Advertisement
Kettle corn is a type of popcorn which has a sweet and salty flavor. There are many different versions of the origins of kettle corn. According to one source, the farmers and cowboys of the old Midwest were the pioneers of the flavor of this popcorn. After a hard day of harvesting, they would toss some fat into a cast iron pot placed on a fire. They would then add in some corn kernels along with whatever sweetener was at hand, usually honey or molasses, and stir the mixture. This may be the origin of the trademark slightly sweet, slightly salty taste of the kettle corn.

Another version goes that in the 1800s, Missouri farmers of German descent would make popcorn in large, cast iron skillets over wood fire after a day of rendering lard from hogs. Putting in some lard in the skillets, they would add the corn to it and sprinkle the mixture with some sugar. Somewhere along the way, molasses, honey, or cane sugar were also added to flavor the popcorn.

While many people today use stove top/electronic popcorn makers, it is possible to achieve the same results using a regular deep cooking pot. You do not need any kettle corn equipment, apart from the regular popcorn ingredients. One of the advantages of making kettle corn at home is that it costs a fraction of the amount you would pay for it outside.

Recipe

Ingredients
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • Salt to taste
Preparation

Add the cooking oil to a deep-bottomed pot, and place it over medium heat. When the oil shows the first signs of bubbling, reduce the heat, and add in the butter. Upon the complete melting of the butter, carefully add in the popcorn kernels till the bottom of the pot is completely covered. Put on a pair of oven mitts to protect yourself from the heat. Cover the pot with a lid, and turn up the heat to medium again. Shake the pot so that all the kernels get equally coated and so that none get burned.

Wait for a little while, and before the popping starts, pour the sugar over the corn. Replace the lid, and give the pot another good shake. When you hear the corn beginning to pop, turn down the heat a little. Initially you will hear rapid popping, but in a while it will slow down. When you feel the popping has slowed significantly or almost stopped, take the pot off the heat.

Be careful of steam when you take off the lid. Empty the popcorn in a serving bowl, and sprinkle a little salt over it. The sugary coating should still be wet; hence, the salt will stick to the popcorn. Toss it one last time so that all the sugar and salt get evenly distributed. Your own homemade kettle corn is ready.

Kettle corn not only tastes good but also makes a healthy snack, especially in comparison to junk food and candy. It is a good source of carbohydrate which provides energy, and also provides fiber. This kettle corn recipe is so simple and quick that you can make some whenever you want. And if you get really good at making it, you can even consider going into the kettle corn business.