Popcorn machine recommendations - Page 19 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #541 of 555 Old 02-23-2015, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bluer101 View Post
The pre portion packs have the right coconut oil, corn, and flavacol Orange salt. This orange salt is what give theater, theme park, etc that iconic taste.

I just sprinkle a little more (bought extra flavacol) orange salt to my liking.
For me, it’s not movie theater popcorn without the topic, after reading a lot of threads, I found others asking the same question and it seems O Dells Super Kist II Butter Topping is what most theaters use.

Now, just need to figure out how to pour it on warm with the least amount of hassle and mess.
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post #542 of 555 Old 02-27-2015, 06:00 AM
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If anyone is still on the fence here are my thoughts regarding a popcorn machine. I have been debating buying one for a few years now and had overanalyzed it to death. I had initially thought of buying a Paragon or a Gold Medal but wanted to see them up close. I live outside Detroit and there are two local places that sell the machines. Royal Popcorn in Madison Heights and Detroit Popcorn in Redford. Royal carries Paragon and Great Northern while Detroit is exclusively Gold Medal. After looking closely at both machines I ended up with the Gold Medal 4oz Funpop and stand. I thought the kettle on the Gold Medal was a better design. The paragon kettle drops too low when making multiple batches and gets caught in the previously popped popcorn. The Gold Medal kettle tilts on it's center axis so you can fill it higher without interference. I also was a bit reluctant on having anodized aluminum as the kettle base vs. the stainless steel of the Gold Medal. I will say that the Paragon has a better heater than the Gold Medal at this price level. The Gold Medal is a 20w foil that won't keep the popcorn very warm. It is mainly used as a dehumidifier to keep the popcorn crisp.The Paragon's will keep the popcorn pretty warm. I soon realized that a 4oz machine was too small for my needs. At least once a week I make 24oz of popcorn for my kids to take to their classroom for snacks for all the kids. I got tired of making multiple batches and the 4oz gets full pretty fast. I talked to Detroit Popcorn where I had purchased it. They let me exchange it for the Gold Medal 8oz Funpop and gave me a full credit for my 4oz machine and stand, which was very kind of them. They said they would put my old 4oz in their rental fleet. There is so much more room in the 8oz to both put in the oil, popcorn and flavacol and scoop it into bags. It's easier to clean too. Some of the more expensive Gold Medal machines have tubular heaters that will keep the popcorn much warmer so I might try installing one in my Funpop. The people at both Royal and Detroit Popcorn were a pleasure to deal with and I buy supplies from both.

James
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post #543 of 555 Old 04-10-2015, 04:18 PM
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After reading most of the posts here I went for the Paragon Antique Red 1911 6 oz version without the stand. It looks great sitting on the counter top in the little kitchen area next to our HT in the basement. Bought it and the coconut oil (Nutiva) plus the Flavacol and the first big bag of popcorn all from Amazon, it arrived in 2 days, perfect packaging.

My wife was always very skeptical about getting the popcorn machine. We've had the HT for over 5 yrs now and we always made the usual 'low-fat' microwave popcorn or occasionally the 'movie-theater butter' popcorn both of which tasted horrible and the latter made you feel sick afterwards with the amount of oil left on your fingers. Even though we made the popcorn almost every time we watched a movie or had friends and family over, she resisted the idea of a popcorn machine with the 'yet another gadget to worry about' argument.

Finally this past weekend my daughter mentioned having a machine and I re-explored the possibility, read up a lot on it and finally took the plunge. I ordered the stuff on Saturday and it was here on Tuesday afternoon by 1PM.

The popcorn is heavenly. Will never go back to the microwave stuff again. Even though we have a 6 oz machine, we've made just 4 oz for the two of us which is plenty. For each batch I've used about 2/3 tablespoon of the coconut oil and just under 1/2 tsp of the Flavacol salt (it goes a long way and I will probably use even less in the future). We bought some plastic tubs from Amazon again for eating but they have this horrible plastic smell that I hope will go away eventually. It's more fun eating out of a tub that says 'popcorn' somehow.

