The BEST Kettle Popcorn EVER!

posted on January 28, 2013 by  |  posted under Family Time, Recipes, Snacks, Summer  |  46 Comments
Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER! You won’t believe how easy this is, too. YUM!

Wait before you read this post …if you hop over to Vitacost they are giving a free $10 in credit for new signups.  You can get your popcorn kernels for free!  Like 2 bags for free.  Cool.  Head over there for additional info.

Confession:  I was not a fan of Kettle Popcorn.  My tastebuds were sent into a whirl wind of salt vs sweet and it overwhelmed them…way too much.  I know that is the reason of the corny obsession that my husband and kids love.  They love the wild ride!  Me…not so much.

UNTIL…my hubby made this Kettle popcorn in the comfort of our own home.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

This picture makes me want to eat this for breakfast.  We did have it last night, the night before and 3 other times last week.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

So start out with the 4 ingredients:

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Pour 7 tablespoons of  sugar into a bowl.  Ya need to be quick when the heat is ready.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Get your popcorn ready too.  2/3 cup.  In a separate bowl.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Put your stove to Med-High.  Add the 5 tablespoons of oil.  Okay, so here is the quick acting part…You will see a puff of smoke come off the pot.  Don’t miss it.   It should happen pretty quickly.    (In the picture above…the smoke was coming off, but my camera kept focusing on the pot.  Let’s just pretend it’s visual here).

Or put a couple kernels in with the oil, when they pop, your oil is hot enough to move to the next step.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Once you see that first puff of smoke hurry and sprinkle your sugar in evenly and let it dissolve a bit.  Just a little bit.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Add the 2/3 cup popcorn and stir until it’s coated.  This should only take 10 seconds tops.  Hurry!!  Turn down heat to medium-low.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!
Add your lid and Shake Shake Shake…Shake Shake Shake Shake…Shake that pot.  Shake that pot…

Back to the burner.

Shake the pot every 20 seconds to stir and prevent burned pop corn.

Note:  Those hands and arms are my hubbies.  Mine are not that hairy or manly strong.  He was a shakin’ while I was a takin’…pictures for this post.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

When the popin’ stops or slows down take off the heat.  Open slowly for any last exploding kernels.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Now, here is the best part.  I get to pull my  sweet popcorn out before the salt goes in.  Happy Taste Buds for me!!!

For the others who are super adventurous and enjoy the full kettle corn taste…add your salt here.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Serve and enjoy.  Sweet for some and sweet and salty for others.  Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!

Note:  this is hot coming out of the pot.  Make sure it cools.  Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!


BEST Kettle Pop Corn EVER!


  • 5 Tablespoons of Canola Oil
  • 7 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 2/3 cup of popcorn kernels
  • Dashes of salt
  • (Optional: 5 tablespoons of oil works well too.)


  1. Get a big pot with a lid. Put the oil into the pot. Heat it on Medium-High until you see a faint puff of smoke. It's faint, so watch for it.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar into the bottom of the pot. Let it dissolve a wee-bit.
  3. Stir in the pop corn.
  4. Stir quickly for 10 seconds.
  5. Turn heat to low.
  6. Put the lid on the pot.
  7. Every 20 seconds...shake it. Shake it good. Caution: Make sure lid is on tightly and you use hot pads. It's hot.
  8. When 'pops' slow pull it off the heat. Add a dash of salt.
  9. Wait for it to cool and devour!
  10. Yum.

This recipe was a modified out of the ‘Our Best Bites Recipe book’.  Here is the link.  And…no I am not being paid to post this.  It’s truly a recipe worth sharing.   Here is a link to their blog.  They are sweet girls.  Go over and see what they are all about.

Don’t forget your free popcorn!   Hop over to Vitacost they are giving a free $10 in credit for new signups.  You can get your popcorn kernels for free!  Like 2 bags for free.  Cool.  Head over there for additional info.

Seriously the BEST kettle popcorn EVER!







