Kettle corn is a part sweet, part salty popcorn that is prepared in a large kettle. By stirring the hot popcorn around in a kettle drizzled with sugar, salt and oil, it evenly coats the popcorn, creating a sweet-and-salty shell. Kettle corn can be purchased from grocery stores or specialty popcorn stores, but you can also make it at home with items you probably already have around the house. You can use a large pot instead of a kettle to create an at-home version of kettle corn.
Traditional Kettle Corn
For a traditional kettle corn that you can give away as gifts during the holidays, eat while watching a movie at home, or serve your family as a snack, "Every Day with Rachael Ray" suggests heating 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large pot with a lid that closes tightly. When the oil is hot, add 1/2 cup popcorn kernels and when the oil begins to spit, add 1/4 cup sugar. Cover the popcorn for three minutes, until most of the kernels have popped. Remove the popcorn from the stove, then add 1 tsp. of salt and stir until the popped corn is thoroughly coated.
Spicy Kettle Corn
For a kettle corn that is sweet, salty and also has a spicy kick, the Food Network recommends combining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels that have not been popped, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. chipotle powder and 1 tsp. salt in a large pot with a lid. Turn the heat on medium and shake the pot as the popcorn pops. When almost all of the kernels have popped, remove the popcorn from the heat and stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon to mix.
Healthy Kettle Corn Alternative
Vegetable oil is high in saturated fat, which, in large quantities, can eventually lead to heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Instead of adding vegetable oil to your popcorn, add a small amount of olive oil, safflower oil or canola oil to the pot, add the popcorn kernels, then sprinkle the popcorn lightly with a small amount of salt and sugar. Although this healthy kettle corn alternative should still be eaten in moderation, it does not contain as much saturated fat as traditional or spicy kettle corn.