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What size Popcorn Machine do I need?

Many people wonder "which popcorn machine is the right size for me?"This is not an uncommon question, and this popcorn popper 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 popcorn machines for small businesses all the way to 52 ounce popcorn poppers for large stadiums. 4 oz. popcorn machinesand 6 oz. popcorn machines are good entry level machines with low levels of traffic and are great candidates for small offices and home theatres.8 oz. popcorn machines are good for locations such as gas stations and lobbies of businesses.  12 oz - 14 oz. popcorn machines and 16 oz. - 20oz. popcorn 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 popcorn 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 popcorn machine pops a little more than a microwave popcorn bag every 3 minutes, and an eight ounce popcorn 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 in 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:

 

Popcorn Machine or Popcorn Popper 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.

Popcorn 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.

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About Us

There are many different companies online offering popcorn machines and concessions, but Snappy Popcorn is different. We are a third-generation company that has grown and sold popcorn since 1940. We grow, process, and raise much of our popcorn in the fertile fields of Iowa.

Our popcorn is always the best-tasting popcorn you'll try because it is fresh.

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Contact Snappy

Snappy Popcorn Co., Inc.
P.O. Box 160
610 Main St.
Breda, IA 51436

Email: jon@snappypopcorn.com
Toll Free: 800-742-0228
Main Phone: 712-673-2347
Fax: 712-673-4611
Hours: 8am-5pm CST, Monday-Friday

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