My wife is now a convert :-)

The machine does smoke a fair bit and we have ours next to a basement window. One also has to be careful not to let the last few kernels burn, so I turn the machine off as soon as the gap between pops is more than 3 seconds.

I would advise anyone looking to entertain, to get the 6 or 8 oz machine if you are getting the Paragon ones. I don't know about the other makes, but if you are hungry, it is not difficult to finish off 4 oz between two people. It takes around 3 minutes once it starts popping to finish and from absolutely cold to end of popping 4 oz is around 7 minutes. So if you are doing multiple batches it will take some time. For about 8 guests you will likely need 12-16 oz total.

Whenever I see someone watching a movie on a big screen TV with the audio coming through the television's speakers I feel they are missing half the fun of a home theater. Once they've hooked up a proper audio system they all agree with me. Well, a popcorn machine is a bit like that. It enhances the experience in a manner that you wouldn't believe until you did it yourself.
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post #544 of 555 Old 04-10-2015, 04:26 PM
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I get zero smoking with the mega pop pre packs. I know you are suppose to heat the oil first but I dump in everything right after I turn the popper on. Then when it gets almost to the end I turn the heat off. I probally turn the heat off way before other people but it will continue to pop then I dump early too. I would rather have old maids then burnt popcorn.
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post #545 of 555 Old 04-17-2015, 01:06 PM
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My twelve year old Nostalgia Electric popcorn cart finally seems to be conking out. I have to say it has been used a lot and I am surprised it has lasted this long. I am now researching replacements. I am suspicious that the Great Northern and Nostalgia Electric machines are the same thing with just a different company name slapped on them. Can anyone confirm?
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post #546 of 555 Old 04-17-2015, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeffy3 View Post
My twelve year old Nostalgia Electric popcorn cart finally seems to be conking out. I have to say it has been used a lot and I am surprised it has lasted this long. I am now researching replacements. I am suspicious that the Great Northern and Nostalgia Electric machines are the same thing with just a different company name slapped on them. Can anyone confirm?
I love my GN and was a great deal from Costco. They still sell my machine online at Costco.
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post #547 of 555 Old 04-23-2015, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jaymerkramer View Post
I found this decent sized popcorn machine in the clearance isle at Wally World.


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-B...r-Red/38814099

Makes up to 8oz at a time and the kettle is easy to load and clean up. Great option for a person like myself who wants the real theater taste but does not have the room in my small theater. Seems to be built pretty well much better than my Stir Crazy. Thought I might share for anyone in a similar situation.
I just picked up one of these machines . . .

Any tips or suggestions?
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post #548 of 555 Old 04-24-2015, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellWilde View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymerkramer View Post
I found this decent sized popcorn machine in the clearance isle at Wally World.


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hamilton-B...r-Red/38814099

Makes up to 8oz at a time and the kettle is easy to load and clean up. Great option for a person like myself who wants the real theater taste but does not have the room in my small theater. Seems to be built pretty well much better than my Stir Crazy. Thought I might share for anyone in a similar situation.
I just picked up one of these machines . . .

Any tips or suggestions?
I have been using a combination oil I found at Target in mine. It is a coconut and canola oil combination. I add a little Flavocal to the mix and all taste great. I have found that if you remove the kettle right after it gets done popping and let it cool off on the stove or something it is much easier to clean up. I found that smaller batches leave a lot less unpopped kernels, if any at all. I use 1/2 cup of kernels usually and get perfect results. We really like ours so far and use it all the time.

