Maple-Bacon Kettle Popcorn

Crisp bacon tossed with maple syrup. Popcorn popped in the reserved bacon grease. Popcorn and maple-infused bacon mixed together.

Not for the faint of heart. Or New Year’s diets.

But wow, so worth it. I love all kinds of popcorn. Regular, old-fashioned popcorn. Kettle corn. Caramel-peanut popcorn. White cheddar popcorn. Spicy popcorn. Movie theater popcorn (one of the best things about seeing a movie in the theater!). Much like pepperoni pizza and chocolate, popcorn is one of those things that I could easily eat every single day. So finding new and delicious varieties is fun. And maple-bacon kettle popcorn is most definitely a new and delicious variety. If you liked the Brown Sugar-Bacon Buttermilk Waffles, I think you’ll be a fan of this popcorn!

The popcorn is fairly easy and can be finished in less than 30 minutes. Perfect to whip up for a movie night or your kid’s sleepover! Here’s how to do it…

Fry up 4 slices of bacon. I love frying bacon in my cast iron skillet. Always tastes amazing.

Once the bacon is done and removed from the pan, pour out the bacon grease.

If it’s not at least ¼ cup, add vegetable oil to get it to ¼ cup.

Add the grease/oil, popping corn, sugar and salt and pop away!

Meanwhile, chop up the bacon once it’s cool and toss it together with the maple syrup.

Pop, mix, and enjoy!

Maple-Bacon Kettle Popcorn

Yield: About 4 to 6 adult snackers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


4 slices bacon, cooked and grease reserved
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ cup corn kernels for popping
¼ cup cooking oil (use the reserved bacon grease and add extra vegetable/canola/olive oil to make ¼ cup)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoon salt


1. Fry the bacon in a skillet until brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces and toss with the maple syrup.

2. Measure out the reserved bacon grease into a measuring cup. If you don't have a ¼ cup, add vegetable, canola or olive oil to make ¼ cup total.

3. Put the cooking grease/oil in a large pan and add the corn kernels. Sprinkle with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Heat the stove to medium heat, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and wait until you hear the first couple of kernels pop.

4. Once the popping begins, use two pot holders to hold lid on the pot and shake the pot, then return to the burner. Continue to do this often throughout the popping process, every minute or two. This will help ensure that the sugar doesn't burn.

5. Once the popping is done, remove the lid and salt the popcorn with the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Use a large spoon to stir the popcorn. Pour in the bacon and maple syrup mixture. Toss together and serve.

Note 1: If you've never made popcorn on the stovetop you may find this tutorial helpful: How to Make Perfect Homemade Popcorn.

Note 2: If you reaaallly love bacon, you will probably want to double the amount of bacon and maple syrup in this recipe. I plan to do that next time!

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker)


64 Responses to “Maple-Bacon Kettle Popcorn”

  1. Jen @ the baked life on January 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

    I died when I saw this. I NEED to make this. Right now.


    • Lollie on February 3rd, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      me too!


  2. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on January 19, 2011 at 1:59 am

    What a sinful little snack! Looks divine, Michelle!


  3. Jen on January 19, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Yum! This is definitely going on my Superbowl Party menu.


  4. Blog is the New Black on January 19, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Genius- you can sell me an anything with the addition of bacon!


  5. Katrina on January 19, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I love sweetened popcorn so much. This looks amazing!


  6. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on January 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I one of those people who could eat popcorn everyday too! This recipe sounds so delicious!


  7. Marty on January 19, 2011 at 8:25 am



  8. Mary at n00bcakes on January 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Stop everything: I think this is the best recipe I’ve read all week. For all bacon-lovers out there, this has to be a must.

    Do you have any tips for popping popcorn over a stove? I’ve only ever used microwaveable bags and air poppers before.


  9. Caroline on January 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

    This reminds me of kettle corn on steroids. Oh my. I love this idea!


