Best homemade popcorn kettle corn recipe | almost as good as Trader Joe's

Kettle corn recipe gives a sweet salty satisfaction

Several weeks ago when visiting my sister, I tried kettle corn for the first time ever. It was one of the most satisfying snacks with a balance of sweet and salty. I have always liked things such as toffee peanuts, peanut brittle, cracker jacks, caramel corn, and payday candy bars. Each of these snack foods has this same combination.

Where to buy kettle corn

The kettle corn at my sisters was from Trader Joe's grocery store. The great thing about Trader Joe's Kettle Corn is the consistency in flavor. Each piece of popcorn is uniformly covered in a sweet-salty mixture. The kernels are also large puffy pieces of popcorn. Another bonus is the low calorie count, relative to other snack foods. Trader Joe's Kettle Corn has about 120 calories in 2 1/2 cups.

Many people have tried kettle corn at local fairs and festivals. i have never seen a kettle corn stand at our local fair, however.

Trader Joe's Kettle Corn

How to make kettle corn

I am not one to buy a lot of prepared foods so I knew I would have to try to make my own kettle corn recipe. Here is the basic recipe for kettle corn:

1/2 cup pocorn

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup sugar

Turn burner on medium high. Pour the oil in a large stock pot. It is helpful if the lid is glass so that you can see the popcorn popping. Place a few popcorn kernels in the oil. When these kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and evenly sprinkle the sugar over the unpopped kernels.

Keep the pot moving by shaking back and forth. Every now and then, lift the lid quickly only 1/2 way in order to allow steam to escape. This keeps the popcorn from getting chewy. It is important to keep shaking the popcorn so that the sugar doesn't burn.

When the popping stops, remove the pot from the heat. Sprinkle in about a tsp. of sea salt. More or less depending on how salty you like your kettle corn.

You now have your own homemade kettle corn!

Kettle corn recipes - hints for best results

After I began to make homemade kettle corn, I experimented with different variations of ingredients. I wanted to try and make it a little healthier so I thought raw sugar would be a better choice. That turned into a burned batch of kettle corn. I also tried turbinado sugar...same problem with burning.

Another variation was brand of popcorn. I tried store brand, Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn, Jolly Time and Pop Secret. I found that Pop Secret Popcorn was the best for kettle corn. The kernels pop up really fluffy.

One other thing I tried was doubling the recipe. This too resulted in burned popcorn. The best kettle corn recipe needs to be made in small batches in order to prevent burning.

Recipe for kettle corn

It is great to make this recipe for kettle corn and store it in plastic bags for anytime you want a nice salty sweet snack treat. If you don't have time to make your own homemade kettle corn recipe, you can always buy Trader Joe's Kettle Corn as an excellent substitute.

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Comments 4 comments profile image 5 years ago

My kids are going to love you BayareaGreat - I'm going to try the recipe at home. Thank-you.

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 5 years ago from Bay Area California Author

I am so glad it will be useful to you P-Dog- Always glad to see you stop by too!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 4 years ago

bayareagreatthing, Trader Joe's Kettle corn is tasty! This sounds like a nice alternative! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 4 years ago from Bay Area California Author

DeBorrah- It is hard to replicate. This is as close as I could get. The homemade version is a little sweeter I think.

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