bag or meals as they’re cooking.
This is one of the few microwaves that need a dedicated electrical circuit. Drawing about 15 amps, it requires a circuit and circuit breaker, just like a full-size oven.
Microwave With Popcorn Button Comparison Chart
|Panasonic NN-SN65KW||Farberware FMO11AHTBKB||SHARP ZSMC1132CS||Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10|
|Capacity||1.2 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft||1.6 cu. ft.|
|Max power||1,200 watts||1,000 watts||1,100 watts||1,000 watts|
How Do you Use Microwave Popcorn?
Microwave popcorn is very easy to prepare. All you have to do is to remove the plastic wrap and unfold the paper bag without opening it.
Place the paper bag containing the kernels in the microwave with the right side up as instructed on the bag. Set the time to two minutes and the power to the max, then press the start button. Don’t leave the bag unattended, and stop the cycle if the popping ceases.
Microwave Setting for Popcorn
Microwaves with a popcorn button come with pre-programmed time and power settings. If the button has only one setting, this generally refers to a medium-size bag. If the oven has several popcorn settings, each of them corresponds to a different bag size, from small to large.
Microwave with Popcorn Button – FAQs
Why Isn’t My Microwave Popping Popcorn?
Your microwave isn’t cooking popcorn because the power is too low. For the best results, you must set the power to the maximum.
How Do you Use the Popcorn Button on a Samsung Microwave?
All you have to do is to place the popcorn bag in the oven with the right side up and press the popcorn button. You can now wait until the sound of popping kernels stops.
How Many Minutes Do you Microwave Popcorn?
Generally, your popcorn will be ready in about two minutes. However, the actual time varies from bag to bag. If your microwave doesn’t have a popcorn button, set the power to max and the time to two minutes. Listen to the sounds coming out of the microwave. When the popping starts to slow down, end the cycle. You can now use this time in the future.
Why Does Popcorn Tell you not to Use the Popcorn Button?
Because pre-programmed settings may not fit all microwave popcorn bag sizes, brands tell you not to use the popcorn button so that you don’t end up with burnt popcorn.
Brands may advise against it, but the truth is that the popcorn button is a true lifesaver. With this option, you won’t have to worry about selecting times and changing the power settings. Adding more time or stopping the cycle early is super easy, after all.
I hope this guide can help you find the best microwave with a popcorn button for you.