Years ago, our in-laws gifted us with a popcorn machine for our movie room. Everyone close to me knows that movie theater popcorn is one of my favorite foods! In our early days of dating, we would sometimes stop at a theater to get popcorn and take it home to watch Twin Peaks or The Office.
So, the Christmas when my father-in-law presented us with a giant home Great Northern popcorn machine, it was truly one of my favorite gifts of all time!
For years, we kept the machine in a closet, bringing it out occasionally for parties. When we moved to our current home that has a theater room, we decided to decorate it with a movie theme and keep the popcorn machine here.
Since having it in a more accessible location, we are using it much more often and it’s become a special tradition with our little girls. We make popcorn for a family movie night often on Sunday evenings.
I receive so many questions about what popcorn maker we use, so I decided to do a full review with all the information in one place.
This is the popcorn machine we have. We painted the red part white a while ago when I was going through my “all-white everything” phase.
To make popcorn, we use half a stick of butter, a cup of popcorn, and a half teaspoon of Flavacol (which makes it taste exactly like movie theater popcorn).
If you prefer, you can also use oil instead of butter or salt instead of Flavacol. Here’s a movie theater popcorn kit.
Tips for making popcorn in a great northern popcorn machine:
- My children LOVE watching the popcorn cook. The machine does not get hot on the outside while it’s popping, but we still have a rule that only adults are allowed to use it.
- We have a kit with different flavored popcorn powders, which is so much fun for guests.
- I love these popcorn bowls. Here’s the sharing size and the individual size.
Click here to see our 10 favorite movies of all time.
For an 8-ounce popcorn machine, you’ll use 1/3 cup of oil. Coconut oil (the butter flavored kind) is what most movie theaters use. We always keep avocado oil on hand and I’ve used that a lot of times—it doesn’t have a strong flavor.
This machine retails for around $200. They have bigger and smaller versions available. We have found this to be a great size for our family of four, and we use it anytime we have guests. If it was for a big party, we could easily just do a couple of extra batches. Each batch takes around 10 minutes to pop.
The ingredients (kernels and butter) go in the stainless steel part inside of the machine, and the popcorn spills out as it pops. After the popcorn is done and has had time to cool, you can unplug and remove the stainless steel basket. I hand wash it and once it is dry it easily pops back in and is ready for next time. For the rest of the machine, I normally clean it with water wipes. Overall, it is not difficult to use or clean.
Once you add all ingredients to the stainless steel basket and turn it on, it begins to heat up and pop. I have never timed it, but I would say it takes around 10 minutes for the popcorn to pop. I have never had my popcorn burn, and the machine is very easy to use.
What accessories does it come with/do you need?
- We love these popcorn bowls. Here’s the sharing size and the individual size. When we are not using them, I store them on this cart under the machine. If you prefer just one big bowl, I love this metal popcorn bowl.
- For a party or large group, I recommend these popcorn bags.
- Here’s a nice popcorn scoop.
More of my home:
Pros – Since using our popcorn machine, we have the most delicious popcorn that is the closest possible thing to my beloved movie theater popcorn.
I love how it fills our home with the smell of fresh popcorn, and it quickly became a joyful family tradition that we look forward to. To me, it is absolutely worth going the extra mile for!
Cons – Making popcorn in a machine takes more time and requires more clean up than microwave popcorn. I would also note that we didn’t use ours regularly until we had a good place to keep it in our living space.
If it’s going in a closet or basement where it might be forgotten about for years on end, it might not be worth it to you.
I hope this post has been helpful! I think a popcorn machine makes an incredible gift. It’s not often that more than five years later you are still using something regularly that you received as a surprise Christmas gift.
For that reason, I give it two thumbs up! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions. xx- Elsie