Can You Put Microwave Popcorn in an Air Fryer (Explained)

Yes, you can put microwave popcorn in the air fryer. People love to eat popcorn. They might be wondering can you put microwave popcorn in an air fryer?

The answer is you can but you better not be. You can face some consequences of this action. Both are designed to heat differently.

So, bad things like the burning of bags and popcorn, an air fryer can be sticky, etc. can happen. So, it is not recommended to use an air fryer for any of your popcorn.

Popcorn is a very nutritious and delicious snack. It is very light and can be eaten at night. Popcorn is very light and healthy snacking.

It is a versatile ingredient. You can have any flavors you want in popcorn.

In this article, we will discuss the possibility of using an air fryer for microwave popcorn and what can be the consequences of this.

Can You Put Microwave Popcorn in an Air Fryer

It is very dangerous for you to use an air fryer. An air fryer is used for frying food without oil. So, popcorn cannot be popped without oil.

The microwave popcorn is available in a bag. The kernels are already coated with oil and flavor. So, what can be the problem then?

Following are the possible problems if we try to put microwave popcorn in an air fryer:

  • The fryer can burn the seasoning and kernels due to the bag.
  • The fryer provides heat only to the outer layer of food. In this way, the seasoning and layer of popcorn will burn 
  • The heat of the air fryer cannot enter the kernels so, the basic process of popping will not take place. 
  • The microwave popcorn is designed to pop in a damp, steamy bag as a result of being heated from within. So, this environment is not provided in the air fryer.
  • The cooking portion of the air fryer is very small. So, you have to pop your popcorn in many cycles which is a very time-consuming process.

These are the reasons why you should not pop your microwave popcorn in the air fryer. It is a bit risky. So, when you have other options, then why take a risk with your food?

So, try to pop these in your microwave.

What To Do If You Don’t Have a Microwave

If you don’t have a microwave, there is no need to worry. There are many methods that can be used to pop your popcorn without a microwave.

Following are the methods to pop popcorn without a microwave:

  • Using a pot
  • Aluminum foil
  • Using a grill

Using a Pot

Take an average size of the pot which can be tightly sealed. Add a little oil and heat it. Remove the plastic popping bag.

Now you need to add your kernels into the pot. Try to take the glass lid so you can see them popping. 

When the kernel starts to pop, slow down the heat to prevent it from burning. While popping, shake the pot continuously, so all the kernels can get equal heat and pop. This process will take a maximum time of 2 to 3 minutes. 

Aluminum Foil

Take a stove and aluminum foil. Try to make a pot from aluminum foil so the seasoning like oil and flavor can be saved from falling out. Attach a handle or a stick with the foil. Shift everything on the aluminum foil from the bag. 

Place the foil onto the stove and cover it to save popcorn from falling on the shelf or ground. Pop until all the kernels get popped and the popping becomes infrequent. Lift the lid and enjoy your popcorn.

Using a grill

Open the popping bag and take out the kernels. You need an aluminum baking pan and pour these into this pan.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid so the popcorn can be in the pan while popping without spreading around. 

Heat the grill and place this pan in it. Close the lid of the grill and wait until you hear popping. Shake the pan so all the kernels can be converted into popcorn.

Now take out the pan and enjoy your day snacking.

Can I Pop Open Kernels in an Air Fryer?

No, you cannot even pop them in the air fryer. This is more dangerous for the air fryer. It is not a good idea to pop popcorn in the air fryer.

Following are the reasons why you should not pop open kernels in the air fryer: 

The air fryer cooks the food without oil. So, the kernels need oil for popping. It is its basic need. So it may not pop up or can de-shape your popcorn.

The popcorn will be tasteless because the seasoning and butter will not give it the taste we want. The air fryer can burn those seasonings.

If you use butter or oil, it will ruin your fryer. Your fryer will be sticky and it will also affect the nonstick layer of the air fryer. So, try to avoid this method.


In the end, this method is not recommended at all because it has so many flaws and disadvantages.

So, the answer to your question; can you put microwave popcorn in an air fryer is yes but not suggested. It can kill the flavors and can burn your popcorn. So, avoid using an air fryer. 

There are many other easy and reliable methods to pop your popcorn. There is no need to worry if you don’t have a microwave. Use these methods and enjoy your snacking.

Is air-popped popcorn healthier than microwave popcorn?

Yes, air-popped popcorn is healthier than microwave popcorn. The absence of oil in air popping ensures less fat and calories, making it a smarter snack choice over microwave popcorn which absorbs oils during the popping process.

Is it OK to eat microwave popcorn everyday?

While occasional consumption of microwave popcorn isn’t harmful, daily intake may expose you to potentially questionable chemicals in its packaging. However, if popcorn is your go-to snack, don’t fret – simply opt for healthier alternatives.

Is it OK to eat air-popped popcorn every day?

Absolutely! Daily consumption of air-popped popcorn, when lightly seasoned, can be a nutritious choice. Its status as a high-fiber whole grain may contribute to reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Always enjoy in moderation!

Why is popcorn so addictive?

Popcorn’s addictive quality can be traced back to science! The aroma chemicals, present naturally in popcorn, are released into the air when heated, luring us in with their irresistible scent.

Interestingly, many food industries add similar chemicals to enhance their food’s aroma. So, when you find yourself munching on popcorn even before the film rolls, don’t blame yourself – blame the captivating science behind the popcorn’s alluring aroma!

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