How to Buy a Commercial Popcorn Machine

Written by ehow business editor
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Buy a Commercial Popcorn Machine
Buy a Commercial Popcorn Machine

If you're starting your own concession stand business or looking for a different kind of fundraiser for your group or organization, then a commercial popcorn machine may be what you need. Much larger than an at-home popper, commercial popcorn machines come in a variety of sizes to fit many production requirements.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Calculate how large a popper you need. A commercial popcorn machine uses a large, metal kettle that heats up and pops the corn to perfection. The size of this kettle determines the approximate number of one-ounce popped corn servings the unit can produce in each regular popping cycle. For example, a small 4 ounce kettle will produce 4 ounces of popcorn per popping cycle and you would multiply this by the number of cycles the machine can run to determine if it produces enough to fit your demands.

  2. 2

    Buy a small volume popcorn machine. For smaller demands such as home theaters or small break, game or recreation rooms, a four ounce machine should do the trick. These machines can produce up to 92 ounces of popped corn per hour.

  3. 3

    Step up to a medium volume popcorn machine. A commercial machine that would be tagged medium duty can include either a six or eight ounce kettle with production levels at about 113 to 147 ounces per hour. These machines are more geared towards larger break or game rooms and small bars or restaurants.

  4. 4

    Go bigger with a large volume machine. Need something even larger for use in a concession stand or school or other organization's snack bar? Then a 12 ounce kettle would be more appropriate. These commercial popcorn machines can make about 221 ounces each hour.

  5. 5

    Get a fully commercial machine. Still don't think the large is big enough, then go all out and get a machine that's actually deemed a commercial volume unit. Some machines of this caliber have a 16 ounce kettle and produce about 295 ounces of popcorn per hour. They're ideal for large ball parks or stadiums, amusement parks, convention centers and arenas, movie theaters or anywhere a large volume of popcorn is required.

  6. 6

    Purchase an industrial size commercial popcorn machine. When you need something even larger than large, look into the extra large machines available. These machines are built for very high volume business applications and can come with a 32, 52 or 66 ounce kettle.

  7. 7

    Add a popcorn cart. If you want your setup to look more old-fashioned or need your unit to be more mobile, then consider buying a popcorn cart to set your machine on. Many popcorn machine wholesalers offer these little carts, usually in red and available for small, medium and large units, but not usually the largest commercial or industrial units.

Tips and warnings

  • When factoring in size, don't forget to also take into consideration the size of the cabinet that will house the cooked corn. If you're limited on space, then you may have to go with a smaller cabinet and/or machine.
  • Don't forget your popcorn making and selling supplies. You'll not only need large volumes of uncooked popcorn, but also oil to cook the corn in, a scoop, boxes or bags to put the popped corn in and seasonings or butter toppings so customers can make it the way they like it.
  • If you're not ready to purchase your own popcorn machine or only need the machine for a one-time event, then look into renting a machine instead.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.