    1. January 28th, 2013 at 6:33 am
      rose says:
      I make it too, except I use superfine sugar and add it when I hear the popping begin to slow. I sprinkle the sugar on then pick the pot up by the handles, holding the lid on, and give it a couple of shakes to distribute the sugar. The pot and popcorn are hot enough to dissolve the sugar by the time the popcorn is done.
    2. January 28th, 2013 at 8:21 am
      Rachel says:
      I am obsessed with kettle popcorn!! Oh, the deliciousness of it. I didn't even know what it was until my husband (we weren't even officially dating at the time) introduced me to it at a BYU football game. I was totally sold on it with that first bite. So-good.
    3. January 28th, 2013 at 10:22 am
      Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later! says:
      I absolutely LOVE kettle corn. Can't wait to try this!
    4. January 28th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
      Missy says:
      I love this stuff! This is our go to movie night recipe - except I use coconut oil instead of canola... gives it a little coconut flavor that is yummy!
    5. January 28th, 2013 at 5:07 pm
      Stacy says:
      Looks so easy! Can't wait to try it!
    6. January 29th, 2013 at 12:49 pm
      deb in texas says:
      this sounds so yummy and easy!! and your kids are gorgeous!!
    7. January 29th, 2013 at 8:21 pm
      valleygirl says:
      I would just say please do not use canola oil!!!!! It has a very low burn point and is highly highly processed which leaves you with a very toxic situation in your body. Choose grapeseed, coconut or even olive oil.

      On another note, I am going to add some butter to this as well and see what happens. Right now! My taste buds are excited!
    8. January 29th, 2013 at 10:20 pm
      D marrs says:
      I tried you sweet popcorn recipe & it did not pop. & just simmered & did nothing! I started on high # 6 on my nonstick stove top. Waited for the puff of smoke. Turned on low 2,4 & I got nothing but a sticky unpopped mess. Any ideas for me?
      • January 31st, 2013 at 12:46 pm
        EG says:
        Your stove may not be as hot as hers. For me, adding the sugar cooled it off enough that I had to keep the stove at a 7 for a while until it started popping, then I turned it do 5 and did the shake, shake, shake.

        Some of my sugar got more carmelized than what her picture shows, but I think it's tasty!
      • May 23rd, 2013 at 10:08 am
        L Horne says:
        You didn't have the heat hot enough to pop the kernels. You could practice by making regular popcorn to get the hang of it first before trying it with sugar.
      • September 28th, 2013 at 3:27 pm
        JD Baker says:
        Could be a bad (or old) batch of corn. Try again with new corn if you feel its not the temperature.
    9. January 30th, 2013 at 7:08 am
      Mary Dailey says:
      I'm going to try this! Sounds great. Thank you so much!
    10. January 30th, 2013 at 7:34 am
      AprilAllYear says:
      Yum! And gorgeous kids. I'm gonna try this -- but will definitely serve with larger bowls! 8~)

