I would think that "less" is more harmful to the kettle than "more". :confused:
I too, don't understand why more product could damage a heating appliance. The more product the greater the transfer of heat from the appliance into the product. I would assume that "not enough product" would lead to "less" heat transfer and the resultant over heating of the appliance. Perhaps they meant that putting too much corn makes the aplliance run in heat mode longer than a typical batch than it is rated for. I again assume these heating elements are meant to be only run for short periods. Longer heat times may lead to burning and scorching of the kettle surface. Perhaps what they meant by ruining your kettle. Just curious, too. :confused:
In my personal popcorn popping batches, I indeed get better results from 6 oz in a 4 oz kettle and I think it is due to more oil and corn in the kettle. My kettle may run a bit too hot, so, with 4oz I get burning because I can't shut the heat down quick enough. I might try dumping the kettle during that last furious popping episode of each batch. I would rather several unpopped kernals rather than a few burnt ones to spoil the whole batch! nothing worse (in the theater) than the smell of burnt popcorn! :(
Popcorn popping is an art in itself. As with anything, takes practice and experimentation.
With the relative inexpensive cost of popcorn, I'm willing to lose some product for the benefit of the batch and aroma overall.
I'll keep practicing.! :D
The cinema outlets probably use 16 ounce kettles or larger. These machine have thermostats and computer chip controlled heating elements and other such monitoring that us home theater users don't have on our equipment. This technology probably leads to more consistent and pleasing results.