Popcorn vs Kettle Corn

By | December 12, 2019

Popcorn and kettle corn look similar. Both snacks are available in many carnivals, fairs, movie theaters, and even supermarkets. However, there are several notable differences between popcorn and kettle corn that you may need to know. Below, you can learn more about how popcorn vs kettle corn are different and which one that is actually healthier.

Read on to find out more about:
– How popcorn and kettle corn are made
– The flavors of popcorn vs kettle corn
– The nutritional values and health benefits of each snack
– And whether popcorn or kettle corn is healthier

Shape and Flavor

Although popcorn and kettle corn often look similar, you can distinguish their shapes. When popped, corn kernels may fall into one of two shape categories, which are snowflake/butterfly or mushroom. Popcorns sold in movie theaters are usually snowflake-shaped because they are larger and fluffier. See also : Popcorn vs Chips.

On the other hand, mushroom-shaped kernels are usually found due to coatings on the corns. Coatings like chocolate, cheese, and caramel are often used. Kettle corns are usually mushroom-shaped.

Their flavors are definitely different. Popcorn is usually flavored with salt and butter, and it is considered as a salty snack. However, you can also find other flavors, such as cinnamon, cheese, and chili. This is because popcorn has a relatively neutral flavor, so it can adapt well to any seasoning.

Kettle corn has a predominantly sweet flavor, with just a slight hint of salt. The difference is usually very noticeable. Of course, kettle corn may also be seasoned to have different flavors, such as chocolate, cheese, and caramel. But you can still notice the flavor difference inside.


Popcorn can be made through various ways. There are pre-packaged popcorns that are designed to be popped using a microwave oven. There are also oil-popped and air-popped popcorns. Oil-popped popcorns are more common but less recommended due to the high calories. Air-popped popcorns are more recommended because of the lower calories.

On the other hand, kettle corn is made through a specific way. It is traditionally prepared in a cast-iron kettle, hence the name. However, according to Wikipedia, modern peopleuse Dutch ovens, pots, or pans. Put the corn kernels, oil, sugar, and salt into the kettle, then heat the kettle. You have to stir the content frequently to prevent the sugar from getting burnt. So, making kettle corn is relatively more difficult.Fortunately, there are now microwaveable kettle corns as well.


Comparing the nutritional values of popcorn and kettle corn is tricky because it depends on the preparation methods and seasonings. However, air-popped popcorns are generally the best and healthiest. Air-popped popcorns have relatively low calories while being rich in fiber and antioxidants.

Oil-popped popcorns are not recommended. They have very high calories and fats. Consuming them frequently may cause health issues such as obesity and high cholesterol. Kettle corn typically has higher sugar content. Although the fat content is not as high, the overall calorie count is similar to oil-popped movie-theater popcorns.

Popcorn vs Kettle Corn

PopcornKettle Corn
- Usually snowflake-shaped- Usually mushroom-shaped
- Salty flavor, except if seasoned- Sweet flavor, except if seasoned
- Can be made by microwaving, oil popping, or air popping- Made with sugar, salt, and oil in a cast-iron kettle or Dutch oven
- Air-popped popcorn has low calories, high fiber and antioxidants- High calories and sugar


In general, air-popped popcorn is more recommended. It has low calories and fat, while being rich in fiber and antioxidants. It is a healthy snack. Oil-popped popcorn and kettle corn are not recommended due to the very high calorie levels.

Leave a Reply