Popcorn machine recommendations - Page 23 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #661 of 687 Old 06-20-2016, 10:34 AM
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any recipes you guys recommend?
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post #662 of 687 Old 06-22-2016, 10:22 AM
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what's the difference between the $150 Great Northern popcorn machine and the $500 Paramount popcorn machine? Other than $350?
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post #663 of 687 Old 06-22-2016, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post
what's the difference between the $150 Great Northern popcorn machine and the $500 Paramount popcorn machine? Other than $350?
In theory, build quality. How much that translates in practice is another question. For my part, I ordered the Great Northern 8oz from Costco, figuring if anything does go south on it, I have the Costco return policy as a backup. So far, it's been great. My only gripe would be in design, wishing that the top of the kettle was snap down or spring loaded rather than screwed in. It'd be much easier to clean if you could pop the whole top off.
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post #664 of 687 Old 06-22-2016, 12:51 PM
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I clean my kettle maybe once a month, or less. When I do finally clean it, I use nothing but water, almost to the top, and let it boil for a while. I don't ever remove the kettle and clean it in the sink or anything.
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post #665 of 687 Old 06-22-2016, 07:04 PM
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what's the difference between the $150 Great Northern popcorn machine and the $500 Paramount popcorn machine? Other than $350?
I love my great northern too from Costco.

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post #666 of 687 Old 06-22-2016, 07:58 PM
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I love my great northern too from Costco.
Agreed.
Couldn't comment on the actual differences - but I am really happy with my Costco GN!

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post #667 of 687 Old 06-23-2016, 12:56 AM
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any recipes you guys recommend?
Got this book from my daughter last Christmas....interesting..
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post #668 of 687 Old 06-23-2016, 12:12 PM
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Got this book from my daughter last Christmas....interesting..
cool! any recipes that just require additions to the kettle?
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post #669 of 687 Old 06-28-2016, 11:04 AM
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I just ordered the Great Northern, but in my research I found that the Paramount poppers are made about 10 miles from me and the company is made up mostly of lifelong employees of Maytag that were laid off after the sale and downsize, so theyre in theory a little more knowledgeable than just random assemblers. They've been doing similar work for years. As much as I'd rather support the local, US made product by people who love what they do, well, I got a scratch and dent GN for $130.


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post #670 of 687 Old 06-28-2016, 11:26 AM
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Good find thrillcat on a local item.
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post #671 of 687 Old 07-01-2016, 05:55 AM
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What's the best recipe for just regular old movie theater popcorn?

Can I use the orville redenbacher butter as the oil or is that a real bad idea?
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post #672 of 687 Old 07-01-2016, 07:49 AM
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We use the Orville topping as the cooking oil when we do a quick batch the, I'm embarrassed to say, microwave. Works fine. Then we pour a little on top. Note that we use microwave popcorn popper, not the microwave packs. I have not tried the oil in the machine.

I was using Louanna coconut oil and Orville's in the machine with good results, BUT I started using Gold Medal FunPop packs and those are my favorite. And I use Snappy buttery topping. I bought the gallon and the pump that fits. Fire up the machine, snip the pack, dump it in, scoop, pump on the topping. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

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post #673 of 687 Old 07-01-2016, 06:09 PM
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I've tried other oils than coconut in my Great Northern popper but I have found that the high temperatures give all other oils that "fishy" taste and smell. Only coconut oil seems to do well in the large theater style kettles.
This does not apply to microwave or whirlypop style machines...
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post #674 of 687 Old 07-01-2016, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Clark View Post
I've tried other oils than coconut in my Great Northern popper but I have found that the high temperatures give all other oils that "fishy" taste and smell. Only coconut oil seems to do well in the large theater style kettles.
This does not apply to microwave or whirlypop style machines...
Hmm. Virgin-- aka expeller pressed-- coconut oil actually has a fairly low smoke point (~350 F), but refined coconut oil is about the same smoke point as refined corn or canola oils (~400+ F), so I'd imagine that is what you are using:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point

Have you tried canola oil, or sunflower / safflower oils? The latter two can be pretty expensive, but canola oil isn't much more than plain old corn oil and it has a pretty mild and smooth taste.

