Carnival Kettle Corn – at home!

Crunchy. Sweet. Satisfying. Salty. Delicious. Kettle Corn. A recipe for a delicious carnival-style treat that satisfies every craving – that anyone can make at home!

Left: Yellow Popcorn | Right: Mushroom Popcorn

It starts with mushroom popcorn kernels, which pop into beautiful round balls of popcorn, sturdy enough to withstand the tossing and turning and coating needed to achieve authentic kettle corn. Traditional yellow or white popcorn is fragile and breaks into tiny pieces, which is undesirable. Mushroom popcorn is the perfect canvas for all the kettle corn goodness.

When it comes time to mix up a batch, you need this mix: Pappy’s Open Kettle Popcorn Mix. We’ve tried our own recipe with other types of sugar and other ingredients, but they don’t compare to the thin, crunchy, flavorful coating you can achieve with this mix.

Last, you’ll need some good popcorn salt to add the salty component to the kettle corn. Popcorn salt is a very fine grain which allows it to evenly spread over all the kernels of popcorn.

Here’s how to mix up a batch:

1. HEAT THE PAN

Get a heavy-bottomed pot. We highly recommend a stovetop popper, but any stainless steel or enameled cast iron pot will do the job. Heat the pot over medium-high heat. You want the pan hot!!!

2. HEAT THE OIL

Use a high-heat oil. We love refined coconut oil (tastes so yummy!), but vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil work, too. Stay away from olive oil and butter as they will burn. While the pot is heating, add three tablespoons of oil to the pan to heat.

3. ADD A FEW TESTER KERNELS

While the oil is heating add 2-3 kernels into the pot. Stir them around with the arm on the stovetop popper or gently shake the pot a few times to coat them in oil. Close the lid and listen for them to pop. When they do, you’ll know the oil is ready to go.

4. ADD THE POPCORN + PAPPY’S MIX

Now, remove the lid and add the remaining 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and 1/3 cup Pappy’s Mix. Stir well, either with the arm on the popcorn popper or with a spoon to adequately mix the oil + kernels + kettle corn mix. Close the lid and let things heat up!

5. POP THE POPCORN

Continue to stir or shake every 20 or so seconds to keep things moving. When the popcorn begins to pop, turn the heat down to medium-low heat to prevent it from burning. Resist the urge to open the lid as this lets the heat escape, affecting the quality of the popped corn. If you’re looking, your popcorn is not cooking.

6. LISTEN CAREFULLY

Knowing when the popcorn is done takes a bit of practice. We aim for 3 seconds between pops to determine when to remove from the heat. So, listen carefully and definitely don’t walk away while making the kettle corn.

7. REMOVE FROM PAN & ADD SALT

When the popcorn is done, dump it into a large bowl to stop the cooking process. If you leave the popcorn in the pot, the sugar on the bottom will burn, so work quickly to preserve the batch. Sprinkle on some popcorn salt while the kettle corn is still warm and stir to evenly coat the kernels in the sugar coating and the salt. Taste and add more salt if needed.

8. ENJOY

Kettle corn is best enjoyed right after it’s made – while the popcorn is just barely warm. But when it’s packaged in a bag, it will stay fresh for a few days! So you can actually make this treat a few days in advance!

Carnival Kettle Corn

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Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons high-heat oil (coconut, vegetable, or canola)
  • 1/2 cup mushroom popcorn kernels
  • 1/3 cup Pappy's Open Kettle Popcorn Mix
  • Sprinkle of popcorn salt

Instructions

1

Preheat a heavy-bottomed stock pot or stovetop popcorn popper over medium-high heat.

2

While heating, pour the oil into the pot.

3

Add 2-3 kernels to the pot and cover with a lid.

4

When those kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels and the Pappy's Mix. Stir or shake the pot to evenly coat the kernels in oil.

5

Cover with a lid and continue to stir or shake at least every 20 seconds.

6

When the popcorn begins to pop, lower the heat to medium-low to prevent burning.

7

Listen carefully to the popcorn. When the kernels slow to 3 seconds between pops, remove from the heat source and dump into a large bowl.

8

Sprinkle with popcorn salt and mix well, covering all the kernels in the sugar coating and salt. Taste and add more salt, if needed.

9

Let cool and enjoy!

Watch how it’s made:

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