Saturday, March 16, 2013

BBQ Bacon Kettle Corn

When Ruth and I go to fairs or wine festivals to sell our “Rick’s Ragin’ Sauces and Seasonings” there is always a vendor selling kettle corn, and I love kettle corn! If you have never had it, it is quite a treat!  

It is popcorn cooked in a huge kettle with sugar and salt that thinly coats each kernel with a delightfully sweet and salty caramel glaze. What could be better?  Adding smoky bacon to it, that’s what!  With the holidays and football season in full swing, this uber-snack will surely please your guests!  You can make a scaled-down batch at home on your stove.  I guarantee it won’t be around long if you do!  Serves 2? 3? 4? 1?  (Aw hell, it makes a medium bowl of popcorn.)


1/2 Cup un-popped popcorn
1/4 Cup oil (use canola or peanut oil)
1/3 Cup sugar (use half white sugar, half raw turbinado sugar)
2 to 3 strips hickory smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs BBQ rub (use Rick’s Ragin’ BBQ Rub for best results)
1/2 tsp finely ground popcorn salt (optional)


Chop the raw bacon into small pieces.  You can freeze what you don’t need for use in other recipes.

In a large sauce pot, over medium heat, cook bacon till crisp.

Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel and pat to get rid of excess grease. To the rendered bacon fat in the pot, add the additional oil, popcorn, and sugar.

Heat over high heat, stirring constantly, until you hear the first few pops. Remove from the heat and shake the pot. Shake it for a couple of seconds, return to the heat for about 10 seconds and repeat the process until the popping eventually slows to an occasional pop. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a large bowl. Do not make the mistake of removing the popcorn from the heat without transferring it to a bowl. Due to the high heat of the pot, if you don’t transfer the popcorn it will caramelize and burn.  Also, do not make this in a dutch oven. It is too heavy to shake and retains too much heat, so the sugar will burn. Dump the popped popcorn from the bowl into a large paper shopping bag and immediately add in the bacon bits, BBQ rub, and optional salt.  

Shake well, dump it into a serving bowl and enjoy!

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