Popcorn machines are wonderful when you need to make a lot of food to please a lot of guests and keep your costs down.  Not many snack foods are as affordable as popcorn, if you buy it in bulk.  The popcorn machine itself is a great feature at an event as well because these machines are nostalgic in appearance and many guests will associate them with happy memories.

Popcorn machines are often associated with carnival themes, and are perfectly for a carnival-themed party, but they are also great for a variety of different events.  Rent a popcorn machine for a child’s birthday party (especially a themed one), a sporting event, a corporate party, or a fundraiser.  They are also perfect for trade shows—nothing will draw a crowd faster than free food, and popcorn is easy to smell from across the trade show floor.  Popcorn is ideal for movie night at a church, school, or park as well.

To use the popcorn machine, make sure it is on a level surface, or that the wagon or cart (if you have rented a machine with one) is placed on level ground.  Use a grounded electrical source and not an extension cord, unless the instructions specifically say that you may.  Inspect the unit thoroughly to make sure everything is place, and then plug it in.

Start by turning on the kettle heat, motor, and exhaust switches.  Before you start making large quantities of popcorn, try a small test batch using several corn kernels and a tiny bit of oil.  Once those kernels pop, you know you are ready to go, and you can place the rest of the coin and oil in the kettle, along with any flavorings you might be using.  Once all your ingredients are in place, you can close the lid and wait for the popcorn to pop.  As the batch finishes, turn off the kettle heat using the switch so that the machine will not produce smoke.  Empty the kettle of any leftover popcorn.

Once you have cleared out the kettle again, you can add new kernels, oil, and flavorings and make another batch of popcorn.  Each time a batch finishes, follow the same steps of turning off the kettle heat, emptying the kettle, and then reloading the kettle with new ingredients.

Once you have finished using the popcorn machine, you can power it down and clean it before you return it.  Unplug the machine after you turn it off, and then remove the kettle.  Before you clean it off, make sure you give it time to cool.  Wipe the kettle, the lid, the crossbar, and the exterior of the machine down using a clean, damp cloth, but do not immerse any of the parts or place them under running water.  If any popcorn is still inside the machine, take it out and then clean the inside in the same way, using a damp cloth only.  Take out the pan and empty the old maids, and then wide that down as well before replacing it inside.  Dry down the unit, and you’re good to go.

Here are some safety guidelines for using your rented popcorn machine:  Plug the machine into a grounded outlet only and avoid using an extension cord.  Make sure that the outlet matches the volts and amps of the machine.  When the machine is running, do not cover the holes at the top, which are used for air circulation.  Be aware that the machine is hot while it is running, particularly the kettle, and you should not touch the kettle or you risk a burn.  Use the base only to lift the machine, and make sure that an adult supervises if a child tries using it.

Popcorn machines are a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to provide your guests with a snack at your event.  Popcorn is a wonderfully magnetic food, since it is easy to follow the delicious smell to the source, making it ideal for serving at a trade show.  It is perfect for making a movie night at a park or a church feel more like a trip to the theater, great for fundraisers, and excellent for birthday parties or corporate parties.