Kettle Corn Emergency

We here at DavesBeer.com take viewer mail quite seriously and also happen to pride ourselves in the level of detail we communicate during our culinary pursuits. A reader said she tried to make Kettle Corn using our method and failed. However, she used a Le Creuset (beautiful cookware) but probably too heavy-duty for this application. I suggested a lighter weight, non-stick pan and she got a lot of unpopped and burned kernels.

Totally unacceptable. We're sorry. We take full responsibility and will refund your money immediately.

In the meantime, I did another run Saturday night while watching a movie about a place I'm familiar with.

What I did this time
I repeated my procedure linked above but made a few more measurements and tried to increase the batch size. I used a 3 1/2 qt. sauce pan with loose fitting lid and added 30 grams of canola oil (2 1/2 T) and placed it with my two test kernels on top of a full-blast 14,000 BTU gas burner and fumbled to find the lid (and then put the lid on). It took a good 2 minutes till I heard the first kernel pop and an additional 20 seconds for the second. I then dumped in 1/3 C kernels (white corn, generic brand) and 1 T white sugar, put the lid back on and waited for popping to commence while the heat was still full blast. Things started going in about 20 seconds and took over a minute to fully pop. During this period I left it on the burner and only jostled it a few times during the entire period. BUT, fearful of burning (from my reader's findings), I pulled the batch off while I still heard popping. I then quickly dumped it from the hot saucepan into a waiting bowl and lightly salted it. It clumps a bit at the beginning and as it cools, it becomes more brittle and easily breaks up. Note: Many of the dimensions here were measured. In the previous post, I estimated and guessed.

The quality was excellent. T had more than half and Suzi wasn't interested. The yield was low though; lots of unpopped kernels but no burned ones. I became timid at the end.

I think this has to be done with really, really high heat in a pan that heats and cools quickly. My next expt on this will make use of a cheap, thin aluminum (not non-stick) pan that I have yet to find (Goodwill).

Don't know if this will help but email me again and we'll figure it out. It's worth it.