Kettle Corn

By • October 30, 2013 • 16 Comments


371 Save

Author Notes: Kettle corn is a multigenerational food, much like peanut butter and chicken fingers.

It's a food you can make with your kids, for them -- on top of them, if you're Nicolas Day. You can also make it all for your adult self. You can pile it high in a big bowl and nestle it in your lap and drink a beer with it and be happy, and if you're doing everything correctly, a little high from sugar. Isn't it the time of year for that, anyway?
Kenzi Wilbur

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (like vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover. When these pop, dump in the rest of the kernels and the sugar, and stir to coat.
  2. Cover the pot, and shake it frequently until the popping becomes much less frequent. The minute you hear that, take it off the heat so as not to burn.
  3. Turn the kettle corn out onto a parchment-lined tray for the sugar to dry -- and before it does, sprinkle generously with salt.

Comments (16) Questions (0)

Default-small
Default-small
Me_2009

about 1 month ago MrsPrincess07

I have a ceramic cook top. How do I make this without scratching my cook top?

Default-small

3 months ago twinjadojo

Made this with 3 tbsp. virgin coconut oil and 1 tbsp butter, pushed right to the edge of their smoking points. I liked the element of danger involved waiting for those three kernels to pop and then adding the rest. I got a little sveaty when it took so long for the balance of the corn to start popping, but all turned out well. Where should I send your cut of all the money I'll save at the farmers market now?

Me

3 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

:) Even still, there are few things better than walking around the market eating a large bag of the stuff.

Default-small

3 months ago twinjadojo

So true! This was such a hit at my Stitch 'n' Bitch last night. All projects went home a little saltier; a little sweeter. And just to be Captain Obvious, Protector of Soft Palates, don't eat this right out of the pan. Not only does it hurt (real bad! duh!), but I found the salty sweet contrast became more pronounced at room temp, as did my flavorful oil. And I am pretending to write this in the past tense like I didn't just make another batch for the Twinjas.

Default-small

4 months ago Chickenfog

Think this would work w/ brown sugar?

Me

4 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

I do!

Default-small

4 months ago NANCY AMBROSE

If you use mushroom popcorn it's even better, it's the big puffy corn they use to make the kettle corn. Go to "JUSTPOPPIN.COM) to find the mushroom corn kernels makes a big difference.... enjoy

Default-small

4 months ago frizz

I started researching how to make kettle corn at home about six months ago. I tried this method, and it failed miserably. The sugar sinks to the bottom and burns quickly, no matter how much shaking goes on.

Instead, I now pop all of the kernels first, and THE MOMENT it's done, I turn off the heat and add the sugar. I still shake the dickens out of the pot - both up and down, and side-to-side. The pot still has plenty of heat for the sugar to melt, but it never burns. If you're sugar isn't melting, you can substitute powdered sugar. The finer granules melt more quickly.

Me

4 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

Thanks for sharing your method! This one works for me consistently, if you stir when you first add the sugar (this way it sticks to each kernel), but I'll have to try yours.

462478_10201007846576410_474557637_o

5 months ago LeeLeeBee

I've always loved kettle corn and had NO IDEA it was so easy! (Food52 has made me realize that about a lot of things...) Thanks for a wonderful recipe, it made a lazy stay-at-home Friday night into something pretty spectacular. :)

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

This makes me really happy. Here's to many more lazy Friday nights made better!

Default-small

5 months ago HapppyBee

My mom used to make this for us when we were kids sans the salt and we loved it. She didn't spread it out on a sheet to cool, so it turned out lumpy like caramel corn. I can't wait to add salt to it for the kettle corn version at home. Thanks for the memory. There's always room for another popcorn recipe!

Me

5 months ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.

Indeed there is. So glad to jog your memory! Happy kettle-corning.

Stringio

6 months ago MaryAlice

That was really good!

P1595009216-4

6 months ago Rochelle Bilow

A bit of bacon grease wouldn't hurt matters, either!

Image

6 months ago KimmyV

I'll be making this as soon as my boys get home from school! They love kettle corn. Thanks for this great snack idea.