Brown Sugar Candied Bacon

updated Mar 21, 2022
summer
Candied Bacon Recipe

Strips of brown sugar sweetened oven-baked and candied bacon.

Serves4 to 6

Prep5 minutes

Cook18 minutes to 22 minutes

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strips of bacon on a wire metal baking rack
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

You’ve perfected lacy-edged fried eggs with their golden, gooey yolks. Your stacks of pancakes are so light and lofty they’re practically floating off of the plate. Now it’s time to upgrade your bacon for the ultimate breakfast spread. Bake brown sugar-crusted bacon slices until the strips sizzle and the edges curl from the molten sugar. Candied bacon is sweet, salty, and savory — just the thing for a decadent (yet easy!) breakfast spread. Here’s how to make it in your kitchen.

What Is Candied Bacon Made Of?

Make sweet and salty candied bacon with just 3 ingredients — bacon, brown sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. Regular-sliced bacon works best for this recipe, rendering the bacon crisp and candied. (Make Millionaire’s Bacon if you have thick-cut bacon on hand.) Both light and dark brown sugar work well here, but keep a close eye on the bacon if you opt for the latter; the higher molasses content of dark brown sugar can cause the bacon to brown more quickly.

Tips and Tricks for Making Candied Bacon

  1. Line the pan. The best way to prepare candied bacon is in the oven, and to do that you’ll need a rimmed baking sheet. Line the entire pan with aluminum foil to catch most of the rendered bacon fat. While a bit of grease will surely slip under the lining, taking this step will make cleanup much easier.
  2. Elevate the bacon. Set a wire rack inside the lined baking sheet. This elevates the bacon, allows the rendered fat to drip down, and crisps the bacon evenly without the need for flipping.
  3. Toss the bacon with sugar. Sprinkling the sugar over the top of the bacon only covers one side. Instead, coat the bacon in the brown sugar and black pepper before arranging on the rack. This step will ensure both sides are candied.
  4. Cool to set the candy coating. It’ll be hard to wait, but let the candied bacon cool before serving, giving the glaze time to set. There’s no need to transfer the rashers off of the rack. Just leave them there to cool.
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How Long Does Candied Bacon Last?

Candied bacon lasts up to four days in the refrigerator, which means it’s easy to get ahead on your weekend breakfast prep, or you can stash the salty-sweet strips in the fridge for an instant weekday breakfast upgrade. To reheat, place the bacon on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for about 20 seconds.

How Should I Serve Candied Bacon?

There’s no wrong way to serve candied bacon — especially when there are eggs and biscuits involved. Thinking beyond breakfast, candied bacon makes a great salad topper and is a sweet surprise inside a classic BLT.

Candied Bacon Recipe

Strips of brown sugar sweetened oven-baked and candied bacon.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 18 minutes to 22 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 12 to 16 ounces

    regular bacon (not thick-sliced, 10 to 15 slices)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper, making sure there is overhang on all 4 sides (overlap a few sheets if needed, this makes cleanup easier). Fit a wire rack onto the baking sheet.

  2. Place 1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to a large bowl and stir to combine. Add 12 to 16 ounces sliced bacon and toss until the slices are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.

  3. Arrange the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer, they can be touching but should not overlap. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture evenly over the bacon.

  4. Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until bacon darkens in color, the fat renders out, and white foamy bubbles appear, 18 to 22 minutes total. Let the bacon cool on the rack until the sugar sets slightly, about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The bacon can be made up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat in a microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

Storage: Refrigerate bacon in an airtight container for up to 4 days.