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Yes, you should preheat the kettle some. Each model varies on the amount of kernels. 2,4,6,8,12,14,16,20,32 ounce machines are common. Search your popcorn make and model to find out the popcorn recipe.
The Poppery II is a dry-popper - in other words, no oil.
First make sure that the well is clear of the debris of past use: with a clean cloth, wipe the inside of the well, travelling in the same direction as the air fins to prevent lodging foreign matter in the ducts; this removes any kernel particles which might have been left behind by previous use.
Next: place the amount of popcorn you wish to pop in the well, put the lid on, and place a large bowl in front of the lid shute. If you wish to melt butter, place 2 tbsp in the shallow cup that fits in the top of the lid (never over-fill or it will overflow into the well and make a terrible mess).
Finally, when everything is set, put the plug in an outlet and be prepared to turn the bowl when the popcorn begins piling in. When there are no more fluffs popping out the shute, unplug, clean up and enjoy a great treat. Pour the melted butter over the fluffs while tossing them to make sure there is fairly even distribution and flavours and seasoning to suit yourself.
A 1/2 cup of kernels takes about 2 minutes and will make about 5 cups of popped corn.
Generally you want a 3 to 1 ratio of popcorn to oil (for example, 1 cup corn to one third cup oil). The oil is what transfers the heat to the kernels to make them pop. The batch of corn should pop in about three minutes. If it takes longer, then put less corn and oil in and vice versa.
Does your popper have a butter melting cup at the top? (The one we had years ago did.) Remove that cup from the popper and fill it with the unpopped kernels. (Fill loosely to level with the rim of the cup or less. Do not pack the kernels into the cup or overfill.) Then pour the kernels into the poppiing chamber. There should also be a fill line inside the popping chamber that indicates the maximum amount of popcorn to put in the chamber. Then put the measuring cup/butter melter back on the top of the popper.
If you are using the Cuisinart pop corn poppper, don't use olive oil. Use vegetable oil. Two teaspoons is enough with 1/3 cup of premium kernels. That is it. Turn on the machine and wait til it stops popping. I LOVE my new pop corn popper. I will not do the hot air one again. I always had kernels flying all over my kitchen and popped popcorn everywhere, The Cuisinart popper is the best....
single layer of popcorn on bottom of entire maker...no oil is needed but you can use a tablespoon if you like...butter melts through the hokes in lid....Place butter pats over top holes in lid before popping starts if you want butter to drip down on the corn ( it does pop better with a little oil!)