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Homemade Kettle Corn

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I tried out the chow.com recipe for easy kettle corn, and while it has the same salty/sweet taste of kettle corn from the fair, it's missing the crunchy, sugary crust. How can I can get that same texture? I tossed the popcorn in sugar & salt immediately, but the sugar doesn't melt. Is the trick to mix the sugar with the oil before the kernels pop? Or should I toss in the sugar during the popping? What's the best method?

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  1. You may want to heat the oil and then, when it's hot, stir in the sugar and popcorn at the same time. But you've got to keep the sugared popcorn moving to prevent burning the sugar. It's an art, but not terribly difficult to master. Once it's popped, get it out of the popper (vessel) as quickly as possible, all the while keeping it moving until it's cooled.

    5 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Thanks! This worked perfectly. I did discover that it's not necessary to keep the popcorn moving; I left the pot alone and the sugar didn't burn. Once the oil was heated, I put in the kernels and sugar, stirred it really well, then covered it and let it pop. I think the trick is have the sugar incorporated with the oil before the kernels start popping.

      1. re: ashleysigh

        How much sugar, oil, salt and popcorn do you use? What is the relative heat level used?

          1. re: Samalicious

            Yup, I used the measurements for sugar, oil, and popcorn from the chow.com recipe that Samalicious linked to. Same heat level too (medium). When I want to make less popcorn, I use a smaller pot, pour in a thin layer of oil, and just enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot.

          2. re: Soup

            I'd advise that if you're going to try this, don't put in the kernels and sugar until the oil is hot (but before it's smoking). Otherwise you'll overcook the sugar before the kernels pop. You want to get a chance to stir the sugar, oil, and kernels together, but the kernels should start popping almost immediately.

            Also get it out of the pot fast, to prevent the popcorn on the bottom of the pot from burning. Toss it in salt right away, and you're done.