Kettle Corn

8 Servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes

Kettle Corn is the ultimate sweet and salty treat perfect for an at-home movie night made with a sugar coating and a sprinkling of salt.

When it comes to a delicious Snack or Party Food, it’s hard to beat popcorn! Whether it’s Caramel, Chicago Mix, or this Kettle Corn the sweet and salty combo is always a favorite with a crowd. Use this recipe to make Homemade Kettle Corn on your stovetop!

Kettle Corn in metal pot


A movie without popcorn just isn’t the same, and this easy popcorn recipe is sure to take your at-home-theater to the next level. Made with easy ingredients like vegetable oil, sugar, and salt this is the perfect sweet and salty popcorn that everyone is sure to love!

There’s no need for a special popcorn popper or any fancy tools. Stovetop popcorn is easily made with just a large pot. It only takes a few minutes, and you can really tell the difference between popcorn made fresh at home and commercial microwave popcorn. It’s more flavorful and the popcorn itself is more light and airy. 

Flavored popcorn is perfect for snack time, movie marathons, or family game nights. You can also put this recipe out as a party snack along with other appetizers like Bacon Sugar Smokies and Totchos. They’re all easy and delicious crowd favorites!



  • Heat: Put a large pot over medium heat, and add in the vegetable oil. As the oil heats add in 4 unpopped kernels. Once the kernels pop you’ll know the oil is heated enough to start.
  • Sugar: Use a slotted spoon to remove the popped kernels, and stir in the sugar until it’s combined with the oil.
  • Popping: Add the remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn to the pot and cover it with a lid. Shake the pot well to coat the kernels in the sugar mixture. Place the pot back on the burner. Every 3 seconds take the pot from the heat and shake it well to stir the popcorn. Then put it back on the burner and repeat. It should be done popping when there are 2-3 seconds between each pop. Usually, this will take between 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Serve: Uncover and sprinkle popcorn with salt. Cover and shake once more. Give the finished popcorn a little time to cool before you serve it.

Kettle Corn greased pot with kernels


  • Coconut oil: If you prefer, you can use coconut oil, instead of vegetable oil. This will give the Kettle Corn Popcorn a slight coconut flavor. If you’re a coconut fan, you can lean into that flavor and add in some coconut flakes with the popcorn mixture.
  • Popcorn Flavors: There are plenty of other flavors you can try in this recipe. Try different kinds of sugars like brown sugar or maple syrup to experiment with the coating. You could also mix cinnamon, ginger, or cocoa powder into the coating. Or, for a savory popcorn skip the sugar, and try garlic powder, rosemary, and shredded parmesan to make Garlic Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn.
  • Popcorn Balls: To make homemade popcorn balls combine ¾ cup corn syrup, ¼ cup butter, 2 teaspoons water, 2 ½ cups powdered sugar, and 1 cup marshmallows in a pot over medium heat. Stir continuously as the mixture comes to a boil, then pour it over popped popcorn. Stir the coating and popcorn together. Let it cool, but don’t give it enough time to harden. Use your hands to shape the mixture into popcorn balls and wrap them in plastic wrap to set.



  • Store: Let the Homemade Kettle Corn cool to room temperature before you put it in an airtight container to store. The recipe will keep well stored in a dry, cool place for up to 1 week.

Kettle Corn spread out on baking sheet

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Kettle Corn

Kettle Corn is the ultimate sweet and salty treat perfect for an at-home movie night made with a sugar coating and a sprinkling of salt.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Add vegetable oil to a very large pot (we use a stockpot) on medium heat with four popcorn kernels.
  • When they've popped remove them and add in the sugar and stir well.
  • Add in the rest of the popcorn kernels, cover the pot and shake well.
  • Do not walk away from the stove.
  • Every 3 seconds the pot is on the stove pick up the pot and shake to stir, then put it back on the stove.
  • When popcorn is done popping add salt evenly over the top, cover, and shake.


Calories: 121kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Kettle Corn

Homemade Kettle Corn collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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