Everyone loves the salty and sweet fix that kettle corn provides.

Now, you don’t have to wait till the next carnival arrives in town to indulge in this treat. My good friend Jodie taught me this recipe last time she was in town. 

  • 1/2 cup popcorn
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp. flake salt/kosher salt

Using a large stock pot or a Whirley-Pop stovetop popper, pour in oil and turn burner to high to medium/high heat. (Temperature varies depending on how your stove heats. You want it to be pretty hot, but not so much that you burn the kernels or the sugar.) Also, throw in 2-3 kernels. Cover with a lid. 

Once the kernels have popped, you know your oil is at the right temperature. Sprinkle the sugar over the oil. 

Then, add the popcorn.

Cover with the lid again. I’ve learned the hard way how hot exploding popcorn and sizzling sugar can be. Once you’ve put on the lid, lift the pot slightly and swish the pot around to help the sugar dissolve. I do this several times before the popcorn actually pops. If you are using a Whirley-Pop, just turn the handle consistently. This way the sugar doesn’t burn.  

Once the popcorn starts popping, you will want to occasionally (and carefully) shake/swish the pot so the corn on the bottom doesn’t burn. After the popping slows, remove from heat and dump into a large bowl.

While it is still hot, sprinkle salt on the corn.

Then, stir it to evenly disperse the salt.

Let the popcorn cool and serve it up …. time for a family movie night. Be prepared to make multiple batches because this snack is highly addictive and flies out of the bowl.


This is a great treat to fix in advance. We take it camping, on long car rides, to football games and even make it as gifts. Just be sure to seal it up tight so it doesn’t get soggy or stale. (I use those gigantic zip lock bags.) Kettle corn keeps for a week.

24 thoughts on “Homemade kettle corn

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