Homemade Kettle Corn | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

Homemade Kettle Corn

On Sunday afternoons, there is one vendor at our local farmers market my kids and I cannot resist – the kettle corn merchant.  Ever since we discovered it years ago it’s a highlight we look forward to every visit.  When we go and discover the kettle corn stand is not there, the market is somehow not the same.

Made fresh throughout the day, this savory sweet snack is the one snack I look forward to buying and eating at state fairs, festivals and farmers markets.  ‘The good stuff’ is prepared in a deep steel kettle drum by someone that treats it as the art it is instead of a fun snack.  It’s still fun to watch them stir the bulk sized portions in the large hot kettle.

What many don’t know is that kettle corn can be made from home with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.  My children love to measure out the ingredients, but it is important to mention that adults should be in charge over the stove as to not burn any kids trying to make this themselves.  The homemade version is impressively similar to the kettle corn I’m used to buying.  Best of all, kids love the idea of making kettle corn at home.  Kettle corn has a special way of making days more special and fun.  Now you can make this at home, too.  Enjoy!

Homemade Kettle Corn

A simple recipe for kettle corn, just like the kind found at state fairs!



  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn and sugar. Give the kernels a quick stir and then cover with a lid.
  2. Once the popcorn starts popping, carefully pick the pot up and give it a quick shake every few seconds until the popping slows down, between 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove immediately from the heat and pour the kettle corn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Do not make the mistake of removing the pot from heat without transferring to a bowl. Due to the high heat of the pot, if you don’t transfer the popcorn it will caramelize and perhaps burn. *Also, do not attempt to make a batch of this in a dutch oven. I made a second batch thinking it would work and it caramelized to quickly and burned.

Prep Time: 3 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 8 Minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Alice-Currah-169x215Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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