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Popcorn Machine Buying Guide

The popcorn machine kettle size refers to the approximate number of one-ounce popped popcorn servings the kettle will produce in one popping cycle (which takes about 3-4 minutes). For example, a 4 oz. popcorn machine will produce enough popcorn in one cycle to fill 4 one-ounce popcorn servings. Four ounces of popped popcorn is roughly equivalent to a microwaveable bag of popped popcorn. A one-ounce serving is a bag approximately 3" wide by 2" deep by 8" tall. The best way to determine the size of machine you will need is to figure out how many one-ounce servings you will need during your busiest hour.

Popcorn Machine Size(oz) Servings a Machine Can Hold at One Time (oz) Servings a Machine Can Produce in One Hour (oz)
4 16 92
6 24 112
8 32 136
12 48 220
16 64 296

For Example: If you are going to serve 100 people in your busiest hour, we would recommend the 6 oz. popcorn machine.

Small Volume 4 oz. popcorn machines

4 oz. popcorn machine poppers are ideal for use in homes, home theaters, small break rooms, rec rooms, and game rooms.

Medium Volume 6 oz. and 8 oz. popcorn machines

6 oz. and 8 oz. popcorn machine poppers are ideal for use in social clubs, video stores, larger break areas, restaurants, small bars, country clubs, and waiting rooms. 

Large Volume 12 oz. popcorn machines

12 oz. popcorn machine poppers are ideal for use in large schools, zoos, midways, concession stands, and snack bars. 

Commercial Volume- 16 oz. popcorn machines

16 oz. popcorn machine poppers are ideal for use in theaters, convention centers, amusement parks, arenas, stadiums, malls, and ball parks.

There are so many different types of machines! How do they compare?

Popcorn Machine: Country of Origin: Overall Quality: Cabinet Type: Warranty: Warming Deck: Kernel Catching Tray: Customizable:
Home Theater China Good Metal Alloy 1 Year (30-day kettle warranty) X** X  
Premier China Better Metal Alloy 3 Years   X  
Thrifty Pop USA Better Metal Alloy 1 Year     X
Gatsby USA Better Metal Alloy 3 Years      
Metropolitan & Street Vendor China Better Stainless Steel 3 Years X X  
Original 1911 USA Best Stainless Steel 3 Years / Lifetime* X** X** X
Theater Pop, Contempo, Cineplex, Professional Series USA Best Stainless steel 3 Years / Lifetime* X X X

*See this machine's individual item page for details on this specific machine.

**Except 4 oz size.