How To Make Kettle Corn In A Popcorn Machine

Andy Waters
Latest posts by Andy Waters (see all)

There’s nothing quite like watching a film with popcorn or fresh kettle corn.

However, if you’ve already got a popcorn machine, you might be curious to find out how to make kettle corn in a popcorn machine.

In this article, I will provide you with some key information on kettle corn, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to make kettle corn in a popcorn machine.

So, let’s get started.

What Is Kettle Corn?

Kettle corn is a sweet variety of popcorn that tends to be seasoned with refined sugar, salt, and oil.

Kettle corn is traditionally sold at fairs and festivals, and is a little more complex to make in that it requires being covered in sugar and also salt after being cooked.

What Is The Difference Between Regular Popcorn And Kettle Corn?

Both popcorn and kettle corn are types of popcorn. The primary difference between regular popcorn and kettle corn is that traditionally speaking, kettle corn is made in a cast iron kettle.

Once the kernels have popped, the kettle corn is then tossed with salt and sugar for a unique yet delicious flavor.

Cooking popcorn often involves high heat and cooking oil, but a key difference lies in the fact that sugar isn’t always added. You can enjoy it either savory or sweet, depending on your preference.

Regardless of which type of popcorn you choose, both kettle corn and regular popcorn are mouth wateringly delicious!

Kettle Corn Ingredients

Using Coconut Oil

There are a variety of different oils that you can use to make kettle corn. However, using coconut oil is a slightly healthier option as it is healthy fat, making this already unhealthy treat a little bit better for you.

In addition to it being slightly healthier than regular oil, it also adds a lovely subtle flavor to your kettle corn.

Popcorn Kernels

You can’t make kettle corn without popcorn kernels, and all you need for this recipe is basic popcorn kernels.

That being said, if you’d prefer to use organic popcorn kernels, either work great for this recipe.


When making kettle corn at home, you want to use the real thing. Avoid any sugar substitutes, as the result just isn’t going to be the same.


While you might think adding salt to sweet kettle corn is futile, I personally love the sweet and salty combination! Salt is also the perfect ingredient to enhance the flavor of your kettle corn.

That being said, this ingredient is optional, and you can just stick to sugar if you’d prefer.

A Guide On How To Make Kettle Corn In A Popcorn Machine


  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of popcorn kernels
  • Salt (to taste)


Step One – Add The Oil To Your Popcorn Machine

To begin, you will first need to add the oil to the popcorn popper pot.

Step Two – Place A Few Popcorn Kernels Into Your Popcorn Machine

To test to see whether the oil is hot enough, add a few popcorn kernels to the machine and wait. When those kernels pop, you know that the oil is hot enough to make your kettle corn.

Step Three – Add The Popcorn Kernels

Once the oil has come to temperature, it’s time to add your popcorn kernels.
Add the sugar on top of the kernels while they are still unpopped.

Step Four – Cook The Kettle Corn

Cook the kettle corn until all of the kernels have popped, or until there is a 1-second gap in healing kernels pop.

Step Five – Season And Serve

Once your kernels have all popped, it’s time to find your favorite kettle corn bowl to serve and season to taste with salt.

Tuck in and enjoy!

Make Kettle Corn In A Popcorn Machine

Alternative Cooking Methods

There are various ways you can make your own kettle corn. These methods include:

A Large Pot On The Stove

You can use a large pot on the stove, but you will need to make sure that you are continuously stirring the pot until all of the kernels have popped.

Give the pot a good shake before you add the salt to your kettle corn.

A Popcorn Popper

When using a popcorn popper, the process is very similar. Simply add the popcorn kernels, then add the sugar on top of them while they are still unpopped.

Wait for the magic to happen, then follow with as much salt as you desire!

Is kettle corn or regular popcorn healthier?

Typically speaking, kettle corn is less healthy than regular popcorn, as it normally has added sugar, sunflower oil, and salt.

While popcorn can be enjoyed either sweet or savory, kettle corn typically always has added sugar. So, while this sweet treat is delicious, it’s not the healthiest.

Traditionally speaking, sunflower oil is used to make kettle corn. Sunflower oil isn’t the worst type of oil, but it is processed and high in calories. That being said, you can use other oils, such as the coconut oil in this recipe if you’d like to make your kettle corn slightly healthier.

Kettle corn contains added salt. Another factor to consider is that too much salt can increase your blood pressure, as well as contribute to your sodium intake.

When you consider all of these factors together, it makes kettle corn the less healthy of the two.

However, that doesn’t mean that popcorn should be considered as being healthy. Although plain, air-popped popcorn is better for you, when you add a variety of different fatty and sugary toppings, such as butter and caramel sauce into the mix, then popcorn can give kettle corn a run for its money in terms of how unhealthy it is.

That being said, life is about balance, and you can enjoy popcorn and kettle corn in moderation.

In Summary

So, that’s how you make kettle corn in a popcorn machine!

Hopefully after reading this article you have all that you need to make delicious kettle corn in the comfort of your home.

Good luck and enjoy!