Homemade Kettle Corn

Have you ever tasted homemade kettle corn before? This recipe is deliciously sweet, salty, and perfect for an after dinner treat or movie snack. But have you ever tried making it at home on the stovetop?

This blog post is all about homemade kettle corn.

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If you haven’t, then you might be missing out! Homemade kettle corn is beyond easy to make, and it tastes even better than the store-bought kind in my opinion. Plus, it’s so fun to cook and watch each corn kernel pop up on the stovetop.

Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have a delicious snack in no time. Better yet? You’ll totally feel like a cook after making this.


The smell of this homemade recipe wafting through the air is an ode to many childhood memories. For some summer festivals, street fairs, car shows, and others it’s that potent smell of a neighborhood movie theatre. Nowadays, this delicious treat is perfect for essentially any occasion – especially at home.

It pairs well with other movie night snacks like burger sliders, chocolate covered raisins, pretzel bites and more! 



Simply put, it’s a type of popcorn that is cooked with sugar. this results in a mixture of sweet and salty flavors. The sugar coats the popping kernels when heated, making kettle corn taste sweeter than the average popcorn in the bag.

Products I used for this recipe:

When it comes to making kettle corn at home, all you need is a pot or large skillet with a handle and lid. Use a pot that is at least 3 quarts.

If you’re making a larger quantity of kettle corn, then double the pot/pan size.

Also, be sure that the pot or pan you use is not too heavy. Once the kernels start popping, you’ll need to be able to lift and shake the pan mid-way through to prevent kernels from burning with the sugar and or oil.

Even though, the first layer of kernels in the pot/pan will most likely have a bit of burning if this is your first time making this recipe. Especially with a new pot or pan.




  • Vegetable Oil: This is what is going to cook or ‘pop’ those kernels on the stovetop. You can also use cooking oils like canola oil or olive oil. For this recipe I chose to use the standard vegetable oil.
  • Popcorn kernels: You can buy loose popcorn kernels at essentially any grocery store. Orville Redenbacher’s is a classic popcorn brand to use that I recommend! Although, any brand is fine to use. Just make sure to avoid the box of microwavable popcorn – you want the loose kernels here.
  • Sugar: This is what makes kettle corn have that classic sweet taste. You’re going to want to use granulated sugar here. Stevia and brown sugar could work too if you’d like to switch it up.
  • Salt: Adding salt makes for the perfect blend of sweet to salty ratio. Thus, the most delicious results.

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Pour 2 tbsp of vegetable oil (or whichever oil you choose) into the bottom of your pot/pan.
  2. Heat up the oil. Heat oil on medium-high heat and cover with lid. You’re going to want your oil to be hot so when you add the kernels, they will start popping.
  3. Add in kernels. Begin to add ¼ cup of popcorn kernels into the pot/pan and immediately cover with the lid.
  4. Pour sugar + salt onto kernels. Cover with lid. And shake the pot/pan every couple of seconds to coat the kernels evenly and to prevent burning.
  5. Listen for the kernels to start popping! This is the fun part. Be sure to listen until you do not hear anymore popping inside the pot/pan. That means, every kernel has popped, and they are ready.
  6. Cool off the kettle corn. Immediately remove from the pot/pan from the heat and empty kettle corn into a large bowl or baking sheet. The kettle corn is VERY hot once done cooking. Be sure to have protective oven mitts on during this process.
  7. Sprinkle with some additional salt and add butter. (Optional) and you’re done!

RECIPE NOTES:          

Make sure no matter what that you have a lid to cover the pot/pan you use.

This recipe can only be made with a lid that covers the kettle corn while its popping. Hot oil + popping kernels can be dangerous flying everywhere out of the pot if there’s no lid. So, be sure to always have a secure lid for this recipe.

For young children and people with sensitive teeth or dental work: Watch out for unpopped kernels.

Biting into a handful of kettle corn with an unpopped kernels can break a tooth. Sift through the kettle corn once its cooled off on a cooled off baking pan or bowl to take out the unpopped kernels.



Need some other recommendations to pair with kettle corn? Here are some other stellar movie-night themed snacks!

  • Salty-Sweet Party Chex Mix
  • Homemade Soft Pretzels
  • Cowboy Cavier
  • Buffalo Chicken Wings
  • S’mores Popcorn

Did you make this recipe? As always, be sure to tag Style Like Shelby if you make this kettle corn at home.

Cannot wait to see how you made your own recipe and what you decided to pair with it!

This blog post was all about how to make homemade kettle corn.





About Style Like Shelby

A big warm welcome to the Style Like Shelby blog! My name is Shelby and my mission is to help women have attainable luxury, livable style + a beautiful life on every budget. Read more..

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