Jul 10, 2020, Updated Mar 14, 2023
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Kettle corn is surprisingly fast and easy to pop up right at home. The sweet and salty snack has a delicious crunch from the sugar coating and makes a wonderful snack.
One of the first things we do when we head to our favorite amusement park or county fair is go in search of the kettle corn. We buy a big bag and snack on it the whole time we are there.
Why this homemade kettle corn recipe works
- Fast – Can be made in under 10 minutes.
- Tasty – The sweet and salty combination is irresistible.
- Lasts – Make a big batch to keep as a snack for a few weeks.
What is the difference between kettle corn and popcorn?
Kettle corn has an overall sweet flavor and is usually made in a cast iron kettle or skillet.
Popcorn is typically salty in flavor and can come packaged to be made in the microwave or air popped.
What pot should I use?
Since you probably don’t have a cast iron kettle in your cabinet, to make this recipe you will want to have a large pot or wide skillet with a lid. I think using a large, deep skillet is the best thing to use if it’s available.
Make sure that you have a lid that will fit over the skillet. A glass lid would be perfect so you can see how much is popping. If you don’t have a see through lid, just be sure to listen to the popping. When it starts to slow, remove from the heat.
How to make kettle corn at home
Scroll to the bottom for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.
- Prepare: Get all of the ingredients ready to go and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to place the cooked popcorn on.
- Oil: Pour oil into saucepan and turn on medium heat. Place 2-3 kernels in the oil and cover pan with lid. Once they pop, you are ready to start the process.
- Pop: Pour kernels, sugar and salt into the pan. Stir everything together, trying to coat all of the kernels. Place lid back on pan.
- Shake: Holding the lid in place, shake the pan to try and avoid popcorn burning. (Popping time was about 2-3 minutes.)
- Cool: Once the popping starts to slow down, uncover and pour kettle corn onto the prepared baking sheet. Remove any burnt pieces. Let cool 5-10 minutes to get the nice, crisp out shell.
- To avoid burnt kettle corn, make sure to continuously shake the pan while cooking.
- Once the popping slows down to 2-3 seconds, remove from heat.
- Remove any burnt or unpopped kernels quickly so they don’t end up sticking to the good kettle corn.
- If you like a extra salt, sprinkle on a little right after you pour onto baking sheet.
How to store
Store any leftovers in an airtight container. It should last for about 2 weeks.
How to make kettle corn with air popper
If you happen to have an air popper machine, you can also make delicious kettle corn.
Pop 1/2 cup kernels according to machine’s directions. Place 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves.
Place popcorn in a large bowl and pour sugar mixture over and toss to coat.
More delicious snack recipes
- French onion dip – Delicious dip that goes well with vegetables and chips.
- Roasted pumpkin seeds – Roasted pumpkin seeds in the air fryer.
- Ranch crackers – Saltine crackers baked with butter and ranch seasoning.
- Roasted chickpeas – Crunchy chickpeas roasted perfectly in the air fryer.
***If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup sugar (1/4 cup if you prefer less sweet)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat large pot or deep skillet over medium heat. Place 2-3 kernels in the oil and place a lid on the pot. Once the kernals pop, remove lid and add the rest of the kernels, sugar and salt.
- Quickly stir to coat the kernels and place lid back on pot. Shake the pot over heat so help prevent burning.
- Once the popping starts to slow to every 3 seconds, remove from heat and pour kettle corn onto prepared baking sheet. Spread out the kettle corn and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.