Kettle Corn Made at Home
I love kettle corn. Its sweet and salty combo, along with the eminently munch-able texture of popped corn just rings all my snack bells. This Sweet n’ Spicy Kettle Corn features a little sugar (white or brown; more on that later), kosher salt, a tiny bit of cinnamon and the heat and spice of pure chipotle powder.
We prefer to buy organic popcorn, which assures it is non-GMO. That is our preference but of course you can use whatever kind of popcorn kernels you like. Do buy them fresh; they pop better and some brands and varieties do pop up fluffier than others. Experiment and find what you like.
Choose Your Sugar
White sugar has less moisture content and it can be easier to work with in this recipe, which does tend to burn easily no matter what. Do not walk away from the pot as you are making the kettle corn. It needs constant vigilance and agitation; full instructions are given below. Call me odd but I actually like some of the burned sugar bits, but I still like to keep them to a minimum. White sugar provides sweetness; brown sugar is sweet, too, but with an additional butterscotch-like flavor.
Sweet n’ Spicy Kettle Corn
Do you like sweet AND salty foods? This Sweet n’ Spicy Kettle Corn has that flavor profile, plus a little kick from chipotle pepper!
Makes 12 cups (240 g) of popcorn; serving size 1 cup (about 20 g)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) neutral vegetable oil such as canola or rice bran oil
- 2/3 cup (140 g) popcorn kernels, preferably organic
- 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar (white or firmly packed light brown sugar (71 g))
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper, or to taste
- Place 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil in a large (at least 6-quart/5.7 L) covered pot. Add a few corn kernels, cover and heat over low heat. When you hear the kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and sugar, cover, and continue to cook, shaking the pot frequently. Do not walk away! Listen to the popping sounds and as they slow down, vent the lid to allow steam to escape.
- With kettle corn I do not wait until all the popping sounds cease; I actually remove the pot from the heat while there is still a bit of popping action; this will minimize burning from the caramelization of the sugar.
- Pour popped corn into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and chipotle pepper and toss well. Sweet n’ Spicy Kettle Corn is ready to serve and we enjoy is best eaten as soon as possible. It will keep for a few days in an airtight container stored at room temperature (or even up to a week), but there is nothing like having this super fresh!