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Best Ever Kettle Corn

Everyone who has ever eaten this kettle corn tells me that it is literally the best kettle corn they have ever had. Apparently it’s a cross between kettle corn and caramel corn, which together is somehow better than either one is on its own. I, however, cannot vouch for this because I have never even eaten one single piece of this kettle corn.

Is that horrible? Here I am telling you this is the best popcorn ever when I’ve never actually eaten it. Really, I’m just not a big enough sweet tooth to even want to try many dessert-y things. Sure, I like cookies and ice cream, but all of my favorite desserts have one commonality: chocolate. And even with chocolate in the mix I’d pick something savory over something sweet the majority of the time. So, how did I end up with best kettle corn recipe ever? Well, let me explain. . .

I love popcorn. Like, I could eat popcorn everyday. I did eat popcorn everyday until I got married and moved and forgot to bring my hot air popcorn popper with me. I tried a few microwave methods but nothing really worked. When I got my popcorn popper back I was happily eating popcorn again with only one problem: Steve apparently hates popcorn. It seemed impossible to me, but he said it was tasteless and horrible. Apparently, the only kind of popcorn he wants to eat is kettle corn. Considering my affinity for popcorn, you’d think that I would like kettle corn, but I don’t. Taco popcorn? Sriracha popcorn? Lemon Pepper & Dill popcorn? I’ve got you covered! But kettle corn . . . no way. I knew nothing about that sweet abomination of my favorite snack.

I tried to be a loving wife and make kettle corn for Steve anyway. It consisted of air popped popcorn, sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with granulated sugar. Apparently, that’s not the real thing. But who was I to know that?

Fast forward a few months. In the middle of a batch of popcorn the motor of my hot air popper literally died. Oh, I was bummed. I tried microwave popcorn again, but I still wasn’t happy with it. Then, we decided to try stove top popcorn. I remembered making it as a child, in an old pan we’d gotten from a garage sale because my parents said the popcorn would ruin a good pan. I was nervous to ruin a pot, but Steve encouraged me. Sure enough, not only did the pot survive the popcorn making process, but the popcorn was SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS! I was hooked on stove-top popcorn, and decided to give kettle corn another try. For Steve, that is, because I surely wasn’t going to eat that disgusting sugary gross-ness. I did some research and learned about kettle corn making. Apparently it was a success, because Steve really liked it. He was bragging to all sorts of people about this kettle corn.

One day, a friend of his was over for grilled pizza, and go figure Steve was bragging about the kettle corn. I went to make some for the two of them, but my large popcorn serving bowl had just been hand washed and was sitting on the kitchen counter drying. I figured a few water droplets wouldn’t hurt anything, and prepared the popcorn in the bowl anyway. That water didn’t hurt the popcorn – it apparently made it better. I’ve since started added a bit of water to my kettle corn mix (rather than washing and half-drying a bowl each time I make kettle corn), and its still quite a success. Everyone who has eaten this has raved about it. I’m not making this up. I try to tell people it’s gross and to eat the salty popcorn instead, but everyone likes the kettle corn anyway! I don’t get it.


As you can see, the kettle corn sticks together a bit, which apparently adds to its appeal.

That’s the end of my kettle corn story. I guess if you’re into kettle corn or sweets this might sound appealing to you, and if that’s the case I hope that you enjoy this variation very much! If not, then I suggest stove top popcorn with salt (and if you want to know how to make that let me know)!


Best Ever Kettle Corn

  • 1/4c popcorn kernels
  • 2 Tbs canola oil (I’ve used olive oil, too)
  • 2 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 1/2 Tbs water
  • salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan until it is very hot. You should be able to feel the heat coming up from pan and see the oil rippling (I do this with my stove on a 7 out of 10).
  2. While oil is heating, measure out the rest of your ingredients. You can combine the sugar and popcorn kernels if you want to conserve space/dishes, but keep the water separate!
  3. When the oil is hot, dump the popcorn and sugar into the pan and stir, quickly. The sugar and oil should combine to look like road slush (if you’re not familiar with snowy driving conditions then just ignore that). Cover.
  4. Now, pour in the water and cover IMMEDIATELY. The second the water hits the pan hot oil will go flying. I just lift the lid up a tiny bit, pour int he water, and shut  it right away.
  5. Now, shake the pan. You can lift it off the burner to shake or slide it back and fourth, still touching the burner. Just make sure to keep the popcorn. It may take a minute or two to start popping, or it may start popping right away (this will have to do with how fresh the popcorn is).
  6. When the popping has slowed transfer the popcorn into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and stir.
  7. Let the kettle corn cool for a couple of minutes and then eat!
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