Last edited by jaymerkramer; 04-24-2015 at 08:01 PM.
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post #549 of 555 Old 05-21-2015, 08:06 AM
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Great Northern 8 oz popper and cart on sale w/free shipping for $185 http://greatnorthernpopcorn.com/c-36...-specials.aspx.
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post #550 of 555 Old 05-24-2015, 11:31 AM
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I bought a Nostalgia Electrics on clearance from walmart's online store for $89 dollars with free shipping. My friend had sent me a link from RedFlagdeals, which is a Canadian forum for just about ANYTHING that is on sale, or if it seems like a hot deal, someone will post about it.
I ordered it last Saturday which was a holiday weekend here in Canada, and it was sitting on my porch Tuesday when I got home from work (Monday was the holiday) so that was nice.
Anyways, the instructions were a little vague about the assembly of the cart, or maybe that was just me gapping out but it didnt take long to assemble, other than 10 minutes of looking for a screw I dropped and it disappearing into the apparent Abyss located in my living room it probably only took 20 minutes to assemble. I have to go back and read this entire thread to find out the good oils and flavor toppings you guys use.

I went to the grocery store, grabbed a small jar of Orville's kernels, some salt and vinegar topping, and a small container of just plain corn oil. I had an older container of vegetable oil so I tried that first, it was pretty horrible, the vegetable oil made it smell like a fast food restaurant and gave the popcorn a heavy oily taste, almost like deep fried fish or something so I threw it out. That was the first batch in a new machine so I didnt really plan on eating it all anyways, kind of like the first time you use a new BBQ you cremate some cheap hotdogs on it to "season" the grill. The second batch I made with the corn oil was way better, the popcorn tasted fluffier and had no added heavy taste, The salt-n-vinegar topping was awesome on it, so my tongue is destroyed as I type this today
It popped really fast, but it seems to use the oil really fast, I have to be careful not to burn it. Can I just add extra oil? Can anybody give me a crash course in making popcorn? I need to get my oil/kernel ratio set right, which kind of makes me want to get the premeasured packs.
It doesnt have a warming tray, but for 89 bucks plus tax I am happy with it. As soon as I grow a layer of skin back on my tongue I will be making more!
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post #551 of 555 Old 05-24-2015, 12:04 PM
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Great Northern 8 oz popper and cart on sale w/free shipping for $185 http://greatnorthernpopcorn.com/c-36...-specials.aspx.
Three years ago my kids put their money together and bought this as a gift for the wife and I at Christmas. We use it on a weekly basis and I can say without any hesitation, the popcorn it makes is 10 times better than what you could buy at a theater. We use the "Great Northern Popcorn" with salt and butter packets we bought from Amazon. We use the 6oz size because it is enough for 3 people and more than enough for 2. IMO. Flavor is perfect! I dump it all in at the same time and then turn on the stir and pot heater switches, I turn them both off just before it finishes popping, I've only burnt the popcorn once. It's a timing issue that you learn quickly, I agree with the above post where it's better to have kernels unpopped than burnt.
Great Machine makes great popcorn, nice piece of furniture too. Ours is Black as I thought the red looked like it belonged at the carnival. YMMV
Popcorn link;
http://smile.amazon.com/Great-Northe...ywords=popcorn

Ron

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post #552 of 555 Old 05-24-2015, 07:56 PM
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Three years ago my kids put their money together and bought this as a gift for the wife and I at Christmas. We use it on a weekly basis and I can say without any hesitation, the popcorn it makes is 10 times better than what you could buy at a theater. We use the "Great Northern Popcorn" with salt and butter packets we bought from Amazon. We use the 6oz size because it is enough for 3 people and more than enough for 2. IMO. Flavor is perfect! I dump it all in at the same time and then turn on the stir and pot heater switches, I turn them both off just before it finishes popping, I've only burnt the popcorn once. It's a timing issue that you learn quickly, I agree with the above post where it's better to have kernels unpopped than burnt.
Great Machine makes great popcorn, nice piece of furniture too. Ours is Black as I thought the red looked like it belonged at the carnival. YMMV
Popcorn link;
http://smile.amazon.com/Great-Northe...ywords=popcorn

Ron
We love or GN machine from Costco. The only thing we did was switch from GN pre packs to Gold Medal /Mega Pop pre packs. We like them a lot better.
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post #553 of 555 Unread Today, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Slingblayde View Post
I bought a Nostalgia Electrics on clearance from walmart's online store for $89 dollars with free shipping. My friend had sent me a link from RedFlagdeals, which is a Canadian forum for just about ANYTHING that is on sale, or if it seems like a hot deal, someone will post about it.

