Time to get your evil on with this must-try candied bacon recipe. Great finger food for "bring a dish" holiday party or have it for breakfast. Just follow these easy step by step photo instructions.
This is an evil little recipe that could make you sick from gorging. Candied bacon is caramelized sugar that is crispy and sweet. And then you can add a touch of heat to spice it up. BACON HEAVEN!
There is absolutely nothing healthy about this recipe. I hang my doctor's head in shame thinking about it. So, it is time to "get your evil on."
One of my most popular posts has been Sweet and Spicy Chicken Bacon Wraps. I wanted to change it up a little... who needs that chicken anyways.
Just bacon, sugar, and spice should do. So, I combined the bacon wrap recipe with my How to Cook Bacon in the Oven post.
What did you expect with bacon? You will be the hit of the party.
Please use thick-sliced good quality bacon. If you use thinner bacon, the cooking time will decrease.
Also, ovens vary, so keep an eye on it the first time you do it if you have thinner bacon.
I checked around before doing this recipe. There was Emeril's Cayenne-Candied Bacon on Food Network. From that, I switched out the cumin which I like for chicken for cayenne pepper to spice it up a bit.
I suggest light brown sugar but many recipes use maple syrup. That will leave the bacon too sticky for finger food but ok for breakfast.
I think the chili powder is mandatory so it is not just sweet bacon. I highly recommend the cayenne if it is for parties.
One Side or Two Sides? - Do I Need a Rack?
Many of the recipes only coating one side of the bacon. If you don't use the rack, the one-sided coating is a good idea.
Many recipes didn't use a rack for drainage. I tried it both ways and a rack although not mandatory is a good idea. But again, only coat one side of no rack.
Now we are the subject of the rack. You need oven-safe racks. You will use them over and over. I have some linked in my shop, but many stores handle them. Just be sure they are oven safe and not just cooling racks.
You get the bacon up and out of the drained fat. You don't have to do that with plain bacon, but with the sugar coating, you want to elevate it.
Lastly, the bacon will puddle some fat on it during cooking. Let it cool a few minutes then pat it off.
- This is an oven-baked recipe. There are other recipes for stovetops but the results will not be as good.
- Thicker sliced bacon will work better.
- A rack, while not mandatory, will get much better results.
- Bake until crispy. This is not the time for wimpy bacon. But that time will vary by the thickness of the bacon and your oven so times are approximate.
- Pat some of the fat off the top of the bacon after removal from the oven. But let it cool for a few minutes before moving to the cooling area. But get it off the rack before it sticks.
- May be served warm or cold. About 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven will reheat nicely or a few seconds in the microwave.
- Good refrigerated for 2-3 days and can be frozen if on parchment or wax paper.
Pictures are for a triple batch with three pounds of bacon that yielded 66 pieces.
Preheat oven to 350° convection or 375° conventional.
Mix ½ cup light brown sugar with one tablespoon chili powder and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional).
Prep baking tray with aluminum foil to help clean up and a rack. Spray heavy with PAM.
Cut bacon strips in half and trim any large chunks of fat.
Dip bacon in the brown sugar mixture and coat well.
Spread over the prepared rack leaving a little space then give the bacon a light dusting of additional sugar and spice.
Bake until bacon appears done which is dark along the edges. About 20 minutes for me but start checking at 15 minutes. The sugar can begin to burn when left in too long.
Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes and carefully pat off any pools of fat on top of the bacon with a paper towel.
Then transfer for cooling. Another rack, a baking mat, parchment paper or just a plate should do. Do not "drain" on a paper towel due to sticking.
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Editor Note: Originally published May 24, 2015. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.