Air fryer Popcorn – My Diaspora Kitchen

Air fryer Popcorn - My Diaspora Kitchen

Make your favorite buttery movie theater popcorn in your air fryer. Air fryer popcorn is easy to make but requires a few tips and tricks get you making this snack like a pro.

What you should know about air fryer popcorn

This recipe was created because I have seen the questions can you make popcorn in the air fryer and how to do it one too many times in Facebook groups. However if you don’t really need to make pop corn in the air fryer, I would recommend you make it in the stovetop, microwave or instant pot.

This recipe would be for people who happen to have only an air fryer available to them at a given time or if you ever find your self in that situation like renting an Airbnb.

Note that Air fryer popcorn would turn out more roasted than it would in a microwave, stovetop or instant pot but it won’t be burnt. That roasted taste is perfect for guru and epa a Nigerian street snack which is simply a mix of popcorn and roasted peanuts.

What you need!


  • Popcorn kernels
  • Canola oil or Coconut oil


  • Air fryer
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Air fryer rack

Can you put aluminum foil in air fryer?

This question comes up always on Facebook groups. If aluminum foil can be used in your air fryer. Yes it can. Whenever I use aluminum foil just like parchment paper in my air fryer, it needs to be weighed down with food.

I like to use the rack over it to hold it down If making light weight food like popcorn as you would see in the following images.

How to make Air fryer Popcorn

You need to bear in mind that not all kernels will pop which is the same with any other method of making popcorn like in the microwave, stovetop etc. To increase the chances of getting more popped kernels out of this recipe is to air fry in batches.

  • Preheat the air fryer for 2 minutes
  • While air fryer is getting preheated, mix the oil with the popcorn kernels.
  • Pull out the basket place foil in the basket making sure to keep it away from the edges to allow for air and heat circulation. You cab use an oven mitt for this part since the basket will be hot
  • Air fryer for 10 mins
  • Pull out air fryer basket. Remove Air fryer rack with kitchen tongs or mitts.
  • Enjoy as is or top with your favorite popcorn seasoning. See recipe for variations.

Preheat Air fryer or not!

I usually don’t preheat my air fryer for most recipes. I decided to try both ways since making popcorn in the air fryer is a bit tricky.

Both ways worked with the preheated air fryer cooking two minutes earlier than the not preheated air fryer.

How to store

This recipe makes a single batch of popcorn which is enjoyed immediately. If you want to store or make it instead, store in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

Tips for making popcorn in air fryer

  • I wouldn’t recommend making more than ¼ cup of popcorn kernels at a time. I tried making ½ cup and ½ of the kernels didn’t pop.
  • If you forget to preheat the air fryer before making the popcorn it’s ok, add an extra 2 minutes to the cook time.
  • Mixing the kernels with oil before popping is recommended but not mandatory.
  • This recipe won’t work in the oven style air fryer.

More Air fryer snack recipes

Check out all our Air fryer recipes!

Did you enjoy this recipe or found it helpful, please leave me a comment and share the link to this recipe with family and friends and in your favorite facebook group.


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Air fryer Popcorn

Chichi Uguru

Make your favorite buttery movie theater popcorn in your air fryer. Air fryer popcorn is easy to make but requires a few tips and tricks get you making this snack like a pro.

Prep Time 1 min

Cook Time 10 mins

Course Appetizer, Snack

Cuisine American

Servings 1

Calories 110 kcal


  • Air fryer

  • Aluminum foil

  • Kitchen Tongs

  • Air fryer rack


  • ¼ cup popcorn Kernels
  • ½ teaspoon Oil (optional but recommended)

For movie Theater

  • 1 Tablespoon Salted butter
  • A pinch of salt

For Kettle corn

  • 1 Teaspoon Salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons Powdered sugar
  • A Pinch of salt Adjust the salt as needed


  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F / 204°C for 2 mins

  • Mix oil with popcorn kernels.

  • Tear out a piece of foil, pull out air fryer basket and lay it flat in the center of the basket. Make sure the piece of foil doesn’t cover the whole basket to allow for heat and air circulation. The basket will be hot be sure to wear oven mitts.

  • Air fry Popcorn kernels at 400°F / 204°C for 9-10 mins. (If you do not preheat air fry for 12 mins)

  • Open the air fryer when the popping sound reduces.

Make the toppings

  • While the kernels are popping in the air fryer

  • Air Fryer Movie Theater Popcorn

  • Melt butter in the microwave.

  • Add a pinch of salt then toss popcorn in it and enjoy.

Air Fryer Kettle corn

  • Melt butter or coconut oil in the microwave.

  • Mix in powdered sugar and salt, then toss popcorn in the mix


  1. Preheating the air fryer is optional. However I recommend you do so on your first try. If you decide not to or forget to, 2 extra minute to the cook time.
  2. The nutritional fact is based on the popped corn without the toppings


Calories: 110kcal

Keyword air fryer popcorn, air fryer snacks

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