I ordered it last Saturday which was a holiday weekend here in Canada, and it was sitting on my porch Tuesday when I got home from work (Monday was the holiday) so that was nice.

Anyways, the instructions were a little vague about the assembly of the cart, or maybe that was just me gapping out but it didnt take long to assemble, other than 10 minutes of looking for a screw I dropped and it disappearing into the apparent Abyss located in my living room it probably only took 20 minutes to assemble. I have to go back and read this entire thread to find out the good oils and flavor toppings you guys use.

I went to the grocery store, grabbed a small jar of Orville's kernels, some salt and vinegar topping, and a small container of just plain corn oil. I had an older container of vegetable oil so I tried that first, it was pretty horrible, the vegetable oil made it smell like a fast food restaurant and gave the popcorn a heavy oily taste, almost like deep fried fish or something so I threw it out. That was the first batch in a new machine so I didnt really plan on eating it all anyways, kind of like the first time you use a new BBQ you cremate some cheap hotdogs on it to "season" the grill. The second batch I made with the corn oil was way better, the popcorn tasted fluffier and had no added heavy taste, The salt-n-vinegar topping was awesome on it, so my tongue is destroyed as I type this today

It popped really fast, but it seems to use the oil really fast, I have to be careful not to burn it. Can I just add extra oil? Can anybody give me a crash course in making popcorn? I need to get my oil/kernel ratio set right, which kind of makes me want to get the premeasured packs.

It doesnt have a warming tray, but for 89 bucks plus tax I am happy with it. As soon as I grow a layer of skin back on my tongue I will be making more!
I have this one, and it's a great bang for the buck, even at regular price. I use Ghee instead of oil, much higher smoke point, with a bit of Flavacol. Popcorn tastes great.

Tip: leave the glass door open a little bit while popping to let the steam out so that the popcorn won't get too "soggy."
Slingblayde likes this.

Last edited by MidnightWatcher; Today at 01:04 PM.
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post #554 of 555 Unread Today, 12:43 PM
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I have this one, and it's a great bang for the buck, even at regular price. I use Ghee instead of oil, much higher smoke point, with a bit of Flavacol. Popcorn tastes great.

Tip: leave the door open a little bit while popping to let the steam out so that the popcorn won't get too "soggy."
I cant say Ive ever heard of ghee, but I will be looking it up, I have to look online and order some of the Flavacol, I remember reading about someone in the toronto area who sells it from earlier in this thread. The model we have says to turn the light and warmer on, does it have a warming tray? I dont feel anything warm when I turn the light only on, unless they call the heat from the bulb a "warmer"

MEDICAL/PRO TIP - dont leave the little bottom door open all the way too often. I did, I bumped my arm into the small Aluminum door as I walked by, the sharp corner opened me up like a Tuna almost 2 inches long. I probably should have went to go get stitches it was so long and so deep.

I popped 1 batch of popcorn and lost a pint of blood all within 1 hour lol. I had to bring a small file home from work and file the sharp edge off to keep from severing any more arteries on movie night.

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post #555 of 555 Unread Today, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the tip. As a preventative measure, I'll probably check for any sharp edges and file it down.

As for Flavacol, I just ordered mine from Amazon.ca and the Ghee from Walmart.

http://www.amazon.ca/Gold-Medal-Prod...2843079&sr=1-1

http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/ghee-800gms/6000153707103
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