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Once you try candied bacon, you won’t want it any other way. Thick-cut slices of bacon in a caramelized brown sugar coating, topped off with a pinch of black pepper and cayenne – what could be better? It’s a flavor combination you won’t be able to stop thinking about.
Is there anything better than bacon? I love it in all its forms! If you’re looking for another fun and delicious recipe to make, give this twisted bacon a try! I also have recipes for making the perfect bacon in both the oven and air fryer, you’ll have to try them out!
Candied Bacon Recipe
Just looking at the pictures for this candied bacon makes my mouth water. To be honest, I didn’t think bacon could get any better, but this might just be my favorite way to prepare it. The savory flavor of bacon pairs really well with sweet things! If you’re not quite ready to make the leap to maple bacon donuts, making this easy candied bacon recipe is the perfect first step.
Candied bacon (also known as million dollar bacon) is truly the perfect combination of salty and sweet. And since we’re using thick-cut slices of bacon here, it’s packed with meaty goodness as well! Candied bacon is super easy to make but will impress everyone with how it tastes. It has all the flavor of a high-end brunch spot but from the comfort of your kitchen! It’s a breakfast game-changer. The caramelized outer layer is absolutely irresistible.
Even though candied bacon is referred to as million dollar bacon, the ingredients are actually really affordable! You only need a pack of thick-cut bacon, some brown sugar, and a dash of simple seasonings to put this tasty dish together.
- Bacon: Bacon cut into thick slices is the way to go here. It will hold up better in the oven instead of shriveling and becoming overcooked.
- Brown Sugar: Melts down to create a delicious, glossy outer layer with the perfect sweet flavor! Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar both work, it will just change the flavor slightly. If you want a little extra sweetness, you can also mix it with maple syrup.
- Seasonings: To offset the sweetness a little bit, I added a sprinkle of cracked black pepper and ground cayenne. These are completely optional, add to taste!
How to Make Candied Bacon
Let’s make some candied bacon! I know you’re going to love it as much as I do. It only takes a few simple steps and then it’s off to the oven. Keep in mind that candied bacon can be addictive, so be prepared to make extra batches because it tends to disappear quickly!
- Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spray an oven-safe baking rack with pan spray. Set the baking rack on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Brown Sugar Mixture: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar with the pepper, and cayenne pepper if desired, and spread out on a plate or in a small baking sheet. Press each slice of bacon into the sugar mixture until one side is thoroughly covered in sugar.
- Bake: Lay the sugared bacon slices onto the prepared baking rack and bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until the bacon is crisp around the edges.
- Serve: Remove the pan from the oven and let the bacon cook for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a parchment lined plate or baking sheet to finish cooling.
Tips and Variations
Candied bacon makes the perfect snack, side, or appetizer! Here are a few ways to customize and perfect your batch.
- Use Thick-Cut Bacon: As mentioned earlier, thick-cut bacon is preferable for candied bacon because it provides a meatier texture and holds up better to the sweet coating. This way, you won’t end up with brittle, overcooked bacon.
- Prep Your Bacon: Before applying the sweet coating, make sure the bacon is dry. Pat it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture, as this helps the coating stick better and ensures even cooking.
- Add More Heat: If you like things spicy, add cayenne pepper, chili powder, hot honey, or hot sauce to your sweet coating mixture. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors will give your bacon a fiery kick. Yum!
- Top With Herbs: I’m sure it’s pretty clear by now that I love adding fresh herbs as a garnish. It’s the perfect finishing touch! Not only does it add an extra pop of flavor, but amazing aromatics and presentation as well! Try topping your candied bacon with thyme, sage, or rosemary.
- Monitor the Cooking Process: Keep a close eye on the bacon as it cooks, especially during the last few minutes. The sugar in the coating can quickly go from caramelized to burnt. Adjust the cooking time if needed to achieve the desired level of crispness.
I highly doubt you’ll have any leftovers of this scrumptious bacon, but just in case, here’s how to store it for later!
- In the Refrigerator: Store leftover candied bacon in an airtight container for up to 2 days. To reheat it, pop it in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees F. This will help keep the bacon and caramelized coating nice and crispy.
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- 1 pound thick cut bacon
- ⅔ cup brown sugar not packed
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray and oven-safe baking rack with pan spray. Set the baking rack on the baking sheet and set aside.
- Combine the brown sugar with the pepper, and cayenne pepper if desired, and spread out on a plate or in a small baking sheet. Press each slice of bacon into the sugar mixture until one side is thoroughly covered in sugar.
- Lay the sugared bacon onto the prepared baking rack and bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until the bacon is crisp around the edges.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the bacon cook for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a parchment lined plate or baking sheet to finish cooling.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.