Stovetop Popcorn: Butter or No-Burn Kettle Corn

By Lucy - because popcorn is one of the only things I will brave the boat galley to make!

Boat life continues to bring revelations. Back in the glorious days of land life, I had a microwave. Its purpose was to pop microwave popcorn. It was a wonderful thing! We used to go to the fair to get kettle corn. This was a delight! Then we moved onto the boat. No microwave. No bags of microwave popcorn. No fair kettle corn. Despair set in.

One day, after I had washed laundry in a bucket and heated water on the stove to shower with, I realized we could take this Little House on the Prairie thing one step further. My friends, it is possible, to make popcorn without a microwave and without a bag of microwave popcorn. Wow! I'll pause here while you take your heart medications.

You don't even have to go to the fair to get kettle corn! You don't even have to burn down the house with burning sugar sticking to the pot.  I know, get out! (Take some more heart medications!)

Basic Popcorn
1/3 -1/2 cup of kernels (2-6 normal people, or 1 greedy one)
2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (or peanut, vegetable or canola oil)
salt to taste

Butter Popcorn
2 Tablespoons of butter

Kettle Corn
1/4 cup of sugar
2-3 tablespoons of water

Step 1. Kettle Corn: Heat sugar and water over a medium heat until the water is clear and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Step 2: Both corns:  Heat oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Using pot holders to hold the lid on securely, shake the pot slightly to distribute the oil and return to the heat. When 3 pops are heard, carefully open the lid and add the rest of the popcorn. Cover immediately (oil may splatter!), shake and return to the heat. Shake occasionally, and then shake often once popping begins to prevent burning. When 2 seconds elapses between pops, remove from heat and continue shaking.

Step 3: Kettle Corn: When popping stops, open lid carefully and drizzle over sugar mixture. Cover and shake some more. Add salt to taste. Let cool 2-3 minutes then serve. 

Step 3. Butter Corn: Pour popped popcorn into a bowl. With the heat turned off, add butter to the hot pan. The residual heat will melt the popcorn.Tilt the pot to keep the butter from burning. Pour melted butter over the popcorn. Add salt to taste. 

Heat the sugar water mixture until clear
Popcorn Kernels
Shake it up!
Butter popcorn
Burn free kettle corn!
What's your favorite snack? Do you have a favorite Little House on the Prairie lifestyle tip to share? Let us know in the comments!  

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  1. Easy and healthy (without the butter) snack! And, cheap! We have been making popcorn like this since our sailing years and find that using peanut oil and salt flavors the popped corn enough, to not need butter. We are still making popcorn like that now, with the difference that we sometimes buy organic kernels. :-) Yum! I've never made the sweet version, though.

    1. It's never occurred to me not to use butter! I might try that tonight. Kernels are (compared to potato chips) cheap and space conscious - it might be the perfect boating snack.


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