Kettle Corn

5 from 3 votes
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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.

Try serving this with a homemade slushie for a school carnival, or a fun movie night treat

Kettle Corn in a bowl


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.

  1. Prepare: Get all of the ingredients ready to go and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to place the cooked popcorn on.
  2. 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.
  3. Pop: Pour kernels, sugar and salt into the pan. Stir everything together, trying to coat all of the kernels. Place lid back on pan.
  4. Shake: Holding the lid in place, shake the pan to try and avoid popcorn burning. (Popping time was about 2-3 minutes.)
  5. 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. 
Oil, Popcorn kernels, sugar in a pan

Recipe tips

  • 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. 

Popcorn on parchment paper

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

***If you made this recipe, please feel free to leave a comment and star rating below.

Bowl of popcorn
5 from 3 votes

Kettle Corn

By Heather
How to make kettle corn at home.
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 7 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 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.


YouTube video


Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 17g | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a great recipe for kettle corn. Kettle corn is a treat you can enjoy all year long so it is always good to find a nice recipe so you can whip it up easily.

  2. Ya know, don’t think The Grands have ever had fresh kettle corn! Just might be introducing them to it…

  3. I’m fond of Caramel and cheese popcorns. These kettle corn looks yum and would love to try. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!

  4. Wow! I had no clue it was so easy to make at home. Such a fun family activity and treat.

  5. This sounds yummy. My favorite popcorn is with half butter, half Frank’s Red Hot, and then sprinkled with nutritional yeast.

  6. I remember when I was a kid, my mom would always make this. I have never tried preparing it myself because I just always buy the popcorn that you pop in the microwave. LOL.

  7. 5 stars
    I am getting hungry and wish I had a big bowl of kettle corn. I like the sweet and salty mix that and need to use your recipe this weekend.