Buying A Popcorn Machine: What Type And Size Is The Best For Your Family?
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Buying A Popcorn Machine: What Type And Size Is The Best For Your Family?

Hot, delicious popcorn is an all-time favorite snack which makes investment in a popcorn machine a really smart move. Whether you're buying a popcorn machine for a home theater, a concession stand, or any number of public venues, choosing the right machine depends on a number of factors: machine features, output volume, budget, maintenance and accessories. Below are several tips to help you choose the best machine for your needs:

Features. Standard features include kettles where the corn is popped and drop shelves where the popped corn is scooped. Higher-end machines offer tempered glass panels that protect against the heat. A machine whose front and sides are made of plastic instead of tempered glass may cost less up front but will ultimately cost more in the end due to constant replacement. Look for kettles that have are aluminum anodized for extra protection. Machine styles are varied; old-fashioned carts provide a sense of street-vendor nostalgia while more contemporary styled machines offer the streamlined appeal of those found at the Cineplex. Some machines offer warming zones and presentation drawers. Old maid drawers catch un-popped kernels that fall through the machine's small holes.

Volume. Kettle size is determined by how many one-ounce servings the kettle produces in one popping cycle (about 3 to 4 minutes). Smaller machines produce smaller outputs and are usually optimal for home use. Commercial businesses need a higher output for more serving sizes. The larger the kettle, the less popping time needed which cuts down on unnecessary waiting. If you are purchasing a machine for commercial use, you can calculate the size of the machine you need by figuring out the number of one-ounce servings served at your busiest hour to get a base number. A one-ounce serving is a bag approximately 3" wide by 2" deep by 8" tall, usually the serving for a small child. Four ounces of popped popcorn is more or less equal to 1 1/4 microwave bags of popped popcorn; a one bag usually produces 3 1/2 ounces of popped corn. Once you get a base number, divide this number by 16. You will then know what volume or kettle size you need to buy.

Small volume machines (4 oz. popcorn machines) are usually ideal for home theaters and recreation rooms. Medium volume machines (6 oz. and 8 oz. popcorn machines) are best for businesses like restaurants, small bars, country clubs, and waiting rooms. Large volume machines (12 oz. popcorn machines) are best for use in concession stands and snack bars. Commercial volume machines (16 oz. popcorn machines) are ideal for theaters, amusement parks, stadiums, and malls.

Budget. You can find quality machines for just a few hundred dollars; some higher end machines may cost a few thousand. To get the best deal, you should determine what features you need and how much you are willing to invest. Compare prices to get the most features for the least money.

Maintenance. Proper maintenance ensures great tasting popcorn and a long-lasting machine. Some machines provide features that make maintenance easier including glass panels and aluminum or stainless steel trays that can be wiped with a damp cloth or removed for a thorough cleaning. In case of breakages, find a manufacturer that offers reasonably-priced replacement parts along with repair warranties.

Accessories. Some manufacturers also offer popcorn supplies for both home theaters and businesses including bulk packages of popcorn and seasonings, butters and oils, serving boxes and bags and popcorn scoops.

Before purchasing your machine, find out the electrical wattage needed to operate your equipment. This is important to prevent shortages or outages.

The right popcorn machine can mean a good investment for your business or an enjoyable movie experience at home, so take steps to find the right one for your needs. offers a wide range of possibilities for businesses, schools or concessionaires. Visit them online for more information on their popcorn machine, snow cone machines or cotton candy machines.

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Comments (2)

Just voted up. Good to have one at home.

Excellent article. offers American made Popcorn machines