The Best Popcorn

From stovetop to pre-popped, our favorite popcorn for all your snacking needs

popcorn in glass bowl
Whether you’re nuking your popcorn in the microwave or going old-school on the stove, here are some of our favorite picks.Georgia Vagim on Unsplash

Why is popcorn so satisfying? Maybe it has to do with the fact that the stuff is so often enjoyed in conjunction with fun—movies, sporting events, county fairs, etc. Of course, that buttery, salty taste and complex texture don’t hurt either. Here are four picks we suggest keeping around the house for your snacking pleasure.

Bob's Red Mill Premium Quality Yellow Popcorn
Of course the microwave instructions for this old-school popcorn call for a bespoke brown paper bag.Amazon

Popcorn purists and creative cooks alike will appreciate this plain popcorn that can be prepared on the stovetop or in the microwave. Because it’s not flavored—with anything—you can add your own butter or oil, then go wild with seasonings.

JOLLY TIME Simply Popped
This is about as close to stovetop popcorn as you’re going to get from a microwave product.Amazon

There’s no shame in the microwave popcorn game—especially when it’s made with ghee (clarified butter) and sea salt. Unlike other brands, this butter tastes light and fresh, not greasy and stale. Plus, it makes your house smell amazing (as long as you don’t burn it!).

Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP Gluten Free Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn Popcorn
A fairgrounds favorite.Amazon

A state-fair staple, kettle corn is the ultimate sweet-and-savory snack. Lightly salted and not too sweet, this one also happens to be somewhat healthy (for something cooked in sugar, anyway), with only 140 calories in each single-serving bag.

Smartfood White Cheddar Flavored Popcorn
While the pre-portioned bags are probably meant to help curb mindless snacking, they also keep each serving fresher longer.Amazon

More satisfying than chips, this savory white-cheddar popcorn tastes fresh because it is. Though it’s packaged like other shelf-stable snacks, it’s meant to be “enjoyed by” sooner than later, and the pre-portioned bags help keep your next serving from going stale.