Difference Between Kettle Corn and Popcorn

Difference between Kettle Corn and Popcorn

In the last few years, we have seen that kettle corn became popular all across the globe. You can find it at most carnivals, fairs, movie theaters, vendor shows as well as supermarkets.

However, there are differences between kettle and popcorn, even though this particular idea is not known to most people.

It is essential to understand that kettle corn is not popcorn even though people think that it is only a type of popcorns in general, which means that you should know that we can differentiate numerous factors in which regular popcorn differ from kettle corn in general.

We decided to present you general differences between kettle corn and popcorn:


One of the biggest and general differences between oil-popped and air-popped as well as kettle corn is based on the character. Therefore, you should have in mind that when you are preparing popcorn in more traditional fashion, but you will notice a combination of salt and butter.

Therefore, we can consider popcorns as a salty snack. On the other hand, you can also find different flavors such as chilly, cheese, as well as cinnamon. Have in mind that it features a neutral taste of popcorn, but you can find it based on the type of seasoning.

Kettle corn features dominantly sweet flavor, and you will only notice a small hint of salt in general. Have in mind that oil that you will find in flavoring features sugar as well as small amounts of salt so that you can make it enjoyable wherever you are.

We have mentioned above that popcorns can be sweet in general, but have in mind that kettle corn is always a sweet treat and you will be able to place it in numerous flavors based on your preferences.


Preparation Process

Apart from flavor, you should have in mind that the method of preparation is also profoundly different. Even though both types come by using a specific type of corn that will open and puff up when you expose it to heat.

However, popcorns can come in numerous ways while kettle corn requires only one method that you can implement. Have in mind that popcorn come prepackaged, which means that you will be able to prepare them in the microwave oven, or you will be able to make small ones by using the air-popping machine.

Even though you will notice numerous benefits, even healthy ones, in most cases, for making them, you will need oil. It means that you should place a small amount of oil to a pan at your home, and you will be able to heat everything based on your preferences.

At the same time, you can use the popcorn machine, which is the one you have probably seen in cinema or theaters all across the world.

On the other hand, kettle corn is always prepared by using the cast-iron kettle, but you will be able to use a Dutch oven as well. Therefore, when you place the corn kernels, sugar, oil, and salt in the kettle together and heat it based on the instructions you get.

At the same time, you have to stir it frequently so that you can avoid burning and everything that comes with it. The main reason for that is that sugar can burn much quicker, which is why you need to stir it while making them.

Therefore, the preparation of kettle corn is much more complicated and intensive than regular ones, which is another difference that we have to mention here. You will be able to find microwave versions of the ones.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutritional value, you should have in mind that comparing these two can be complicated because everything depends on the way you prepare it as well as placing seasoning and topping after cooking.

Have in mind that the nutritional value of popcorn depends on numerous factors when you use air popping and place a small amount of salt, it is a highly healthy snack when compared with other methods of preparation.

Since popcorns are whole grains, which mean that, it features plenty of antioxidants and fibers. It also features a low amount of sugar and calories, and small amounts of sodium due to levels of salt that you add.

On the other hand, in case that you decide to consume popcorns made from oil as well as butter, or in some instances margarine and topic, it can contain 29 grams of saturated fat, which is the half amount that you should consume daily.

If you eat more, that means that you should consume more calories similarly as we have mentioned above.

When it comes to kettle corn, you will get a snack that will feature high sugar content, which means that it is much more caloric than regular popcorns. At the same time, it features much more fat content than regular popcorns since your body will process the sugar and metabolize it into fat due to high materials.

If you compare these two, it means that when you compare theater popcorns and kettle corn, both of them feature roughly similar amount of calories, while air-made popcorns are a great solution that will provide you health benefits so that you can enjoy all the way.


Corn has been an essential part of ancient Mexico, and according to historical perspective, the first signs of popcorns were  in 3600 BC. They became popular in the USA in the 19th century, and it was popular and widespread when the popcorn maker entered the scene.

Similarly, like popcorn, kettle corn became prominent back in the 18th century when Dutch settlers started consuming it in Pennsylvania. However, it returned on the market in the 21st century, and in most cases, you can find them in the flea market and fairs.

Therefore, if you wish to enjoy the sugary snack, you should consume kettle corn. On the other hand, a much healthier meal is popcorns, but you have to make it without oil.


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