I love kettle corn. This sweet, salty, crunchy snack is satisfying–and addictive! I have never liked plain popcorn, but I sampled real homemade kettle corn at a party when I was well into adulthood and fell in love. Back home, I was determined to figure out how to make my own. I love to caramelize anything in my kitchen, so I played around with the technique until I could make crave-worthy kettle corn at home.
Kettle corn is a fun snack to serve to guests of any age. And if you need to serve a crowd, it’s hard to find a cheaper snack than homemade kettle corn. All you need are popcorn kernels, oil, salt and sugar. My grocery store sells 2-pound bags of popcorn kernels for $1.65. I calculated that I can make 4 quarts of kettle corn for 37¢.
How to make kettle corn
- 1/2 cup popcorn
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons oil (I love coconut oil for this, but regular vegetable oil works great)
- 1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
Set a large pot over low heat while you’re getting your ingredients together. (I use an old, banged-up 6-quart Calphalon stockpot.)
Have a bowl at the ready to catch the freshly-made kettle corn. It will be hot–keep this is in mind when choosing your bowl.
Turn heat to medium and add oil to the pot. Add three popcorn kernels to the oil.
When two of the three kernels have popped, pour the rest of your popcorn into the pan.
Add lid and shake pan periodically while corn is popping.
When popping slows, pour the sugar and salt into the pan and cover. Count to ten. Turn the burner to low.
Using a wooden spoon, stir the popcorn and salt mixture, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. (A flat-bottomed wooden spoon is ideal.) The sugar will begin to melt and brown. Be careful–the kernels can still pop!
When the kettle corn is a pretty amber color in spots, dump it into the bowl. The kettle corn will be hot!
Let cool a few minutes before serving.