Homemade Kettle Corn

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Who doesn’t like kettle corn? It a little fancier than plain buttered popcorn, but not a sugary as caramel corn. That perfect balance of sweet and salty along with that traditional popcorn crunch we all love.

This is a very simple recipe, and the whole process takes about 5 minutes. You do need to be diligent in watching/shaking the pan, otherwise the popcorn and sugar will burn (and in my opinion burnt popcorn is one of the worst smells).


2 Tbs oil (Chef’s Choice – olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil)
1/3 cup popping corn (I prefer  Orville Redenbacher’s, because they are Non-GMO)
2 Tbs white sugar
Salt to taste

– Pour your oil of choice into a non-stick skillet (with a lid) and turn on the heat (between medium and high).

– Next, add the corn kernels and shake the pan so that they all get coated in oil.

– Once the kernels all have a coat of the oil on them sprinkle the sugar over them – distributing the sugar as evenly as possible – meaning don’t just dump it in the middle…it would be more likely to burn.

– Quickly add the lid and give the pan a shake.
– Keep shaking the skillet every few seconds. You don’t want the first pieces that pop to sit in the same spot where they landed and burn.

– Once they start popping, they all kind of catch on and the popping sounds like a very small fireworks display. Keep shaking the pan the whole time.
– When the time between the popping grows to be about 1 second, you need to turn off the heat and pour the popped corn into a bowl.
– Using a saltshaker, sprinkle a light coating (to taste) over the popped corn to give it the delicious sweet and salty combination of traditional kettle corn.

Notes: A non-stick skillet like this one is easy to clean after this recipe. However, I recommend you wash the lid as soon as possible (the kettle corn is still yummy after the moment it takes to clean the lid. The sugar gets thrown onto the lid as the corn kernels pop and as it cools it crystalizes and it takes more elbow grease to clean it off the lid. Washing it right away saves you a smidge of frustration.

This time I did this recipe on the stovetop, but I love popcorn so I went looking and I found this really cool popcorn popper. I could easily use this kettle corn recipe with this popper, but with less fear of burning popped kernels because it has a rotor that stirs the kernels constantly – no more shaking. This popper has it all: the lid has built-in measuring cups to easily add the kernels, and it the lid becomes a bowl! It has a built-in butter melting tray that adds butter (to your plain butter popcorn) while you cook. The butter melting tray doubles as a steam so that your popcorn does not get soggy. (They also have USA based support in the event you have questions or need assistance.)

If you want to see the whole process from start to finish, check out our latest YouTube video (the entire process took less than 4 minutes and 35 seconds).

Do you love popcorn like I do? What is your favorite flavor?

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