The smell of kettle corn always brings back a flood of memories. Mostly it makes me think of the fall festivals I loved to go to as a kid. The sweet and salty popcorn goes hand in hand with hayrides, pumpkin patches, and bobbing for apples.
From start to finish, in less than 10 minutes you can be munching away on your very own kettle corn! The really important thing when making kettle corn is to shake the pan hard while cooking it. If you don’t, the popcorn will stick and the sugar will burn. I made that mistake during the first time I attempted kettle corn. And let me tell you, cleaning scorched pans is no fun.
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
- ¼-1/2 cup of granulated sugar (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat—you’ll pour the popcorn on here after its done popping—set aside. In a large saucepan (at least a 4 quart saucepan) over medium heat, add your oil and 3 popcorn kernels to the pan—this is to test when the oil is hot enough. Place the lid on the saucepan.
- When one kernel has popped, remove lid and stir in kernels, sugar, and salt—coating the kernels completely in sugar, salt, and oil. Replace lid on saucepan. Every 10 seconds or so give the saucepan a good shake (physically pick up the saucepan with lid on and shake it vigorously) to keep the kernels from sticking and burning.
- Once the popcorn starts to pop (mine took about 2-3 minutes to start popping) shake the saucepan more frequently—about ever 5 seconds—the replace on burner to keep the pan heated.
- When the popping starts to slow down (about 1-2 seconds between pops) turn the burner off. Pour popcorn onto lined baking sheet and spread popcorn out.
- Let popcorn cool for at least 5 minutes, it will start to crisp up during this time. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container.
Add ¼-1/2 cup of sugar to taste, ¼ will be lightly sweet, ½ will be very sweet. I like to use 1/3 cup of sugar, its sweet but not too sweet.