Who Made the Popcorn Machine?

By Jessica Reed

  • Overview

    Who Made the Popcorn Machine?
    The invention of the popcorn machine improved business and the way we make popcorn. It made it faster to produce popcorn, and added flavor to this popular snack. Businesses and families began to use the popcorn machine to make popcorn at home, and to open up the market to selling popcorn as a movie theater snack.
  • History

    Popcorn has been around for over 5,000 years. The popcorn machine itself, however, wasn't invented until 1893 by Charles Cretors. His original machine, created in 1885, was intended to roast peanuts and had an extra part for popping popcorn added later. But in 1893, the popcorn machine became mobile and steam-driven. This opened the doors for vendors to travel and sell popcorn to people on the street. Today, popcorn can be made at home in your microwave or stove top, and popcorn machines can be found in virtually every movie theater across the nation.
  • Function

    Popcorn machines house the popcorn and allow it to heat up until it is hot enough to pop. Popcorn kernels pop when the moisture inside them expands until the shell cannot hold it in, and it explodes into a piece of popcorn. The popcorn machine heats the popcorn, and once it pops the lid opens, allowing the popcorn to spill out into the machine. From there it can be scooped into bags while more popcorn is popping. This allows popcorn production to go faster, and keeps the lid of the kettle closed so hot oil doesn't burn workers reaching into the machine.


  • Types

    There are two main types of popcorn machines: the commercial popcorn machine and the hot air popcorn popper. Microwavable popcorn has been available since the 1980s, turning your microwave into your own popcorn machine. The commercial popcorn machine uses oil to pop the popcorn. The oil gets hot and heats the popcorn kernels until the popcorn pops. The hot air popper uses hot air instead of oil. This is a healthier choice but doesn't have the same quality taste that popping popcorn in oil has.
  • Selection

    When selecting a popcorn machine, consider who will be using it and what your views are on the health issue of oil versus hot air. If you're only making popcorn for your family, a hot air popcorn popper will work. They are made for homes and serve smaller groups of people. You can also choose to use your microwave instead of buying a machine. If you're a business interested in selling popcorn, a commercial popcorn machine will give you results faster and improve the taste of the popcorn you're selling.
  • Potential

    Popcorn machines have a large potential in the movie business. All theaters need popcorn, and without a popcorn machine the theater wouldn't be able to make enough popcorn to feed its customers. A microwave can only pop one bag of popcorn at a time. With a popcorn machine, popcorn can constantly be popping while the employees get bags of popcorn to give to customers. This cycle allows there to always be enough popcorn for everyone without any waiting time. It also allows butter and salt to be added as needed while the popcorn is popping. This gives workers more control over getting the flavor just right.
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