    11. January 30th, 2013 at 8:17 am
      Brooke Kingston says:
      We make this all the time at our house. The absolute essential ingredient for us, however, is coconut oil! Popping the corn in that oil gives things just an extra burst of sweet flavor, and it's divine! Sometimes we even throw a dash of cinnamon in too! Gotta love the Whirly Pop popcorn fun to crank that handle. Thanks for this great snack post!!
      • January 31st, 2013 at 2:54 am
        MJR says:
        Be careful using this oil. It is known to be mega calorie!!
        • February 20th, 2013 at 8:18 am
          Mirna says:
          Oil is oil, it contains the same amount of calories. Coconut oil however is a MUCH healthier alternative and has a high smoke point meaning the oil won't turn bad as it's being heated. If you are unsure look up the benefits of coconut oil - there are many! :)
        • February 20th, 2013 at 5:13 pm
          dabn says:
          While not all calories react the same way in the body...all fats have 9 calories per gram.
    12. January 30th, 2013 at 10:00 am
      Rachel S says:
      LOVE this! Will be trying it very soon. oh, and the commentary is priceless!
    13. January 31st, 2013 at 2:39 am
      Joi says:
      I love kettle corn and have another recipe but I have had aproblem with the corn. Showing pictures helped me to find the right kind-yellow! Now maybe I won't be picking husks from the teeth for days!! I LOVE kettle corn and this is a good recipe!! Thanks.
    14. February 2nd, 2013 at 8:45 pm
      Shane Birkey says:
      I just tried to make this and it was a bomb. The sugar clumped and the popcorn never popped. When I dumped it, I couldn't remove some of the sugar from the bottom of the pan. I followed the directions perfectly and don't know what I did wrong. Any advice?
      • February 3rd, 2013 at 3:12 pm
        Alison says:'ll have a little bit, but a lot is not good. Make sure you shake it hard, the pot that is;) Let your pot soak in water for a bit and it should come off easy. Thanks!
    15. February 3rd, 2013 at 10:18 am
      Ashley g says:
      Have to try this. Looks delicious!! Thanks for the recipe.
    16. February 6th, 2013 at 9:55 am
      Martha says:
      My husband makes this too, except he doesn't add the sugar until after it is popped, we will be trying your way tonight! Thanks!
    17. February 7th, 2013 at 11:29 am
      Karen says:
      My friend gave this recipe to me a few years ago and it is the best popcorn ever!!! BUT, do yourself a favor and for $20 or so get a StirCrazy or similar oil popping machine and it's a piece of cake... no shaking over the stove. :) We've made it hundreds of time, you won't regret getting a machine! It's such a pain on the stove. We've also used less oil and sugar to make it a tad healthier if we're on a health kick and it's still yummy. :)
    18. February 11th, 2013 at 5:36 pm
      Tara says:
      Add a couple shakes of cayenne pepper in the pot for a spicy sweet flavor explosion! I've also substituted white sugar for brown and gotten a good caramelized glaze on the popped kernels. *Drool*
    19. February 11th, 2013 at 7:09 pm
      amy g. says:
      I just made your kettle corn for fhe. It's so simple and so yummy. Thanks girlie!
    20. February 19th, 2013 at 5:19 pm
      Jill says:
      I tried this & got a clumpy sugary unpopped popcorn kernel mess! I'm gonna try again!
    21. February 21st, 2013 at 8:26 pm
      Renee Frantz says:
      Tried this tonight. My kettle corn tastes better than what they make at the fair (so my daughter just said)!!! Thanks for the great, easy to follow recipe.
    22. February 23rd, 2013 at 8:03 am
      Dr. Kay says:
      Hello Allison,
      I saw your article about using coconut oil on your hair. Great idea. I use coconut oil exclusively. So good for you. I just clicked on your Kettle Corn page. Have you ever used Himalayan Pink salt? I use it exclusively. Much better for you than processed (Morton) I buy mine at TJ's Let me know what you think. Dr Kay
      • March 2nd, 2013 at 1:35 pm
        Elle says:
        Curious as to why Himalayan Pink salt is "better" for you??? Salt is salt is salt...
        • March 27th, 2013 at 7:28 pm
          kathy haan says:
          Himalayan pink salt contains nutrients found no where else. Very good for your body! I sprinkle a little in every glass of water.
    23. March 6th, 2013 at 8:32 pm
      tami says:
      A Whirly Pop popcorn popper is the best tool for this job. I saw some at Walmart over Christmas, but not sure they have them all the time. Williams-Sonoma used to carry them over Christmas as well. Google will help you find one. For about 1/2 cup popcorn, use about 1-1/2 tbsp. each coconut oil and sugar. For extra fun, add a few drops of food coloring before it starts to pop! Add it all together and stir until it stops popping. St. Paddy's Day is coming. Make it green for your little leprechauns!
      • May 22nd, 2013 at 5:11 pm
        Amayazmama says:
        Yes! We just foudn this recipe and wanted to try it before we made it for my daughter's Brownie Troop tomorrow. I crossed my fingers and used our Whirly Pop. Perfecto! We used coconut oil and will use Stevia when we make it tomorrow. Great recipe!
    24. March 15th, 2013 at 9:36 am
      Melissa says:
      I do the same recipe but discovered an even better addition! Replace the canola oil with virgin cold press coconut oil, and you will be wowed!! My hubby is not particularly crazy about kettle corn, now that I use coconut oil he loves it!!! Plus its healthier for you anyway.
    25. March 15th, 2013 at 10:10 pm
      AJ says:
      That was a HOT MESS! Did not work for me--got the clumpy sugar gunk that others did. Ended up using the air popper, drizzling butter on and sprinkling with cinnamon-sugar.
    26. April 6th, 2013 at 11:56 am
      Nana Susi says:
      I love Kettle Corn but not the cruddy packaged microwave kind. Oh, and I'm lazy. However, I found a great microwave popcorn popper bowl (Nordic Ware, Amazon, I paid about $7 but price goes up & down between $7-$10. I Added colorful bags of popcorn & seasonings & gave them as Christmas gifts one year!)
      Anyway, back to my Kettle Corn...
      You can make it (or reg popcorn) with or without any oil! I do use about a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to get the sugar/salt mixture to stick to the kernels.
      Here's how I do it:
      1 Tbsp (aprox) of oil (I use EVOO)
      1/3 cup high quality popcorn kernels (I like Oroville Reddenbacher or different varieties of Wabash Valley corn)
      I add 6-8 pkts of Splenda (I don't use regular sugar, but I'm sure it would work fine)
      I then give about 5-6 "shakes" of regular salt (I guess about a teaspoon of regular or popcorn salt... popcorn salt is hard to find in my area. It's just a superfine salt).

