How to make homemade Kettle Corn

As said in our article about County fairs, kettle corn is probably one of the most iconic and tasty treats (besides cookies) that all most all Americans have come to love. It is a simple treat for kids as well. As many people know that finding it can be hard to do, Last Kodiak wants to give you the recipe that is used by many people in the county fairs. There is a few different ways to make it but this is the one that we hear about the commonly.

As said in the County Fair food article,

This stuff is wildly popular in the fairs and people will line up all day every day to get some….It could be said that kettle corn is like crack for people but that would not be nice but you get the idea that this is addictive!

Personally, making this is a favorite thing to do while camping. I like to make it right over the fire and get some of the smoke as favor. However, making this in the kitchen is clearly the most common way for most people. It is worth saying that you will need to cook it the old fashion way. Using the microwave and nuking it just won’t work for this.

Kettle Corn

How to make Kettle Corn at home

How to make Kettle Corn at home

You will need to have a few things for it to work. Most of them the average person would have in their kitchen anyways.

  • Vegetable or Olive Oil
  • Popcorn Kernals
  • Sugar
  • Salt

That’s it. That is all you need. Besides the actual popcorn, most of it is normally in most people’s kitchen.

Step #1: Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil (I prefer using Olive Oil myself) in the bottom of a pan until it is nice and hot.

Step#2: Pour in 1/4 cup of sugar and mix it into the oil. This will make a coating that you will need for the taste.

Step #3: Pour in 1/2 cup of popcorn into the pan. It is important to shake the pan regularly while the popcorn is popping.

Step #4: Remove the popcorn from the heat when the popping slows down but continue shaking the pan.

Step #5: Pour the Kettle Corn in a large bowl and apply salt if that is something you desire.

There you have yourself what is probably going to be close to what people get at the fair. It won’t taste quite as good because that is done over an open fire and made in a huge dutch oven. However, this is pretty close and will work when you just have the stove top to make it.

Mushroom corn

Mushroom Corn kernels are best for making Kettle Corn.

What type of popcorn is best?

There is several different types of popcorn out there. I realize that most people do not care or even realize it but when you look for in the store, there actually are a few options. One of them is the smaller butterfly popcorn that is the most common. The larger type is called mushroom corn that is mostly grow in Iowa and Nebraska. If possible, this is the type you should use for making it. However, as I said, butterfly corn is MUCH easier to find in stores. Last Kodiak orders ours from directly from a farm in Iowa and is delivered using Amtrak.

If you know ahead of time you will be be making some kettle corn, it is probably just better to order a bag of it from someone online or use Amazon to get it. Much easier than running around all over town looking for it.

However, using the much easier to find butterfly kernels that is at every grocery store in America is usable as well. They just are not as big or pop as much. Many people do use them and it does turn out just fine. There is no reason to think if you can’t get the mushroom style, that making kettle corn is doomed. That is simply not true!

Using white sugar or brown sugar makes all the difference.


Using white sugar vs using brown sugar

This issue is much more important than people realize. The real favor in the kettle corn comes from the sugar and the oil mixture. It is critical you use the type of sugar you want to get the taste you are after. This can not be stressed enough!

If you want the traditional taste that you knew up with at the fair in the summer, you will need to use white sugar just like you use to cook most things that goes into the oven. This is what most people use for making it and in majority of cases, it would be what you should reach for in preparing the kettle corn.

However, if you are more into caramel corn; that is where the brown sugar comes into play. It gives the final product a much more caramel taste that many people also like just as much as the traditional style. It is all about what your taste bud desire at the time. The amount of sugar used remains the same.

While there is a few other type of sugar out there, I would stick to using just the two main types which are white and brown sugar. Also, when you can use American made sugar to support the people who make this country great.

Kettle Corn bowl

What is your kettle corn story

Have you made Kettle Corn at home?

If you have tried this or a similar recipe before, I would love to hear from you at the Last Kodiak Facebook page. Post a picture there in the trend of how you made it and how it turned out. Also make sure you that you like our Facebook page while there too!

If you find these type of posts helpful, Last Kodiak is starting a section on the website called the Kodiak Kitchen. It will be about easy to make American food like this.