10 Popcorn Making Accessories: Gourmet Popcorn Equipment

Joanna Okedara
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    Gourmet popcorn has become an increasingly popular wholesale snack in recent years, with a variety of unique and creative flavors available. Whether you're selling popcorn online or simply looking to create delicious popcorn at home, using quality equipment is essential to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. 

    Key Takeaway: From movie theaters to carnivals, popcorn has become a staple in the snacking industry. With the rise of gourmet popcorn businesses, popcorn makers have become essential equipment and a part of the popcorn business checklist for these popcorn business owners

    In this article, we'll introduce you to 10 must-have accessories for popcorn making in a gourmet popcorn business. From high-quality popcorn machines to essential tools for flavoring and packaging, we'll cover everything you need to know to make your gourmet popcorn stand out. 

    So let's get started and discover the top popcorn making accessories for your business!


    10 Gourmet Popcorn Business Equipment

    From countertop models to commercial-grade machines, there are a variety of options available in the market. However, with so many choices, it can be overwhelming to find the right one for your needs. 

    Let’s explore the different types of popcorn machines, the features to consider when buying one, and recommended brands and models for those starting a gourmet popcorn business. Additionally, we'll highlight 10 must-have popcorn making accessories that will help take your popcorn to the next level. 

    So, let's get started!

    1. Popcorn Machines

    Popcorn machines have been a popular addition to both homes and businesses for many years. If you are in the market for a new popcorn machine, there are a few things you should consider before making a purchase. 

    Let’s look at the different types of popcorn machines, the features to consider, and recommended brands and models for gourmet popcorn business owners.

    Types of Popcorn Machines

    There are three main types of popcorn machines: 

    • Countertop: Countertop machines are small and portable, making them ideal for home use or small businesses.
    • Cart: Cart machines are larger and usually have wheels for easy transportation. These machines are often used in fairs and festivals.
    • Commercial: Commercial popcorn machines are designed for high-volume use and are typically found in movie theaters, stadiums, and other large venues.

    Features to Consider

    When buying a popcorn machine, it's essential to consider these features:

    • Capacity is an important feature to consider, as it determines how much popcorn the machine can make at once. 
    • Heat source is another essential factor, as it will impact the machine's performance and the quality of the popcorn. 
    • Kettle size is also important, as it will determine how much popcorn can be made at once. 
    • Other features to consider include the type of popcorn the machine can make, the ease of cleaning, and the overall design of the machine.

    Recommended Brands and Models

    For gourmet popcorn business owners, we recommend brands like:

    • Cretors: Cretors is known for its high-quality machines and innovative designs, making it a top choice for businesses.
    • Gold Medal: Gold Medal is another popular brand, offering a wide range of machines that cater to different business needs.
    • Paragon: Paragon is also a top choice, with affordable machines that are easy to use and maintain.
    1. Kettle Cleaners

    Kettle cleaners are a must-have for anyone who owns a popcorn machine, whether you’re a professional or just love making popcorn at home. Popcorn machines are notorious for accumulating stubborn stains and residues inside the kettle, which can affect the quality and taste of your popcorn.

    Using a kettle cleaner is the best way to keep your popcorn machine in good condition and ensure that your popcorn always tastes fresh and delicious. For those in the gourmet popcorn business, kettle cleaners are a vital accessory for maintaining a successful operation. 

    Types of Kettle Cleaners

    There are two main types of kettle cleaners: 

    • Chemical cleaner: Chemical cleaners are usually the most effective, but they can also be harsh and contain potentially harmful ingredients.
    • Natural cleaner: Natural kettle cleaners are a great alternative, as they are safe, eco-friendly and just as effective as chemical cleaners. Some popular natural kettle cleaners include vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and citric acid.

    Tips for Using a Kettle Cleaner

    • When using kettle cleaners, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and take necessary precautions. 
    • Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection if necessary, and avoid inhaling any fumes. 
    • After cleaning, rinse the kettle thoroughly with water and dry it completely before using it again.
    • Maintaining your kettle cleaner is also crucial for the longevity of your popcorn machine. 
    • Regularly cleaning the kettle after each use and descaling it every few weeks will keep it in top condition. In addition, it’s recommended to replace the kettle every few years to avoid any potential build-up or damage.
    1. Popcorn Scoops

    As a gourmet popcorn business owner, you know that every kernel counts. That's why portion control and hygiene are crucial aspects of your operations. One way to ensure that your popcorn is consistent in serving size and free from contaminants is by using proper scoops.


    Importance of Using Proper Scoops for Portion Control and Hygiene

    • Portion control

    Using the right scoops for your popcorn can help you achieve consistency in portion sizes. When customers purchase your popcorn, they expect the same amount every time. 

    A scoop that is too large can lead to overfilling, which means you may run out of popcorn sooner than expected. On the other hand, a scoop that is too small can lead to underfilling, which may leave customers feeling unsatisfied with their purchase.

    • Hygiene

    Aside from portion control, hygiene is another important factor to consider when choosing the right popcorn scoop. Using the same scoop repeatedly without proper cleaning can lead to cross-contamination, which may cause foodborne illnesses. 

