Easy Kettle Corn

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Easy Kettle Corn – our all-time favorite homemade kettle corn! Learn how to make kettle corn that is great for movie night, game day, or snack time!

bowl full of kettle corn you can make at home

Homemade Kettle Corn

I love watching movies, but I don’t like going to the theater. It’s always cold, the chairs are uncomfortable, and it’s expensive. I would rather watch a movie at home where I can sprawl out on the couch with my cozy blanket and eat a big bowl of homemade Kettle Corn.

You can’t watch a movie without popcorn and Josh makes the BEST Kettle Corn. I request it every time we turn on a flick. I start the previews while Josh makes a batch of his famous Easy Kettle Corn.

And if you are a fan of the kettle corn you smell at fairs, farmers markets or sporting events, you are in for a real treat because it is SO easy to make at home. You are going to LOVE this kettle corn recipe!

how to make kettle corn at home

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. I love all varieties, sweet and savory. Twix Caramel Popcorn, Reese’s Peanut Butter Popcorn, and Garlic Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn are a few of my favorites. I usually make them for special occasions though, not our weekly movie night. Josh is in charge of providing the Kettle Corn for our movie date nights at home!

Secret ingredient to homemade kettle corn: coconut oil

Kettle Corn Secret Ingredient: Coconut Oil

You only need four ingredients to make Josh’s famous homemade Kettle Corn. This Kettle Corn recipe couldn’t be easier! And guess what? There is a secret ingredient: coconut oil! Coconut oil is great for popping popcorn because it tolerates high heat. It adds a slight coconut flavor to the popcorn, but it isn’t overwhelming. Don’t worry if you aren’t a coconut fan. The flavor won’t overpower your popcorn.

Big bowl of kettle corn made at home

How to Make Kettle Corn

Josh makes his Kettle Corn on the stovetop with his special Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper. It is his pan, he doesn’t let me touch it. He is the popcorn master at our house. His special popcorn popper has a turn crank on the handle so he can stir the popcorn. This keeps the corn moving across the bottom of the pan, for even heat and oil distribution, ensuring the best popping results.

If you don’t have a Whirley Popper, you can use a large pot. Just make sure you shake the pot so the kernels don’t get stuck!

The key to making the best kettle corn is letting the sugar caramelize just a bit over direct heat as the popcorn pops. You are going to love this sweet and salty popcorn!

The Kettle Corn only takes a couple of minutes to pop up! It’s a great snack for movie night, game day, or everyday snacking!

You can keep the popped Kettle Corn in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to 3 days.

Josh’s Easy Kettle Corn is one of our favorite snacks too! Kettle Corn is a hit with our entire family! I think you will like it too! Get popping!

If you like this Kettle Corn recipe, you might also like:

Learn how to make Kettle Corn with perfectly popped kernels

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homemade Kettle Corn in large bowl

Easy Kettle Corn Recipe

This is our all-time favorite Kettle Corn Recipe! It's easy to make and great for movie night, game day, or snack time!
4.73 from 18 votes



  • In a Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper or in a large pot with a lid, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels. When the coconut oil sizzles, sprinkle the sugar over the popcorn kernels. Cover and stir or shake the pan until the popping slows down. The popcorn should be done popping in about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the kettle corn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss. Enjoy!
  • Note-the kettle corn will keep for 2-3 days. Store in an air-tight container or Ziploc bag.


Calories: 80kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 194mg, Potassium: 18mg, Sugar: 4g, Iron: 0.2mg
Keywords kettle corn

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. This recipe turned out amazing even with just a regular pot and store brand sugar!! I did however use TJ’s virgin coconut oil. Thank you so much! My kids loved it!

    1. Currently trying to make this and the popcorn is not popping and the sugar is hardening on the bottom of our pot

  2. The maker of the Whirley Pop says immediately after emptying the kettle popcorn to run hot soapy water into the popper in order to ease clean up.

  3. Well, I have one of those old fashioned looking movie theater poppers in my office. Before I found this site, I figured I would do a little experimenting. I put the oil and corn in, waited a few seconds, then poured a pack of sweet n low in…..once it was popped, I put a little salt on it. It actually is not bad at all. Thanks for the recipe. I’m trying this tonight!

  4. Funny, I use coconut oil and organic pop corn to make mine too! I’ve tried using regular sugar to make kettle corn, but one day I was out and only had brown sugar. In a pan I melt 1/2 stick of butter, and 1/2 – 3/4 cup brown sugar. I mix till the butter is completely incorporated into the sugar, and let cook for a minute. Then I pour over the pop corn while tossing to coat. Plus some salt to taste. Thanks for your posts, I have lots of things pinned, and can’t wait to start cooking!

  5. I make popcorn in a large pot on the stove all the time, but when I tried your kettle corn recipe, it just wouldn’t pop. Seriously, the temp was high enough and I gave it plenty of time, but it was going on 10 minutes, and was just a solid mass in the pan.

    Could I have added the sugar too soon?
    Any idea what I did wrong?

