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Kettle Corn

Updated on December 7, 2009

Kettle corn has long been a favorite food in fairs, shows, and any other special events. I’ve seen it sold at flea markets and farmer’s markets. The fact of the matter, kettle corn is sweet, salty, and ever so scrumptious. It’s possible to make this delicious treat at home. Depending on the recipe, kettle corn can be around 40 to 70 calories a cup, so you don’t have to worry too much about having it available right at your fingertips, but kettle corn can be pretty addictive!  Still, when you're craving something sweet, or if you're nervous (most people crave crunchy food when nervous) and you just can't resist, you have kettle corn at your fingertips. Eat at your own risk…and delight!

The Recipe

You’ll find many recipe’s online, but they are usually based around these simple concepts:

You’ll need about:

½ cup unpopped popcorn
3 tablespoons sugar
Oil for popping (usually soybean or vegetable oil)
Salt to taste

Heat a medium sauce pan with your choice of oil to about medium heat.  Pour the unpopped popcorn in, and sprinkle the sugar over it, then cover the pan.  It’s important to keep the popcorn moving so it doesn’t burn and pops evenly, so shake the pan vigorously until the popcorn is done popping or it slows to around two to three seconds between pops.  Pour into a bowl and allow to cool before handling.  You may was to stir occasionally while it cools to avoid getting clumps. 

Some Advice

It can be difficult to make at home because while oil can handle a lot of heat, sugar can burn easily. Also, shaking the pan, even with the cover on, is a bit of a feat. And there is always the risk of burning yourself, so proceed with caution.

One way to attempt kettle corn is to buy a popcorn machine for the stove that will stir the popcorn while it’s popping. You can also try a popping basket over a fire or a stove, which is covered and easier to keep shaking. For more information on these products and other popcorn machines, click here.

In the end, if done correctly, you will find that home made kettle corn can be just as good as ones made at fairs, and by far superior to the microwavable kind. It will satisfy your sweet craving, and have a snack that is healthy for your kids to enjoy! Hope this article helps, and happy eating!


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