Sugared Popcorn (Kettle Corn)

  • Yield : 3
  • Servings : 3
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 50m
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This old time sugar-coated popcorn dish is almost a lost tradition. Ms. Shirley’s friends still trade her bowls of shrimp and okra gumbo for batches of her kettle corn.


  • 3 to 4 gallons of popped popcorn
  • 6 - 7 cups sugar
  • 1 cup regular milk
  • Roasted peanuts (optional)
  • Pecans (optional)
  • Cooking oil


Step 1

First, pop 3 to 4 gallons of popcorn. If you don't have a popcorn machine, take a large soup pot use just enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. I prefer Orville Redenbacher as it creates less unpopped kernels. Any popcorn will work though. Pop one cup of popcorn kernels at a time, heat the oil and popcorn stirring until the popcorn starts to pop. Cover until half of the pot is done. Uncover to complete the popping process, (no it will not jump out your pot) shaking the pot to prevent scorching.

Step 2

When the kernels are through popping, shake your pot so that the unpopped kernels can fall to the bottom. Pour into a large roaster being careful to remove any unpopped kernels. Repeat until you have popped the desired amount.

Step 3

Mix in your peanuts or pecans at this time.

Step 4

In a heavy duty pot, combine the sugar and milk. Cook until the mixture reaches the softball stage. Soft ball stage has a temperature between 234 and 238 degrees. Without a candy thermometer you can judge the stage when the candy mixture dropped in cold water has a soft texture and will stick together in a ball when rolled between your fingers.

Step 5

Immediately after reaching soft ball stage, pour the mixture all at once over the popcorn and stir well to coat all the kernels. Continue stirring until the mixture cools down and begins to crystalize on the popcorn.

The old way to save the popcorn was in the brown paper bag. If you aren't eating the popcorn for a while, store in an airtight jar or container.


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