Difference Between Kettle Corn and Popcorn (with Table)

Since time immemorial, corn has been a part of human snacks. They were first made in Mexico, around 3600 BC. They are the whole grains of order poales and kingdom Plantae. There is a variety of popcorn based on the method of preparation such as kettle corn, steam-driven popcorn, butterfly popcorn, etc.

Popcorn and kettle corn are often confused by one another, thus, it becomes important to know about them. Kettle corn is the corn that is made in the kettle or pot of cast iron. Popcorn is the simple corn that is made in a pressure pot.

The difference between kettle corn and popcorn lies in the method of preparation of corn. The corn prepared in a cast iron pot or kettle is kettle corn and their method of preparation can not be altered, they are sweet in taste with a hint of salt. The air-popped popcorns or butter popped popcorns are the ones that are made in the microwave, popcorn makers, etc. They are salty to taste, however, one can add ingredients based on their tastes.

Comparison Table Between Kettle Corn and Popcorn

Parameter of ComparisonKettle CornPopcorn
History Kettle corn dates back to the 18th century when it was made in Pennsylvania by the Dutch settlers.Popcorn has a long history backing it. The pieces of evidence show that it made its first debut around 3600 BC in Mexico.
Method of cooking the cornsKettle corn has a specific method of cooking. They are prepared in a kettle, pot or a Dutch oven of cast iron. Constant stirring is required to make kettle corn.Popcorns are made in a variety of ways. The most common method includes preparing them in microwave or pressure utensils on a small scale and making them in the popcorn makers on a large scale.
IngredientsThe traditional kettle corn includes a mixture of kettle corn, oil, sugar and salt. However, people have found new ingredients to maximize its taste.Popcorns require a mixture of corn, butter and salt.
FlavorsKettle corn is predominantly sweet when tasted and only has a hint of salt. Sometimes it is made in caramelized flavors.Popcorns are salty to taste. Other common flavors added to it include chili, cheese, cinnamon, etc.
Nutritional valuesKettle corn has a higher content of sugar but has a lower content of fat. However, being whole grains they are packed with antioxidants and fiber.Air-popped corn serves as a healthy snack. It has a lower content of sugar and calories. If the salt added is higher in amount, they had a relatively higher content of sodium. They are also rich in antioxidants and fiber.

What are Kettle Corns?

Kettle corn is a sweet variety of popcorn that differs in the method of preparation and this method can not be altered. They are prepared in a kettle, pot or a Dutch oven which are made of cast iron. They require constant stirring till they are ready to serve. 

Kettle corn dates to the 18th century when it was first made by the Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania, US. They gained popularity in the 19th century but faced a downfall during the 20th century. After that, they made a comeback in the 21st century in America.

The traditional method of preparation of kettle corn requires a mixture of corn, oil, sugar and salt as major ingredients. Kettle corn is predominantly sweet to taste and only has a hint of salt. Kettle corn is also made by adding caramel to it. Kettle corn has a higher content of sugar but has a lower content of fat. However, it being a whole grain is packed with antioxidants and fiber. They serve as a healthy snack.

images 20 1

What are Popcorns?

Popcorn is a whole grain snack that gets popped or puffed when exposed to the heat. It belongs to the family Poaceae of Plantae kingdom. There is a wide variety of popcorn, namely, dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, steam-driven corn, kettle corn, etc.

Popcorn is made in a pot or vessel which is majorly based on building pressure. They can be made in microwave or popcorn makers. They do not require stirring. 

The history of popcorn dates back to about 10,000 years around 3600BC. It made its debut in Mexico. Popcorn gained popularity in the 19th century when kernels became available on the East coast of the US. 

The major ingredients required for making popcorn are kernels, butter and salt. They are salty to taste. Flavors of chili, cheese, cinnamon, etc can also be added to maximize flavors. Popcorn is rich in antioxidants and fiber. They have a higher content of salt.

images 19 1

Main Differences Between Kettle Corns and Popcorns  

  1. Popcorns made their debut much earlier than kettle corn in around 3600 BC, on the other hand, kettle corn came into existence in the 18th century.
  2. Kettle corn has a specific method of preparation whereas popcorn can be made in a variety of ways.
  3. Kettle corn is always made in a cast iron pot or kettle whereas popcorn can be made in any utensil or pot that is pressure based.
  4. Constant stirring is required to make kettle corn whereas popcorn does not require any such thing.
  5. For preparation, kettle corn requires a mixture of traditional corn, oil, sugar and salt, on the other hand, popcorn is only cooked with corn, butter and salt.
  6. Kettle corn is sweet to taste whereas popcorn is salty to taste.
  7. Kettle corn can be made with caramel, on the other hand, popcorn can be made with added flavors of chili, cheese, cinnamon, etc.
  8. Kettle corn and popcorn both are packed with antioxidants and fiber and therefore are a healthy snack, however, popcorn is healthier than kettle corn.
  9. Kettle corn has a higher content of sugar whereas popcorn has a higher content of salt.

Conclusion

The popcorn and kettle corn both differ in their method of preparation and flavors. One is sweet and the other is salty. However, popcorn and kettle corn both are a healthy and light snack. 

References

  1. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20110174163A1/en
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0733521083800071