Air fryer popcorn is the easiest way to make everyone’s favorite movie night treat! It’s quick, budget-friendly, and oh-so-tasty. Plus clean-up is a breeze!
Can you pop popcorn in the air fryer? If you find the stovetop method just a little too tedious, but you’re looking for something more budget-friendly than bag popcorn, you’re going to love making air fryer popcorn!
This method truly couldn’t be easier. Just preheat the air fryer, lay out the kernels, and let everyone’s favorite kitchen appliance handle the rest! And because we use tin foil, clean-up is a breeze.
Whether you’re having a cozy movie night with the family or just want a crunchy, salty snack, air fried popcorn is always a great idea. It’s just as easy as microwave popcorn, but without the price tag or all the additives!
How to Make Air Fryer Popcorn
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F. Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil.
STEP TWO: In a small bowl, stir together the popcorn kernels and oil, then spread them out into a single layer on the tinfoil.
Cover the kernels with a mesh or wire rack — this part is important to make sure they don’t fly up into the heating coil.
STEP THREE: Air fry for 8 minutes, or until the popping sounds slow down, then remove the popcorn.
STEP FOUR: Return any unpopped kernels to the air fryer and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Discard any unpopped kernels that remain.
STEP FIVE: Drizzle melted butter and sprinkle salt over the popped popcorn.
What Other Movie Night Snacks to Serve with Air Fried Popcorn
- Chocolate Covered Pecans
- Edible Brownie Batter
- Frozen French Fries in the Air Fryer
- Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
- Tater Tots in the Air Fryer
How Long to Cook Popcorn in the Air Fryer
For me, most of the popcorn finishes popping in about 8 minutes.
Just make sure you preheat the air fryer, otherwise it could take longer as the air fryer basket tries to heat up with the kernels.
My favorite part about this recipe is that you can remove all the air popped popcorn, then toss the unpopped kernels back in the air fryer for a few more minutes! I don’t know why, but I find it super satisfying when I get a few more of those stubborn kernels to pop.
Tips for Making the Best Air Fryer Popcorn
- Always preheat the air fryer. This will speed up the cooking process and give you the best results.
- Make sure all the kernels are well-coated in the oil to really help them pop.
- When you spread out the tinfoil, make sure it goes a little ways up the sides of the air fryer basket. This will prevent rogue kernels from escaping out the sides.
- Place a wire or mesh rack above the popcorn kernels to ensure none of them fly up and hit the heating coil.
- Melt the butter while the popcorn is in the air fryer so you’re ready to add it right away.
- After you air fry popcorn, make sure to check the inside of your air fryer. Some pieces of popcorn can get stuck in the fan from forcibly popping upwards!
More Delicious Snack Recipes
- Air Fryer Apple Chips
- Bagel Bites in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen Mozzarella Sticks
- Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
- Smoked Sausage in the Air Fryer
- Yogurt Fruit Dip
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Fried Pickles
- Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers – Bacon Wrapped
- Air Fryer Popcorn Shrimp
- Air Fryer Potato Chips
- Air Fryer Ravioli
- Air Fryer PB&J
- Air Fryer Taquitos
- Frozen Egg Rolls in the Air Fryer
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Preheat air fryer to 400F, line basket with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, stir together the popcorn kernels and oil, then spread out into a single layer on the tinfoil. Cover the kernels with a mesh or wire rack -- this part is important to make sure they don't fly up into the heating coil.
- Air fry for 8 minutes, or until the popping sounds slow down, then remove popcorn and return unpopped kernels to the air fryer and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Discard any unpopped kernels.
- Drizzle melted butter and sprinkle salt over popped popcorn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 231Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 363mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.