Homemade Kettle Corn

Homemade Kettle Corn Recipe

This post was originally published on April 17, 2010.

A couple of months ago I heard Nate talking to a friend on the phone about making homemade kettle corn.  I was so impressed and decided that I wanted to learn how to make it too!  Ironically, Nate wasn’t talking about kettle corn at all.  I have no idea why I thought he was.  Oh well!  I learned how to make a very simple impressive treat anyway.


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels (any kind will work, but non-gmo is best)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil would be a healthier choice)
  • Salt to taste


1. Heat oil in a large kettle over medium heat.

2. Toss in three kernels, place the lid on the kettle, and wait for the kernels to pop.

3. Once popped, stir in the sugar and add the remaining kernels.

4. Continue to stir the sugar and kernels until the kernels start popping again.  Then put the lid on.

5. Repeatedly shake the kettle (to keep the corn from burning) until all kernels have popped.

6.  Dump the popcorn into a large bowl.  Salt to taste and enjoy!

TIPS:  I always have two bowls ready for the finished popcorn.  The corn at the bottom of the kettle can burn easily.  So I dump the majority of the finished popcorn into a large bowl and then put the dark or unpopped kernels into a small bowl to throw away.

Other recipes call for 1/4 cup of butter instead of oil.  I’ve tried both and the oil works much better in my experience.

Also, if you don’t make popcorn very often you can store it in your freezer.  Be sure that you allow the popcorn to come to room temperature before you start making the kettle corn.  You’ll have fluffier popcorn and less unpopped kernels.

THE HARDEST PART: Dumping the popcorn into the large bowl without it going everywhere!  There always seems to be one or two late popping kernels that explode popcorn everywhere.

What is your favorite way to eat popcorn?

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  1. Jenny says

    I love kettle corn, but my favorite way to make it at home is popped in oil, and sprinkled with seasoning salt and a little parmesan cheese (the dried from a can stuff). I might have to give this a try though. You make it sound so easy, and as I said before, I love kettle corn.

  2. TAN says

    I always burned popcorn on the stove and ruined one of my best kettles, so with a lot of trial and error I figured out how to pop kernels in the microwave:. This also makes them a lot healthier.

    Place a covered pyrex in the microwave (empty) bake on high 3-5 minutes so the dish is hot (you can omit this step, but you’ll have many more unpopped kernels if you do). It doesn’t really matter if you use s small pyrex or a large one – the recipe stays the same.

    Add whole popcorn kernels so that they form a single layer at the bottom of the dish and fill approx 85% of the bottom surface.

    Microwave on high until there is a longer pause between popping kernels. I usually start with full power for 5 minutes but I stay close to watch and listen closely.

    For healthy popcorn, eat it as is. If you like melted butter, turn the hot lid upside down. Slice very thin strips of butter onto the lid and it will melt. Then pour over the popcorn.

    • Rebekah says

      You use a glass dish with a glass lid? I’ll have to try that!

      Honestly, I avoid conventional microwave popcorn. The different ingredients/chemicals kinda scare me. This sounds like a good alternative.

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