Want to WOW a crowd? Make this Candied Bacon! This is more of a “how to” than a recipe. I have tried several techniques over the years and think I have finally perfected it. It will take no time to prep, but the baking and cooling process is time consuming. However, it is a must to ensure the Candied Bacon will be just perfect. So, if you follow my process, the bacon will turn out crispy and crunchy every single time. It’s best to prepare this in advance. The bacon needs a lot of drying time. The longer, the better.
I typically use this thick-cut bacon from Smithfield. You can use a thinner cut of bacon. Just note the baking time will be a bit shorter.
Additionally, feel free to mix things up a bit. This is my basic recipe. However, you can add cayenne if you like heat. Coarse ground black pepper is also a nice touch. I’m sure red pepper flakes would bring a nice little kick, as well. I have seen a lot of recipes out there that include maple syrup. Either way, it’s BACON. What’s not to love!
HOW TO PREPARE CANDIED BACON
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the light brown sugar and McCormick chili powder in a ratio of 4:1. So, if you are using 2 cups light brown sugar, use 1/2 cup of chili powder. Cut the bacon strips in half.
Line a baking sheet with the non-stick foil (non-stick side up). Place the bacon on the baking sheet. Do not overlap. Generously, sprinkle each piece of bacon with the sugar mixture. You will more than likely have to mix up another batch. Place bacon in oven.
Here is the most difficult part of this process. You need to keep a constant eye on the bacon while it is baking. After about six minutes, turn the bacon over and sprinkle more of the sugar mixture on the other side. Flip the bacon one or two more times during the baking process. Bacon will be done when it turns a golden brown, and is fully-cooked. You have to watch it very carefully at the end, as the sugar caramelizes, it can easily burn. Allow for at least 15 to 18 minutes in the oven.
TO FINISH AND SERVE THE CANDIED BACON
Prepare a cooling rack by spraying it with the non-stick spray. As you remove the bacon from the oven, place on the rack to cool. Also, turn the bacon while it is on the rack so that any remaining grease will not collect on the bacon. See, I told you it was a process. Be sure to place parchment paper underneath the cooling rack to catch the drippings. If you are making multiple batches, be prepared to use extra cooling racks. After the bacon is slightly cool, gently pat with a paper towel to remove any additional grease.
Always place a fresh piece of aluminum foil on the baking pan for each batch. Bacon should be allowed to cool on the racks for at least two hours. You will notice that the bacon will become harder, like candy, as it dries and will lose part of the stickiness.
ENJOY this Candied Bacon! You will make over, and over again! Be sure to share this recipe with others!
Can’t get enough of bacon? Check out my recipe for Bacon Wrapped Scallops!
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