    1. I find that letting the popcorn kernels warm up a bit before putting the sugar in makes all of the difference. A big fan of the whirley-pop, but wait until it’s starting to steam but not yet popping. Then drop in the sugar and you’ll get that great sugar coating you’re looking for without missing out on the popping (or the burning). Keep the corn moving the whole time.

  6. Just made this, in just a regular pot with lid. .. so yummy. Definitely going to make again.

  7. The key to not burning it when you don’t have fancy equip or maybe coconut oil (or maybe even if you have those things) is not to put the sugar (brown is good) until the oil and corn is super hot and ALMOST ready to pop. If you do it too early, you are kind of doomed, popcorn wise.

    I learned this from experience.

  8. Disaster struck twice. Tried in a pot and mostly turned brown and was not edible. Tried in Cuisinart Easy Pop Plus which spins at the bottom. Same result. Wish this would have been a success

  9. Your recipes are wonderful! I didn’t have a Whirly-Pop anymore, so I knew I had to watch my temps carefully and keep shaking that pot. The kettle corn turned out just right–my new favorite way to do popcorn. This could easily turn into a habit! Yum!

  10. “Coconut oil is great for popping popcorn because it tolerates high heat.”
    Actually virgin coconut oil has a smoke point of about 350 degrees, which is very low, similar to butter. It does taste great though. The movie theaters use refined coconut oil, which has a 400 to 450 degree smoke point.

  11. I just made this recipe about 5 minutes ago! It is perfect! It tastes great. Just the best kettle corn I’ve ever had. Thank you!

  12. Hey–thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to give it a try. Wish I still had the old popcorn popper with the stirrer on the bottom. We got it for a Christmas gift years back…..then microwave popcorn became the craze, so….I gave it away! 🙁 Must get some coconut oil…sounds like it just might be the secret ingredient.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. I always use coconut oil for my popcorn. This is the first time that I made kettle corn on the stovetop (I just use a big pot with a lid). Eating now…I think it’ll be hard to stop! 🙂

  14. Mmm!  I used brown sugar, kosher salt, and about two Tblspns. of soybean oil, which was the only ingredients available when my munchies hit; it came out great, tho a little burnt on the bottom. Hoping it comes out of my Whirley Pop after a good soak and a scrub. Yummy, thanks!

  15. Great recipe!

    I agree with you on the movie theater thing, for sure. I will definitely have to try out this new kettle corn idea, because microwaves make me feel weird and kettle corn is the best 🙂 THank you!

  16. Just read your candied pecan recipe, and now this. Both so easy and just heavenly! Definitely putting two together, but since I can’t get enough of either, it could be dangerous 😉 love all your recipes, thanks and keep up the fantastic work! 

  17. Yay! I actually found a Whirley Pop at my local thrift store for $4.99, barely used! I followed this recipe exactly (using organic coconut oil and fine seal salt) and came out with the best results! Finally, no more spending gobs of money at retailers for a bag of Kettle Corn. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Correction to my previous: *SEA salt (No “seals” were harmed in the making of this recipe. LOL)

  18. I own a Whirley Pop popper too! I love it so much. I also love kettle corn and have not made it in my Whirley pop or with coconut oil, so I am super excited to make this my new favorite kettle corn recipe.

  19. I am trying to find white kettle in a can. Igot it in a free box at christmas package, threw the can away and all i can find is popcorn. served wit mash potatoes and melted cheese, it is the best corn i have ever eaten. Maybe you could send me an e-mail telling me where i can buy it or what store carry’s it. tyvm

  20. Sadly, I don’t own a whirly gig. How could this recipe be adapted for air popped popcorn? Thanks much.

  21. 4 stars
    Minimal ingredients, easy and delicious!

    I used just a bit less coconut oil than the recipe called for (I was almost out) and love, love, love this simple recipe. I got the whirly popcorn maker a couple years ago when my mother-in-law realized I loved popcorn. I haven’t experimented besides the traditional airpop and classic dry-herb seasoning, so I was so happy to find this recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth! Thanks! 

  22. Since this recipe came out, studies have found coconut oil is actually not healthy… especially for your heart. I used to love it, so this is sad, but I have read that avocado oil is a great replacement!
    I will try your recipe, just substituting avocado oil in place of the coconut oil.

    Can’t wait to try this!


  23. Why is it that my corn never popped? I put it on med-high just like instructed but it just seemed to cook the kernels rather than pop them.

  24. 5 stars
    So darn easy and so freaking good!!! I blinked and my boyfriend had finished the bowl. Thank you!!! It will be our game day standard.

  25. 5 stars
    It’s like Sweet and Salty Skinny Pop but better! No additives or preservatives. Super yum and turned out perfectly on the first try. I used my Whirleypop. I waited until the first kernel popped to add the sugar. I both stirred the shook the pan. Nothing burned!

  26. 5 stars
    I made this in my Whirly Pop following Mark’s advice here in the comments on when to add the sugar and it turned out amazing! I also only used half the sugar and it was definitely sweet enough for me.

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