My last post about Homemade Microwave Popcorn has lots of information about how much healthier, cheaper, and greener it is to make your own microwave popcorn and avoid those store-bought packets. That post also included tips about the kind of bowl and vented lid I use for making microwave popcorn. I recommend that you read those tips before trying this recipe for microwave kettle corn. The procedure is the same; I've just added a couple of ingredients to the kettle corn recipe.
This microwave kettle corn recipe and procedure is so simple, and the results are delicious. It's seriously addictive. I ate a bite of this before breakfast, and it soon became my breakfast. My bad. Just couldn't stop.
Kettle corn is traditionally slightly sweet and salty, but not as sweet as caramel corn; so, the flavor of the popcorn still shines through. It is normally made in a kettle (big surprise there) on top of the stove. My microwave method is so much simpler and it has less sugar and fat than the stove-top versions. It's a quick, easy snack for movie night--or any time. I use brown sugar (white is normally used) for an added flavor boost.
Step-by-step photos for making Microwave Brown Sugar Kettle Corn
butter (You can omit the butter and double the oil; although, I think the small amount of butter adds delicious flavor.)
Step 2. Combine the butter, oil, salt, and brown sugar in a bowl. Microwave 20-30 seconds, just until butter melts. Stir to combine.
Step 3. Add the popcorn kernels and stir it so that the kernels get completely covered with the sugar mixture. Even them out in the bottom of the bowl. This results in every piece of popcorn having the sweet/salty/buttery flavor on it as it pops. The flavors distribute and stick better than adding them after the popping. They get cooked on so they stay put on each kernel.
Step 4. Cover the bowl with the vented lid and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until there are 1-2 seconds between pops. The time will vary depending on your microwave and bowl, so you may need some trial-and-error on the first batch or 2 to figure out how long it takes the popcorn to cook. Mine took 3 minutes, 40 seconds. If you cook it too long, it will burn, smoke & stink; so keep a close watch.
Done! There will be some of the cooked sugar mixture in the bottom of the bowl, along with some unpopped kernels. I transfer the kettle corn to another bowl so that it doesn't stick to the bottom as the remaining sugar mixture hardens.
The light sugar coating on the popcorn gets crunchier as it cools. Yum!
Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn: for a yummy variation, add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon with the brown sugar/butter mixture.
Easy serving tip: Fold back 2 corners of a square paper napkin to make a trianglular shape for handheld eating.
Supplies needed: --2.5 to 3 quart microwave-proof bowl. If glass, should be tempered and have a high-heat tolerance. --Vented lid for bowl.
Directions: Put butter, oil, brown sugar and salt in bowl. Microwave just until butter is melted, 20-30 seconds. Stir to combine well. Pour popcorn kernels into bowl; stir to coat each kernel with butter/salt mixture. Even out kernels in bottom of bowl. Put vented cover on top and microwave on high for approx. 3-4 minutes, when there are 1-2 second between pops. Microwave times will vary.
CAUTION: Bowl will get hot; use hot pads or oven mitts.
Variation: Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice with the brown sugar.
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