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Homemade kettle corn is a delicious treat commonly served at carnivals, outdoor fairs, and festivals. Find out how to make a batch right in your own kitchen.
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My kids love family movie nights and we just can’t watch movies without popcorn! This homemade kettle Corn is an incredibly quick and easy, salty and sweet popcorn recipe. You don’t need a fancy popcorn maker since this is a stovetop popcorn recipe. When making kettle corn you only need a few ingredients and a large pot. Your family will gather together for movie night or game night to enjoy a delicious treat!
This homemade kettle corn recipe is just what your friends and family need for a sweet and savory treat at the end of the day. This is the best way to share a treat with a large crowd plus it comes together quickly and easily. You only need a few ingredients with a large pot and a baking sheet to hold the rest of the popcorn when cooking it for your friends and family!
Easy Homemade Kettle Corn Ingredients
This easy kettle corn recipe has simple ingredients with basic instructions! It is quick and easy to make and feeds a crowd. Everyone loves homemade kettle corn and this kettle corn has a sweet sugary taste with a salty and savory flavor that balances each other out. It is the best combination!
- Pot – A large pot, pan, or saucepan with a clear lid is perfect! Use a bigger pot than you think you need! Stockpots or Dutch ovens work well. Make sure it has a clear lid so you can keep an eye on the sugar.
- Baking sheet – Put out a baking sheet before you start making your kettle corn. When it is ready, pour it onto the baking sheet to cool and to make it easy to separate un-popped kernels.
- Bowl – The bigger the better! A large serving bowl is going to catch all the popcorn and hold enough for everyone. If you are using a metal bowl, be careful, the bottom will be hot if you are eating it right away.
- Oil – I like to use vegetable oil or canola oil, but you can also use refined coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Popcorn kernels – You can buy these at the grocery store near the microwave popcorn!
- Sugar – White granulated sugar works best in my experience. This white sugar gives it a sweet taste and a light texture.
- Salt – Adding just a little bit of salt at the end gives this popcorn the best salty flavor!
How to Make the Best Homemade Kettle Corn
Once you make your first batch of homemade kettle corn you will be a pro! It is so simple to do and becomes easier and easier the more you pop kettle corn. Simply prepare your pot and ingredients, warm the burner and pop popcorn, then remove and let cool off before enjoying. It is that quick and easy!
- Prepare – Place a large pot with a glass lid over medium-high heat on the burner. Heat vegetable oil in the pot. Once the oil is hot, add popcorn kernels and sugar. Quickly stir to combine. Put the lid on.
- Popping popcorn – Wait until you hear the first kernel pop. Then, every 10 seconds, lift the pot off the heat source and shake it, holding the lid on, to toss the popcorn inside. Then put it back down.
- Remove pot – Once you can count to 3 without hearing a kernel popping OR when you see the sugar turning a golden brown, take the pot off the stove. It is more important to not burn the sugar than it is to pop all the kernels. Pour popcorn onto a baking sheet with parchment paper to cool. Sprinkle salt over the popcorn.
- Cleanup – Sift through the popcorn and remove any un-popped kernels. Serve in a large bowl.
Making Homemade Kettle Corn for a Crowd
Need more than a couple of servings of kettle corn?! You can easily scale this recipe up using the same ratios. However, make sure you have a big enough pot or pan to fit the popcorn. If you are making multiple batches one after another, make sure to let the pan cool down a little bit and wash off any leftover melted sugar. If you leave the melted sugar in the bottom of the pan, it will burn quickly when you start the next batch.
Unlike normal popcorn, the unpopped kernels of popcorn will not fall to the bottom of the bowl. The sugar will make some of the kernels stick to the popcorn.
If you are serving this popcorn to young kids or if you have sensitive teeth or dental work, then spread the kettle corn out on a baking sheet and carefully comb the popcorn for kernels.
“Thank you so much for sharing this amazing kettle corn recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious!”-Allyssa
The main ingredient for homemade kettle corn flavor is sugar. We all love a little bit of sugar and its sweetness. When heated the sugar melts over top of the popcorn and making it sweet and delicious!
The biggest difference between popcorn and kettle corn is the sweetness factor. Popcorn is made with butter and salt whereas kettle corn is made with sugar and salt. Both have a great flavor combination! Popcorn is sometimes considered healthy when kettle corn is known for its sweet flavor.
Homemade kettle corn uses normal kernel popcorn or it can also use mushroom popcorn which gives the shape and style of the popcorn a mushroom appearance. It is larger and more spread out compared to other kernels.
Yes, the popcorn really does POP. If you don’t have a lid on the pot, then hot oil and popcorn will be flying all over your kitchen.
Your kettle corn might turn out chewy if the lid on your pot is too tightly sealed. If the steam can’t escape from the pot, then it will add moisture to your popcorn. To fix this, periodically lift the lid a tiny bit to let steam out.
Storing Homemade Kettle Corn
I would be surprised if you had leftover kettle corn! But, if you do, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It will only really last a couple of days so eat it quick!
More Snack-worthy Recipes
If you love snacking on this kettle corn, try some of our other salty, sweet, crunchy snacks! These sweet and savory recipes are so fun and delicious too. Bowls of snacking food are the perfect way to gather friends and family together as well as enjoy a special treat together!
How to Make Homemade Kettle Corn
Homemade Kettle Corn
- 1 large pot with glass lid
- Place a large pot with a glass lid over medium-high heat on the stove. Heat vegetable oil in the pot. Once the oil is hot, add popcorn kernels and sugar. Quickly stir to combine. Put the lid on.
- Wait until you hear the first kernel pop. Then, every 10 seconds, lift the pot off the heat source and shake it, holding the lid on, to toss the popcorn inside. Then put it back down. Once you can count to 3 without hearing a kernel popping OR when you see the sugar turning a golden brown, take the pot off the stove. It is more important to not burn the sugar than it is to pop all the kernels. Pour popcorn onto a baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle salt over the popcorn.
- Sift through the popcorn and remove any un-popped kernels. Serve in a large bowl.
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