How To Make Kettle Corn

A Note From feedfeed

What do you do when you're hit with a craving for something sweet and salty? Our food editor Sara Tane has got your back: kettle corn! It only requires a few pantry items and takes less than ten minutes! 

Want to be sophisticated? Get the recipe for Sara's Miso Caramel and Tahini Brown Butter Popcorn here

Prep time 10mins
Cook time 25mins
Serves or Makes: 8-10

Recipe Card


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

To make the tahini brown butter


  • Step 1

    In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until butter is deep brown in color and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a heat proof bowl and whisk in tahini. Set aside.

To make the kettlecorn

  • Step 1

    Heat oil in a 3-quart or larger pot over medium. Add 2 or 3 kernels and wait until they pop. When these first kernels pop, add the remaining kernels, ½ cup sugar, salt, and cover with a lid. Gently shake the pot around to keep the kernels moving as they pop. When you start to hear several seconds pass between pops, remove from heat, about 5 minutes. Transfer immediately to rimmed baking sheet. Toss popcorn in brown butter mixture.

Make the miso caramel

  • Step 1

    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (you can wipe out the saucepan used to brown butter), add remaining ½ cup sugar and water and bring to a boil. Swirl pan until caramel is deep in color, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 3 tablespoons cubed butter followed by miso. While it is still hot, drizzle caramel over popcorn and toss with a rubber spatula until all kernels are evenly coated. Top with sesame seeds. Let cool completely. Popcorn will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but is best enjoyed the day it’s made.