  10. jaclyn@todayslady on January 19, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I could for sure eat popcorn everyday!! Kettle corn is amazing. I’ve never actually made kettle corn before….. I guess I should really get on that:)


  11. Gabby (Quest for Delicious) on January 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Sounds like a perfect salty/sweet combo. Mmm. (:


  12. briarrose on January 19, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Sinfully good!


  13. Jessica on January 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

    There was a bacon popcorn recipe from Top Chef Just Desserts, but this is so much easier and looks even better – I’ve put it on my “to make” list.


  14. Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat on January 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

    WHAT?!? This is the best recipe I have ever seen.


  15. Delishhh on January 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I hope you gave some of that bacon grease to Einstein 🙂 What a fabulous idea. I am worried i would eat the whole bowl and then be passed out on my couch.


  16. Maria on January 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Josh will love this:)


  17. Lindsay on January 19, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Oh my goodness. I need this RIGHT NOW!


  18. Kristen on January 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Oh – I bet that is so good! Great pictures, as always!


  19. Gabby@FoodChowDown on January 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I love the salty sweet bacon. It reminds me of fav brunch at clinton street bakery in new york city. Such a great snack idea with the pocorn


  20. toddH on January 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    My mother used to pop popcorn in bacon fat when I was a kid…from the can she kept on the stove.
    There is NO better popcorn…i’ve not had it in many years..stop tempting me! lol


  21. Jenny Flake on January 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    This looks so perfect right now!


  22. Zoe on January 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    WOW. I’m forwarding to my boyfriend ASAP. This combines two of his all-time favorite things, the first being bacon.

    Thanks for this!


  23. Natalia - a side of simple on January 19, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Bacon + popcorn? 2011 just got that much better 🙂


  24. Tracy on January 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Oh yum…I’ve thought of adding bacon before but maple? Genius!


  25. Cook in a Bar on January 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Looks delicious…I absolutely love popcorn! Thanks for sharing.


  26. Kate @ on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Oh my oh my oh my … that’s all I can say … wow! I would never ever stop eating popcorn if this is the way it was served all the time. Great recipe – thank you for sharing!


  27. Irena on January 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    O lala, this looks tempting, great idea:)


  28. Lisa@ Dishes of Mrs. Fish on January 19, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Oh wow! My husband will be all OVER this! 🙂


  29. lil @ sweetsbysillianah on January 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    holy cow… or should i say pig? =P i love kettlecorn… and i have yet to attempt any sweets w/ bacon so i think it’s about time! i can picture serving this at a superbowl party! =)


  30. Belinda @zomppa on January 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Why can’t they serve this at the movie theatre??


  31. Christina on January 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I would love to try some of that!


  32. Evan Thomas on January 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Oh my goodness gracious. Yes please!


  33. Justeen @ Blissful Baking on January 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    What an amazing combo of sweet and salty! I bet I could devour an entire batch all by myself!


  34. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen on January 20, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Holy moly! I love this so much. I loved this when Joy made it and I love it now. Soooo good looking.


  35. something_good on January 20, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I’ll take 2 portions, please, for our movie night :)) DELICIOUS!


  36. Kate on January 20, 2011 at 3:33 am

    My kettle corn always burns before hardly any of the corn has popped – do you have any tips?


    • Cheryl on September 8th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

      I realize this is several months late, but maybe it’ll be helpful.
      You might try sprinkling the sugar over top of the popcorn *just* as the kernels start to pop (instead of when you first put them in the oil), then covering and shaking as per the recipe. That’s how I always make my kettle corn, and it never burns. I also take it off the heat just as the popping starts to slow down – I might have a few unpopped kernels, but no burnt ones. 🙂


  37. Stephanie on January 20, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Thanks for posting – it looks great. Maybe this will get me out of my microwave popcorn addiction? 🙂


  38. Eftychia on January 20, 2011 at 10:14 am

    I usually eat plain salty pop-corn. I think I will give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing.


  39. Cakewalker on January 20, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’d have never thought to do this, but I’m thrilled to be thinking it… I HAVE TO HAVE THIS! Thank you for the sweet-savory post!


