Top 5 Microwave Popcorn – Tried and Tested Buyer’s Guide

  • Author: Sue Dorrens
  • Published: June 8, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Popcorn can’t be beaten for a quick snack for a movie night, football games, or just a special evening with the family. There are times when a big bag of steaming microwave popcorn is all it takes to take your evening to the next level. It is as tempting a snack as any, but few things are more disappointing than a bag full of limp and unpopped kernels.

With that in mind, we did our best to find the best microwave popcorn —from the best hull-less microwave popcorn to the best organic microwave we’ve got you covered. It is fast, tasty, and inexpensive; three attributes that are hard to find in most things today. Now we’re all popcorned out for a while but here are our taste test results.

In a Hurry? – Best Microwave Popcorn

Top Pick!
Orville Redenbacher's Butter Popcorn, 3.29 Ounce Classic Bag, Pack of 36
Best Movie Theater Taste
JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn, Gluten Free Non-GMO, 4 Pack 3 Count Boxes (Blast O Butter)
Best Organic
Newman's Own Organics Microwave Popcorn, Touch of Butter, 8.4oz (Pack of 12)
Best Hulless
Riehle's Select Popcorn "Hulless" Natural Lite Microwave Popcorn - 12 Boxes (36 Packs)
Best Gourmet
Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn, Healthy Popcorn Snack, No Salt No Oil, 8.7 Ounces (Pack of 6)
Product
Orville Redenbacher's Butter Popcorn
JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn
Newman's Own Organics Microwave Popcorn
Riehle's Select Popcorn "Hulless" Natural Lite Microwave Popcorn
Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
36
12
12
36
36
Flavor
Butter
Butter
Touch of Butter
Natural
Plain
Price
$18.36
$24.88
$41.31
$45.99
$24.99
Top Pick!
Orville Redenbacher's Butter Popcorn, 3.29 Ounce Classic Bag, Pack of 36
Product
Orville Redenbacher's Butter Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
36
Flavor
Butter
Price
$18.36
Best Movie Theater Taste
JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn, Gluten Free Non-GMO, 4 Pack 3 Count Boxes (Blast O Butter)
Product
JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
12
Flavor
Butter
Price
$24.88
Best Organic
Newman's Own Organics Microwave Popcorn, Touch of Butter, 8.4oz (Pack of 12)
Product
Newman's Own Organics Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
12
Flavor
Touch of Butter
Price
$41.31
Best Hulless
Riehle's Select Popcorn "Hulless" Natural Lite Microwave Popcorn - 12 Boxes (36 Packs)
Product
Riehle's Select Popcorn "Hulless" Natural Lite Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
36
Flavor
Natural
Price
$45.99
Best Gourmet
Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn, Healthy Popcorn Snack, No Salt No Oil, 8.7 Ounces (Pack of 6)
Product
Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn
Microwave popcorn
Packs
36
Flavor
Plain
Price
$24.99

1. Orville Redenbacher’s Butter Popcorn – Best Overall

Introducing Orville Redenbacher’s Butter Popcorn, a delicious and classic snack that’s perfect for any occasion. This 3.29-ounce bag comes individually wrapped, and contains real butter for a rich and flavorful popcorn experience.

We loved the taste and texture of Orville Redenbacher’s with no artificial preservatives, flavors, or dyes it ticked many boxes. Made with non-GMO popcorn that popped really well with clear instructions on the bag and only very few unpopped kernels, we can see why Orville Redenbacher’s is still the number 1 brand in the US for popcorn.

Pros:

  • Great taste
  • Value for money
  • No nasty additives
  • Non-GMO corn

Cons:

  • None that we could find!

2. JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn – Most Like Movie Theater

Jolly Time movie theatre butter popcorn will take your popcorn experience to the next level. This premium popcorn is made from the most intense, savory movie theatre butter flavor. It’s fresh, has no weird aftertaste or lard-like residue you can get from some microwave popcorn brands, and almost every kernel pops.

Each box contains three regular-sized (3.2 ounce) individual bags, for a total of 12 microwave bags. Each bag contains 3 servings that yield 9.5 cups of popped popcorn, so you have enough for the big football game.