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post #675 of 687 Old 07-07-2016, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Moebius View Post
In theory, build quality. How much that translates in practice is another question. For my part, I ordered the Great Northern 8oz from Costco, figuring if anything does go south on it, I have the Costco return policy as a backup. So far, it's been great. My only gripe would be in design, wishing that the top of the kettle was snap down or spring loaded rather than screwed in. It'd be much easier to clean if you could pop the whole top off.
I think it is easy to see the difference in build quality by just looking at the kettle of a Great Northern say verses a Gold Medal and more expensive poppers. The question is whether or not you think the better quality is worth the expense. That's really a personal decision based on preference and budget.
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post #676 of 687 Old 07-07-2016, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert Clark View Post
I've tried other oils than coconut in my Great Northern popper but I have found that the high temperatures give all other oils that "fishy" taste and smell. Only coconut oil seems to do well in the large theater style kettles.
This does not apply to microwave or whirlypop style machines...
I actually prefer peanut popping oil verses coconut oil. The taste is as good or better and the clean up is much easier. I get mine from Snappy but you can get it on Amazon as well.
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post #677 of 687 Old 07-18-2016, 04:13 PM
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Update #3 : It's been more than a year since I repaired my Great Northern's 12 oz kettle. I've continued to make about 6-8 batches of popcorn per month, so easily 90+ batches since I replaced the kettle's thermal fuse. The popper is still going strong.

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Update 4.... My Great Northern 12 oz popper is toast! Well, it's repairable, but I'm choosing not to repair it.

On Sunday, while popping the very first batch for a movie night, I was about 10 feet away and I heard a loud pzzzzzap sound. I looked in the direction of the popper and there were FLAMES where the electrical connection enters the side of the popper kettle. I quickly ran over and pulled the power cord from the outlet. The flames only lasted a couple of seconds but the burning electrical smell lasted the rest of the day.

I ended up tossing the kettle in the trash. This is the same kettle that failed to heat just after the original warranty had expired. It was a thermal fuse that had blown and I replaced it myself (with EXACTLY the same thermal fuse, right down to the part numbers). The kettle lasted several more years before the failure on Sunday.

In addition, one of the rocker switches (for the pot stirrer) has been intermittent for about 2 months. It has also seemed like it was taking longer for the kettle to heat up enough to pop the first batch. And, to top it off, the little threaded plastic oval pieces that sit on one side of the doors (that the door hinge screws thread into) have started falling apart. One of the doors is barely hanging onto that hinge.

Needless to say, I am DONE with Great Northern poppers. I will be replacing the Great Northern with a Gold Medal Lil' Maxx. It's an 8oz kettle but the bin size is larger than normal for an 8oz kettle machine. In fact, the Lil' Maxx's bin is even larger than my current GN 12oz machine. My GN machine measures 18"w x 15.5"d x 30"h. The Lil' Maxx measures 20"w x 20"d x 32"h.

This is the 8oz Gold Medal Lil' Maxx 2389:




With the 8oz kettle, I'll have to pop a few more batches to fill the bin, but that's not a big deal. Once the kettle is heated up, subsequent batches go more quickly. Whereas the Great Northern 12oz took 3-4 batches to fill its bin, the Lil' Maxx will take 5-6 batches. So 2 more batches at about 3 minutes each. Not a big deal.

The very nice customer service person at Gold Medal Products sent me the full manual for the Lil' Maxx. It includes a full parts diagram (with part numbers) and complete schematic. FAR more information that GN supplied. And the Lil' Maxx looks to be much better in the construction department. Whereas the Great Northern 12oz kettle had a single loop of heating element under the inner kettle, the Lil' Maxx's inner kettle has 4 full loops of heating element. It should heat faster AND more evenly, which will probably get that first batch done more quickly in the first place.

Gold Medal also offers the same bin with a 12oz kettle, called the Pop Maxx. But I am a little concerned about the power requirements of that unit. The Lil' Maxx draws 1250 watts (taken from the most recently updated instruction manual) while the Pop Maxx draws 1440 watts. With the other equipment running during a movie night on my garage's 20amp circuit, it's best to save those 200 watts and simply pop a few more batches. Not to mention the Pop Maxx is about $200 more expensive than the Lil' Maxx.

