What is a popcorn machine?
A popcorn machine is an electrical household appliance that specializes exclusively in the preparation of fresh popcorn. It is about the largest possible quantities in the shortest possible time. Popcorn machines are used commercially and privately and delight children and adults alike.
Popcorn is popcorn, the kernels of which are heated until they burst. This "popped" corn is - depending on taste - sugared or salted and then served as an aromatic snack, often still warm. In principle, popcorn can also be prepared with conventional kitchen utensils, but it is easier and faster with a special popcorn machine.
How does a popcorn machine work?
For most models, all you have to do is put the popcorn in the machine and press the start switch. The popcorn machine takes over the heating using a built-in heating plate and ensures a constant temperature (this is very important!). To heat the grains as evenly as possible, they are automatically mixed and, depending on the model, even seasoned ready-to-eat.
If the grains have burst due to the constant exposure to heat and have turned into popcorn, the finished snack must be removed immediately, at least with small machines. So if you prefer your popcorn warm, you have to eat it "from the machine to your mouth", so to speak. Many larger models, on the other hand, can keep the finished popcorn warm and fresh for hours. A special warming lamp takes care of this.
Advantages & areas of application
The first thing that popcorn thinks of most people is going to the movies. For many years, popcorn has been the indispensable snack for unadulterated film enjoyment. With the increasing spread of DVD and Blu-ray players, home cinema, the cozy movie evening at home, has developed into real competition for going to the cinema. You don't have to do without your beloved popcorn, and it tastes just as warm, fresh and delicious as in the cinema - at least when a popcorn machine is used.
-The popcorn always works
Popcorn machines have many advantages, but one of them stands out in particular: Popcorn is practically always successful. Gone are the days when a shriveled, charred or muddy grain mush had to be scraped out of an overheated pot. This is mainly because the popcorn machine can constantly maintain the required temperature.
-Little effort, big result
Another advantage of popcorn machines is the relatively little effort involved in operating them. The ingredients for fresh popcorn are always affordable, popcorn machines do their work largely independently, and the preparation time is manageable.
What should I look out for when buying a popcorn machine?
Personal preferences and intended uses should be outlined before each purchase. For commercial use, only a complete heating system can be considered; depending on the location, even a mobile model can be worthwhile. For many private users, however, a smaller device should do the trick.
Of course, the price always plays a role, often enough the decisive one, but it shouldn't be the sole purchase criterion - there are other things to consider.
- Calories: If popcorn is to be enjoyed as the lightest possible snack between meals, only a hot air popcorn maker is an option. Here the popcorn is prepared without any fat, and the amount of sugar can be determined individually for each eater if desired.
- Taste: If you want the popcorn to drip with butter, sugar or salt, then only a heating system is an option. Here you can experiment with different ingredients according to your mood, the popcorn is very rich, but tastes incomparably delicious.
- Effort: If the expenditure of time and effort is to be as low as possible, the pendulum also beats in favor of a hot air popcorn maker. Puffed corn in the container, line up, wait, empty and add sugar or salt to your taste - it couldn't be easier. Because neither fat nor spices are added here, there is hardly any contamination, which greatly simplifies maintenance and also saves time and effort.
- Quantity: Larger quantities can only be handled with a heating system. But there are differences here too. If you have to or want to serve a lot of sweet teeth, you should consider a powerful model with over 1,000 watts. Of course, this is reflected in the power consumption, but because popcorn is made quickly, the actual costs are still limited. For large quantities, the popcorn machine should also have a heat lamp, which ensures that the snack does not cool down before consumption.
Attraction: Even if the use of a heating system means more effort, a purchase can also be worthwhile for private users. The models, which are mostly kept in a cozy retro design, are often quite an eye-catcher and an enrichment for private households as well. Heating systems can also be the perfect activity for small children: they usually find it quite exciting to watch what is happening behind the large panes of glass with the popping corn.
The accessories included with a popcorn machine vary by manufacturer and model. However, you can now get a wide range of practical additional materials such as serving dishes or cleaning sets from third-party manufacturers.
-Replacement and addition
Nothing works without a popcorn scoop and measuring cup, and this is usually supplied with every machine, but if you need a new scoop or want a more elaborately designed model, you can get one in well-stocked specialist shops. There are many corresponding offers, especially in the traditionally well-chosen online shops.
For the commercial use of popcorn machines, you can even purchase a suitably designed trolley with which the machine can be easily moved. However, you have to pay close attention to the dimensions so that the accessories fit the popcorn machine. For spare parts such as defective heat lamps or collecting drawers, it may be useful to contact the manufacturer's customer service department.
-Serve the popcorn in style
As a rule, popcorn is intended for immediate consumption. Of course, you can simply put a large bowl on the table or distribute a couple of deep plates, but the right atmosphere is only created with matching paper cups. Colorfully printed popcorn cups, which look like in the cinema or the amusement park, add to the fun.
-Store popcorn properly
To make popcorn worthwhile, larger quantities are often produced - more than can be consumed in a cozy evening. So that the leftovers stay fresh, they have to be stored properly. The manufacturers of popcorn machines, therefore, offer special fresh-keeping boxes with different volumes for sale. The popcorn supply can be packed airtight in such storage bins and stays fresh for a long time.