Learn how to make kettle corn at home! Kettle corn is very easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. You don’t need any fancy equipment – just a pot with a lid! It’s the perfect snack for movie nights, parties, or whenever you’re craving something salty and sweet.

Two bowls of kettle corn on kitchen island

Go ahead and toss those microwave popcorn packets because I’m showing you how to make the best kettle corn on the stove.

Before I learned how to make it, I thought you needed special equipment to make homemade kettle corn. Well, I was wrong – it’s actually very easy to make at home, and you only need a pot with a lid to make it.

Once you try it, you’ll skip the microwave stuff. You only a few ingredients and a few minutes to make a batch of freshly popped kettle corn.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Kettle Corn?
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Kettle Corn at Home
  4. Tips for the Best Kettle Corn
  5. Other Snacks You’ll Enjoy:
  6. Kettle Corn Recipe Recipe

What is Kettle Corn?

Kettle corn is a type of popcorn that is cooked on the stove with sugar and salt. It has a unique salty-sweet flavor. It gets its name from the original way it was made – in a cast-iron kettle, but it can also be made in a regular pot.

You don’t need any special equipment to make it – if you have a stove and a large pot, you can make your own homemade kettle corn popcorn.


  • Corn kernels
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
Overhead view of kettle corn in a bowl

How to Make Kettle Corn at Home

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper before you start making the kettle corn. That way, as soon as the kettle corn is done cooking, you can get it out of the hot pot quickly.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a few kernels into the pot. Once they pop, the oil is ready.

Place all of the kernels in the pot along with the sugar and salt. Stir to combine them. You also want to make sure the sugar is not all at the bottom of the pot because it will burn.

Cover the pot with a lid and move the pot back and forth and side to side, gently shaking it. This will keep the kernels from burning on the bottom of the pan. It should only take two to four minutes for the kernels to pop open.

Pour the popped corn onto the prepared baking sheet. If there are any burned kernels, toss them out, and let the rest cool for ten minutes before serving.

Tips for the Best Kettle Corn

Once you pour the kernels into the pot, please don’t leave it alone. You need to keep a close eye on it and continuously shake the pot so the corn doesn’t burn. 

If you see or smell smoke during the cooking process, remove the pot from the burned immediately. 

You may notice steam escaping from the pot, which is normal! The kernels will release moisture as they cook, which is where the steam comes from.

The kettle corn will take less than five minutes, so once you hear the popping slow down, it’s ready. Don’t wait until the popping stops; otherwise, a lot of the popcorn may burn. It’s normal to have some unpopped kernels once it’s done.

Are you ready to try this recipe? It’s the perfect snack for parties and movie nights! We love it – I hope you do, too.

Two bowls of kettle corn on kitchen island

Other Snacks You’ll Enjoy:

Two bowls of kettle corn on kitchen island

Kettle Corn Recipe

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Cook Time 4 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Serving Size 1 serving


  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • Put a baking sheet with parchment paper off to the side. You will pour the kettle corn here after it is cooked
  • In a large pot heat oil on medium high heat. Drop a few kernels into the oil. Once one pops the oil is hot enough. Now add in the kernels, sugar and salt. Make sure to combine all the ingredients well. If you have a lot of sugar on the bottom of the pot it will burn. Put the lid back on top.
  • Continuously shake the pot while the corn is popping. Back and forth and side to side. If you smell smoke, remove from the heat. Some steam is normal. It should take about 2-4 minutes to complete popping. Note that you do not want to wait until the popping stops altogether. Once the popping slows down, remove from the heat even if all the kernals are not popped. You don’t want to leave it on too long so that it burns.
  • Pour the kettle corn onto the baking sheet. If some of the kettle corn burned just remove the pieces and throw away. Let the kettle corn cool for a 10 minutes and then enjoy!

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 620mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword easy snack, homemade, Kettle corn, movie night snack, popcorn
Close up of two bowls of kettle corn with recipe title on top of image

This homemade version is the perfect snack for movie nights, parties, or whenever you’re craving something salty and sweet.

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