      I then give it a quick stir to coat all the kernels. Pop into the microwave on "popcorn setting (mine is about 2min 50secs). It does work without the oil but the seasoning seems to "stick" better. Actually, when I use the oil a few of the kernels on top actually get a bit of a crunchy glaze "baked" on. Yummy!

      Just play around with it until you get the sweet/salty ratio you like.
      Oh, I saw some cinnamon-sugar popcorn seasoning ($6 for a small jar). I thought that sounded good so mixed up some cinnamon/Splenda & tried that. It was okay but everyone seemed to like it better when I added just a touch of salt to the mix.
    27. July 20th, 2013 at 6:14 am
      Bonnie Cordova says:
      A Whirly corn popper is the best answer and really hot pan.. i have been known to sprinkle on pumpkin spice . Yum
    28. November 16th, 2013 at 3:20 pm
      Ash says:
      I have been making stove top popcorn my whole life. Never had any problems. Only when I try to make it sweet I have problems. I've tried many different ways. Different oils, different popcorn, different pots. I tried this exact recipe and it took about 25 minutes to even start popping. By then it just got too brown and a sticky, hot, gooey mess of un-popped and burnt corn. I've also tried adding sugar right when kernels start too pop and it just cools down the popcorn and I end up with the same results. If I want just plain, popped corn I have no problem. I love kettle corn but I'm out of ideas. I'm just going to have to get it from one of my favorite shops. They have amazing flavored from sweet to savory. If anyone else has the problems I do and want to just buy it check out this website Amazing products. I do love this recipe if it would just work, I'm not gunna give up... Ill just have to buy it made til I get this recipe down... I might need to borrow your hubby to make it for me! Love your site.. Keep the ideas coming....
    29. January 15th, 2014 at 12:20 pm
      Beth says:
      I love kettle corn and just tried this recipe. I followed it exactly as written and it turned out perfectly, so delicious! I do have a stir popper so didn't have to shake. Can't wait to make it for the grand kids!
    30. January 31st, 2014 at 3:43 pm
      Mary says:
      Thank you for posting this recipe - we LOVE kettle corn. I am making this tonight! And your kids are pretty darn cute!!
    31. March 23rd, 2014 at 5:48 am
      fb ads cracked blackhat says:
      It's difficult to find well-informed people for
      this subject, however, you sound like you know what you're talking about!
    32. April 26th, 2014 at 2:47 pm
      Brie says:
      The first time I made this following your instructions exactly, I too got a caramelized goopy mess. This time, I mixed the oil and sugar together BEFORE turning on the heat, and it worked like a charm!! (I also used vegetable oil, because that"s all I had).

      ps. You make good looking babies! (:
    33. May 7th, 2014 at 8:17 pm
      Holley says:
      I love this!! I was a little scared to try it after reading all the comments about failures.... But I decided to give it a go and I'm so glad I did- it turned out fantastic! I only wanted to make enough for myself, so I just guesstimated with a scoop of coconut oil, a spoonful of sugar, and a couple handfulls of popcorn kernels. Thanks! Love your blog!
    34. May 23rd, 2014 at 7:41 pm
      Jen says:
      Found this on Pinterest. It sounded so good I just whipped some up using coconut oil, it was davine!
    35. September 2nd, 2014 at 11:05 am
      Jack says:
      Years ago made this in a cast alum ion pot using bacon grease ,and as the popcorn popped it raise the lid above the rim of pot and kids would go nuts watching and for obvious reasons made this as special treat only few times a year but it was so GOOD
    36. October 13th, 2014 at 3:47 pm
      Meghan says:
      Making this for my daughter's circus themed birthday this weekend! Can't wait to inhale it!
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