Presto PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper

Popcorn popper

  • Very fast
  • Doesn't need oil
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Unpopped hot kernels fly out of the chute
  • Doesn't melt cold butter very well
  • No on/off switch
Where to Buy

Bottom line

The Presto PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper works incredibly fast without oil to make fluffy popcorn. Professional testers and individual owners love that it makes up to 15 cups of popcorn in about two minutes. Few kernels remain unpopped, but those that do are piping hot and tend to shoot out in wayward directions. The unit is sturdy and easy to use, but its lack of an on/off switch perturbs several users. However, cleanup is a breeze.


Pops corn lightning fast. The Presto PopLite can produce up to 15 cups of popcorn in less than three minutes. Fans say that even generic popcorn turns flavorful, while critics deride the air-popped snack as stale-tasting. This machine works so fast that you'll need to use soft, room-temperature butter in the melter because refrigerated butter doesn't melt in time. While the machine pops nearly all kernels and never burns them, some piping hot ones often fly out in unsuspecting directions at start-up and at the end of the popping cycle. Be forewarned: Half-popped kernels in the popping chamber will be very hot too, so don't reach in after them.

Ease of use

Low maintenance. Cleanup is as easy as wiping the base with a damp cloth. The butter melter handily doubles as the measuring cup, which holds a half cup of kernels. While one reviewer finds the popper ear-piercingly loud, most users overlook this annoyance due to the brevity of operation. The PopLite is forceful and has a tendency to shoot some popcorn beyond the bowl. Owners use an extra-large bowl with a tall rim or simply prop their bowl up very close to the chute to catch the more forceful fliers. The butter melter also needs to be in place or else there will be popcorn all over the kitchen.


Make sure the cover cools. Several owners gripe that their machines' covers warp over time. However, according to the manual, the cover is made of a material designed to absorb intense heat without melting. To keep its shape, it needs to cool on the unit after popping. Another gripe of many owners is the lack of an on/off switch, especially for those who like to make popcorn daily. The popper is capable of making consecutive batches of popcorn, but it will turn itself off to prevent overheating. An added bonus: The popper can roast coffee beans, too.

Where To Buy
Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper

 (8,401 reviews)
Buy new: $29.99 $22.30   178 Used & new from $15.18

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

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eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$34.95

Our Sources

1. Every Day with Rachael Ray

The author reviews five different types of popcorn poppers, highlighting the pros and cons of each. She commends the Presto PopLite popper for its large capacity, speed and easy cleanup. However, she warns that hot unpopped kernels often fly out of the chute.

Review: Popcorn Poppers, Vivian Jao, October 2010


Though this source is a bit old, it remains a relevant source of testing results. The author tested six popcorn poppers, evaluating each on popability, usability and taste. The Presto PopLite popper got the highest score, 24 out of 30 points, for its tasty popcorn, described as airy and crunchy. It lost points for its useless butter warmer and lack of an on/off switch.

Review: Pop Off: What's the Best Popcorn Popper?, Torie Bosch, March 27, 2008


The Presto PopLite Hot Air Popper is Amazon's number one best-selling popcorn maker, with approximately 64 percent of the 1,875-plus owners giving it a perfect score. Amazon owners love their simple popper, though many wish it came with an on/off button. However, the popper's tendency to overshoot small bowls frustrates some unsuspecting owners.

Review: Presto 04820 PopLite Hot Air Popper, White, Contributors to, As of August 2013


Viewpoints owners say the PopLite popper allows them to use non-GMO corn kernels and control the amount of oil and salt they add to their snack. They find the popper efficient, easy to clean, inexpensive and durable.

Review: Presto PopLite Hot Air Corn Popper 04820 Reviews, Contributors to, As of August 2013


More than 750 owners give the PopLite popper an average 4.6 out of 5 stars. However, one disappointed owner writes that while the popcorn comes out tasty, she was frustrated by the kernels shooting out all over her kitchen. Another reviewer found the unit ear-piercingly loud.

Review: Presto PopLite Hot Air Popcorn Popper, 04820, Contributors to, As of August 2013


The PopLite popper (also known as the Orville Redenbacher's Hot Air Popper) has a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars from 20 owners. Most reviewers appreciate its efficiency and its healthy hot air popcorn-making method. One owner complained about the lack of an on/off button, and another griped about the way the popcorn shoots out of the chamber.

Review: Presto 4821 Popcorn Maker, Orville Redenbacher's Hot Air Popper, Contributors to, As of August 2013


Nearly 30 users rate the Orville Redenbacher's Hot Air Popper a 4.6 out of 5 stars overall, with many praising the machine for how well it pops corn. One owner says to make sure you keep the butter melter in place, even if not melting butter, in order to keep the popped kernels from shooting around the room.

Review: Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Hot Air Popper by Presto, Contributors to, As of August 2013


Target owners love how simple the Orville Redenbacher popper is to use and clean and that it pops practically every kernel. One owner advises putting your bowl close to the shoot so that you don't get hit by any very hot unpopped kernels as the popper starts heating up.

Review: Orville Redenbacher Hot Air Popper, Contributors to, As of August 2013

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