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How to Make Kettle Popcorn - The Best Kettle Corn Recipe

Updated on August 21, 2011

Kettle Corn

If you run to the Kettle Corn booth at your local fair because you have been waiting a full year between the salty-sweet goodness of this wonderful treat, then this article is for you!

You do not need thousands of dollars of equipment and a vendor's license at the fair to make this delicious treat for your family. In fact, I prefer to make it at home because I know EXACTLY what ingredients go into it.

You will need a stovetop popcorn popper, popcorn kernels, sugar, salt and oil. I have found the best results using coconut oil, but other oils may work well for you too.  

Have some fun with adding extra ingredients too.  A few chocolate covered pretzels, nuts or even M&M's will give your kettle corn that extra special impact!

Stovetop Popcorn Popper

The secret to making good Kettle Popcorn is the equipment.  You need a high quality Stovetop Popcorn Popper to get the process started right.  I prefer the "Back to Basics Stainless Steel" version, but any one will work.  

When choosing one, look for a high quality gearing assembly and a pot size that is right for you and your family.

You will be stirring the popcorn while it is on the stove, so you know the gearing system will wear over time.  It will pay to buy the best one that you can afford!

Coconut Oil

I highly recommend coconut oil to add to the stovetop popper. You don't need much oil, and don't worry - it will not make the popcorn taste like coconuts!

Most of the time you only need to add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the popper. It is just enough to cover the bottom of the popper.

Some people have reported success using olive oil in their popper, so it may be worth a try if coconut oil is hard to find.

Kettle Corn
Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add four or five popcorn kernels to test the temperature.  As soon as they pop, you know the oil is hot enough.  Add the 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and the sugar.  Stir continuously.  As soon as the popcorn starts to pop, pick up the pot and shake  every few seconds.  Once the popping almost stops, pour it into a bowl.  Do not delay as the pot is still hot and may cause unwanted burning or caramelizing.

What is Your Favorite Item to Add to Kettle Corn

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Do you Love Kettle Corn? Tell Me about it!

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    • profile image

      kay stef 

      7 years ago

      I made this and I LOVE IT!!! I added a little vanilla.

    • OneBusyMom profile image


      8 years ago from West Coast, USA

      Everyone who would pollute the yummy perfection of Kettle corn...there should be a law...


      Just kidding - your hubs have made me put on 5 pounds just by reading them. I'll be making these recipes (you're a genius the way you did all this) for the kids.


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Sounds great fun and thank you for the tips.

    • Jane@CM profile image


      8 years ago

      Yum! I'm going to try this!! I like the idea of chocolate covered pretzels with the popcorn.

    • dobo700 profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks, I'll have to give it a go

    • goodmovies profile image

      Randy Ray 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I never much liked kettle corn, but maybe I'll give it another try. It will be after I finish trying your movie theater popcorn techniques though.

    • Mutiny92 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arlington, VA

      Thanks Lisa! Enjoy!

    • lisabeaman profile image


      8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      I do love kettle corn! I'll have to give this a try! Thanks!


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