Chinese street vendor's explosive popcorn making contraption



That’s an incredibly elaborate system to force the kernels to pop all at once. Why oh why?

I mean, it’s super cool but WTF?


Weird… I just randomly came across this Youtube video after seeing this BB post:

When was Alton Brown on Mythbusters???


Couple years ago, it was a special crossover thing.

He also helped them test if it was possible to cook using a running car’s engine block, and ende dup making a surprisingly good car-cooked thanksgiving dinner.


So you had a blacksmith in the family who has the remnants of a good old coal forge–and you want popcorn. Makes sense.

I think this spares the popcorn vendor a whole lot of trouble, he doesn’t have to raise his voice one decibel to cause everybody on the street to look his way–he just has to use this very particular method of making it, its a nice hack with implicit PR–bravo!


In retrospect–I don’t want to be around when that popcorn container fails. Though I don’t know how thick the walls are or the temperment (pun pun punnny) of the cooking container. OTOH the pressure indicator is a good idea–though I don’t see the popcorn maker reading it in the video.

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If I recall correctly, it’s a pressure cooker that gets all the kernels to a high enough temperature, then releases the pressure all at once which lets the steam expand within all the kernels simultaneously, therefore ‘popping’ them all at once.

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Thanks for posting this. I remember seeing this pressure vessel popcorn maker before, but couldn’t remember where or when.

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Saw pretty much the same thing in Korea, but burned wood rather than coal.

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One would hope there’s a pressure relief valve but there’s no obvious one (maybe built into the lid).

But yeah, as per the Mythbusters video, 1 megapascal = 145 PSI = 9.9 atmospheres! If that thing goes, it could be fatal.

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And your point is . . . ?

Movie sine!

Isn’t that about what a good espresso machine uses? Dangerous, yes, but not something that can’t be engineered around.

It took me a few minutes to remember where I’d seen this before: It’s described in Guy Delisle’s graphic novel ‘Shenzhen’.

Alton Brown and the Mythbuster crew all in one show.

One word: Nerdgasm.

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Yeah, getting killed by shrapnel from a homemade popcorn “bomb” is not exactly on my list of ways I want to go.

I suspect that this is one of those homemade devices where safety is engineered into knowing how to use a dangerous device properly rather than into attempting to make the device fool proof.

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In China we use coal.

Yes. You also have smog.


It’s worth the smog to have snacks that may kill you.


Is it the same guy?

can someone please make a single kernel popcorn gun…