Using your home popcorn machine is very simple; you can buy your own oil, corn, and seasoning separately or purchase portion packs. Just add all three of these contents (oil, corn, seasoning) to your kettle and run the machine.
Personally, I prefer the portion packs. They are easy to use and are the most convenient way to get theater style popcorn that tastes like the real thing (perhaps because it IS...).
My family likes to mix it up by occasionally adding some spices in with the portion pack...cumin is something my daughter's been into lately, but you can also add hot sauce (after popping) or any popcorn cheese or seasoning shake and you can find these all over the web. Check out the manufacturer's page, as some of the companies listed sell both portion packs and seasoning.
Unless your machine specifically states otherwise, DO NOT add sugar, either granulated or liquid, into a hot kettle as this could cause a fire!
My first concern when I got my home popcorn machine was how hard it would be to clean after using. I quickly discovered the maintenance was minimal. To my surprise, the only real cleanup required is wiping off the excess oil from the kettle after each use. I imagined that taking this popcorn machine apart for clean up would be a huge pain. But, this was not true.
It was also recommended that I purchase “Fantastic Orange” (or a similar product) which is a safe non-toxic cleaner used to remove grease build up from the glass. These products are available in your local grocery store. It's safe to use on all surfaces except wood, but as with anything, on first use, I would recommend testing on an inconspicuous area first, then go to town.
The kettle on my popcorn machine is easy to remove and clean if I think I want to give it a good wash and allows me plenty of room to give it a quick wipe, which is usually all it needs.
You may want to occasionally do a more thorough cleaning by removing the steel trays. This is easy to do and you can run the trays and/or the old maid drawer (if your machine has one) through your dishwasher.
Check out the Videos page for more information.
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