Homemade Kettle Corn

Summer brings memories of circus, fairs, carnivals, street festivals, fleas, farmers markets and the foods that go along with them.

I’m talking Corn Dogs, Fried Dough (Fry Bread), and the sweet & salty Kettle Corn that you thought you could only have on a hot summer afternoon, while standing in line for the Tilt-A-Whirl!

Kettle Corn, made on a large-scale for the fairs & festivals, usually involves a dedicated machine, with big copper pots.  However, Kettle Corn is really easy to make at home.  The trick is to constantly shake the pot.  Constantly.  And remove the pot when the kernels are popping every 2-3 seconds, and then keep shaking.

It does take a bit of practice to get this right — the sugar can burn too easily, if the heat is too high.  Make sure you are on a medium setting, and use an old pot – one that has seen  better times.  Burned sugar happens and it is a pain to clean.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we always have :)

Homemade Kettle Corn

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, stir in the sugar and popcorn. Cover and shake the pot.

Keep shaking the pot during the entire cooking process, to help keep the sugar from burning.

When the popping slows to every 2-3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat, and continue to shake until the popping has stopped. This will really keep the sugar from burning.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl, salt to taste, and stir to break up any clumps, and allow to cool.

Once cool, store in ziplock bags…if you have any left ;)



  • Use brown sugar, for a “caramel corn” taste
  • Add in a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Add in 2 teaspoons maple flavoring, and 1/3 cup of walnuts
  • Add in two tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce.  After you’ve poured out the popcorn, sprinkle with Cayenne Pepper

About Michie

I write two blogs - This Food Thing, (www.thisfoodthing.com) and This Life I Lead (www.thislifeilead.wordpress.com).
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