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Frequently Asked Questions

What size popper do I need?

Every popcorn machine has a rating called quarts/hour. This tells the maximum amount of popcorn that it will produce if you were to continually pop corn for a full hour. You should determine the maximum amount of popcorn that you will need in any given hour. Please keep in mind the GNP poppers hold approximately 45 quarts of popped corn.

Less than 85 quarts = 4 ounce popper (makes about 5 quarts per cycle)
86-126 quarts = 6 ounce popper (makes about 7.5 quarts per cycle)
127-170 quarts = 8 ounce popper (makes about 10 quarts per cycle)

*Quarts per hour based upon a 40:1 expansion ratio on popcorn.

How much popcorn do I put in my popper?

This is one of the most common questions asked. Always use three parts corn to one part oil, too much oil will ruin the taste of the popcorn! The most popular popping oils in the United States are coconut, sunflower and corn oil. Some other oils include soybean and canola. The primary differences are their flavors and how they perform in the popping kettles. Coconut oil is the most popular popping oil. It was relatively inexpensive, it is a 76 degrees F melting oil, is very stable, and has a good flavor. From the manufacturing point of view this oil is also desirable for the fact that it does not create a lot of carbon in the popping kettle (keeps kettle cleaner during popping process).

Salt to your personal tastes ( or about 1/2 tablespoon per each 1/4 cup of popcorn).

  • 4 ounce popcorn machine: use 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup popcorn.
  • 6 ounce popcorn machine: use 1/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup popcorn.
  • 8 ounce popcorn machine: use 1/3 cup oil and 1 cup popcorn.
  • 12 ounce popcorn machine use: 1/2 cup oil & 1-1/2 cups popcorn.
  • 14 ounce popcorn machine: use 1/2 cup oil and 1-3/4 cups popcorn.
  • 16 ounce popcorn machine: use 2/3 cup oil and 2 cups popcorn.
  • 20 ounce popcorn machine: use 3/4 cup oil and 2-1/2 cups popcorn.

If I have any 8 ounce kettle, do I have to make 8 ounces?

Absolutely not! One of the reasons the Great Northern Popcorn Company designed their model with an 8 ounce kettle is so 1 machine could meet the demands of a concession business and still work for the home theater. We speak from experience when we tell you that an 8 ounce kettle is a must have. Please check our ebay store for our complete line of popcorn portion packs. We stock 3 sizes for all your popcorn needs.

Does a popcorn machine require much maintenance?

Minimal maintenance is required. One of the biggest myths about owning a "theater style" machine is that they are difficult to clean. This is not the case. The only real cleaning that is required is for you to wipe off the excess oil from the kettle after you finish popping--a damp cloth will do the trick. All GNP machine models are equipped with exclusive "easy move" removable kettles. The kettle can be removed from the machine and any carbon build-up on the kettle can quickly and easily be removed with 4121 Kettle Cleaner available here or from any Great Northern Popcorn Dealer.

What makes theater popcorn taste so much better than microwave popcorn?

The taste and flavor of popcorn is determined by the type of oil and seasoning salt that is used in the cooking process. The Great Northern Popcorn Company utilizes a specially formulated coconut cooking oil that is partially absorbed by the popcorn as it pops. This is what gives the popcorn its flavor. Most microwaveable popcorn does not contain any oil & as a result it comes out dry and flavorless.

Why does popcorn Pop?

Quality popcorn has a moisture content of 13-14% inside the hull. When the popcorn is heated the moisture turns to steam and expands. Eventually the pressure from the expanding steam causes the hull to explode. Storing popcorn in a sealed container at room temperature or less will keep the moisture content consistent and the popcorn fresh. Avoid storing popcorn in extremely warm and dry conditions which will cause the moisture content in the popcorn to reduce. A loss of as little as 3% moisture can cause the kernel to become un-poppable (an old maid).