I don't have it down to a science yet, but even without it being perfected, I know the taste will be WONDERFUL! The hints I can offer from my first time making it: quality popcorn probably does make a difference (I had store-brand on hand, so that's what I used - a lot of my kernels didn't pop); I used 2T oil & 2T butter to = the 1/2 cup of oil that's called for, but I'll cut back next time; DEFINITELY do the 3 kernel test; I kept my heat between medium/medium high the entire time and had the slightest of burning issues, but it was more from a lack of vigorous shaking; have your sugar and popcorn already measured out and ready to pour in so you can start stirring right away and get the lid on.
I am testing this recipe out to give as a favor for a baby shower, so I added food coloring. If you are doing this, add it at the same time you add the sugar & popcorn. I don't know how much I added, it was more than I planned, but it does not entirely cover the popcorn. There's a lot of white leftover, but it still looks nice. You'd go thru a lot of bottles to get every bit colored.
My kids loved it; my husband & I can tell the potential for greatness is there, I just need to do a bit of tweaking. Still, for my very first time making it, I give it 5 stars because it's good, cheap, and homemade!
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I don't have it down to a science yet, but even without it being perfected, I know the taste...