This is the best Kettle Corn recipe that we have ever known, and it's super easy to make. Here in Indiana, we call this popcorn Midwestern Sugar Corn - a simple, summer sweet snack is sure to be a home run with your crew. The ingredients are simple - sugar, sea salt, a good oil and great popcorn kernels.
David and I made this recipe for our family’s Sunday movie night tradition, where we are pairing popcorn and cocktails with our favorite films - and this one is always a hit when we're watching baseball films. So, here is our Kettle Corn-inspired movie snack and drink pairing:
MOVIE: Bull Durham (1988). The conversations on the mound. The tricks for getting out of a slump. Which hand to swing with in a fight. "Bull Durham" is a movie that shows the romance and madness of baseball better than any movie ever has, and the cast is spectacular.
COCKTAIL: Apple Pie Martini. After all, what is more American than baseball and apple pie? This drink is a festive, boozy treat that’s just the perfect amount of spice and sweet. Get our recipe here.
Serving Size 2 cups Kettle Corn
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat, and set aside.
Get a large saucepan or pot with a lid. Use more pot than you think you need. Using a large pot gives everything room to move so your sugar isn’t just sitting on the heat, burning. I always use at least a 6-quart pot for 1/2-cup popcorn kernels.
Pour enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, add four popcorn kernels and cover the pan. Turn the burner on your stove top to medium-heat. When the kernels pop, know that your oil is VERY VERY HOT!
Very carefully (because that oil is blazingly hot and can burn you!), stir in the seasoning and add the popcorn kernels and re-cover the pan. Now SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE that pan! Shaking the pan constantly to ensure that the kernels and the sugar doesn't burn, while the popcorn pops.
Once the pops are 1 to 2 seconds apart, remove the pan from the heat.
Figuring out this timing is key to making the best Kettle Corn recipe. You need to pull your homemade kettle corn from the heat before your corn stops popping. Why? Because you can burn the sugar in the blink of an eye. Standard popcorn wisdom says to pull your popcorn when you have 3 seconds between pops. For kettle corn, you want to pull it at around 1 to 2 seconds per pop. As you get to know your pan and stove better, you might be able to extend this time, but it’s best to start here.
Again, be careful at this stage. Everything is very hot!
Pour your popped popcorn onto the baking sheet. Spread it out and remove any unpopped kernels. Allow the kettle corn popcorn to cool. Once the popcorn is cool, put the popcorn into a big bowl and serve.
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Want a cocktail to pair with this? Try our Apple Pie Martini cocktail recipe, which you can find here.