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What size popcorn machine do I need?
The best way to determine the actual size machine you will need is to figure out how many one-ounce servings you will go through during your busiest hour. A one-ounce serving is a bag approximately 3 -1/2 " wide by 2" deep and 8" tall (if you use a different serving size, convert it to one ounce servings). Divide the number of one-ounce servings per hour by 16 and you will have the size machine you will need to meet your busiest demand. Example: In the busiest hour you use 125 one-ounce servings. 125 divided by 16 equals 7.81, so you should order an eight-ounce machine.  Please review our Popcorn Buying Guide to review the options manufactured by Paragon.

I need help finding a part for my machine?
Do you have the part in your hand, but aren't sure how to locate the part number? Take a look at the Owner's Manuals online under Tech Support. These Owner Manuals have exploded views of your machines with clickable part numbers that will link you directly to the part on our website for ordering information. Or, use our Parts Depot and type in a part number.  Once you have the correct part you can either order online or call 1-800-433-0333 for a customer service representative whom will gladly help you place your order.

Why are hard-coat anodized aluminum kettles considered the best?
When you are cooking popcorn there are two key elements - heat transfer and ease of cleaning. Aluminum provides the best heat transfer of any approved cooking material which means that the heat from the elements transfer completely to the food resulting in much better performance. When you anodize aluminum you are changing the molecular surface of the aluminum and filling in the pores of the material. This makes a very smooth and slippery surface which can be cleaned easily and is extremely durable.

What makes popcorn pop?
A popcorn kernel  has approximately 12% moisture inside.  When the kernel is heated the moisture turns into steam and expands. Once the kernel reaches 475 degrees Fahrenheit the expanding steam forces the hull to explode (or pop).

How long does it take to cook a batch of popcorn?
All Paragon poppers are design to cook a kettle of kernels in approximately 3-1/2 minutes. This cycle time is based on having the kettle heated to cooking temperature before loading the kettle.

What type of oil should I use to cook popcorn?
The type of oil that you use will effect the taste of the popcorn. The most common type is coconut oil. It normally is regarded as the best tasting and has long been a staple at movie theaters. However, many health conscious people prefer canola oil due to its lower fat and cholesterol content. Other oils used are sunflower, peanut and soy.

Why do you make poppers in 120 volts and 240 volts?
Paragon sells popcorn machines in over 40 countries world-wide. Different countries have voltages on their electricity ranging from 100-240 volts. You should always order the popper that most closely matches the voltage of your electrical service. Typically, the United States uses 120 volt poppers.

What's the best way to keep my popcorn machine clean?
Most Paragon poppers utilize tempered glass panels, stainless steel clean-out trays, aluminum corner posts which can be cleaned with vinegar and water. The plated or anodized kettles are designed to be wiped out with a clean cloth after each use. Please note that you should never submerge a kettle in any type of liquid as it can damage its internal electrical components. Should your kettle have a build up of carbon (burned on oil stains),  we recommend  using Carbon-Off (a heavy duty great remover manufactured by Discovery Products Corp and broadly available online) to bring the kettle back to near new conditions.

What is "expansion ratio" on popcorn and what is the optimum level?
Expansion ratio refers to the increase in volume that occurs as popcorn pops. It is determined by measuring the volume of popcorn prior to and after popping. An expansion ratio between 40 and 44 is usually considered ideal. If the expansion is less than 40 the popped corn can be a little chewy and if the expansion ratio is over 44 the popcorn becomes very brittle and tends to break apart into small pieces.