    Types of Popcorn Scoops

    There are different types of popcorn scoops to choose from, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of popcorn scoops are aluminum, stainless steel, and plastic.

    • Aluminum: Aluminum scoops are lightweight and affordable, but they may not be as durable as stainless steel scoops. They may also bend or warp over time, which can affect their accuracy in portion control.
    • Stainless Steel: Stainless steel scoops are sturdy and easy to clean, making them an excellent choice for hygiene-conscious business owners. They are also available in various sizes, allowing you to choose the right scoop for your popcorn-making needs.
    • Plastic: Plastic scoops are another option, which are lightweight and affordable. However, they may not be as durable as metal scoops and can be more prone to breaking. They may also retain odors and stains if not cleaned properly.
    1. Popcorn Bags

    Whether you're hosting a movie night, running a concession stand, or operating a gourmet popcorn business, choosing the right popcorn bag is essential to ensuring a satisfying snacking experience.

    Types of Popcorn Bags

    There are three main types of popcorn bags available: 

    • Paper: Paper bags are the most common type of popcorn bag. They are affordable, lightweight, and eco-friendly. Paper bags are also customizable, making them a popular choice for movie theaters, concession stands, and gourmet popcorn businesses. However, they are not as durable as plastic or foil bags and may not hold up well in humid environments.
    • Plastic: Plastic bags are a more durable option than paper bags. They are waterproof, grease-resistant, and can withstand high temperatures. Plastic bags also come in a variety of sizes and designs, making them a popular choice for gourmet popcorn businesses. However, they are not as eco-friendly as paper bags and may not be suitable for microwaving.
    • Foil: Foil bags are the most durable type of popcorn bag. They are heat-resistant and moisture-proof, making them ideal for storing popcorn for longer periods. Foil bags also provide an attractive, metallic appearance that can enhance the presentation of gourmet popcorn. However, they are not as eco-friendly as paper bags and may be more expensive.
    1. Popcorn Boxes

    One of the best ways to make your popcorn stand out is by serving it in popcorn boxes. Popcorn boxes can be a great alternative to bags, and they offer a more durable and visually appealing option for serving your popcorn.

    When to use popcorn boxes instead of bags

    Popcorn boxes are a great option when you want to add a touch of fun to your popcorn presentation. They are perfect for movie nights, birthday parties, and other events where you want to create a memorable experience for your customers. Popcorn boxes are also a more environmentally friendly option than bags since they are reusable and can be recycled.

    Types of popcorn boxes

    There are several types of popcorn boxes to choose from, including cardboard, plastic, and metal.

    • Cardboard boxes: These are a popular choice since they are affordable, lightweight, and easy to dispose of. 
    • Plastic boxes: Plastic boxes are more durable and can be reused multiple times. 
    • Metal boxes: These are the most durable option and can last for years.

    Factors to consider when choosing popcorn boxes

    When selecting popcorn boxes, there are several factors to consider:

    • Size is an essential consideration since you want to ensure that your popcorn fits comfortably in the box. 
    • Design is also critical since you want your boxes to match your brand and stand out to your customers. 
    • Durability is another factor to consider since you want to ensure that your boxes can hold up to frequent use.
    1. Popcorn Tins

    Popcorn tins are versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, from packaging popcorn to using them as a gift container. They are especially popular during the holiday season when many people are looking for unique and creative gift-giving ideas. 

    Types of Popcorn Tins

    Popcorn tins come in different shapes and sizes, including round, square, and novelty shapes. 

    • Round popcorn tins are the most common and come in various sizes, making them ideal for storing and packaging popcorn. 
    • Square popcorn tins are less common but are still popular due to their unique shape. 
    • Novelty popcorn tins come in a variety of shapes and designs, from Santa Claus to football helmets.
    1. Seasonings and Toppings

    Seasonings and toppings are essential to any gourmet popcorn business, as they add flavor, texture, and visual appeal to your popcorn. Offering a variety of seasonings and toppings can boost sales by providing customers with options to personalize their popcorn experience.

    Why Offering a Variety of Seasonings and Toppings Can Boost Sales

    When it comes to popcorn, customers are always looking for something unique and flavorful. By offering a variety of seasonings and toppings, you can cater to different taste preferences and increase the likelihood of repeat business. 

    Additionally, providing options for customization can enhance the customer experience and make your business stand out from competitors.

    Types of Seasonings and Toppings

    • Savory: Savory seasonings and toppings include classic flavors such as butter, salt, and cheese, as well as more exotic options like chili powder, garlic, and truffle.
    • Sweet: Sweet seasonings and toppings, on the other hand, include options such as caramel, chocolate, and cinnamon sugar.
    • Mixed: Mixed seasonings and toppings are a combination of sweet and savory, such as kettle corn, which combines sweet and salty flavors. Other mixed options include ranch, buffalo, and garlic parmesan.

    Recommended Brands and Flavors

    When it comes to offering a variety of seasonings and toppings, the quality of your ingredients is critical. 

