It is my personal belief that some foods are proof that God loves us. One of these such foods is bacon. It is sweet and salty, rich and flavorful. We love to enjoy bacon with a weekend breakfast, along side eggs and toast. I also use to add depth of flavor to so many dishes – green beans, shrimp and grits, salads, soups. But bacon is delicious on its own too, and deserves to sometimes be the star of this show. Candied bacon, sometimes referred to as pig candy, is a decadent treat that allows the sweet and salty goodness to stand center stage.
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Making Candied Bacon
Candied bacon is thick cut bacon that is coated in caramel or sugar. This isn’t the time or the dish to cut corners or calories. Use good quality bacon and real sugar – no substitutes.
For this recipe, you’ll need light brown sugar. It will caramelize as it cooks, deepening the flavor. Don’t use dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a higher molasses content and will mess up the taste and texture of your candied bacon.
I use thick cut bacon because I like the slightly chewy texture. I also like the ratio of bacon to sugar to lean to the bacon side. Thinner bacon, when candied, is just too sweet to me. However, depending on your taste and what you plan to serve your bacon with, you can customize this recipe.
The baste I use for my bacon is almost good enough to drink by itself.
Brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a touch of walnut bitters. (That’s the secret ingredient, my hubby’s idea.)
Dude. It’s so good! The scent alone will make your mouth water.
How To Make The Best Candied Bacon
Here is what I love the most about this recipe: it’s amazingly easy to make AND an impressive addition to your table.
Start with cooking your bacon just like normal. I am a big advocate for cooking bacon on a wire cooling rack and sheet pan in the oven. My husband likes to start it off in the smoker, because… why not? While it’s cooking, mix up your sugar mixture. Maple syrup, brown sugar, and any special seasonings you’d like to add (cayenne, cinnamon, bitters, cocoa powder – go crazy!)
Cook your bacon about half way. It won’t have the color of raw meat any more, but it will still be floppy.
At this point, start coating the bacon in your sugar mixture. Move the bacon to a cooling rack sitting atop a cookie sheet. (Cover your cookie sheet with foil for easier clean up.) Use a basting brush to coat the bacon.
Cook the bacon for five minutes. Flip, coat the other side, and cook five minutes again. Repeat this process until your bacon is done to your liking! Let it cool completely before removing from the rack.
How To Enjoy Candied Bacon
This past Sunday, my husband and I thought it would be fun to do a Bacon Sunday Funday.
We did BLT’s as a main course. And candied bacon as an appetizer and as a topping on a candied bacon and goat cheese salad.
There was also talk of doing a brunch with bloody mary’s, garnished with candied bacon, and burgers with candied bacon as a topping.
You can dip candied bacon in chocolate or cheese fondue, or enjoy it with breakfast, as a waffle or pancake topping.
It’s also quite yummy with whiskey along side an Irish breakfast shot.
- 2 lbs thick cut bacon
- 1½ cups maple syrup
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp walnut bitters
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Line 2 baking sheets with foil. Place a wire cooling rack on each. Lay bacon on wire racks leaving a half inch of space in between the slices.
- Cook bacon for 15 minutes. Bacon will be darker in color but still be floppy.
- While bacon is cooking, stir together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.
- When the 15 minutes has passed. Take the bacon out of the oven and, using a basting brush, coat bacon with the sugar mixture and return to oven. Cook five minutes.
- After the five minutes have passed, take the bacon out and flip. Apply another coat of sugar mixture to the other side of the bacon and cook another five minutes.
- Repeat this process until the bacon is cooked to your liking and is coated in candied sugary goodness!°
I want your feedback!
How did you enjoy your candied bacon? How did you use it and how did you make it your own?
Please drop me a message and let me know about your experience!