How To Make Salted Caramel Popcorn

Andy Waters
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Popcorn has become a favorite snack around the world. It’s quick, convenient and inexpensive to make. It is also extremely versatile and can be eaten plain, seasoned or served with a variety of toppings – such as chocolate and candy. However, one of the most popular popcorn flavors continues to be caramel. 

How To Make Salted Caramel Popcorn

While it is possible to purchase caramel popcorn from your local supermarket, there’s nothing better than making your own popcorn at home. And with the recent popularity of salted caramel, you can transform your humble snack into a decadent dish that is ideal for movie nights with family and friends. 

But how do you make salted caramel popcorn? Well, the answer to this question can be found in the following guide.

In this article, we will teach you how to make your own salted caramel popcorn, while also explaining the various supplies and ingredients you will need. There’s nothing better than watching your favorite film with some popcorn and we think this amazing recipe proves that. 

So if you want to make your own salted caramel popcorn at home, this article has everything you need to get started…  

What Is Salted Caramel Popcorn? 

Salted caramel popcorn is a delicious snack that everyone can enjoy, as it features crunchy kernels that have been smothered in a rich caramel sauce. The balance of sweet and salty makes this dish the ideal treat for movie nights, as the popcorn is easy to make and bursting with flavor. 

But that’s not all. You can also tweak the recipe to add other ingredients, such as cinnamon, chocolate and vanilla. So if you want a sinful snack while watching your favorite film, this recipe is the one for you. 

Now let’s take a look at how you can make your own salted caramel popcorn, as well as the supplies you will need. 

How To Make Salted Caramel Popcorn

Fortunately, making salted caramel popcorn is incredibly easy, as the recipe only requires a few simple ingredients. While some recipes expect you to bake the popcorn in the oven, our method can be made entirely on the stove and does not require you to stir the kernels on a hot baking sheet. 

How To Make Salted Caramel Popcorn

Of course, the most important ingredient is the popcorn itself, which should be made using fresh uncooked kernels. However, it is possible to make the recipe using microwave popcorn, even though we would advise against this, as using fresh kernels will add to the taste of the corn. 

But what else do you need to make salted caramel popcorn? In the section below, we have outlined the ingredients you will need, as well as the best places to purchase your supplies and seasonings. 

What You Will Need 

Popcorn 

For the best results, we would recommend using unpopped kernels to make your salted caramel popcorn, as this will add to the final taste. In most cases, you can purchase fresh kernels from your local supermarket or from online retailers such as amazon.

Butter 

When making salted caramel popcorn, it is important that you use salted butter, as this will add to the saltiness of the dish. However, if you do not have salted butter, you can use unsalted instead and then add more salt at the end. 

Sugar 

Our recipe uses both granulated and brown sugar, which helps to give the caramel popcorn a rich and delicious flavor. Since we make the caramel ourselves, the addition of brown sugar will give the sauce a deep and attractive hue. 

Corn Syrup 

While it is possible to use dark corn syrup, we would recommend using a lighter product when making salted caramel popcorn. Corn syrup helps to elevate the sweetness of the caramel, while also producing a smooth and desirable texture. 

Salt 

When it comes to important ingredients, there’s nothing more noteworthy than the salt, as this gives the caramel its distinctive saltiness. In this instance, you can use any seasoning that you want, although we would recommend using sea salt for a truly delicious popcorn experience. 

What Else Can You Add? 

One of the best things about salted caramel popcorn is that you can add extras to elevate the final dish. In the section below, we have gathered some creative ideas on how to make your popcorn better: 

  • Peanuts
  • M&Ms
  • Raisins 
  • Pretzels 
  • Oreos 
  • Chocolate 
  • Pecans

Now that you understand what you will need to make your salted caramel popcorn, let’s take a look at the actual recipe…

Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe 

Ingredients 

For Popcorn 

  • Vegetable oil (3 tablespoons) 
  • Kernels (½ cup) 
  • Table salt (½ teaspoon) 

For Salted Caramel 

  • Granulated sugar (1 ½ cups) 
  • Brown sugar (½ cup)
  • Table salt (¼ teaspoon) 
  • Light corn syrup (½ cup) 
  • Water (½ cup) 
  • Salted butter (4 tablespoons) 
  • Baking soda (1 teaspoon) 
  • Sea salt (1 ½ teaspoons)

Method 

  1. Place a saucepan on medium-high heat and then add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add some kernels to see if they pop. 
  1. When the oil is hot enough, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the remaining kernels. 
  2. Cover the saucepan with foil and use a sharp knife to poke holes into the surface, this will allow the steam to escape. 
  1. Return the saucepan over the heat and continue cooking while shaking the pan back and forth. 
  1. Once the popping slows down, remove the pan from the heat and uncover the foil, add salt and then transfer to a large bowl. 
  1. Remove any unpopped kernels and allow the popcorn to cool while making the caramel sauce. 
  1. Butter a large baking sheet or spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat this process with two spatulas and set aside. 
  1. In a saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, corn syrup, butter and water. 
  1. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. 
  1. Once the mixture starts to boil, cover with the lid and allow to sit for 1 – 2 minutes, this will reduce crystallization on the sides of the pan. 
  1. Remove the lid from the saucepan and check the temperature using a thermometer attached to the side. 
  1. Boil the mixture over medium-high heat, while brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove excess crystals. Continue stirring for 8 – 10 minutes until you reach 300 degrees F. 
  1. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the baking soda to the mixture. This should make the caramel foam. 
  1. Immediately pour the caramel over the bowl of popcorn and use the buttered spatulas to coat the kernels. 
  1. Transfer the popcorn onto the buttered baking sheet and spread it out to produce an even layer. When the popcorn is still warm, sprinkle it with your desired amount of sea salt. 
  1. Allow the popcorn to cool and then break it up into bite sized pieces. Eat the popcorn right away or store it in an airtight container for up to a week. 

Note: If you do not have a suitable thermometer, you can check if the caramel is done by pouring a small amount into a cup of cold water. If the caramel is ready, it should harden and become brittle. However, if the caramel remains soft, it will need to be returned to the heat and cooked longer. 

Final Thoughts 

Salted caramel popcorn is a wonderful snack that can be made for movie nights with your family and friends. The dish is easy to make and only takes 30 minutes to complete. So if you fancy something a little sinful, this popcorn is the ideal treat. Whether you are watching films or lounging around on the couch.

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