  40. Sonya on January 20, 2011 at 10:44 am

    HOLY MOLY!!!!! this looks and sounds ahhhhmazing! if I weren’t on a diet I would make it RIGHT NOW!!!


  41. Steph@stephsbitebybite on January 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    If you put this in a bag and sold it, you would be a millionaire and I would be your best customer!


  42. Shari on January 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    YOU ARE A GENIUS! OMG – I love popcorn and also agree that the popcorn is one of the best things about seeing a movie at the theatre. And who doesn’t like bacon? CRAZIES! This recipe is true genius and I applaud your creativity – this has to make Foodbuzz top nine!


  43. Kristy on January 20, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Awesome flavor idea! I have been addicted to bacon lately…
    I wonder how a sprinkle of crushed sage would be? Sage and pork go really well together.


  44. Vibey on January 21, 2011 at 6:48 am

    You’re killing me here! This is totally amazing and something I MUST make since becoming addicted to kettle corn on a visit to the US a while back (I even imported a Whirley-pop specially for the purpose). Public holiday here Wednesday – I’m on it!


  45. Darla @ Bakingdom on January 21, 2011 at 8:31 am

    I’m scared to make this. I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop eating it…and making more…and eating it…and making more…


  46. Peggy on January 21, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I don’t think I’ll go back to plain popcorn EVER again! This looks so delicious!


  47. Cheryl | Black Girl Chef's Whites on January 21, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Wow! Just wow! I soooooo want to eat this right now! And I have no bacon. Or maple syrup. Or popcorn.



  48. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on January 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Wow… I will have to make this for a friend of ours who has been seriously bacon-crazed lately. I know he’ll love it. Yum!


  49. Jennifer on January 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Amazing! You’ve combined three of my favorite foods…


  50. Cookin' Canuck on January 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    You are evil, my friend. And I mean that in the best way possible. Really, this looks fantastic!


  51. Leanne @healthfulpursuit on January 23, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I am NOT on a diet! Mwahaha! I will have to try this. Really, if you have this once and you run around the block a few dozen times… you’ll be fine! jk jk. I say – indulge! How often do we have bacon grease?

    What an amazingly creative recipe!


  52. Chili Dude on January 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    2 of my favorites things bacon and popcorn. I have to try this!! Thanks for the recipe


  53. Vibey on January 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

    OK – so tried it for our Australia Day celebrations (which largely involved sitting outside, eating and drinking until the time my husband felt like lighting the barbie), and must report that it is EVIL. You are also evil for posting it, and I’m sure I am going to hell for the handfuls and handfuls of it I ate. Or at least, the gym.


  54. Anita N. on February 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    This is the most amazing snack I’ve ever seen. Thank you so much!


  55. JazzRules on April 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Bacon… the most beautiful thing on Earth. Bacon’s the best. Even the sound of bacon frying sounds like applause. The only bad part of bacon is that it makes you thirsty… for MORE BACON!


  56. snodenmom on February 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I am wondering if you know how long this will last once it is made? I am thinking about using this recipe as part of an hors d’oeuvres spread, but will need to make it hours before… would even love to make it the day before. i found an article (but then lost it! lol) about drying out popped popcorn on a tray and that would make it last for a long time.

    ??? do you have any experience with that? 🙂


    • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      I have never tried to dry out popcorn, but you may be able to bake it at a low temperature (like 200 or 250) for that purpose.


  57. Juli on October 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Oh how I hope you will read this today! I want to make this for a dessert auction TOMORROW night (Sunday, 10/26)! Will it keep okay in a paper popcorn tub with that clear gift basket-type cellophane wrap around it? Or will it get stale/soggy-ish???


    • Michelle on October 25th, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Juli, While I’ll eat popcorn for a few days, it’s never as fresh tasting as when you first make it.


      • Juli on October 25th, 2014 at 7:53 pm

        The auction is tomorrow evening (about 6 pm). If I made it tomorrow afternoon and wrapped it do you think it would be okay?


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