The Best Popcorn

From pre-popped bags to microwave packs to kernels—seven RS favorites to snack on (OK, fine: become hopelessly addicted to).


Best Flavored


G. H. Cretors Chicago Mix
A mash-up of traditional gift-tin popcorns: caramel and aged Cheddar. Staffers kept stealing handfuls of this irresistible, salty-sweet duo.

To buy: $4 for a 7.5-ounce bag, supermarkets and

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Best Salted


Angie’s Boomchickapop Sea Salt Popcorn
Others were bland or burnt, but this one tasted fresh-popped, even days after the bag was opened. The airy kernels have just the right amount of salt.

To buy: $3.50 for a 4.8-ounce bag, supermarkets and

Photo by Angie's Boomchickapop

Best Butter


Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Butter Microwave Popcorn
Want a movie theater-ish indulgence? This is your pick: fluffy, golden kernels with just the right amount of butter flavor.

To buy: $2.50 for three 3.3-ounce bags, supermarkets and

Photo by Con Agra Foods


Best Organic


Quinn Parmesan & Rosemary
As close to stove-popped as you’ll get in a microwave bag: just organic kernels, plus sunflower oil, Parmesan, and rosemary to sprinkle on top.

To buy: $5 for two 3.5-ounce bags, supermarkets and

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Best Kettle Corn


Popcorn, Indiana Kettlecorn
The classic state-fair treat is halfway between plain popcorn and caramel corn. While some competitors had gluey shells, this winner—glazed with caramelized sugar—was nice and crunchy.

To buy: $3.80 for a 7-ounce bag, supermarkets and

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Best Cheese


Cape Cod White Cheddar Popcorn
This champ packs sharp cheese flavor that doesn’t taste artificial. And it doesn’t coat your fingers—crucial, because you’ll be reaching in again and again.

To buy: $3.50 for a 5-ounce bag, supermarkets.

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Best Kernels


Tiny But Mighty Popcorn
Want to PYO (pop your own)? These kernels have extra-thin hulls that won’t get stuck in your teeth.

To buy: $6 for a 20-ounce bag,

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