by | Jan 22, 2021 | Popcorn!, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Oct 15, 2021 @ 3:36 pm.

What's the best butter for popcorn? To find out, we gathered popcorn enthusiasts among our staff and did a blind taste test. We took 8 brands of popcorn butter topping and slathered them on batches of popcorn. Which ones were best? Read on to find out. Side note: even though we call these products popcorn butter, they are "butter flavor," not actual butter.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


The Secrets To Great Popcorn

Here at the home office, we take our popcorn seriously.

We’ve tried all the standard ways of making popcorn—stovetop, air-popped, microwave and more. 

Along the way, we’ve learned these key secrets to amazing popcorn:

• Toppings are essential. The butter toppings reviewed below are essential for great air-popcorn . . . that’s because salt won’t stick as well.

• Not any salt will do. The best popcorn salt is FINELY ground. Forget Kosher salt or other coarsely ground salt—it won’t stick. Later in this article, we’ll recommend a salt plus topping combo that is a fave.

• Topping or popping? All the top popcorn butters in this article can either be used topping or popping—that is, oil to pop kernels!

Here are our top popcorn butter options:

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Best Tried & True Brand

Rich, buttery taste
Heavenly is how we'd describe this butter-flavored oil—just like movie theaters. One caveat: may still need salt.
$20.94 ($0.22 / Fl Oz)

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Best Budget-Friendly

Easy to pour jug
Yes, this brand is sold commercially to movie theaters for their popcorn—and it is scrumptious! Bonus: it's also easier on the wallet.
$25.00 ($0.20 / Fl Oz)

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Best Butter + Salt Combo

Like theater popcorn!
Warning: this stuff is addictive! We loved this buttery topping, which comes with a carton of our favorite popcorn salt.
$14.95

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Best Natural Popcorn Butter

Yummy if not a bit pricey
Yes, most popcorn topping is made from artificial flavors and colors—if you want something more natural, this option was a favorite in our taste tests.

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Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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