Introduction: Homemade Stovetop Kettle Corn

Kettle corn is a sweet-and-salty variety of popcorn that is typically mixed or seasoned with a light-colored refined sugar, salt, and oil. It was traditionally made in cast iron kettles, but in modern times other types of pans are used. (wikipedia)

You can make this treat at home anytime you want.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients


  • 1/2 heaping cup of Pop Corn
  • 1/3 cup of Oil
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp of table salt

Note: You can use any oil of your choice, eg, corn, vegetable, olive, coconut, etc. We use half olive and half coconut to make it healthy and flavorful.

Step 2: Gather Cooking Tools

Cooking Tools:

  • Ten Quart Nonstick Anodized Aluminum Pot
  • Glass Pot Lid (to view popping action)
  • 12" diameter Stainless Steel Bowl
  • Kitchen Towel or Mittens

Note: If you don't have an aluminum pot, you can experiment with other pot material. I wasn't successful with the shiny stainless steel pots...many burnt batches.

Step 3: Preheat Kernels

  1. Put corn and oil in the pot so that the kernels are one layer deep
  2. Turn on heat to Medium High
  3. Put on lid


  • Your stove's temperature will be different. Med/High is a good starting point but must be adapted to your situation. Too much or too little heat will cause the sugar to burn before all kernels have popped.
  • The stove burner should be approximately the same diameter as your pot for even heating of kernels.

Step 4: Add Remaining Ingredients

  1. Once the first kernels begin to pop, remove lid and dump in sugar and salt
  2. Replace lid and move pot in swirling motion to distribute the sugar/salt mixture (use towel/mitts to handle pot)

Step 5: Pop Kernels

    Let kernels pop while occasionally shaking pot back and forth

    Step 6: Coat Popcorn

    1. Once kernels stop popping, turn off heat (approximately 2-1/2 minutes from first pop)
    2. Wait 5 seconds to let sugar caramelize and turn golden brown
    3. Move the pot in an up and down circular motion to evenly distribute the melted sugar (like tossing a salad)

    Tip: It is better to turn off the heat early for your first few batches to avoid burning the sugar. Once you get a better idea of the heat, you can make more golden colored kettle corn.

    Step 7: Cool Down

    1. Pour into the steel bowl
    2. Cool five minutes to let sugar harden
    3. Break up the clumps

    Tip: To make multiple batches, just wipe down the pot with a dry paper towel. Turn down the heat a little bit since the corn will pop quicker.

    Step 8: Enjoy!

    The kettle corn is now ready to be eaten.