Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kettle Corn

My kids have fallen in love with kettle corn, and I have to admit I love the sweet/salty taste too.  Unfortunately for them, I am unwilling to pay for a bag of popped least not very often.  Today I found a recipe on and tried it out.  It turned out great!  One of the commenters had a significant change to the recipe, so I will add them in to the instructions here for you.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 20 min

Yields 10 cups

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar will yield a more caramel taste)
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Use a large heavy pot with a lid (large enough to hold all that popped corn!)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat, with three kernels in the pot. When all three kernels pop, add in the sugar and popcorn ("sprinkle" the sugar evenly across the bottom of the pan rather than just "dumping" it in, likewise with the popcorn). Cover, and alternate shaking the pot for three seconds and let it sit on the burner for three seconds. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 to 3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat, add salt to taste, and continue to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour into a large bowl, and allow to cool.  Clumps will break up easily after the popcorn has cooled.

The trickiest part of this recipe for me was cooking it too long--the first batch I did I left on the stove a little too long because I couldn't actually hear the popping inside.  I put on a movie during the second batch...silence is golden, they say...and could much more easily hear the popping.  That probably won't be a problem at your house, right?  ;)

My tips: 
Grab potholders before you begin.  The pan I used has handles on each side--it was difficult to hold the lid on and shake at the same time.  Naturally everything got hot!  The original recipe says to stir in the sugar and popcorn kernels.  Trying to stir that made a big mess.  Seriously, you're going to be shaking it.  Just make sure that when you add the sugar and then the kernels, sprinkle it evenly over the bottom of the pot.  That will do it.  Once the popcorn started popping, I did have oil coming out from under the lid a little bit, so I kept a rag close by to wipe the side of the pot in the quick 3 seconds I left it sitting on the burner.


  1. I remember, when we took Eden and Josh to the county fair, we stopped and got two GIGANTIC bags of kettle corn, and they LOVED it.

  2. Oh my gosh! I never have thought to try making this at home! What is wrong with me?! I make homemade yogurt, pitas, kefir, broth and so on!! I'll have to try this - We love it when our Cash Wise has a vendor selling fresh, warm, crunchy kettle corn outside ($3 for the small bag, $5 for the large)....

    And I have been popping corn in my pasta pot ever since I found out how bad microwave popcorn chemicals are for you, so this should be a cinch. (but I burn it too sometimes, even still)

  3. My kids love carmel corn and I make it on special occasions for movie night. I just use an air popper and mix up some quick caramel with butter, milk, and brown sugar on the stove to drizzle over the top. The kettle corn sounds great!


  4. tried it, liked it! will make it again with a few tweaks - and i'll definitely have to try the caramel variation - our old family recipe for that took over an hour in the oven!