Giant campstove griddle for cooking Jiffy Pop

 

  #1  
Old 04-16-13, 03:31 PM
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Giant campstove griddle for cooking Jiffy Pop

I want to make the world's longest griddle so we can cook a dozen Jiffy Pops at the same time, as a race. Criteria: cheap, safe, single-use.

The heat source could be BBQ charcoal, but maybe simpler/faster to start & stop would be a dozen cans of Sterno canned heat.

The JiffyPop aluminum pan sometimes melts over open flames, so instead of a wire mesh I'm thinking a metal griddle would be best. But a proper cast iron griddle would be too expensive. A long sheet of aluminum siding would probably melt through. How about a long section of galvanized steel ductwork, the type used in home heating? Would exposing that to direct flame be a problem? Any other suggestions?

Note the food itself won't touch the griddle; I'm not frying eggs. I just need a flat surface that will take the heat for an hour, ideally something I can buy cheaply off the shelf.

Thanks!
 
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Old 04-16-13, 03:46 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A piece of duct sounds good to me. My biggest concern would be keeping people away from flame, since it sounds like they'll be standing close to it.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 04:01 AM
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Rather than a long continuous surface how about each person getting a can of Sterno and hold it over the heat.

Galvanized material will emit toxic fumes wen heated to a high enough temperature.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 06:56 AM
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Galvanized material will emit toxic fumes wen heated to a high enough temperature.
Ack! I didn't know that, scratch my idea. Thanks, Greg.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 11:43 AM
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Thanks Greg, that's important to know! Holding the Jiffy Pop directly over Sterno would probably work, though sometimes I see the aluminum pan melt through when we do that over a campfire. I considered using a wire mesh over the flames, like diamond lath, but that would have the same problem.

If not galvanized steel, any thoughts on a different type of flat metal I could get cheaply/easily? I'm guessing aluminum siding wouldn't work, but something else along those lines that is normally used for a totally different purpose. I'm looking for about 1'x12', though if necessary I could put together several shorter pieces.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 02:41 PM
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Have you actually tried popping Jiffy POP over a bare Sterno flame?
There isn't a lot of heat there compared to a campfire or stove element/burner on full.
I don't believe that you will have enough heat if you try to use Sterno to heat metal to heat the popcorn.

There are many plans online for DIY Sterno stoves, mostly out of a tin can.
I would suggest you buy a can or two of Sterno and some Jiffy pop and at least do a test run.

One other thing you need to think about is safety as anytime you present an opportunity for someone to get hurt, they often oblige!
Is this a organized group that would have insurance if someone got hurt?

If using Sterno you might want to maybe make a stove out of a short tin can and fasten it to a board to reduce the possibility of the Sterno getting knocked over.
 
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Old 04-17-13, 07:18 PM
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Yes, safety is my top concern, and I'm planning this months in advance. If I have to set the Sterno in concrete to keep it stable, I will.

That's a good question of whether Sterno is hot enough to cook Jiffy Pop; I'll have to try it. I found one YouTube video of cooking Jiffy Pop on a little "Jiffy Heat" methanol stove. That worked with a direct flame, though I don't know if it's hot enough to make it through metal. I'd rather use a canned-heat gel than risk splashing methanol around, though I'll have to test it.

I'm within extension-cord range, so I would also consider an electric approach like a really long stove element, but I can't think of any way to do that cheaply.
 
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Old 02-28-14, 04:42 PM
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I ended up using 11 little methanol campstoves positioned between bricks to support the JiffyPops. The funny part was that half the kids had never heard of JiffyPop, so it wasn't a very even race, but they had fun. The end result: 2013 Jiffy Pop race on Vimeo
 
 

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