In your search for kettle corn equipment, you’ve probably seen several designs on the market. The first appears to be a homemade, basic, open frame. These machines are as simple as it gets: no sides, no lid – just a kettle held up by an angle iron or tubular steel frame with a burner mounted underneath. These types of units are the least efficient and definitely the hottest to operate. Wind can attack the flame from any direction, causing inconsistent flame patterns and sometimes actually blowing out the flame. These units do not trap essential heat, compromising batch time.
Another model you may have seen is a glorified version of the above; it has three sides attached to the open frame. This is better, but still far from ideal. Wind still finds its way to the open side, causing havoc to the burner flame. Without a lid, both of these units are unbearably hot to operate. Heat always rises, first onto your arms and then into your face. Bottom line: no lid=HOT and inefficient.
North Bend has taken our experience and knowledge and created the perfect popping machine. The gap between the unit and the floor is directly proportionally sized to the amount of combustion air needed to fuel the burner, yet small enough to keep out drafts. The side vent was purposefully designed and correctly sized to emit the flue gases of the burner, and specifically located so wind will not affect your burner flame. So, there you have it – an efficient, comfortable-to-operate machine.