Kettle Corn

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 15 min.


3 quarts

Updated: Nov. 02, 2023
If one of the reasons you go to fairs is to satisfy your craving for kettle corn, you'll get the same wonderful salty-sweet taste at home with this recipe. Now you can indulge whenever the mood strikes you. —Jenn Martin, Sebago, Maine


  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook popcorn, sugar and oil until oil begins to sizzle. Cover and shake until popcorn stops popping, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with butter. Add salt; toss to coat.

Kettle Corn Tips

How can you avoid burning the sugar when making kettle corn?

Popcorn only pops in really hot oil, and sugar burns a little too easily at higher temperatures—therein lies the kettle corn dilemma! The remedy? Hold off on adding your sugar a bit. Stir the popcorn and oil together over medium heat first. As the oil gets hotter (a kernel or two may even pop), carefully add the sugar, stir, then cover. It also helps to keep the pot continuously moving, so shake the pot vigorously as the popcorn pops.

How big of a pot do you need to make this kettle corn recipe?

We recommend using at least a 4-1/2-quart Dutch oven for this kettle corn. (They work great for all kinds of flavored popcorn recipes.) Don’t forget the lid! In general, a wide pot is best, so all the popcorn kernels can be as immersed as possible in the oil as it heats.

How can you tell when the popcorn is done?

When there are a couple of seconds between pops, your kettle corn is done. Remove from the heat and uncover. You may notice several un-popped kernels, but that's much better than a whole scorched batch!

How do you store kettle corn?

Keep kettle corn in an airtight tin, canister, or container for homemade snacks at room temperature. It should last for handy snacking for several days—but we think it's too tasty to last that long!

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 91 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 114mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.