Concession Equipment Buying Guide
Many people wonder "which popcorn machine is the right size for me?" This is not an uncommon question, and this guide is meant to help you make the right decision on your investment. There are many different popcorn machines and sizes ranging from 4 ounce machines for small businesses all the way to 52 ounce machines for large stadiums. 4 oz. machines and 6 oz. machines are good entry level machines with low levels of traffic and are great candidates for small offices and home theatres. 8 oz. machines are good for locations such as gas stations and lobbies of businesses. 12 oz. machines and 16 oz. machines are good for school concession stands and areas with high volume traffic, such as busy bank lobbies. This doesn't mean that you can't use a 12 ounce machine in a home theatre to impress friends and family, the numbers are merely a guide for how many ounces the machine will pop.
Q. What do you mean by 4, 6, 8, and 12 ounce machines?
A. Most concessionaires will measure their popcorn in one ounce servings, which is the recommended size for one person. It is about 2-3 cups popped and fits into a bag that is 3.5" x 8" tall. For further reference, think of a microwave popcorn bag that is 3.5 ounces of popcorn. A four ounce machine pops a little more than a microwave popcorn bag every 3 minutes, and an eight ounce machine will pop nearly two microwave popcorn bags every 5 minutes. A 12 ounce machine will pop the equivalent of about 3 microwave popcorn bags every 5 minutes.
Q. Are there differences in popping time from one kettle to another?
A. Yes, most 4 and 6 ounce machines will run on an approximate 3 minute popping cycle, whereas many 8 and 12 ounce machines will run on an approximate 5 minute popping cycle. These numbers are just estimates, but it will give you an idea.
Q. How do I know if the popper I'm purchasing is large enough?
A. When in doubt, choose the larger of the two machines because you can always pop less, but you don't want to overfill your kettle to pop more as this damages the gear block and internal kettle mechanisms of the machine over time. Think of the purchase of your popcorn machine as a good investment, as a lot of these machines will last 10-15 years if you take good care of them. Below are some typical uses for different sized machines:
|Machine Size||Typical Uses|
|4 ounce kettle||Small businesses, bed and breakfasts, home theatres.|
|6 ounce kettle||Small business, gas stations with medium traffic, home theatres.|
|8 ounce kettle||Small to medium businesses, gas stations and lobbies with steady traffic, small concession stands.|
|12 ounce kettle||School concession stands, gas stations and lobbies with steady traffic, high school concession stands, small movie theatres.|
|16 ounce kettle||School concession stands with heavy traffic, movie theatres.|
Now that you know which popcorn popper is the right size for you we can cover the ingredients. The three key ingredients to popcorn are: popcorn kernels, oil, and salt. Each popper size has these mixed in slightly different ratios. Use the chart below as a good guide to how much popcorn and oil to use for the popper size that you have. To make it even easier, use Snappy Popcorn's premeasured Snap Paks for the perfect portion every time.
|Popper Size||Oil||Snappy Popcorn|
|4 oz. Popper||1/4 Cup Oil||1/2 Cup Corn|
|6 oz. Popper||1/4 Cup Oil||3/4 Cup Corn|
|8 oz. Popper||1/3 Cup Oil||1 Cup Corn|
|12 oz. Popper||1/2 Cup Oil||1 1/2 Cups Corn|
|16 oz. Popper||2/3 Cup Oil||2 Cups Corn|
You can also use certain products such as Glaze Pop or our Snappy Shakers to flavor your popcorn with sweet or savory flavors. These are fun for parties as well as everyday popping. Not all poppers can run on a regular wall outlet. Some of the larger machines that are 12 ounces and above have special electrical requirements. For questions on voltage or amp requirements for individual machines please consult the user manual listed online for the machine in which you are interested, or contact Snappy Popcorn and one of our sales associates will be happy to help you.
Cotton Candy Equipment
There are many different cotton candy machines to meet the different needs of our customers. There are two main types of cotton candy machines that will have different heating elements – either Ribbon Heating Elements (R) or Tubular Heating Elements (T). Ribbon element machines heat up and cool down quickly, but the element will need periodic replacement depending on how much the machine is used. Tubular element machines heat up and cool down quickly and can easily clog if not operated properly, but the element should never need to be replaced. Please use the following table that shows the output of many of our cotton candy machines and whether they are ribbon or tubular heating elements.
Production in Output of Cones Per Minute (CPM):
|2 CPM||3 CPM||4 CPM||5-6 CPM||7-8 CPM|
Snow Cone and Shaved Ice Equipment
When choosing a snow cone or shaved ice machine, it is a good idea to identify the reason for your purchase. Are you renting the machine? If so, you will want the machine to be light and transport easily. Will it be for a high volume location or household use? This will help you determine if you need a high output snow cone machine or one recommended for residential use. Now that you've decided on the use for your machine, let's get down to the questions and answers of snow cone making.
Q. What is the difference between snow cones and shaved ice?
A. Many people wonder what the difference between shaved ice and snow cones are. The answer is simple really. Snow Cones have larger granules of ice than shaved ice. Shaved ice is more comparable to snow, and is very fine, light, and fluffy whereas Snow Cones have larger pieces of ice. Usually one can charge more for shaved ice than a snow cone, but snow cones continue to be one of the most popular concession stand foods with good reason: they are inexpensive to produce and they are consistent sellers.
Q. What do I need to make snow cones?
A. You will need your machine, ice (the colder the ice the finer the shave), and your syrup.
Q. What is the difference between a ready to use (RTU) syrup and a powdered mix concentrate?
A. The RTU syrups come packaged ready to use in either quart or gallon sized bottles. The quarts already have flip top lids and the gallons require the use of a pump (remember: one pump to each flavor). The eezee concentrates are lighter to ship, but take some time to mix with sugar and water in order to get the snow cone syrup you need.
There are two basic types of Snow Cone Machines: entry level and high output. The following machines can be considered entry level snow cone machines:
The following machines can be considered high output snow cone machines:
|High Output Snow Machines|
|Snokonette Ice Shaver||Bliz Whiz Ice Shaver|
|Deluxe Snokonette||Shavatron Ice Shaver|
These machines can be considered entry level ice shavers:
|Entry Level Ice Shavers|
|Shavette Little Shaver||Little Snowie|
These machines can be considered high output ice shavers: