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How to Make Your Own Kettle Corn!

My family is a huge fan of Kettle Corn and at most community events we can usually find someone selling it for $2-$5 for a small bag. This yummy stuff is super easy to make and I refuse to pay for it any more! Eating my favorite popcorn and saving some money is a great reward for this lady! If you have not tried to make your own, you should give this a try!

What You Need:

  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Oil (any kind- I use olive oil)
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Large Bowl
  • Popcorn Popper (preferably one that can stir)
  • Large Spoon


There are 2 different variations. If you do not have a popcorn popper that mixes (see picture below) than the first variation is for you. It is still good, just not as good as variation 2! =)

Wabash Valley Farms 25008 Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn PopperWest Bend 82386 Kettle Krazy Popcorn Popper and Nut Roaster
Here are a couple examples of poppers that stir. I have the one on the left. I know I have seen a couple others, but could not find pictures of the others,

**Variation 1**

Step 1: Pop the popcorn and place it into a large bowl.

Step 2: Sprinkle with salt and sugar to taste.

We made it this first way for quite sometime until I realized I had all the tools I needed to make it the way you find it at fairs and carnivals.

Here is the super yummy way...

**Variation 2**

This variation is a 2 to 1 ratio popcorn to sugar. I like to make smaller batches because it seems the sugar gets spread out more evenly. Have an oven mitt handy.

Step 1: Have sugar and popcorn kernels measured and a bowl set out ready before starting.

Step 2: Pour oil into pot and heat on medium high heat (4 Tablespoons-ish depending for 1/2 cup popcorn kernels.

Step 3: Add popcorn kernels. When the first kernel pops add the sugar. I usually add a little bit more sugar than called for. Quickly shake the pan to help spread the sugar around.

Step 4: The popcorn will stop popping for about 30 seconds. Once the popping begins again, quickly stir  the popcorn until you do not hear any popping for 3 seconds. 

Step 5: Pour the popcorn into the large bowl and let it cool for a few minutes. There will be a glaze covering the popcorn and it will be really hot for a few minutes. I learned this the hard way!

Step 6: Once the popcorn is cool use the spoon (or your hands) to break it apart. Sprinkle salt to taste over the popcorn while mixing.

Step 7: Eat and Enjoy or bag it up and take it with you!

**Warning: This is a very fast and hot food  project. Once the sugar is added to the oil, it may splash out. Keep any helpers at a safe distance. Little helpers can help measure at the beginning and help with the salt at the end.


  1. So simple! We went to a huge flea market and bought some Kettle corn, it was so yummy we scarfed every kernel.

    Thanks to you I don't have to wait for our fair to enjoy some more!

  2. We love making Popcorn here at Red Ted Art (in fact we made some at home this afternoon). So yummy and much healthy fresh!

    Thank you so much for linking up with Kids Get Crafty!!

    Hope to see you again next week!!


  3. I love kettle corn! I usually mix 1/4 t. salt in with the sugar before I add it to the hot oil/popping corn pan,eliminates a step!

  4. This looks so yummy! I'm not a big popcorn person, but anything with sugar is automatically good : )

  5. Thanks for sharing this, I love kettle corn and it sounds really simple to make now that I see your tips! Would love you to join me at A Crafty Soiree, every Thursday.

  6. We make the second variation ALL the time at our house -- it's the BEST kettle corn, ever, isn't it!?! :) Thanks for sharing both recipes!

  7. WOW - thank you for this! We always buy kettle corn at all the fairs and such and now can make it at home. :)

  8. Ooo, yummy and it is gluten free, yippee! Thanks for linking up to the Under $100 Linky Party!

  9. so really after dinner tonight I attempted this, 2 tries and my popcorn is covered in carmel. Thanks for this idea I'll be attempting again ;)

    come hop with me today!
    Home-Mom's It's Friday, I'm Hopping!

  10. Christy - I just want to check...did it work or are you saying it did not?

    Cathie - I am going to have to try that next time. I never know how much salt I'm putting on it and that would simplify it! Thanks for the tip!

  11. Love this! Is it possible to get exact measurements? I'll mess it up for sure without, thanks!!

  12. Laura - Sure thing, here you go. I do small batches, which end up filling 3/4 of my pot. I use 1/4 cup kernals, 2 Tablespoons sugar (if you like it more sugary, do 3 T.), 2 Tablespoons oil and 1/8 tsp of salt (or to taste...1/8 tsp just seems so small!). Let me know if you need any help with anything else. Enjoy!

  13. We love kettle corn too and we make it in the microwave in a paper bag with popcorn kernels, oil, sugar and salt. It's delicious and so fast and easy.

  14. We love making kettle corn in our home too! We found a popcorn maker at a Craft and Barrel Outlet store for only $20! What an awesome find. It has made making popcorn so much easier - no more shaking a heavy pan. To make the kettle corn we use the following measurements: 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup popcorn, 1/8 - 1/4 tsp salt. Place 2 popcorn kernels into oil, heat oil. When popcorn pops, pour in sugar and popcorn. Turn handle constantly while popcorn is popping. Once it slows down to a few pops, dump popcorn into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. ENJOY! I think I will make some tonight.

  15. wow! that's a great idea - thanks so much! I am new to your blog - found you via Laura at "I'm An Organising Junkie"



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