Old-Fashioned Kettle Corn

Old-Fashioned Kettle Corn Recipe

Popcorn with salt and sugar sounds simple, but it’s addictive. This is fun to give guests at parties after dinner instead of a heavy dessert, especially if there’s a big game or a movie to be watched.–Christie Matheson

LC Fave Use For Splatter Screen Note

If you’ve ever made popcorn before, you know it’s something of a delicate dance to crack the lid just enough so that a little steam can escape, ensuring the popcorn is airy and not soggy, yet not so much that the lid topples off the pot, clattering to the floor and ensurin popcorn flies into all the far reaches of the kitchen. A far simpler solution is to rely on a splatter screen in place of a lid. Not only does this free up your hands and fend off grease spatters, it allows you to watch the popcorn pop, gleeful as a little kid. And, as experienced kettle corn makers know, it makes it easier to discern that crucial and opportune moment for sprinkling in the sugar, which is just after the bottom of the pot has been covered with popped corn but before the entire batch pops. It’s a nifty little tactic that ensures the sugar melts onto the corn but doesn’t scorch.

Old-Fashioned Kettle Corn Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes about 12 cups


  • 1/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Place 4 or 5 popcorn kernels in the oil in the pan and cover with the lid. When the kernels pop, quickly open the lid just enough to pour in the rest of the popcorn kernels and replace the lid.
  • 2. Quickly shake the pan to distribute the kernels. When just enough kernels have popped to cover the bottom of the pan, sprinkle the salt and sugar over the kernels and continue to cook, shaking the pan constantly, until the popping slows, about 3 minutes. (Don’t wait for every kernels to pop or you may scorch the sugar and your popcorn.) Remove from the heat. Taste and season with a bit more salt, if desired. Serve the kettle corn immediately.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Hey, there. Just a reminder that all our content is copyright protected. Like a photo? Please don't use it without our written permission. Like a recipe? Kindly contact the publisher listed above for permission before you post it (that's what we did) and rewrite it in your own words. That's the law, kids. And don't forget to link back to this page, where you found it. Thanks!

Back to Old-Fashioned Kettle Corn on Leite's Culinaria