There’s just nothing like a fresh batch of kettle corn. Hot and crispy popcorn that’s characteristically both sweet and salty. The scent invokes immediate nostalgia. Kettle corn is one of the most addictive snacks on Earth.
This Dutch oven kettle corn is the best because of one simple addition that makes a huge difference. Just a touch of maple syrup. Maple syrup gives kettle corn a more complex sweetness that’s more than just sugar sweet. It plays well with the popcorn flavor and most people probably won’t be able to pick out a note of maple, they’ll just say oh my gosh this is the best kettle corn ever!! Making homemade kettle corn can have a bit of a learning curve. I’ve definitely burnt a batch or two in my life. Of all the different popcorn recipes I’m sharing this week kettle corn is the most likely to burn. That’s because of the high sugar content! But with a few tips and tricks you’ll have it mastered in no time.
- More cooking oil. Kettle corn uses more oil to help keep the popcorn from sticking to one spot and burning to the bottom of the pan.
- Make a kettle corn mix. This recipe uses a mixture of popcorn kernels, sugar, and maple syrup. We’ll mix this up beforehand so it’s ready to go in the pot as soon as the oil is hot. No stirring needed before the lid goes on.
- Use a large Dutch oven or a deep saute pan. It’s important your pan has a large surface space for the popcorn to be able to spread out. A clear lid is also helpful. I love uisng my Chantal Dutch oven to make popcorn.
- But by far, the most important thing for making kettle corn is to stay right by the stove the entire time and shake, shake, shake that pot so every piece of popcorn moves around and doesn’t stick in one spot. As soon as you feel like the popping has slowed take the pan off the burner.
- Also, be careful sugar gets really hot. It can burn easily and it can cause burns easily.
To make Dutch Oven Kettle Corn you’ll need:
a large pan, like a dutch oven or a deep saute pan
cooking oil, vegetable or canola
real maple syrup
- You’ll start by mixing together 1/2 cup popcorn, 1/4 cup sugar and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Set this aside.
- Next you’ll add 1/2 cup of cooking oil to the pan along with about 3-4 kernels of popcorn and heating over medium heat. These are your test kernels, they will let you know when it’s time to add the rest of the popcorn.
- When you hear the test kernels pop you’ll know the cooking oil is at the right temperature. Add the sugared popcorn mixture to the pan and cover. Once you hear that next pop, set a timer for around 3 minutes.
- Stay right there by the stove the whole time and cook for around 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to help keep the popcorn from burning. When the pops begin to slow, remove from the heat but leave the lid on for 15-20 seconds because there can be some late bloomers that will try and pop out and get ya!
- Carefully remove the kettle corn to a large bowl with a slotted spoon taking care to leave behind the unpopped kernels. Sprinkle the kettle corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir, and then another 1/4 teaspoon salt to make sure the salt is evenly distributed.
- Eat it warm or let it cool completely. Either way it’s delicious. Just make sure that it’s completely dried before you move it to an airtight container to store it.
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, divided
You'll start by mixing together 1/2 cup popcorn, 1/4 cup sugar and a tablespoon of maple syrup. in a small bowl. Set this aside.
Add 1/2 cup of cooking oil to the pan along with about 3-4 kernels of popcorn. Cover and heat over medium heat. These are your test kernels, when they pop you'll know the oil has reached the correct temperature for popping.
When you hear the test kernels pop you’ll know the cooking oil is at the right temperature. Add the sugared popcorn mixture to the pan and cover. Once you hear that first pop, set a timer for around 3 minutes.
Cook the popcorn for around 3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently to help keep the popcorn from sticking to the bottom and burning. When the pops begin to slow, remove from the heat but leave the lid on for 15-20 seconds to ensure you don't get burnt by any late poppers.
Carefully remove the kettle corn to a large and wide bowl with a slotted spoon taking care to leave behind the unpopped kernels in the pan.
Sprinkle the kettle corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir the popcorn, Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir once more to make sure the salt is evenly distributed.
You can eat the kettle corn warm or let it cool completely.
Make sure popcorn has dried completely dried before you moving it to an airtight container to store.
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