Popcorn Machine Troubleshooting


Movies and popcorns jingle. That’s why a movie night out without the sweet or savory popcorn is lifeless! The tasty snack spices up every moment throughout the episodes. Instead of pre-popped popcorn, the homemade snack is healthier. Also, you can make more as you need. But all is not well. Your little popper has stalled. It would help if you had popcorn machine troubleshooting tips to fix things.

Popcorn machine troubleshooting include fixing a popper that won’t heat up or is not spinning or popping your kernels. Also, it could be an issue with the spinner, or the machine is giving you scorched popcorn. Whatever the issue, I will sort you out in this guide. Keep reading.

Popcorn Machine Won’t Heat Up

There is no popcorn if your machine doesn’t heat up. The most likely cause is power loss or a breakdown. A quick diagnosis will help you to identify and fix the issues correctly. Here are the steps to follow to resolve the problem;

Check If There Is Power Connectivity

If your popcorn machine is not getting hot, there could be no power in your home. Power happens all the time due to rationing by the providers or errors in transmission. If it does not relate to unpaid bills, that’s not your error, so wait. You can notify the company about the loss to hasten the reconnection process. Also, pay your bills on time to avoid disconnections.

Circuit/Wall Socket Error

You have power in your house, but the popper is not heating up. That could be due to a circuit error or a broken socket. The issue is partial and easy to resolve. If it is a broken wall socket, you can replace it or ask a tech to do it professionally. A complex circuit error requires specialized equipment such as a tester or voltmeter. Engage your electrician to resolve the issue.

Inspect The Plug And Cord

Next to examine after ruling out power loss and circuit/socket error is the machine’s plug and cord. Are there physical cuts and twists? Those could extend to the cord’s internal part (under the insulation). Replace such a cord. The plug has a fuse, which blows and stops power flow. Access the plug fuse by unscrewing the case, then replace the fuse.

Examine The Machine’s Electrical Wiring

Examining the popper’s electrical wiring requires an expert. They will test for continuity and replace any broken or blown wires. That ensures constant power flow in your device.

Test The Heating Element And Thermostat

You can only have popcorn if your popper’s heating element and thermostat are functional. The heater supplies your machine with heatwaves that cook your kernels. And the thermostat is in charge of regulating the perfect and safe heat to prevent scorching. Fortunately, you can replace the heating element and thermostat. That’s easier and cheaper than buying a new machine. But beware of a machine that keeps on breaking. Such replacements are more costly than buying a new unit.

Obsolete Popcorn Machine

How old is your popper? Age determines performance. If the little guy has been popping the machine since your teens were in kindergarten, it is time to retire him. Get a new popper. 

Call The Manufacturer

It’s a new popping machine, and everything seems shiny, including the buttons, cord, and plug. But the little thing isn’t heating up. Call the manufacturer or dealer. It could be a factory fault. They resolve it or replace the gadget. 

Popcorn Machine Not Popping

If your popcorn machine isn’t popping kernels, there are several things you can check;

Temperature Setting

The popper works at the temperature range on your popping bag. That should be between 400 – 460 F. At that range, the machine should pop all the kernels. A lower temperature means the grains will not pop, while a higher one will leave the kernels scorched. Adjust the popcorn temperature setting according to the specifications on the package.   

Old Or Stale Popcorn Kernels

These are popcorn kernels that have exceeded their shelf life. The seeds are too old and dry to pop. Always pop fresh kernels to get the best outcome.

Lack Of Oil Or Butter

Popping kernels in a popper machine requires oil or butter coating. The kernels will remain stubborn if there isn’t enough oil in the machine. Also, some people use water for popping kernels. That’s a wrong recommendation that will leave you with undesirable results. Use the recommended oil like olive, sesame, and vegetable oil.

Clogged Popcorn Kettle

When last did you examine your popcorn kettle? Old kernels and debris could be lodged in the unit. Follow your manual to unclog and clean your popper’s kettle.

Faulty Machine

All the above popcorn machine troubleshooting solutions should work! If not, there may be an issue with the machine. A professional technician can help you to diagnose and repair the broken popper.

How To Fix Popcorn Machine Spinner

The popcorn maker spinner rotates and stirs the popcorn to enhance complete popping. If the feature isn’t spinning, you may get many unpopped kernels on your popper. A broken spinner may mean replacement; however, you can try fixing it beforehand. Let’s see the steps to fixing the issue;

  • Unplug Your Machine

Before working on any electric machine, unplug it and wait for cooling to keep burns and electrical shock away.

  • Dislodge The Spinner

This process depends on the model, but you may need to remove or unscrew the spinner case from the machine for easy access.

  • Wipe Dirt 

The spinner may be dirty or have popcorn dust and debris. That blocks the spinning process. Use warm soapy water and a sponge to clean the unit before refixing. The warm water strips off grease and food residues. Dry the spinner and reattach it to see if it works. 

  • Inspect The Spinner Motor

If it is not blockage and dirt, the other reason your spinner is still not working is a broken motor. The motor is the power behind the spinner, so there is no popcorn if it stops. You may need to check the condition of the motor. If there are loose power connections or physical damage, you have to rectify that. A professional technician will recommend a replacement if it is beyond repair.

  • Lubricate The Spinner

Is there a grinding noise when the spinner is turning? That means there is no lubrication. The shaft and the bearings are grinding on each other. Friction is risky as it grinds the parts until they break. If there is friction, apply a food-grade lubricant on the mobile parts to smoothen the movement.   

 Final Words

Your popper is a straightforward machine that works without major breakages. With the above popcorn machine troubleshooting tips, you have no excuse for not enjoying popcorn while watching. The valuable tips should keep helping you to fix a few issues that affect the gadget. Call a professional technician to handle your device if it is more challenging than you anticipate. Good luck!

By Shawn Roberts

Shawn Roberts is a renown culinary enthusiast with a deep love for food and cooking. He has decades of experience in the kitchen. In his career, Shawn Roberts shares his expertise, recipes, and insights to inspire and guide you on your own culinary journey. Together with his team of kitchen décor experts, you can make your cooking space a little heaven. Get ready to explore a world of flavors and creativity with Shawn Roberts