Whether we’re at the fair or just on our weekly trip to the farmers’ market, my kids inevitably ask for kettle corn. Something about the hint of salty and sweet on their favorite popped kernels calls to them, and a lot of the time, well, I cave. I mean, they’re pretty darn cute, and who can fault them? The allure of the large kettle, the massive paddle used to stir the pot and the equally massive bags of warm popcorn just waiting for them. It doesn’t hurt that I like kettle corn either.
Rather than shell out $7 to $10 for freshly popped kettle corn, I’m making it at home. Our new best friend, the Whirley Pop, is here to help, but you can also make kettle corn right in a large pop (preferably with curved walls) on your stove. Just once you have it going, you’ll need a long-handled wooden spoon or spatula to keep pushing them around while carefully holding the lid up to let the spoon in. Once the kernels start to pop, you can cover completely and shake your pot, but be careful not to shake directly on the stove if you have a glass top. If you have a gas range like me with metal grates, shake, shake away.
I enlisted my 10-year-old to help with the kettle-corn-making process and video. Then I let her eat the kettle corn, which, of course, is always a benefit of hanging out in the kitchen.
2-3 tablespoons canola or coconut oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
a few pinches flaky sea salt
Place oil in popcorn pot or large stockpot. Turn burner to medium. Add 3 kernels and wait for them to pop. Once they’ve popped, immediately add in remaining kernels and sugar and turn the burner up a bit. Start stirring the pot or turning the handle on the popcorn pot with the lid closed. Continue until all the handle becomes hard to turn or all the popcorn is popped.
Pour popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and stir to break up any large chunks and cool the sugar down. Eat.
Makes 10 cups kettle corn.