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Smoky Maple BBQ Popcorn

Caramel Corn with BBQ Flavor

This is an easy vegan BBQ popcorn recipe with maple syrup, smoked paprika, chipotle powder and more. It’s smoky, sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s texture is crunchy and light. As you snack, it doesn’t leave seasoning all over your fingers, as some BBQ flavored popcorn recipes do. In the end, it’s a homemade smoky maple BBQ popcorn that dares you not to finish the entire bowl.

While it’s awesome for everyday snacking, it seems like it would also be a great gift at the holidays, like Christmas. I would be thrilled to get a tin of smoky maple BBQ popcorn and maybe you know some folks that would love it too? 😊

A few things…

  • You’ll need freshly popped popcorn. Pop your popcorn however you want, whether it’s in an air popper, in the microwave, or on the stove. Just make sure it’s plain.
  • Using a candy thermometer is essential. It makes sure you nail the temperature on the maple syrup sauce.
  • You’ll need to move quickly. Once you remove the sauce from the stove, it will start to set up. Right away, stir in the liquid smoke, and then, stir in the BBQ seasoning mix. Immediately pour it over the popcorn, and then, mix the popcorn with the smoky maple syrup BBQ sauce.

This vegan BBQ popcorn recipe makes ~11-13 cups. Once it’s completely cool, you can store it in an airtight container for ~3-5 days.

Love barbecue flavors? You may also enjoy more UVK recipes, like Smoky Medjool Date Barbecue Sauce, Grilled Barbecue Soy Curl Quesadillas or Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Beans.

An easy bbq flavored popcorn recipe

Smoky Maple BBQ Popcorn

11-13 cups freshly popped popcorn (from ⅓ cup popcorn kernels)

1¼ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp chipotle powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

5 Tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)

⅓ cup maple syrup

¼ tsp liquid smoke (I used Wright’s Hickory Liquid Smoke)

1. Preheat the oven to 300º F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Next, sift through the popped popcorn and remove any unpopped kernels. Then, place the popped popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, add the smoked paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and baking soda. Mix together and set aside.

4. In a small saucepan, add the vegan butter and maple syrup. Whisk until the butter melts, and then, lower in a candy thermometer. Continue whisking until the maple syrup sauce reaches a temperature of 230º F. Then, remove the saucepan from heat.

5. Stir the liquid smoke into the maple syrup sauce. Then, stir in the seasoning mixture from the small bowl.

6. Immediately pour ½ the BBQ maple syrup sauce over the popcorn. Stir the popcorn around with a spatula. Then, add the remaining sauce, and mix it around until every piece of popcorn has a bit of sauce on it.

7. Spread the BBQ popcorn evenly across the parchment paper. Bake at 300º F for 10 minutes.

8. Remove from the oven, and stir it around. Return to the oven and bake at 300ºF for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir around again.

9. When cool enough to handle, break up any pieces of smoky maple BBQ popcorn that are stuck together. When completely cool, serve. Store in an airtight container for ~3-5 days.

BBQ flavored popcorn with maple syrup

10 responses to “Smoky Maple BBQ Popcorn”

  1. i love popcorn too! i haven’t found a airless popper that works well for me. Perhaps because i just want a small quantity living alone. do you have one you recommend? thanks.

    • uglyvegankitchen – Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.
      uglyvegankitchen says:

      Yeah popcorn! 😊 I’m afraid my air popper is a bit dated, so I may not be great for recommending a current model. Mine’s an old Presto Poplite, which could be from the 90’s. She just keeps going!

  2. Tanooki – On her way to home cooking culinary journey. When there is a yummy homemade food, there is a smile:) & food coma;)
    Tanooki says:

    Sounds very good! I hear a lot of chips has BBQ flavor but popcorns are not easy to find…will try it for sure, especially for coming BBQ season😋

    • uglyvegankitchen – Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.
      uglyvegankitchen says:

      Thanks so much! Yeah, it seemed like an easy snack food to make at home, so why not?! Hope you enjoy it 💚

  3. writinstuff – Contemporary romance writer, political comedy writer, ghostwriter and editor. Lover of coffee, off-key singer, vegan and all around crazy girl!
    writinstuff says:

    Oh wow, I am drooling right now! I love popcorn but I don’t eat it much but I guess that’s changing soon. Thanks for the great idea!

    • uglyvegankitchen – Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.
      uglyvegankitchen says:

      Yay! I really appreciate the high praise, and hope that it becomes a fast favorite 💚

    • uglyvegankitchen – Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.
      uglyvegankitchen says:

      Yay!! Thank you so much! I really appreciate you giving it a try 💚

    • uglyvegankitchen – Ugly Vegan Kitchen is a vegan blog with recipes for plant based comfort food inspired by many cuisines, including American, Slavic, Mediterranean, Mexican and more.
      uglyvegankitchen says:

      Wow, thank you!

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