How To Make Kettle Corn Popcorn

The Kernel

Kettle corn is a delicious snack that everyone loves. Not only does it bring back a whole load of nostalgia, but it tastes pretty darn good too.

Whilst you might be thinking that it may be a little tricky to create at home (you’ve probably had it at the local state fair, after all), it is actually really simple.

How To Make Kettle Corn Popcorn

With just a few utensils and ingredients from the kitchen, you will be whipping up a batch of tasty kettle corn in no time. 

It may be a delicious snack of movie goers everywhere, but you too can make this crunchy and sweet delight at home.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how to make kettle corn popcorn.

What Is Kettle Corn Popcorn?

Kettle corn popcorn comes in various shades of golden brown, depending on how much sugar you use in the recipe.

It is said to sit in the middle of the likes of caramel corn and regular old plain popcorn.

It has a crispy crunch due to the sugar, but it dissolves easily rather than sticks to the teeth – phew! It also has a slight salty taste.

Another thing about kettle corn is that it’s also pretty quick to make on the stove top, unlike various other types of popcorn that you make from scratch. 

This means it can be made fairly quickly for when you need it without having to resort to a microwave bag – oh the horror!

What Is The Secret To Kettle Corn Popcorn Tasting So Good?

One of the reasons kettle corn popcorn is so good to eat is due to how it is made. Whilst you might be tempted to make kettle corn popcorn somewhere else – don’t!

Letting the sugar do its thing by caramelizing over the popcorn whilst on the stove top gives it that famous crunch and flavor.

Doing it any other way – like the microwave – will mean you will not get the same effect or flavor.

How To Avoid Kettle Corn Popcorn From Burning

When making popcorn on the stove top in a pan, you may find that your popcorn burns, especially if you have never made it before. 

Due to it being coated in sugar, it is just generally more likely to burn, and this is obviously not what you will want.

While it might add an “interesting” flavor to your popcorn, it isn’t meant to taste burnt and sweet at the same time.

To avoid this from happening, as well as make sure that every piece of popcorn is coated in sugar still, shake the pan whilst the popcorn begins to pop.

If you don’t, then you risk the popcorn burning. 

Another tip to stop the popcorn from burning is to remove the pan before every single piece has popped.

It is tempting to wait until every last one has popped, but some kernel’s won’t ever pop, and waiting like this will cause the popcorn to burn.

Instead, as soon as you see the popping slow down, remove the pan from the stove top. You will find that some kernels haven’t popped, but it does mean that they do not burn. 

Even so, you may still find burnt popcorn in the batch. If this happens, throw the burnt ones away. 

How To Make Kettle Corn Popcorn On The Stove Top

To make around 10 cups of kettle corn popcorn, you will need:

  • ½ cup of corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (this can be any oil you like)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Anywhere from ¼ to around ½ of white granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you would like to taste
  • A baking sheet
  • Some parchment paper
  • A 4-quart pot with a lid
  • Wood spoon

Step 1: Preparation

Before you begin, you will need to prepare for the ending. Find a place near the stove (next to it will do) and line it with some baking sheets along with parchment paper. 

This will be where you put the kettle corn to cool once it has all popped.

Step 2: Warming The Oil

Make sure your stove is on a medium heat and place the pot on top. Pour some oil into the pot and place around 3 kernels of corn inside.

These will show when the oil becomes hot enough to begin popping kernels. Place the lid on top and wait for the sounds of popping.

Step 3: Adding In The Kernels

Step 3: Adding In The Kernels

Once you hear that first popping sound, remove the lid of the pot and pour in all the kernels along with the sugar and salt. 

As soon as it is all poured in, stir everything to make sure all the kernels get evenly coated. Start with ½ cup of sugar, and add more if you want it sweeter.

Step 4: Shaking The Kernels

Once the kernels begin to pop, shake the pan every so often. When the popping becomes a lot more frequent, shake the pan more vigorously and consistently. 

This is because at this point the popcorn is likely to burn, so you want to make sure that the popcorn doesn’t stay in the same place for too long. 

You may see steam, and this is normal. If it is smoke, however, remove the pot from the stove – the popcorn could be burning!

Step 5: Remove The Popcorn

If you find that the popcorn has begun to pop at a slower rate, then it is time to remove the pan away from the heat.

This means that there is a delay of around 2 seconds per pop.

As mentioned earlier, don’t wait around for every last kernel to pop. You risk burning the popcorn.

It should take around 3 minutes to do this method, and you may find that there are a few unpopped kernels – that’s fine.

Step 6: Place Onto The Waiting Baking Sheet

Once you uncover the pot and remove it from the heat, pour the popped corn onto the baking sheet.

Spread it all into an even layer and use this time to pick out some of those burnt popcorn pieces. 

Step 7: Allow The Popcorn To Cool

Give it at least 5 minutes to cool. It crisps up during this time, and can be eaten immediately or left for a few days if put into an airtight container. 

Just make sure it is cooled before doing so, otherwise you risk condensation building up and ruining the popcorn. 

How Long Will Kettle Corn Popcorn Last?

If you are not planning to eat the lot in one go (it’s tempting), then you can store it for a couple of days. This is especially useful if you want a snack on-the-go.

So long as you put them in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place, then they should last for a few days – but not weeks.

So do make sure that you eat them and do not leave the kettle corn to go soft and stale. 

Final Thoughts

Making kettle corn popcorn is super easy and quick. Not only is it nostalgic, but it makes a tasty snack that is simple to make.

All you need is corn kernels, sugar, salt, oil and around 10 minutes of free time and you’re ready to go. 

Have fun!

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