This three ingredient caramel sauce is so easy to make! Alone, it will taste amazing poured over freshly popped corn. But why stop there? This recipe will teach you how to make the sauce and use it to prepare three flavors of Cowboy Caramel Corn: BBQ, Cheese, and Sweet & Spicy.
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Popping Corn in a Cast Iron Pan
Making popcorn inside a cast iron pan or Dutch oven is easy. It’s a simple process and I’ve got some tricks and tips to make it easier and to avoid burning. Start by preheating the cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
First, you want to coat the bottom of the pan with an oil with a high-smoke point. I use Avocado oil. Don’t put the popcorn into the pot until you’re sure it’s hot enough. Put one little kernel of corn in the bottom of the pan. When the corn pops, the pan is ready.
Tip and a Tongue Twister: Place one kernel of popcorn in the pot as it pre-heats. The pot is hot enough to make popcorn when the popcorn kernel pops. (Now say that, three times fast).
When the popcorn kernel pops, turn the heat down to medium-low and add the popcorn. Stir the kernels around a little to evenly coat them with some Avocado oil.
Make sure to put a lid or some tin foil on the pot, or all the popcorn is going to pop right out of the pot and, if your house is anything like ours, the pups will get at it before you even know what’s going on!
While the popcorn is popping, start making the caramel sauce. Listen closely for the popcorn to slow down. When the popping stops, it’s time to remove from heat and remove the lid. Allow corn to cool.
Tip: When you can count to three Mississippi between pops, the popcorn is done.
Three Ingredient Caramel Sauce
The hardest part about the caramel sauce is the waiting. Pour the white sugar into your cast iron pan and allow it to brown. Stir frequently, until the sauce is brown and bubbly. This will take a few minutes, so put on some good music to pass the time. Add the butter and heavy cream and stir until smooth and thick.
Tip: Use warm heavy cream to prevent the caramel from seizing up.
Add Flavor to the Caramel Corn
This recipe has three options. You can use any flavor or variety you want! We chose Rib Rub, Cheeto, and Pork Rind (also known as chicharrones!). We used a blender to turn the Cheetos and pork rinds into dust. Shake the popcorn in the dust, pour caramel sauce evenly over the popcorn, and let dry.
The only thing left to do now is chow down!
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Other Sweet Treats From Kent Rollins
- New Orleans Style Beignets
- Old Fashioned Fried Pies
- Banana Pudding
- Monkey Bread
- Homemade Candied Jalapeno Bacon
Cowboy Caramel Corn - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- Avocado oil or oil of your choice
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup half and half warmed
- 1-2 cups crushed Hot and Spicy Pork Rinds
- 1-2 cups crushed Cheeto Puffs
- ¼ cup Kent’s Rib Rub or bbq seasoning of your choice
- Add a thin layer of the oil to a stock pot and swirl around to coat the bottom. Discard any excess. Heat over medium-high heat. Add one kernel to the pot, when the kernel pops, the pot is hot enough to cook. Reduce the heat to medium, add the popcorn and cover. Let cook until popping stops. Remove the lid and set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet, add the sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the sugar begins to melt, reduce the heat to low and continue stirring until it has melted and smooth. Add the butter and continue stirring until the butter has melted. Slowly stir in the half and half until smooth.
- To the popcorn, toss in either the pork rinds, Cheeto puffs or seasoning, to taste. Slowly stir in the caramel sauce until the popcorn is all coated. Spread the popcorn evenly out on a wire rack, breaking apart any clumps, as needed. Let set about 20 minutes before serving.