Can I Make Popcorn in My Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is a basic and efficient kitchen appliance that helps to prepare delicious rice dishes. Depending on the model, a majority choose to experiment with the rice cooker.

Yes, you can make popcorn in a rice cooker. However, we discourage doing this as you may end up destroying the appliance. A rice cooker is designed to cook rice and related cereals that require water.

To prepare popcorn, you’ll need to add high smoke oils that require high temperatures to heat up. A rice cooker is designed to reach temperatures of 212°F for water to boil.

When the temperature of 212 °F is reached, the rice cooker switches on and off to regulate the heat and prevent the rice from burning.

When preparing popcorn, you’ll need to keep pressing and holding the ON button to keep the appliance working. Doing this can damage the rice cooker heating element, thermal fuse, and thermostat.

Another danger with using a rice cooker to prepare popcorn is the hot oil. If you’re unable to secure the lid when holding it down, hot oil tends to spill from the cooker.

It also takes longer to prepare a sizeable amount of popcorn. It’s safer to add a handful of popcorn kernels at a time. Getting the kernels to pop is also time-consuming since the oil needs to achieve a high temperature.

Hot oil can cause serious skin burns that may require medical attention. The effort and risk of using a rice cooker to make popcorn aren’t worth it.  

Alternatives To Making Popcorn Safely

There are safer and faster ways to prepare delicious popcorn without taking much time. They include:

· Stovetop

Utilizing a stovetop is the most common method of making popcorn. You can use an electric, gas, or induction cooktop.

The key to making the process easy is using a quality heavy-bottomed pot with a secure lid or a Stovetop popcorn machine popper.

The heavy bottom helps to regulate heat and prevent the popcorn from burning once they pop.

It also ensures that all the popcorn kernels pop as heat is evenly distributed. Moreover, use medium heat on the cooktop to prevent burning.

The procedure is simple. Switch on the cooktop to medium heat. Add oil to the pot and place it on the stovetop.

Ensure that the oil you use is high smoke for example olive, sunflower, or coconut oil.  Then add the kernels and wait for them to pop.

Secure the lid on the pot to keep the popcorn in when the kernels pop. Once all or a majority have popped, switch off the cooktop and let the pot sit to allow the steam and heat to escape.

Next, transfer the popcorn to the bowl, add melted butter, salt or spices and enjoy.

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· Microwave

Using a microwave to make popcorn is easier. There are two methods, you can use a bag or microwave popcorn popper or bowl.

Take the popcorn kernels, and add some oil and salt. Place them in the bag and seal. If using a bowl, you may want to cover it to prevent the popcorn from spilling. Put the bag or bowl in the microwave.

Microwave the contents for about 2 to 5 minutes depending on quantity. Make sure to stop for a few seconds in between the pops.

Once most of the kernels have popped, switch off the appliance. Wait a few minutes for the contents to cool and then remove and serve.

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· Popcorn Maker Machine

The best way to make popcorn is to use a popcorn maker. It’s a machine specifically designed for the purpose.

There are different types of popcorn machines. You can choose one depending on the quantity you need and preference.

Popcorn machines use the same principle when preparing this delicious snack. You’ll need to add the popcorn kernels, oil, and salt. Let the machine do its thing and you’ll have your popcorn.

We’ll discuss the mechanism of the different types of popcorn-making machines below.

Read: Can A Rice Cooker Cause Fire?

Types of Popcorn Makers

Aside from stovetop and microwave, there are 2 other types of popcorn makers. They include:

1. Hot Air Popcorn Makers (Air Poppers)

Air poppers are an affordable and healthier means to make popcorn as you don’t need to use oil. They use heated air to make the popcorns.

These popcorn makers produce airy and fluffy popcorn that you can add salt, spices, and butter to and enjoy.

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The hot air popcorn makers feature an in-built fan located in the main compartment. When you switch on the machine, the air is heated and in turn pops the kernels into popcorn.

The components of an air popper include the pooping machine, a plastic guard, and a measuring cup.

Steps to use an air popper:

  • Plug in the appliance and set it on an even platform.
  • Pour about half a cup of the popcorn kernels into the measuring cup and add them to the popping chamber.
  • Set the cover in place. With some brands, the measuring cup also acts as the cover and butter melter.
  • Place a bowl under the spout to collect the popcorn when it pops.
  • Switch on the air popper and wait for the kernels to pop for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the butter and salt over the popcorn and enjoy!

2. Commercial Popcorn Makers

These popcorn makers are ideal for people looking to make large batches of popcorn. They are great for sellers and large events.

Commercial popcorn makers are bulky and expensive. There are two types, stationery and popcorn maker on wheels.


A rice cooker can be used to make popcorn; however, this practice is highly discouraged. Making use of a rice cooker can result in damage.

The process is also time-consuming, requires a lot of effort, and can lead to injury. There are safer and more convenient methods to make popcorn.

You can use a microwave, stovetop, or popcorn-making machine.

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