    Here are some recommended brands and flavors for gourmet popcorn business owners:

    • Kernel Season's: This brand offers a wide range of popcorn seasonings in flavors such as white cheddar, ranch, and kettle corn.
    • Amish Country Popcorn: This brand offers non-GMO popcorn kernels in a variety of colors and sizes, as well as premade seasonings such as dill pickle and garlic parmesan.
    • Gold Medal: This brand offers a variety of popcorn seasonings and oils, including caramel, buttery topper, and coconut oil.
    • Ghirardelli: This brand is known for its high-quality chocolate and offers chocolate chips and melting wafers that can be used as toppings for popcorn.
    • SaltWorks: This brand offers a variety of gourmet salts, including Himalayan pink salt and truffle salt, that can be used as seasonings for popcorn.
    1. Oil Dispensers

    To ensure that the popcorn is of high quality, it is essential to use the right oil dispensers. Let’s discuss the importance of using proper oil dispensers for popcorn machines, the types of oil dispensers available, and tips for using and maintaining them.

    Importance of using proper oil dispensers for popcorn machines:

    Using the right oil dispenser is crucial because it directly affects the quality of the popcorn. The oil dispenser is responsible for delivering the right amount of oil to the popcorn kernels, ensuring that the popcorn pops evenly and has the right texture. If the oil dispenser delivers too much oil, the popcorn can become greasy, and if it delivers too little oil, the popcorn can be dry and tough.

    Types of oil dispensers

    There are three main types of oil dispensers that are commonly used for popcorn machines: bottles, pumps, and sprayers.

    • Bottles: These are the simplest and most basic type of oil dispenser. They come in various sizes and can be made of plastic or glass. Simply fill the bottle with oil, and then use it to dispense the oil onto the popcorn kernels.
    • Pumps: These are more advanced than bottles and are designed to deliver a specific amount of oil per pump. They are ideal for commercial popcorn machines where consistency is crucial.
    • Sprayers: These are similar to pumps but use a spray mechanism to deliver the oil. They are perfect for home use as they are easy to use and clean.

    Tips for using and maintaining oil dispensers

    • Use the right oil: Always use high-quality oil that is specifically designed for popcorn machines.
    • Clean the dispenser regularly: Oil dispensers need to be cleaned regularly to prevent buildup and maintain their efficiency.
    • Store the dispenser properly: Always store the oil dispenser in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
    • Use the dispenser correctly: Follow the instructions that come with the oil dispenser to ensure that you are using it correctly.
    1. Kernel Measuring Cups

    When it comes to making delicious popcorn, consistency is key. That's why using kernel measuring cups is so important for quality and cost control. Whether you're making popcorn for personal consumption or running a gourmet popcorn business, the right measuring cup can make all the difference.

    Types of Kernel Measuring Cups

    There are a variety of types of kernel measuring cups available, including plastic, metal, and glass. 

    • Plastic measuring cups are lightweight and affordable, making them a popular choice for home use. 
    • Metal measuring cups are more durable and can handle heavy use, making them a great choice for commercial kitchens. 
    • Glass measuring cups are easy to clean and offer a classic, timeless look that many people prefer.
    1. Heat Lamps

    Keeping popcorn fresh and warm for longer periods can be challenging, especially for popcorn businesses that need to maintain the quality of their product for hours. This is where heat lamps come in handy. 

    Heat lamps are a popular choice for keeping food warm and fresh, and popcorn is no exception. The heat from the lamp helps to maintain the moisture in the popcorn, preventing it from becoming stale or soggy. 

    Types of Heat Lamps

    Heat lamps are a great addition to any popcorn business or home theater, ensuring that your popcorn stays warm and fresh for a longer period.

    There are two types of heat lamps: 

    • Freestanding: Freestanding heat lamps are usually used in large popcorn businesses where a high volume of popcorn needs to be kept warm. These lamps are large and can hold several trays of popcorn at once.
    • Countertop: Countertop heat lamps are smaller and more portable, making them ideal for home theaters or small popcorn businesses.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Popcorn Equipment

    Here are some frequently asked questions about popcorn equipment:

    What Types of Popcorn Equipment are Available on the Market?

    There are various types of popcorn equipment available, including stove top poppers, hot air poppers, microwave poppers, electric poppers, and commercial popcorn machines.

    What is the Difference Between Stove Top and Electric Popcorn Poppers?

    Stovetop poppers require a stove or open flame to pop the kernels, while electric poppers have built-in heating elements that provide the heat needed to pop the kernels. Electric poppers are generally easier to use and may offer more advanced features like automatic stirring.

    What is a Commercial Popcorn Machine?

    Commercial popcorn machines are larger and more powerful than home popcorn poppers, designed for high-volume popping. They come in various sizes and configurations, including countertop models and stand-alone carts.

    What are the Benefits of Using a Hot Air Popper?

    Hot air poppers use hot air to pop the kernels, eliminating the need for oil or other additives. This makes them a healthier option than oil-based poppers, and also easier to clean up.

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