Pros:

  • Tasted the most like movie theater popcorn
  • All kernels popped in our trial bag
  • Well-priced

Cons:

  • Higher calorie than other brands if that is a priority for you

3. Newman’s Own Organics Microwave Popcorn – Best Organic

Looking for a healthier alternative to regular popcorn? Newman’s Own Organics Microwave Popcorn is perfect for you!

Made with less artificial additives, this popcorn is crispy and fresh-tasting. Plus, it’s certified organic by Oregon Tilth. So you can feel good about snacking on Newman’s Own Organics Microwave Popcorn. And because all profits from Newman’s Own go to charity, you can snack guilt-free. Not all kernels popped in the bag but with a less processed product, we expected this.

Pros:

  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Organic
  • Proceeds go to charity

Cons:

  • Make sure to take them out in time as bags can burst open
  • Check the date code

4. Riehle’s Select Popcorn “Hulless” Natural Lite Microwave Popcorn – Best Hull-less Popcorn

You heard right, hull-less popcorn! This means less of that pesky hull, which can often be tough and fibrous. Riehle’s hull-less variety is perfect for those who want to avoid GMOs.

It’s tiny in size yet whole grain and antioxidant rich and overall a fun and easy snacking experience. Bag instructions are clear, and although quite a few unpopped kernels we were happy with the results as this was some great tasting popcorn!

Pros:

  • Good for diverticulitis sufferers
  • Far less hull than other microwave brands
  • Tasted great

Cons:

  • No popcorn is completely hull-less
  • Popcorn size is small

5. Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn – Best Gourmet Microwave Popcorn

Next, we have Black Jewell Gourmet Popcorn. This unique heritage popcorn pops smaller than typical kernels, with a rich taste that’s enhanced with butter. It’s advertised as hulless and we did find few hulls and those were soft.

This one tasted super fresh when we popped our bag which won a LOT of points. Presenting a perfect option for those who want popcorn with absolutely no salt or oil…perfect if you like a naked popcorn. Admittedly it was a bit of a shock to the tastebuds without the added salt etc but by the end of the bag we were converts.

Pros:

  • No salt
  • No oil
  • Popped well

Cons:

  • Might not be to everyone’s taste

Which Microwave Popcorn Tastes Like Movie Theater Popcorn?

JOLLY TIME Gourmet Microwave Popcorn, Gluten Free Non-GMO, 4 Pack 3 Count Boxes (Blast O Butter)
  • PACK OF 4 BOXES : Each box contains three regular-sized (3.2 ounce) individual bags, for a total of 12 microwave bags. Each bag contains 3 servings that yield 9.5 cups of popped popcorn, making it the best butter flavored gourmet snack for the whole family!
  • NON-GMO KERNELS AND GLUTEN FREE : It’s no secret that this popcorn is delicious. Now these new 4 pack boxes really give you the best bang for your bowl or popcorn bucket!
  • FLAVOR PACKED : Jolly Time focuses on flavor and quality! Skip the other traditional brands and find out why Jolly Time is America's favorite popcorn brand!
  • 100% WHOLE GRAIN AND HIGH IN FIBER : Big flavor in a small, microwaveable popping bag; Jolly Time takes our flavors to another level. This large pack size even allows you to use the single serve packets for fundraising events such as Scout events and school functions, or even as a gift
  • MADE IN THE USA BY AMERICA'S FIRST BRAND OF POPCORN: Founded in 1914, JOLLY TIME is a 4th generation family-owned business, and is the longest continuous Good Housekeeping Seal holder.

For the most movie-theater-like experience, we found the Jolly-Time Blast O Butter to hit the spot. It’s has a lot more additives than others on our list but if you are after that authentic movie popcorn taste at home then this one is the way to go.

Tips for Making Microwave Popcorn

  • Read instructions on the bag
  • Know your microwave stats to get an accurate time
  • Watch and listen, don’t leave the microwave when it’s cooking
  • As soon as the pops start to slow down, think about taking it out
  • Be ready to notice any smell of burning
  • Be extremely careful when opening bag

Final Thoughts

So there you have it – our top 5 microwave popcorn picks! We hope this buyer’s guide has been helpful and that you’re now armed with the information you need to make an informed purchase. Let us know in the comments which of these brands is your favorite, or if we missed out on any of your favorites. Happy popping!

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