Easy Homemade Kettle Corn is sweet and salty, and can be made in ten minutes with just four ingredients. Add sprinkles for a fun twist on the original kettle corn recipe, or keep it simple for a quick and delicious crunchy popcorn snack.
Hi hi! Just popping in to share this kettle corn recipe with you. If you haven't made homemade kettle corn before I highly recommend you try it. It is sweet, salty, and just so, so good.
This crunchy popcorn comes together in a couple of minutes and is great to make for a movie night or with kids. I have made a lot of homemade caramel popcorn before and I sometimes like also making a batch of this stovetop kettle corn to mix into the caramel corn for that real sweet and salty popcorn mix!
what is Kettle Corn?
Kettle corn is basically popcorn, but it is cooked with a little sugar and salt in the pot. The sugar melts as the popcorn pops and gives it this super delicious crackly caramelized sugar coating.
Kettle corn can take a little bit of getting used to to make - things go quickly and the sugar can burn, so don't be too discouraged if you have to have a few tries at it. Once you get to know your stove you will be ok and be making the best kettle corn!
Ingredients in Kettle Corn
The ingredient list in this Kettle corn recipe is super simple:
- Popcorn Kernels. Use whatever size / shape / colour you like here. I like mushroom style popcorn if I can find it (I couldn't for this post), or I often like getting my popcorn from the farmer's market!
- Neutral Oil - I use canola or vegetable oil, but anything with a higher smoke point and a neutral taste will work well!
- Sugar. Regular white granulated sugar is best here to help keep the kettle corn white
- Salt. I use kosher salt, use whatever you have (just make sure to check the kind you are using, some salt is saltier than others)
- Sprinkles. If you would like to add sprinkles to make funfetti corn, you can do that too!
How to make Kettle Corn
If you are worried about the sugar burning while you make your kettle corn recipe, you can pull the pan from the heat a little earlier than you would regular popcorn. I like to pull it when there are about 2 seconds between pops.
Moving it on and off the heat as you make it can help too - make sure you are using a large heavy bottomed pot so that it helps to retain heat without scorching. A glass lid is super helpful here too as you can see what is going on. Here's how I do it:
- Prepare your sheet pan. Have the prepared baking sheet lined and ready to go by the oven so you can pour the finished kettle corn directly onto it to stop the cooking process.
- Measure your ingredients out. Pre mixing the sugar, salt and popcorn kernels means that it is all ready to go in at once.
- Heat the oil for the popcorn. Place your large pot over medium heat and add a few tester kernels into the pan.
- Add your popcorn. Once the oil is hot enough, add the popcorn, sugar and salt and give it a quick stir, then pop the lid onto the pot.
- Pop the popcorn. The key here is to keep everything moving. You want to be constantly shaking the pot to keep the kettle corn from burning.
- Add sprinkles if using. Remove the popped kettle corn from the stove and add in any additions such as sprinkles if you are using them, then transfer to the prepared sheet pan. Doing this quickly helps prevent burning too.
What is the best kind of popcorn to use?
You can use whatever kind of popcorn you like to make kettle corn. Whatever you have in the pantry will work great. If you are looking for the big fluffy popcorn pieces, that is called mushroom popcorn and it is super fun to eat!
How do you tell when popcorn oil is hot?
The best way to tell when the oil for popcorn is hot is to sacrifice a few un popped kernels. Put them in when you start heating the oil. When they pop, you are ready to add the rest of your popcorn.
In terms of the best oil to use for making popcorn, I just go for anything neutral, wich means something neutral tasting. Canola oil, vegetable oil or an extra light olive oil would work great.
How do you store Popcorn?
An airtight container is the best way to store popcorn to keep it fresh. It is best enjoyed the day or day after you make it but sealed properly it will keep well.
Adding sprinkles = funfetti kettle corn
If you would like to add a super fun twist on your homemade kettle corn, you can add sprinkles to make funfetti kettle corn! There are notes in the recipe - I used confetti style sprinkles, which I also use in my funfetti sugar cookie recipe.
Tips and Tricks for The Best Kettle Corn
This is probably the only time you will see me making a recipe WITHOUT adding the gram conversions - there is no need to as this is done on ratios, and so you can just use a Tablespoon to measure everything out!
Measure the popcorn, sugar, salt, and sprinkles first before measuring the oil so that you can use the same spoon.
You need to watch the kettle corn really carefully and make sure that it doesn’t catch. I moved mine around the whole time I was popping the corn, pulling it off the heat as needed to make sure it doesn’t burn. The whole process probably took 2 or 3 minutes for me on medium heat.
Have everything ready to go before you make this, you want to dump the sprinkles in as soon as you can so that they stick to the hot sugar.
You are better to lean more toward a few unpopped kernels of popcorn than taking it too far and burning it.
I only tried the confetti style sprinkles (I used these), I think Jimmies might melt too much.
- If you want to make regular Kettle Corn just leave out the sprinkles!
For more funfetti recipes, check out:
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Easy Homemade Kettle Corn is sweet and salty, and can be made in ten minutes with just four ingredients. Add sprinkles for a fun twist on the original kettle corn recipe, or keep it simple for a quick and delicious snack.
- 4 Tbsp popcorn Kernels
- 25g (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp Confetti sprinkles (optional)
- 2 Tbsp neutral oil such as canola or grapeseed oil
- Measure out the popcorn kernels, sugar, and salt into a small bowl. If you are add ing sprinkles, measure out the sprinkles into a second small bowl and have ready. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and have nearby.
- Place the oil in a large heavy bottomed pot. Place 3 popcorn kernels into the oil and place over medium heat. When the kernels pop, it means that the oil is hot enough to use.
- Add in the kernels, sugar, and salt, and mix well with a rubber spatula to combine the oil and sugar. Place a lid on the pot (ideally one which is see-through), and place over the heat.
- Shake occasionally until you hear the kernels starting to pop, then shake continuously, in back and forth and circular motions, removing the pan from the heat as necessary.
- Once you hear the popping start to slow down (about 2 seconds between pops), remove from the heat. If you are adding sprinkles, quickly add them. Stir to incorporate well with a rubber spatula, then transfer the popcorn to the lined sheet pan and spread out, and leave to cool.
Store kettle corn in an airtight container.
If you are not using kosher salt, you will need to use less salt (see note above recipe)
This is one of the few recipes of mine that is not in grams, as the ratios are not as important.
If you want to make a double of this recipe I suggest making it in multiple batches to avoid burning the sugar.
Keywords: Kettle Corn, Funfetti Kettle Corn, Funfetti, Popcorn