Which Popcorn Machine Is Right for Me?

6 Questions for Evaluating Poppers

If you’re thinking about buying a popcorn machine, the amount of options can seem overwhelming. Don’t worry! With six simple questions, we can help point you in the right direction.


1. Where will the popper be used?

Think about your venue. Is it a small or large venue? For example, is your venue a stadium or restaurant? Will there be a large or small crowd? These factors will determine what type of popper you get.


2. Who will be operating the popper?

This is important to ask because it will determine what features your popcorn machine will have. If a volunteer is operating the popper, the machine needs to be easy to understand and use. However, if a trained employee is operating the popper, a more advanced popper can be purchased.


3. How many servings do you need to make in one hour?

Estimate the number of customers you may have at the event. Are the lines constantly long or are there downtime periods? If you expect nonstop customers, your popper needs to be able to make several servings fast. Pick the popper with the correct kettle size to pop what's needed to serve your crowds.


4. How much space do you have for the popper?

Look at your venue space and determine where you will place your popcorn machine. Whatever area you choose, it needs to be one that the machine can fit in and function properly. Consider if you will have the popper placed on a counter, cart, or floor model.


5. How much electricity is available?

Make sure that your venue has enough electricity to power your popcorn machine as well as everything else. Find out how much electricity is available for the popcorn machine. Check out how much electricity will be needed to use the popper. This will be a deciding factor when picking a popcorn machine.


6. Who will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the popper?

Cleaning your popcorn machine is a big part of keeping it operational. Make sure whoever is operating the machine knows and understands the daily unit and kettle cleaning procedures. The cleaning process for the machine may direct you to choose one popper over another.



Small Venue Poppers:

For home and small business use, you should look at 4, 6, or 8-oz. poppers. These machines will produce 60-160 oz. of popcorn per hour. The convenient size means they can fit on a countertop or be paired with a cart. They run on a standard 120V 15-amp plug. All models come with a removable E-Z Kleen Kettle, so it is simple for anyone to clean and maintain. The PowerOff® Control is available on select models, which will automatically turn off after 15 minutes of idle time. This is ideal in situations when there is not a dedicated person operating the popper.

Commercial & Concession Poppers:

The next size up is the 12/14-oz. size, which is right for standard concession stands such as schools, corporate events, and fundraisers. You can anticipate producing up to 210 oz. of popcorn per hour. Countertop or cart display is possible. This size also has a 120V 15-amp plug. For easy cleaning, each has the stainless steel E-Z Kleen Kettle. In most cases, the person operating the popper will be trained. For added safety, consider models with the PowerOff® Control.

High Traffic:

Larger concession stands need the volume of a 16-oz. popper capable of producing 240-320 oz. of popcorn per hour. This size works well in environments like retail locations, restaurants, cinemas, and some stadiums/arenas. For space, it would require either a large counter space or a cart/base. The 120V 15-amp plug is still used for these models. Additional features include: E-Z Kleen Kettles, PowerOff® Control, and Big Eye Electronic Heat Control. It is recommended that only trained employees operate this level of equipment.

Large Venues/Manufacturers:

When you require quality and quantity in your popcorn production, look at poppers sized 32 oz. up to 60 oz. Grocery stores, cinemas, stadiums/arenas, and manufacturing facilities require this type of a popcorn powerhouse. Production rates range from 500 oz. to 1,200 oz. of popcorn per hour. These are floor models that run off of a 120/208V or 120/240V 50-amp plug. Features may include: updraft ventilation, fire suppression systems, and filtration capabilities. Plus, with FlexiPop, you will be able to tailor the batch size. Training is required for all operators. Consider trying our PopClean® Elite Popper™ Series Popcorn Machines. These poppers are available with advanced membrane control or touch screen control. Features include: highest level filtration system, fire suppression system, user-friendly interface and step-by-step instructions for operating, customizable features, and usage reports.



From the largest to the smallest operations, Poppa Corn has the knowledge and experience to recommend the right popper for your needs! Eliminate the guesswork by contacting our concession professionals today!