This homemade kettle corn is the ultimate sweet and salty popcorn snack that needs just 4 ingredients! Ready in just 5 minutes, it’s seriously addictive.
We are a family of snackers.
Sweet snacks or savory snacks, we don’t discriminate. There is one snack, though, that ticks both of those boxes, and it is kettle corn popcorn.
Why this recipe works
- 4 ingredients. All you need is popping corn, sugar, salt, and some oil to fry it all in.
- Ready in minutes. Ready in under 5 minutes, this makes the ultimate snack.
- Healthier than store-bought. Traditional kettle popcorn contains flavorings, preservatives, and fillers but not this homemade version.
What I love about this recipe is just how easy it is to make! At the same time it takes to microwave a bag of popcorn, you can have a big bowl of this sweet, salty, and freshly cooked kettle corn.
Besides popping corn and a few pantry staples, there’s nothing more that goes into this recipe. Here is what you’ll need:
- Oil. Any oil that has a high smoke point works, including vegetable oil and peanut oil.
- Popping corn. Find these in the health food aisle or potato chip aisle of the grocery store.
- Sugar. White or superfine sugar.
How to make kettle corn
Start by adding oil to a deep pot and place it over medium heat. Add several corn kernels to it and cover. Once the corn pops, remove those bits of popcorn from the pot.
Add the remaining popping corn and sugar, add the lid, and give the pot a good shake. Place it back over the heat and let the kernels pop. Once the popping subsides, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for another 30 seconds.
Finally, transfer the popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle it with salt.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Regularly shake the pan while the kernels are popping so that the sugar and the popcorn are well combined.
- Only add salt after the popcorn is made. Adding salt to the hot pot of oil will burn the popcorn.
- Let the freshly popped popcorn sit for 30 seconds, covered, once removed from the heat to allow any un-popped kernels to continue popping.
- To store: Leftover popcorn can be stored in a carefully sealed container or ziplock bag for up to three days. Any longer than that and the popcorn will start to go stale.
- To freeze: Do not freeze popcorn as it will soften once thawed.
More popcorn recipes to try
Frequently asked questions
Traditional kettle corn is air popped in a kettle, whereas classic popcorn is popped in a standard cast iron pot. These days, the main difference between the two is that kettle corn has sugar added to it, giving it the famous sweet and salty flavor.
Kettle corn and caramel corn are both different in terms of their ingredients used. Caramel corn has the addition of corn syrup or honey, which enhances the sweetness and stickiness. Kettle corn, on the other hand, uses a granulated sweetener and also has a touch of salt to balance it out.
Kettle Corn (4 Ingredients)
- Add the oil to a deep pot along with several kernels and place over medium heat.
- Once the kernels have popped, remove the popcorn and add the fresh kernels, along with the sugar. Cover the pot and give it a good shake. Cook the popcorn until the kernel popping starts slowing down.
- Remove the popcorn from the heat and give it a good shake. Add the salt and serve immediately.
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