OMG Kettle Corn

May 4th, 2009 by katie

Wow! Have you had kettle corn?  I am not talking about the sucralose sweetened microwaveable stuff either.  I mean real, freshly made kettle corn.  This stuff is fantastic.  Crunchy, salty, slightly sweet: what’s not to love?

You know, I never bought a bag of popcorn kernels before this recipe.  I figured that stuff was for people who owned popcorn poppers.  Just a little FYI: there is a recipe on each bag that tells you just how to make the popcorn in a pot on the stove-top, no machinery required.  Here’s how you make kettle corn:

Kettle Corn

makes 10 cups, cook time 5-10 min
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
  1. In a large pot with a lid, add oil and three kernels of popcorn. Get your pot holders ready.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium and cover the pot.  Listen carefully, when the third kernel pops, your oil is ready.
  3. Add the rest of the popcorn and the sugar.  Give it a quick stir to combine and fully coat.
  4. Cover the pot again and heat for three seconds, then lift off the heat with your pot holders on and shake vigorously up and down for three seconds.
  5. Repeat heating the pot for three seconds and shaking for three seconds and continue repeating for about 5 minutes (hey, you didn’t think this deliciousness would be effortless, right?).
  6. Check the kettle corn for color and continue heating and shaking until popping stops or kettle corn is sufficiently golden brown.
  7. Pour popcorn into a large bowl and toss with salt while still hot.
  8. Taste and salt as desired once cool.

Cool or what? And so easy!  Thanks to chad for making me realize there was an actual recipe for this stuff.

Oh yeah, and no Cost Analysis for this one because it basically pays you to make it.

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Posted in Budget, Easy, Fast, Snacks/Appetizers

23 Responses

  1. Kathy

    I will make this today! I buy the bagged kettle corn when I can find it, which isn’t often so being able to make my own will be fantastic. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. Tellie

    I L-O-V-E kettle corn I’m definitely going to have to give this one a try!

  3. leslie

    I have tried this three times and all I get is burnt sugar on the popped corn that is soggy from the steam created by covering the pot. What am I doing wrong? What heat temp are you using and what type of pot? I used med heat and a coated cast iron dutch oven. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Hmm, I used a stainless steel stock pot with a lid, I used medium high heat (I have electric and so it is number 7). When the third kernal popped I dumped in the popcorn and sugar and stirred it. I put the lid back on and heated it then shook it and heated it and shook it, etc… I shook it a lot and completely removed it from the heat when I was shaking it, then I’d put it back on the heat for a couple seconds then off to shake again. When it stopped making many popping sounds I checked it and it looked like a bunch of fluffy popcorn so I took it off the heat and salted it. Maybe you are cooking it too long? Let me know if you try it again! -Katie

  4. KAren

    Leslie – are you able to shake the pot? You need to keep the kernels moving or they’ll definitely burn. I also wonder if cast iron is too hot – it retains so much heat that it might cause things to burn. I’ve made kettle corn in a 30 year old revere-ware stock pot that works pretty well.

  5. Michelle

    OMG I never knew you didn’t have to have a “popper” or whatever the machine is called!!! You just made my day – I loveee kettle corn!

  6. Kristen

    Ohhhhh – I love Kettle Corn, but hate the microwave variety. And, I never knew you could do this without a popcorn popper! I am going to make this this week! Thanks, Katie!

  7. noble pig

    My little guy LOVES kettle corn. Of course I always spend a fortune on it! Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Marianne

    I love kettle corn! Delicious!

  9. Ninette

    Gosh, I’m feeling old. We’ve always made popcorn in a pot, as those popcorn poppers came out in the 80s. Anyway, I love kettle corn. I didn’t know it was that easy!

  10. Kathy - Cooking On the Side

    How fantastic! I would love to make my own kettle corn. Sometimes my husband and I will pick up one of those big bags of it at the farmers market and polish it off in one day. Glad to know it’s so easy to make at home – I’m gonna do it!

  11. Nancy

    Yep. Good stuff. I’ve made it many times.

  12. Melissa

    I just bought a jar of kernels at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago to make homemade in a pot, but hadn’t done it yet. I hadn’t considered doing a sweet one either, but will now keep it in mind!

  13. Debbie

    YUM!!! I feel old too, because when we want “good” popcorn, we use a pot.

  14. Leanna

    I made this last night and I love love love it. It was super easy to make and so good. I have been making stovetop popcorn a lot lately, but had not tried it sweet. Thanks!!

  15. Amnah

    I went out and bought a bag of kernels just for this recipe. It was so worth it! This was surprisingly easy to make. I’m going to try making the black pepper version I usually buy. I made this at my mom’s place with a gas stove. I hope I have the same success at home with an electric stove. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. p-chan

    OOh Ooh Do you know how to make the confetti colored popcorn? I’d love to know how to make that.

  17. Missy

    I found a much quicker, easier way. Buy an Orville Redenbacher micro-popper (WM, etc) for around $16. These poppers make wonderful popcorn. I buy Jiffy Pop Organic kernels and they are the best I think (and only 50 cents more than non-organic).

    This popper uses little or no oil–not a whopping 1/4 cup required here.
    We use kernels by sight (see popper’s instructions), a spray of Pam (not 1/4 cup!), and a T of white sugar. Then we microwave for less than 3 minutes. There is your kettle corn. Simple and delicious. We add a teensy bit of butter and some salt. Heavenly stuff. One final note: spray the popper first with Pam inside when making Kettlecorn in it. Make it your last batch after regular batches (we generally run 4 batches for our family of five: we love popcorn!) as it’s sticky and will have to be washed.

    This popper takes less than 3 minutes to pop a batch. You may find it here or at other stores:

    (If link is allowed)

    thanks and happy kettlecorning!


  18. Charissa - The Gifted Blog

    Hi! I found you from the Almost Frugal food blog…and wow, this was good. I just made it and we polished off a 1/2 batch within minutes of concentrated snacking. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Lloyd

    Just discovered your web site. So far, I really like it. So well-organized and neat. Only one suggestion – add a link to print the article. Thanks

  20. Reshm

    It turned out wonderful!!! So yummy! salty and sweet caramelized crunchy popcorn! thanks Katie!!! =)

  21. KaedeeMarie

    I went on a hunt for a recipe for Kettle Corn for a few weeks, something to make that was fun and easy on Super Bowl. this turned out so yummy it went in seconds, I made another batch this time with brown sugar mixed with a little cinnamon. SO YUMMY!

  22. sarah

    My extended family loves popcorn and I grew up loving it as well. At 30 years old I just received a popcorn Popper. The old kind with a wood handle that you turn to stir the popcorn inside. I was on the hunt for a kettle corn recipe and this was wonderful. I used coconut oil to pop my popcorn and of course didn’t remove it at anytime from the stove since my Popper has a deal inside that turns the kernels. Amazing recipe! My children devoured it!

  23. Marney

    Really works as a popcorn novice it was perfect. Just had to resist temptation of trying the popcorn straight of the pan!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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