DIY Kettle Corn

DIY Kettle Corn

Snack Hack This County Fair Favorite – Make Your Own at Home, Plastic-Free and Frugal 

by Rebecca Rockefeller

Yes, you can make your own kettle corn at home, no special equipment necessary, no heroic clean-up measures required.

Buy your popcorn, oil, sugar, and salt in bulk and you’ll avoid all plastic packaging – It’s a Treat Less Plastic! Not entirely a healthy treat, but what’s a childhood or life in general without the occasional handful of crunchy-salty-sweet kettle corn?

What you’ll need:

  • Large pot with a lid.
  • Hot stove (or a campfire, if you’re daring).
  • Potholders.
  • Large bowl.
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels.
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar, to taste. The pale beige organic sugar crystals will give you a see-through coating on the kernels that tastes like the kettle corn from the fair. Sucanat or rapadura will give you a mildly caramel-flavored brownish kettle corn.
  • 1/4 cup oil that holds steady in high heat; I use grape seed oil.
  • Sea salt to taste.

You can double each ingredient to make a large batch. Yes, that will seem like an obscene amount of oil, but you’ll need that much to keep the sugar from burning and to get an even coating of sweet and salty crunch on the kernels.

Kettle Corn Snack
Kettle Corn Snack

What to do:

  1. Put your large pot an a burner set to just below high and add the oil and 3 unpopped kernels of corn.
  2. While you’re waiting for these first kernels to pop, make sure you’ve got the rest of your popcorn kernels and sugar ready to go, a large bowl waiting nearby, and that pair of potholders on your hands.
  3. Once the three test kernels pop, pour in the rest of the kernels and the sugar. and pop the lid back on. Immediately start shaking that pot like crazy, back and forth, round and round, back and forth. Don’t stop! Not even for a second!
  4. Once the popping has slowed down and you’re starting to really worry that things will burn, whisk the pot off the heat and quickly pour everything into that large bowl you’ve got waiting.
  5. Sprinkle on sea salt to taste and toss it in with a spoon (you’ll burn your hands if you try to toss the salt in bare-handed).
  6. Let cool.
  7. Eat.
  8. Store any leftovers in a large jar with a tight lid.
Big Old Jar of DIY Kettle Corn 
If you’d like even more Food Less Plastic ideas, browse the Kitchen & Dining Inspiration section of our Trash Backwards app, or simply search for an item by name via our home page. We’ll connect you with a curated collection of the best Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, and Rethink ideas from around the world. 
Food Less Plastic Ideas via Trash Backwards

Food Less Plastic Ideas via Trash Backwards

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4 Comments on “DIY Kettle Corn”

  1. May 29, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Oh no! I’ve been keeping my kettle corn addiction in check by only buying it at festivals and farmers markets. Making it at home is oh so good (bad) news! 🙂 Kettle corn also freezes well, by the way.

    • May 29, 2013 at 6:39 am #

      Hmmm, sorry about that…:-) Thanks for the freezer storage tip! If I can manage to make enough for leftovers, I’m going to give that a try – Whenever I pop this up, the entire neighborhood of children appears on my doorstep to help finish it off!

  2. June 2, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    No such thing as left over kettle corn! :o)

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