Now the search has begun for the best place to buy the Lil' Maxx. The lowest price I've found is $589 (plus shipping) from popcornmachines.com. I've never heard of that place and their website seems pretty basic, so I'm a little concerned about supplying my financial information. I will keep searching the web for the best deal that balances price, service, and a feeling of reliability.

Locally, if I'm willing to make a drive of about 1.5 hours, I can get one for $737 but I still feel that's a bit too much.

If anyone has a good recommendation for a GOOD website that offers good deals and great service (fast shipping, no rip-off shipping charges, etc.), please let me know.

In the meantime, I am using the Great Northern's bin as a place to keep the popcorn warm and buying bags of Simply Naked popcorn from Costco. Not as good as real theater popcorn, but acceptable in such an emergency.

Mark

Last edited by Mark Booth; 07-18-2016 at 04:24 PM.
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post #678 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 11:24 AM
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My wife and I have been looking for a popcorn machine to sit outside our theater for awhile now. We wanted to stay around $250 and the Great Northern 5815 seemed to catch our eye the most. Today, we just happened to find that machine online from Costco for only $209 which I thought was a great deal considering the next best price was Ebay for $249. Before I clicked the "finish payment" button, I double checked the description multiple times just because it seems that price was almost too good to be true but all seems legit. We made the purchase and can't wait for it to arrive.

http://m.costco.com/Great-Northern-P...ratings-anchor
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post #679 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 11:27 AM
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Can anyone recommend some good popcorn bowls? Preferably dishwasher safe if possible.
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post #680 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 11:33 AM
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My wife and I have been looking for a popcorn machine to sit outside our theater for awhile now. We wanted to stay around $250 and the Great Northern 5815 seemed to catch our eye the most. Today, we just happened to find that machine online from Costco for only $209 which I thought was a great deal considering the next best price was Ebay for $249. Before I clicked the "finish payment" button, I double checked the description multiple times just because it seems that price was almost too good to be true but all seems legit. We made the purchase and can't wait for it to arrive.

http://m.costco.com/Great-Northern-P...ratings-anchor
Excellent choice. I have this one in black - it is a fantastic machine, I use it all the time and have had minimal issues.
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post #681 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 04:21 PM
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I have started to get the bottom of the inside of the kettle to turn a little on the black shade of color. It's this normal. I haven't cleaned out the kettle since I bought it.

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post #682 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 05:06 PM
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I have started to get the bottom of the inside of the kettle to turn a little on the black shade of color. It's this normal. I haven't cleaned out the kettle since I bought it.

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They make kettle cleaner that will make it shine again - it is a powder you dissolve in water and then boil in the kettle.
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post #683 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 05:44 PM
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They make kettle cleaner that will make it shine again - it is a powder you dissolve in water and then boil in the kettle.
Thanks.

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post #684 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 06:58 PM
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Thanks.

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This is the stuff I use: https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Medal-20...kettle+cleaner
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post #685 of 687 Old 09-08-2016, 08:38 PM
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That is the one that I was looking at earlier. Thanks again.

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post #686 of 687 Old 09-09-2016, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mpjmeyer View Post
My wife and I have been looking for a popcorn machine to sit outside our theater for awhile now. We wanted to stay around $250 and the Great Northern 5815 seemed to catch our eye the most. Today, we just happened to find that machine online from Costco for only $209 which I thought was a great deal considering the next best price was Ebay for $249. Before I clicked the "finish payment" button, I double checked the description multiple times just because it seems that price was almost too good to be true but all seems legit. We made the purchase and can't wait for it to arrive.

http://m.costco.com/Great-Northern-P...ratings-anchor
That's the one I have (and PTAaron has in black). No problems with it, works great, and if something does go south, it's Costco so returns are pretty easy.
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post #687 of 687 Old 09-12-2016, 11:36 PM
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Can anyone recommend some good popcorn bowls? Preferably dishwasher safe if possible.
The ones I use---> http://www.acehardware.com/product/i...uctId=67580316 <-- They seem to be all over the place. A fairly big/cheap bowl, too. Which is why I use em.
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