KC Masters - Kettle Corn Equipment

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Ben LaMoure

Recipe's for Kettle Corn

- kettle corn recipe's

The kettle corn recipe that we use

30 inch Hemisphere

4 cups of oil
8 cups of popcorn [ 8 - 9 cups depending on various conditions ]
5-1/2 - 6 cups of sugar.

1/4 cup of salt, give or take. maybe less.... I just sort of wing it... do a test sample, if I think it needs more salt, I'll put more in.

80-qt popper

3 cups of oil

4 cups of corn

2-1/2 - 3 cups of sugar

Tweak the oil & sugar amounts till it comes out just right.

If oil is dripping out when you dump then add more corn or add less oil.

There is no absolute rule to making kettle corn but if you follow my tips below and experiment till you get the perfect batch you’ll have customers literally drive 30-50 miles or more to get your kettle corn, we’ve had it happen many times.

There are a few key things to remember when popping a batch, to make it come out right. Here is our step by step process.

1. Add your oil.

2. fire the burner

3. Turn on the Auto-Stir.

4. toss in a small hand full of kernels [ about 5-10 ]

5. When the test kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels for your batch.

6. WHEN to add the sugar.

Timing with adding the sugar... you want to add the sugar when the batch kernels start popping, or very soon thereafter. If you add it too soon it can caramelize and have a burnt taste to it. If you wait to long it will not coat the kettle corn properly and tast granulated.

Using an auto-stir is the best way to pop... It's like night and day compared to
trying to do it by hand. If your trying to stir with a paddle and at the same time add the sugar at the moment
when you start getting a good pop going, it gets kind of tricky. With an auto-stir... just wait for the right timing,
lift the lid and pour in the sugar and then just kick back and wait for it to get close to finishing the pop.

7. About half way through the pop I'll open up the lid on the dump side of the kettle. Let it breath and vent. we find that the kettle corn comes out more crispy and better this way.

8. Soon after the main popping frenzy towards the end of the pop turn off the Burner, before you dump the batch. Wait for about 15 seconds or so after you turn off the burner for it to finish popping, but don't wait till the very last pop to dump the batch. If you wait to long it can burn the batch a little, and if you do it too soon you'll have too many old maids that did't pop in your batch with a lower yield. When you dump the batch use an ice scoop to get all the kettle corn out into the Cooling & Sifting table.

10. quickly spread out the kettle corn in the cooling & sifting table and then SALT it right away. We us a dredge style salter and find it to be much more effective.

Be liberal with your salting the batch. I make at least two passes on the initial salting and then one more quick pass later.
So, salt the batch by making two passes across the table. Then start sifting. I use two ice scoops, one in each hand, going from left to right across the entire table. At first the kettle corn is sticky... or "ALIVE" and sort of crawls by itself. Keep sifting until it is no longer sticky or alive as we call it, and it sounds like sifting through dry corn flakes.About 3/4 the way through the sifting process I will usually salt it with one more quick pass, then finish sifting. Salting while the batch is Alive makes the salt stick to the kettle corn better.

11. Once your kettle corn sounds like sifting through corn flakes... it's ready to bag. Use a large ice scoop to fill the bags.

Some key pointers to making a great tasting batch is understanding what makes a poor tasting batch.

Whenever I taste a below average bag of kettle corn it is usually due to one of the following reasons:

1. Not enough sugar. [ some vendors try to skimp on the sugar and what they end up doing is producing sub-standard kettle corn ] We use Domino pure can sugar.

2. Too much oil in the batch [ if you see oil collecting in the bottom of your kettle after popping or dripping out when your dumping your batch, then your either using too much oil or not enough popcorn. Corn oil is the best, but you can use vegetable oil if Corn oil is not available or cost prohibitive.

3. Not enough salt. [ Kettle corn fans love sugar and salt... so give them what they want and plenty of it & they'l come back for more, sometimes the same day. ]

4. The popcorn is scorched or has a burnt taste from over heating and not enough ventilation. [ the scorching fumes get trapped in the batch ]

5. The sugar has caramelized due to over heating during popping [ too high of a burner output ] or adding sugar too soon.

6. Too much moisture in the popcorn due to improper sifting or popping techniques. And, most commonly because it's an old batch. If you have popcorn from a previous day left over... don't sell it, give it away or throw it away at the end of the day. Your customers will appreciate it.

As far as various recipe's... sky's the limit.
There are many suppliers of seasonings, caramel, glaze and other additives to flavor popcorn.
here is one supplier, or find another doing a google search.

Here is a free PDF book for over a hundred popcorn recipe's

Personally, and I think customers as well, like simple traditional recipes. And, when kettle corn is made right, people love it.


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