Friday, December 22, 2023


 Originally posted in January 2017 and updated in 2022.


How do you make popcorn? After Christmas, I finally graduated to a commercial-style popcorn popper. A commercial style and theater taste in a home-sized package at an affordable price. 

Through the years, I had used everything but a commercial popper. They all made decent or good popcorn. But I always longed for the real deal. That theatrical look and taste.

I spent 2-3 years looking at various theater-style popcorn poppers before buying one. Reading lots of reviews and watching hours of videos. Noting the many features that others raved about.

Ultimately, I made some trade-offs to arrive at an affordable option. Among them were separate light and heat controls and a smaller kettle size. Both, I regret... but it saved me a chunk of change. 

Dual controls allow you to keep your remaining popcorn warm. A smaller kettle requires multiple batches. Luckily, with good timing, it is really a draw. So it hasn't been a huge issue. 

What I had wanted was a heat lamp and a 4-ounce kettle. This would allow me to use pre-measured packets. I think this would have made for less mess and a simpler prep than what I have now. 

The smaller footprint makes for an easy fit and the style looks great in a home theater. There is another trade-off, clean up is more difficult and takes longer. Something I hadn't given much thought to. 

I recommend yellow kernels, butter-flavored oil, and Kernel Seasons. That theatrical taste is derived from Flavacol. A butter-flavored salt compound. All of my supplies come from Amazon. For clean-up, I brush out the trash and wipe it down with a vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle. It's not ideal, but I don't want frequent and proper cleanings. 

If your primary goal is the theatrical taste, I would try using Flavacol and butter-flavored oil. With your current popcorn, a sprinkle of the one and a spritze of the other may be all you really need. 

Now for some warnings: 

01)  The various ingredients are not cheap. 

02)  This is no doubt less healthy. 

03)  They are not kid-safe or kid-friendly. 

Unless popcorn is your go-to snack or you frequently host movie nights and need volumes of popcorn, this is probably not for you.  So, would I do it again? In all honesty, I really don't know. 

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