Smith’s Secret Recipe Kettle Corn

If there’s ever a recipe I’m often requested to make or share, it’s this.

Popcorn. Simple, humble, popcorn. But not just any popcorn.

This popcorn is different, or so says everyone who has ever tasted it. And I concur: it’s really, really good.

Smith's Secret Recipe Kettle Corn

This popcorn is popped on the stovetop in a big heavy-duty stockpot, topped with delightful coconut oil and butter, then sprinkled with my secret (and soon to be unveiled) blend of spice, sweet, and salt. No microwaves allowed!

But trust me. After you try this version, you won’t miss the microwaved kind.

Recipes like this are great for the busy holiday season, especially when you are trying to keep it simple.

I love to rely on this when we go to a casual gathering and I need to bring a contribution. I don’t think I ever bring leftovers home!

This kettle corn also makes a great frugal gift. Just bag it up individually with a cute tag and tie, and you’re set!

And now, for the great unveiling.

Secret Recipe Kettle Corn

Like a lot of recipes that I make often, I don’t really measure anything. However, because you’re friends, I made the popcorn for my family tonight actually measuring things out. My children thank you!

Oh, and this recipe contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost is the same, but this site and my family can be blessed with a small commission. Thanks!

  • 2 tablespoons lard or palm shortening (find that here or here)
  • 1 1/2 cups of popcorn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I use this brand, but you can find lots here, too!)
  • 1 teaspoon Real Salt, plus extra (other unrefined sea salt would work, but I always use Real Salt)
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar, plus extra (also called Sucanat or Rapadura)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus extra

Finishing Popcorn

  1. In a heavy stockpot, melt 2 teaspoons of the lard or palm shortening over medium heat.
  2. Add the popcorn kernels. They should be 1-2 deep in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid, and let the kernels heat. Occasionally shake the pot from side to side to keep them from burning.
  4. As the kernels start to pop, continue to shake the pot from side to side regularly.
  5. Once the popping ends (or there’s about 5 seconds between pops), remove the pan from heat and take off the lid.
  6. Melt the butter and coconut oil in a small pan over low heat. Mix together the salt, cinnamon, and sugar.
  7. Pour the butter and oil over the popcorn, then sprinkle with the seasonings. Place the lid back on the pan and shake it up and down to disperse the tastiness.
  8. Taste test (a clearly crucial step), and add more seasonings to suite your fancy.

Now that I’ve given you a recipe, I’ll tell you how I typically make it.

  • I plop enough lard or palm shortening to totally cover the bottom of the pan once melted.
  • I sprinkle in enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan 1-2 kernels deep.
  • Once it’s done popping, I melt a big spoonful each of butter and coconut oil.
  • After I pour that yumminess on, I get out my salt shaker and my 50/50 cinnamon sugar shaker and give them both a good shakey-shakey over the popcorn.
  • The pot’s lid goes back on, it all gets shaken up, and we dive in!

That just didn’t seem like a blog-worthy recipe to share, so you get the above details, too.

Smith's Secret Recipe Kettle Corn 2

Voila! That’s it. Simple, easy, but oh so very tasty!

Once you start eating it, it’s really hard to stop. I don’t know if it’s the unique blend of cinnamon, sugar, and salt, or the coconut oil and butter blend, or what. It’s just really good stuff.

But enough of me talking up this popcorn. Go make some and tell me what you think!

Do you have a favorite snack for the holidays? What’s your favorite way to make popcorn?

12 Days of a Simple Christmas

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    1. I tried it on the stove long ago, but I don’t like beating up my stove. Because I put the sugar in with the kernels, I couldn’t get that popcorn off the stove quick enough to prevent burning. I developed my own recipe with the Stir Crazy popcorn popper.

      Stir Crazy popcorn popper
      1/4 cup oil or butter. You choose the oil. Coconut makes it more sweet and adds flavor. I use grapeseed. Using butter is a special treat!
      1 cup popcorn kernels
      1/2 cup sugar. You choose what kind. I used fair trade organic.
      Big pot with lid. I use a stock pot.
      Salt – I use popcorn salt. It’s finer. You can use whatever kind you like. You could start with 1/4 tsp and see how you like it. I really have no idea how much I use! You really need to taste test.

      Turn on the Stir Crazy.
      Put a good puddle of oil-about 1/4 cup.
      Wait until the oil is shimmering. If you put three kernels in, they will pop and tell you when it is ready. This prevents maidens. (Unpopped kernels). When all those three popped, proceed.
      Pour in the kernels.
      Sprinkle in the sugar. Be sure the stirrer doesn’t get stuck.
      Let it pop! When the popping slows down to two seconds between pops, unplug the Stir Crazy and turn upside down to prevent burning.
      Now pour into the big pot. Shake your salt over the popcorn. Put lid on and hold on tightly. Shake the pot up and town, upside down and all around.
      Now the taste test. Try to save some for your family and friends…

      I agree with Kristen. Once you share this with friends, it will be requested for all events!

      Bummer for me. I finished off my popcorn kernels last week! I need to get more today!

      1. That reminds me of a disaster I had once with popcorn! I bought this kettle corn sugar mix that you were supposed to add with the oil while the popcorn popped. I was a little skeptical, and should have skipped it, because talk about burnt sugar! It was bad.

        Yours sounds very yummy, too! I had to go look up the Stir Crazy popcorn maker on Amazon because I had no idea what it was. Looks like a fun kitchen toy!

        Hope you get some popcorn soon. 😉