Bag up an all-American favorite for the picnic with this homemade kettle corn recipe—it’s addicting! Once you start, you won’t be able to stop! We can’t keep our paws off of this stuff.
Use a high-quality and fresh popcorn to ensure all the kernels pop properly. We drudged up some really old popcorn out of the test-kitchen pantry that yielded sub-par results. Hence, we headed to the store for a new bag. Trust us, it’s worth the few extra bucks for quality corn.
Use a large pot so the kernels have enough room to pop and shake around in the yummy, buttery, sugary, salty goo. You can also give the pot a hearty shake from side to side so every bite is coated in our magical ratio of sweet and savory!
Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt, fine, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, uncooked
- Place a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat then add oil and 1 kernel of uncooked popcorn. Allow the oil to heat until the kernel pops then remove popped kernel.
- Add remaining popcorn kernels and allow it to cook in oil until it begins to sizzle and the first kernel pops. Immediately sprinkle sugar and salt over popcorn then give it a quick stir to dissolve sugar.
- Cover pot and shake gently, constantly keeping the pot over the heat. The consistent movement will prevent the sugar from burning while evenly coating the popcorn in sugar and salt.
- Once the popcorn begins popping rapidly, remove and return pot to the heat in 5-second intervals until the popping has slowed to about once every 2 seconds. (Do not overcook the popcorn, as the sugar will burn and ruin the batch. Un-popped kernels are inevitable so just know that you will need to stop cooking before they’re all popped.)
- Remove pot from the heat then immediately transfer kettle corn to a large bowl.
- Allow kettle corn to cool and become crispy. Sprinkle lightly with additional fine salt to taste if necessary.
Make sure to let the kettle corn rest for a few minutes after popping. It tastes best when the coating has cooled but the popcorn is still warm!