The best microwave kettle corn will depend on what you seek when eating this popcorn. Are you looking for the sweet taste or the delicate balance of sweet to salty? Or does the taste of microwave kettle corn take you back to your childhood?

The best microwave kettle corn is the one with a perfect sweet-to-salty ratio for your taste buds. Look for a brand of microwave kettle corn that pops a full bag and tastes amazing. The light, crispy kettle corn coating should cover the entire popped kernel. 

Microwave kettle corn has devoted followers who swear by their chosen microwave kettle corn popcorn brand. The rest of this article will define kettle corn, which microwave kettle corn brands rank the best, and the difference between regular kettle corn and gourmet kettle corn.

What Is Kettle Corn?

Kettle corn is a sweet and salty popcorn. Initially, this popcorn earned its name in the early days of the United States when the settlers cooked this corn in an iron kettle with leftover lard, some sort of sweeteners like molasses or honey, and salt. 

When the settlers cooked the corn and other ingredients together, they created popcorn with an invisible coating that tasted amazing. Folklore has it that many immigrants cooked kettle corn to celebrate the end of the harvest. 

Does Microwave Kettle Corn Have Flavors?

While bagged microwave kettle corn has an array of kettle corn flavors, the microwave version only has the classic kettle corn taste. There are differences in taste among the microwave kettle corn varieties, but no exotic flavors such as buffalo bleu cheese, as you will find in large bags.

What Kinds Of Corn Are Used In Microwave Kettle Corn?

Microwave kettle corn uses two types of corn kernels, mushroom and butterfly corn kernels. Amazingly, there are many types of popcorn kernels, each producing a unique shape, size, and crunch. While there is no consensus on which corn kernel is the best, some are better suited to becoming kettle corn.

  • Mushroom corn kernels deliver a round, large popped corn. The mushroom kernel holds thick coatings like chocolate, cheese, and other gooey additions the best because the popped surface has larger surfaces. A mushroom kernel is less likely to break apart, leaving a whole piece of popped corn covered perfectly in a chosen flavor.
  • Butterfly corn kernels pop into random shapes, often with wings sticking out. These butterfly kernels make fluffy popcorn as you would eat at the movie theater and in bags at stadiums, but they don’t hold the kettle corn sweet-salty coating well.   

Microwave kettle corn uses mushroom kernels to produce large, candy-coated popcorn that does not crumble easily. Popcorn is a perfect anytime treat made even better with the unique coating that kettle corn gives to popcorn. You can store leftover microwave kettle corn in a ziplock bag that keeps the popcorn fresh and crunchy.

What Are The Top Six Microwave Kettle Corn Bags?

In a taste test, these brands (available on of microwave kettle corn made the top ten. Each variety of microwave kettle corn has subtle taste differences, so your preference for a favorite might be different from someone else. 

  • Act II Kettle Corn Microwave Popcorn. Act II Microwave Kettle Popcorn has the flavor of old-fashioned kettle corn, not too salty and not too sweet. Many popcorn lovers rated it five stars and said almost every kernel popped and tasted fresh. 
  • Orville Redenbacher’s Kettle Corn Microwave Popcorn. Orville Redenbacher’s kettle corn tastes like kettle corn from the fair, with no artificial dyes, preservatives, or flavors. The entire bag of kernels pops well and is a great value.
  • Angie’s Boomchikapop Lightly Sweet Kettle Corn Popcorn. Angie’s Boomchikapop pops up with a sweet, light kettle corn flavor with no artificial ingredients since the sweeteners are monk fruit and cane sugar. Those who favored Angie’s said it tastes like a light, mildly sweet popcorn.
  • Pop Weaver Kettle Corn Popcorn. Pop Weaver kettle corn makes high-quality popcorn that has the perfect mix of sweet and salty. Their kettle corn popcorn is gluten-free and non-GMO.
  • Act II Buttery Kettle Corn Microwave Popcorn. Act II buttery kettle corn is not greasy but combines the sweet and salty taste with a hint of butter. This was the mildest sweet and salty flavor of those rated kettle corn popcorn varieties. 
  • Jolly Time Healthy Pop Kettle Corn. Jolly Time Kettle corn is 94% fat-free and made from whole grain, non-GMO corn kernels. It has no trans-fats or saturated fats, and each bag contains one hundred calories.

What’s The Difference Between Regular Kettle Corn And Gourmet Kettle Corn?

Large manufacturing plants create the most regular microwave kettle corn popcorn, but gourmet kettle corn popcorn is made in small batches that ensure the best quality and flavor. Some gourmet kettle corn popcorn is hand-finished to make sure all the popcorn is aesthetically pleasing. 

The difference between regular and gourmet kettle corn lies in how they are made. Regular microwave kettle corn comes from a large manufacturing facility. In contrast, gourmet kettle corn tends to come from a smaller, more homegrown maker where they are particular about the ingredient quality. 

  • Cousin Willie’s Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn gives you a light, flavor-packed kettle corn reminiscent of the kettle corn at the county fair. 
  • Trail’s End Gourmet Microwave Popcorn Kettle Corn is an annual fundraiser by the Boy Scouts of America, available through the Boy Scouts organization.

Can You Make Kettle Corn Without A Microwave?

You can make kettle corn without a microwave. Kettle corn made in a frying pan or pot often tastes better than microwaved kettle corn. You only need corn kernels, sugar, and canola oil to make it.

When you gather the essential ingredients and allow ten minutes of cooking time, you will have what you need to make kettle corn without a microwave. Use the following directions to make kettle corn at home. You need: 

  • One-fourth cup canola oil
  • One-fourth cup white sugar
  • One-half cup mushroom corn kernels

To make the kettle corn:

  1. Choose a flat frying pan or pot with a glass lid.
  2. Heat the canola oil on high until it is sizzling.
  3. Add the corn kernels and sugar to the pan and cover. 
  4. Watch the pan for popping corn kernels.
  5. Shake the pan 2-3 times in the three minutes it takes to pop all kernels.
  6. Empty the kettle corn into a large bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Enjoy your kettle corn!


Popcorn is a favorite snack for many people, and microwave kettle corn is a delicious, slightly sweet, slightly salty version that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The best microwave kettle corn is the one that tastes best to you.

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