A perfect labor day treat, this sweet peppery bacon topped with sugar forms a delicious and smoky treat that takes almost no time or effort to make. Candied bacon for the win win win!
Sweet peppery bacon topped with sugar forms a delicious and smoky treat that takes almost no time or effort to make. Candied bacon for the win win win!
Before the pandemic started, I feel like it was next to impossible to go to a restaurant without seeing a variety of candied bacon on the menu. It was EVERYWHERE. I’m not complaining here. You take bacon, which is already a close to perfect food and then you put sugar on top?!?! Sign me right up.
Then Covid happened and eating out at restaurants became a thing that we just didn’t do anymore (at least for my family it did) and so I had to either go without the delicious, addictive candied bacon or learn to make it for myself.
I think you can tell that I learned to make it. And I don’t know that I’ll ever go back. I can either make it at home to my own liking, or I can pay $5.95 for 3 strips of rubbery, overly sweet bacon at a restaurant. I trust my own cooking far more.
It’s incredibly easy to make, requiring just three ingredients and about 30 minutes of your time.
You can also customize it to your liking. If you want it to be a little spicy, you could add sriracha or crushed red pepper. You could add some fresh herbs along with the pepper for some variety. You could try different kinds of sugars, including honey or maple syrup to get a different flavor profile. The world is your oyster. Your bacon oyster, if you will.
Shopping List for Candied Bacon
Bacon – regular cut, not thick cut
Light brown sugar
Let’s talk about Candied Bacon
Starting with a regular cut of bacon is key for getting the bacon crispy. If you have very thick cut bacon, it will take longer to crisp up, and you run the risk of burning the sugar.
Sugar: I like light brown sugar for this. Dark brown sugar gets almost too caramelized, and white sugar doesn’t caramelize enough. Light brown sugar is perfect.
Bake the bacon: don’t try to do this in a skillet – the amount of fat released from the bacon will keep the sugar from caramelizing. Baking the bacon is the way to go. (It’s my preferred method anyway)
Lift the bacon: use a cooling rack to bake the bacon. Line your baking sheet with foil (I like to use either heavy duty foil, or to double line the sheet) for easy cleanup, and then place the rack on top of that. This lets the air circulate under the bacon, helping it get crispier.
Crispiness: the bacon may not come out of the oven perfectly crisp, but it will crisp as it cools, so don’t fret.
Hot Sugar: resist the urge to take a bite right away – hot sugar is dangerous. Let it cool down to a reasonable temperature before digging in.
What to do with your bacon:
Eat it. For real, it’s so good on its own.
Crumble it over a salad.
Crumble it over maple bacon donuts.
Add it to deviled egg filling.
Replace regular bacon in a breakfast sandwich
However you want to use it, I’m sure it will be 100% delicious!
- 8-12 strips of bacon (¾ - 1 pound)
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack over the foil.
- Lay your bacon pieces out side by side - touching is okay, but no overlapping.
- Season the bacon with pepper and then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bacon.
- Pat the sugar into the bacon - the moisture from the meat will sort of melt the sugar.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Start to check for doneness at about 20 minutes, but it may need to go as long as 25 to get fully crispy.
- Let the bacon rest for 5 minutes before eating.
The bacon may not be super crispy when it comes out of the oven but it will crisp up as it cools.
Make sure to let the bacon rest for at least 5 minutes before eating, or the sugar can burn your mouth.