Perfect for large parties or small family movie nights, kettle corn is a great way to snack on a budget. Adults and kids love it, and it takes less than ten minutes from start to finish, making it a great choice for last-minute guests and a spur-of-the-moment treat for the kiddos. The secret to getting it right is to heat the oil hot enough to pop the kernels, but not so hot that it will burn the sugar. I enjoy the flavor imparted by coconut oil, but feel free to use the cooking oil of your choice.
1/4 cup cooking oil (coconut, canola, or vegetable oil work here)
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
Salt, to taste
1. In a large pot that has a lid, heat the oil and two or three kernels over medium high heat. Once one of the kernels pops, add the rest of the kernels, then quickly but evenly pour the sugar over the kernels.
2. Put the lid on the pot and give the pot a shake, then return to the heat and let the kernels start popping. You’ll want to give the pan a good shake several times through popping to avoid burning the sugar. Once the popping slows down and most of the kernels are popped, remove the lid (careful- some kernels may still pop!) and pour the popcorn out onto a baking sheet or into a bowl to let the sugar coating cool.
3. While the sugar is still hot, sprinkle the popcorn with a few healthy pinches of salt. Taste a few pieces of popcorn and add more salt as necessary. Once cool, serve immediately.