I always did it in a spoon, too. *shrug*
Someone informed me way back in the day that the amount of water used in the first cooking matters a lot, that you just want it a bit damp & cook it until it's almost dry, then add a bunch of water (but don't fill up the whole spoon) so that it has room to 'float' when you heat up the water again. Then add cold water/chip of ice to cool off the water so the oil on top will solidify. (TBH, I think I read it on here, by Woodman; the thread was called something like "THIS is how you make crack
Like, so little water for the 'first cook' that I'd use a syringe to put a few drops of water on it, because I was cooking such a small amount.
Also, it might look like you're getting so little back because you ARE cooking such a small amount, plus it might not be the best quality (smaller bags often equals lower quality). Just a thought.