Help! Need Popcorn/Oil ratio for 4oz Popper - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 10-31-2006, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I love the prepacks for at home, but my wife volunteered me to pop popcorn for my oldest daughter's theater shows this weekend and next (yeah :rolleyes: ).

Anyway, I want to get some bulk popcorn and oil, but I have no idea how much of each to use for a single batch in a 4oz popcorn popper, and of course, I can't find the manual for it. It is a Paragon Contempo, if that makes a difference.

I've heard that 6oz portion packs work better in 4oz poppers, but I don't have any 6oz packs, otherwise I would just cut one open and measure the contents.

Please help!
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post #2 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 04:44 AM
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I use bulk corn and coconut oil. Start with a heaping tablespoon of (solid) oil and 1/3 cup or corn. Don't treat it as rocket science. Adjust to your liking from there.
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 05:26 AM
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We had to pop for the church Fall Festival and bought the prepacks - still a bargain for us! I admit that I get mine locally, so I don't have to pay shipping.

I have tried the bulk method, and it works, but I guess I am convenience-oriented (read - LAZY!).

Good luck!

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post #4 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 05:57 AM
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My Gold Medal 4 oz popper states this in the manual,

Corn - 4oz
Oil - 1-1.3 oz
Flavacol - 1/2 tablespoon

Hope that helps
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sdallnct
My Gold Medal 4 oz popper states this in the manual,

Corn - 4oz
Oil - 1-1.3 oz
Flavacol - 1/2 tablespoon

Hope that helps
So how do I measure "4oz" of corn? or 1-1.3oz of oil?

A "heaping spoonful" of solid oil still doesn't seem like the same amount that is in a prepack.
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 08:52 AM
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The measurements that Sdallnct gave are by volume, not weight. So, 4oz of corn would be a half cup. That is, one level scoop with a 1/2-cup measuring spoon. Ditto for the oil. 1 cup equals 16 tablespoons. So, that's 2 tablespoons per ounce (8 ounces in a cup). So, for the oil, use right around 2 tablespoons or a smidgeon more.

Mark
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-01-2006, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Booth
The measurements that Sdallnct gave are by volume, not weight. So, 4oz of corn would be a half cup. That is, one level scoop with a 1/2-cup measuring spoon. Ditto for the oil. 1 cup equals 16 tablespoons. So, that's 2 tablespoons per ounce (8 ounces in a cup). So, for the oil, use right around 2 tablespoons or a smidgeon more.

Mark
OK, after some testing (all of 1 batch). I have confirmed the following:

A 4oz Prepack contains a little more than 1/2 cup of unpopped corn (I had it heaping as much as popcorn would "heap" and still had a little in the packet)

2 heaping tablespoons of the oil (coconut oil is a solid at anything cooler than 76 degrees F)

1 (barely) level tablespoon of Flavacol (seasoning)

I also stopped by the Paragon (makers of the popular Theater Pop popcorn machine, and my Contempo version) factory today to get the "good" oil. 1 Gallon was like $21 plus tax (yikes), but it will last a LONG time. They also are making the Star Wars (maybe others) popcorn machines for Snappy as well. They said to NEVER put more than 4oz of popcorn into a 4oz machine. Extra oil is fine, but not extra popcorn. They claim that it will ruin the kettle. Hmmm. I know a lot of people say that they put in the prepacks made for 6oz poppers into a 4oz machine. Who knows.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 08:03 AM
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I don't suppose they mentioned putting less in? I ordered a Paragon theater 8 model and I have been told you can make less than a full batch with no problem so I hope that is the case. How do you like the Comtemo overall?

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post #9 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, you can use less, but just not more, so you will be fine with "half batches" or whatever you want, as long as it is less than 8 oz (one cup) of unpopped corn for your model.

I really like the Contempo. It is based off of their tried and true Theater Pop series. It has a warmer under the bottom plate to keep the corn hot (the lights are really useless for keeping popped corn warm in any popper, so this is a huge plus). It is built very well, has an awesome warranty, and is easy to clean.
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 09:42 AM
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Just curious, why would more than 1/2 cup be a problem? I mean the lid pushes up when the corn is popped. I don't understand.
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post #11 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure. I know that a lot of people talk about using a 6oz prepack in their 4oz popper. I am only repeating when the people at the manufacturing plant told me. I would think that there would be a reason why it is bad for it, but I am with you as well that I don't see the "logic" behind it. Maybe I'll drop them an email and see what they have to say.
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post #12 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 10:02 AM
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If you overload the kettle too much there isn't enough surface area to heat the kernels, so you'll end up with a lot of old maids (unpopped kernels). Plus some of the unpopped kernels will fly out when the kernels on the bottom pop.

6oz packs will usually work in a 4 oz machine, but any more and the ratio of old maids to popped corn will be too high.

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post #13 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Heck, I find a lot of old maids when I use the 4oz prepacks in my 4oz popper. I can't imagine MORE.... Yikes!
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post #14 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 04:28 PM
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I use the bulk when popping so old maids are not an issue. It sounded like it would harm the kettle. That's the part I'm having trouble understanding.
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post #15 of 20 Old 11-02-2006, 04:46 PM
 
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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.
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post #16 of 20 Old 11-03-2006, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the response I got back from Paragon. Looks like more corn is OK, but just makes more old maids....

--------------------------------------------------------
I talked the operations manager and he said that you can use more popcorn in your machine and it shouldn’t hurt your kettle but you will have more old maids in the batch. We had gotten some wrong information given to us. Sorry.

Have a great day.

Thanks,
Debbie Erickson
Customer Service Rep., Sales & Marketing
Paragon International
731 W 18th St
PO Box 560
Nevada, IA 50201
(T) 800-433-0333
(F) 515-382-8001
--------------------------------------------------------
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post #17 of 20 Old 11-03-2006, 06:42 AM
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Ahhhh... now that makes more sense. :)
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post #18 of 20 Old 11-03-2006, 06:49 AM
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In my Gold Medal Fun Pop (4oz) I use a mix of 4 & 6 oz pre-packs. I get very few "old maids" from the 4oz, and while I get some on the 6 oz, I don't think it is a lot. Tho I have watched the unit and it does appear that many of the old maids from a 6 oz pack is indeed from popped corn pushing out unpopped kernels.

I agree with most that the 2nd and 3rd batches are better then the 1st. So I use a 4oz pack as the 1st batch then follow up with at least 2 6oz packs, but sometimes 3 depending on how many people are over.
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post #19 of 20 Old 11-03-2006, 08:08 AM
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Isn't it possible to heat the kettle sufficiently before adding the stuff to it that the first batch comes out as well as subsequent ones? seems if it is just two of you that having to make multiple batches is wasteful.

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post #20 of 20 Old 11-03-2006, 10:45 PM
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I have read that some have experimented with gluing a metal washer onto each half of the kettle lid, to hold it down "just a little bit more" and help prevent unpopped kernels from escaping.

I am tempted to test that route. My 8oz Costco popper does well, but quite a few never-had-a-chance-to-pop kernels escape in each 6oz Megapop batch...

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