Sweet + Salty = Kettle Corn


I love it when the kettle corn guy is at the local high school craft show.  Even if I don’t buy anything at the show, I’ll bring home some kettle corn for the family.  I’ve tried the microwavable kettle corn but it has a funky taste.  So I’ve been perfecting my non-dairy kettle corn recipe and with my sister visiting last weekend, I finally got the ratio of salt to sugar down.

Kettle Corn The Old Fashioned Way

1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Sugar
3/8  tsp salt
1/2 Cup popcorn
Pot with lid


1.  Mix the sugar and salt together and grind with mortar and pestle until fine.  Grinding it up makes a little bit go a long way.  Less sugar = more healthy, right?

2.  Put Olive Oil in a pot with 5 kernels of popcorn and cover with lid.  Heat on medium high until you hear 1 *pop*.


3.  Quickly add Sugar/Salt combo and remaining popcorn and give a couple of good shakes to get everything mixed up well.  Shake the pot front and back over the fire while doing a little dance. Popping will pick up, then it will start to slow.  Remove from fire.

4.  Continue to shake for a few more seconds and enjoy!



* Burned sugar is bad – very bad.  Do not overcook!
*I use a gas stove.  I imagine that an electric stove could get too hot and burn the sugar – be careful here and experiment to find the right setting on your stove.

12 Responses to “Sweet + Salty = Kettle Corn”

  1. 1 Joanna May 18, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    looks so yummy. drop some in the mail for me, ‘k? 🙂

  2. 3 UK lass in US May 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I can’t go near popcorn: the smell of it used to make me sick when I was pregnant and I haven’t got past that (orange juice, too). Bloody kids…

  3. 6 katie May 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I just made some this way this morning for our school snack! Except I add the salt after cooking and I use a whirley pop. Stovetop popcorn is the best. We got rid of our microwave a month ago, so it has been old fashioned around here a lot lately!

  4. 8 anotheryarn May 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    We make stovetop popcorn all the time. But my last attempt at kettle corn had burnt bits all over the pan….

    • 9 craftapple May 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Oh I’m sorry! I find that if I stop the popping earlier to get it just right I end up with good results but also a lot of unpopped kernels. Burned sugar is bad, bad, bad.

  5. 10 nikol gianopoulos May 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I love this! We are kettle corn junkies at our house. It’s the only thing I’ll over pay for at the fairs. Now we can make our own. Thanks for the tip on using an electric stove.

  6. 12 GirlGriot September 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Wish I’d read your post before my kettle corn initiation this past weekend! The first batch: way too much sugar. Second batch: still a little too much sugar but salt sprinkled on after popping made it gritty to eat. I like your less-sugar idea combined with your mortar and pestle step. I think tonight’s batch might be just right!

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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