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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.
Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe
My kids love family movie nights and we just can’t watch movies without popcorn! This 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.
What You Need to Make Kettle Corn
- Large Pot, Pan, or Saucepan with a Clear Lid – 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.
- Large Serving Bowl – 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 used 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.
- Salt – Adding just a little bit of salt at the end gives this popcorn the best flavor!
Making Kettle Corn for a Crowd
Need more than a couple 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 pot cool down a little bit and wash off any leftover melted sugar. If you leave the melted sugar on the pot, it will burn quickly when you start the next batch.
Unlike normal popcorn, the un-popped 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.
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!
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.
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.
More Snack-worthy Recipes
If you love snacking on this kettle corn, try some of our other salty, sweet, crunchy snacks!
- Muddy Buddies – This Classic Muddy Buddies recipe is crunchy and so satisfying. Made with Chex Mix cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar, these bite-sized treats are always a hit!
- Cinnamon Almonds – Cinnamon Almonds roasting in the slow cooker is the perfect way to make your whole house smell like Christmas. The cinnamon and sugar coating gives the almonds a sweet crunch.
- Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats – Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats take your traditional Rice Krispie treats to a whole new level. You will love the gooey caramel and the hint of salt! They are sweet and salty just like this Kettle Corn!
- The Best Chex Mix – This Chex mix recipe is the BEST snack for family get-togethers or parties with friends. It is toasty, savory, and completely addicting! This Chex mix recipe comes together quickly and is much better than the store bought version.
- Sweet Chex Mix – This Sweet Chex Mix Recipe is SINFULLY delicious! Loaded with chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, and marshmallows, it’s a party favorite and so easy to make!
- Almond Joy Chex Mix – This Almond Joy Homemade Chex Mix combines two favorite treats: Almond Joy Candy Bars and Muddy Buddy Chex Mix! Everything you love about muddy buddies with a chocolate coconut twist.
- Avalanche Bars – These Avalanche Bark bars are the best no-bake summer treat. They are so simple and you don’t have to heat up your house to make them!
How to Make Kettle Corn
How to Make 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 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.