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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, here's my situation. While I'd love to have a large popcorn machine in my home theater, I don't want the place to constantly smell of popcorn, and I don't want to mess around with outside ventilation.


Microwave popcorn is ok, but I've decided to buy a 6 qt. West Bend Stir Crazy which I can keep in the kitchen without my wife making a fuss (the 6 oz. Cretor was going to take some work with her!!). Anyway, I'd like to try using a flavacol pack in the West Bend. Has anyone tried this before??? Any hints on what size packs would work best in the West Bend??
 

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Steve,


I have the 8 qt. West Bend Stir Crazy that I use with the 6oz popcorn/flavacol/coconut oil combo packets and it's the least expensive way to experience theater popcorn. It's fantastic.


If you go with the 6 qt. model I would try the 4oz packets first, I think the 6 oz packs would "overflow" the 6 qt popper.


Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by DIY Guy
Steve,


I have the 8 qt. West Bend Stir Crazy that I use with the 6oz popcorn/flavacol/coconut oil combo packets and it's the least expensive way to experience theater popcorn. It's fantastic.


If you go with the 6 qt. model I would try the 4oz packets first, I think the 6 oz packs would "overflow" the 6 qt popper.


Hope that helps.
Thanks, DIYGuy!! I haven't bought the West Bend yet and I may go for the 8 qt. if I can find it. Can you tell me where you get your popcorn/flavacol/coconut oil combo packets??
 

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Steve,


I order supplies from Theater Candy . They've been very helpful over the phone when I've placed my orders, give them a call.


As far as the 8 qt popper goes, I ordered it online and as I recall it was more difficult to locate. Take a look here for a couple of online sites. Just be sure you're getting the 8 qt model #82308.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, again DIY Guy! I just found a local department store which has the 8 quart West Bend for less than anyplace online ($40). I also found a local concession supplier who has the 6 oz Naks Paks for $16.25 (case of 36). I'm going to pick these up today and give it a whirl tonight.


Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I don't know if anyone is looking at this thread, but for those of you that are....this combination is fantastic. The "commercial" size machines were just too much for our home theater. We don't have room for a formal lobby, but we have room at the back of our HT for a beverage refrigerator/cabinet/candy counter. While I could have fit a 4 or 6 oz machine in there, my wife (and for once, I agreed with her) didn't want the room to constantly have that popcorn smell. The West Bend 8 qt stir crazy was just perfect. It's small enough to keep in one of our kitchen cabinets when not in use, and pops up plenty of popcorn for the whole family. I tried it tonight using (per DIYGuy's suggestion), a 6 oz dual pak (Great Pop Dual Pak - I got it locally for $16.90, case of 36 packs). I am extremely pleased with the product. I tried it last night with Orville Redenbachers Popcorn Oil and Popcorn - worked great but not quite the taste I was looking for. The coconut oil/flavacol mixture does the trick.


OK, OK - I realize it doesn't have a warming element to keep my corn warm and ready - but for $40, and less than 50 cents per 8 quart batch - I'm not complaining.


DIYGuy, if you are still reading this, a couple more questions. First, do you allow the Stir Crazy to heat up before you drop your oil/popcorn mix in the pan??? Second, did you find that you had to back off a little on the popcorn kernels from the 6 oz. packs - because I completely filled the 8 qt. capacity and compressed the popcorn a bit as a result. Next time I'll try backing off a bit.
 

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Steve,


The Stir Crazy is a great value isn't? Plus the popcorn packs gives you the quick, no hassle, theater popcorn experience.


I'm using Vogel popcorn packs and have found them to produce the right volume for the 8 qt popper without going over capacity.


As far as cooking, I've been pre-heating the popper with the oil and dropping in a couple of kernels to monitor the temp. When the kernels pop, I dump the rest of the kernels/flavacol mix into the popper. I know others just dump it all in when they turn on the popper. I think I read that it can affect how "chewy" the popcorn becomes. I guess try both ways and see which you prefer.


I also read that you should let the popcorn stand several minutes before you eat it, this dry time keeps the popcorn from becoming chewy.


For those of you that pour butter over your popcorn at home but wonder why the popcorn becomes soggy... here's the secret.


Back in the day when theaters used "real butter topping" and not the flavored oils, the theaters would use clarified butter or butter fat, which is butter that has had the water content cooked off. The result is soggy-less popcorn.


You can still buy butter fat from the concession suppliers, but it's not cheap. Odell's is the only manufacturer of butter fat that I know of and it sure is a treat to have, if you remember when the theaters used to use the real stuff.
 

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DIY Guy,


I saw your ppst about TheaterCandy and visited their site. One of the items I'm interested in is the SAVORY FLAVOR MIX CHEDDAR 4 LB. Have you used this flavoring? Does it sprinkle on after cooking or is it added during cooking?


I getting the WhirlyPopper for Christmas. Is it similar to the Stir Crazy?


Thanks
 

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Hi Rick,


The Whirlypop is similar in that it has the mechanism to stir the kernels through the oil, which is done by turning the handle on the top of the popper. The Stir Crazy uses an electric motor to turn a mixer unit on the base of the popper. You use the Whirlypop on the stove versus the Stir Crazy that is a self contained electric popper. The Whirlypop is easier to clean up but a little trickier heating and stirring a batch of popcorn.


I haven't tried any of the flavorings yet, but I'd like to. One type of cheddar coating that I've seen is done after the popcorn is popped and mixed together in a bag, but I'm not sure if it's the same stuff.
 
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