The Best Cooking Vessel For Making Kettle Corn At Home

Craving the fair favorite kettle corn, but there are no fairs to attend where this flavorful popcorn is freshly popped and offered in big plastic bags? Don't give up on satisfying that craving. The slightly sweet treat can be made at home with just a little time, a few ingredients, and the right pot. In fact, you may already have all of the ingredients to make kettle corn. Gather popcorn kernels, granulated sugar, fine salt, and vegetable oil or any other type of oil that does well at high heat but maintains a neutral flavor, per The Spruce Eats. The result will be that slightly caramelized flavor that makes kettle corn so special.

There are a few techniques that need to be followed to make sure the kettle corn turns out right. First, according to Taste of Home, don't add the corn kernels and the sugar at the same time to the oil. Really hot oil is needed to make the corn pop, but that same oil may make the sugar burn. After the corn begins to pop, begin to add the sugar. Another trick to keep in mind is that when the popping of the kernels begins to slow, with several seconds lapsing between pops, the kettle corn is done and ready to be removed from the heat.

But what kind of pot should you use to pop the corn kernels? After all, you don't have a fair-sized ginormous kettle with an equally big paddle.

Sturdy, but not too heavy

You don't need a kettle suitable for a giant to make kettle corn, but the pot should still be large enough to provide room for the corn and sugar mixture to move around easily to prevent burning, explains The Spruce Eats. Think of a pan that is approximately 10 to 12 inches wide at the base and stands 8 inches or taller. While the pot needs to be sturdy and able to stand up well to high heat, don't use cast iron or a Dutch oven because they are more likely to retain heat, and the popcorn will get burned. According to Simply Recipes, don't go too light because a thin bottom could also result in burned kettle corn. 

The pot needs to have a lid, too, per Taste of Home, to help to keep the kernels contained as they pop. Speaking of kernels, have a pot deep enough and wide enough that the kernels will be able to be surrounded by the hot oil. You may also want to stay away from a pot that is too heavy because you'll need to remove the pot from the heat as the kernels begin to pop and then shake it for three seconds before returning to the heat, according to The Pioneer Woman. This process should continue until the popping slows down. All that is left is to sprinkle with salt and enjoy like the Ferris wheel is turning behind you.