Candied Bacon

To me, it is Candied Bacon, but this delicious snack, appetizer and sometimes dessert goes by many names.

angled shot of jar of candied bacon


 

Caramelized Bacon, Millionaire’s Bacon, Bacon Candy, Brown Sugar Bacon, Pig Candy, Beggin’ Strips, Cowboy Candy and even get this one… Man Candy, are just some of the other names it goes by.

Candied Bacon recipes are made many different ways. Most recipes start with a brown sugar base, but some even dip bacon strips in a hard caramel sauce, like candied apples. 

Complementary flavors include bourbon, maple syrup, cayenne, chili powder and more. I like mine to be sweet, salty, spicy… and sticky, so I make mine with chili powder and cayenne.

So here you go foodie friends, an amazing munchie for parties, topper of ice cream, pie or even cheesecake, salad addition or anytime snack, the ultimate salty and sweet treat: Spicy Candied Bacon!

Why You’ll Love This Candied Bacon Recipe

Bacon slices coated in a sweet, crackly crust for the perfect balance of sweet and salty- what’s not to love!

  • Perfect combination of salty and sweet – If you’re a sweet and salty snacker like me, you will love the balance of flavors in this bacon.
  • Great for gifting – Add it to a bag and tie it with a bow to gift to the bacon lover in your life.
  • Simple ingredients – It really can’t get much easier or simple than a recipe that only requires three ingredients. 
close up overhead shot of candied bacon on parchment paper line baking sheet

Ingredients

You only need three simple ingredients to make the candied bacon of your dreams!

  • Center cut bacon – If you like crispy bacon with crispy edges, make sure to buy a thinner cut. But thick-cut bacon is perfect if you prefer it to be chewier. Center cut has a little less fat so it ensures you’ll have meaty strips.
  • Dark brown sugar – Adding dark brown sugar to the thick cut bacon is the perfect addition for adding a little sweetness and molasses. Light brown sugar can also be used.
  • Coarse kosher salt – Although bacon is already quite salty, coarse salt adds a little more flavor and crunch and helps to balance the sweetness.
  • Smoked Paprika or Chile Powder– These are both optional but can offer smokiness or spice to the bacon strips. Both or one of the other can be used.

How to Make Candied Bacon

You are going to love how easy it is to make this million dollar bacon recipe.

  1. Prepare oven and pan. Preheat the oven and place wire racks on rimmed baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Combine sugar and salt. Mix together dark brown sugar, salt and other add-ins like chili powder, cayenne or smoked paprika in a medium bowl.
  3. Add mixture to bacon. Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the wire racks. Evenly spoon brown sugar mixture over bacon strips. You might need to do this in batches, depending on your oven. 
  4. Bake on middle rack. Keep an eye on bacon, sugar can burn easily. The goal is for bacon strips to be almost crispy, but still a little chewy. The natural fats will be sizzling and bubbling around them.
  5. Allow to sit. Remove bacon strips and allow to sit. Transfer the bacon strips from the wire racks to parchment paper until they come to room temperature.
  6. Serve or store. When fully cooled, serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature

Ways to Use Candied Bacon

The best part about this bacon is that you can use it in almost anything! We enjoy eating this delicious recipe as is for the perfect sweet and salty snack.

You can add it to your Sunday brunch spread in place or in addition to your regular bacon. But my favorite way is to use it as a garnish to a bloody mary!

close up straight on shot of candied bacon in jar

Variations

There are plenty of ways for you to make this easy candied bacon recipe your own.

  • Make it spicy – Try adding some freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, a dash of cayenne pepper or a tablespoon of chili powder.
  • Maple – Try using maple bacon, or even adding a drizzle of pure maple syrup to the candy bacon for even more delicious flavor.
  • Chocolate – To add another element of sweet, try drizzling some milk or white chocolate over the slice of bacon.

Storage

How to Store Candied Bacon

Store candied bacon in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Can I Make This Ahead?

You can make it in advance, just make sure it is fully cooked. You can keep it out at room temperature for about 2 hours before serving. If you put it in the fridge, the brown sugar topping will get sticky and lose its texture.

How to Freeze Candied Bacon

This is one of the few recipes that I do not recommend for freezing. It will not thaw to a nice texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is candied bacon gluten free?

Yes! It is gluten free.

Can you use white sugar?

The molasses in brown sugar is what makes the flavors work so well. White sugar won’t taste the same. You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.

Can you add honey or maple syrup?

You sure can! Add a tablespoon of either or to the brown sugar mixture. Don’t use both.

Can you smoke bacon candy?

I am sure you can, however I am no expert at smoking so I am not even going to try to give you directions on how to do so.

straight on shot of candied bacon in tipped over jar

More Recipes That Use Bacon

For my fellow bacon lovers, more recipes that use bacon!

baked bacon ranch chicken with sauce

Bacon Ranch Baked Chicken

Bacon Ranch Chicken is an easy baked chicken recipe using a creamy mayonnaise base with bacon and ranch seasoning.
See The Recipe!
Close up of bacon in the oven

How to Make Bacon in the Oven

Easy instructions on how to make bacon in the oven. The best way to get even, flat strips of bacon without the mess or potential grease pops. 
See The Recipe!
chocolate covered bacon recipe

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Chocolate Covered Bacon is a salty sweet dessert that is made with only 2 ingredients. Mix up your chocolate and add fun toppings for a truly gourmet treat!
See The Recipe!
angled shot of jar of candied bacon

Candied Bacon Recipe

5 from 7 votes
Candied bacon is the best sweet and salty snack with a kick. Serve as strips or bites, bacon is caramelized with brown sugar and and a touch of heat.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 30

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place wire racks on rimmed baking sheets. Set aside.
  • Mix together the dark brown sugar, salt and other add-ins like chili powder and cayenne in a medium bowl.
  • Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the wire racks. Evenly spoon the brown sugar mixture over bacon strips. You might need to do this in batches, depending on your oven. 
  • Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the bacon, sugar can burn easily. The goal is for bacon strips to be almost crispy, but still a little chewy. The natural fats will be sizzling and bubbling around them.
  • Remove the bacon strips and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Transfer the bacon strips from the wire racks to parchment paper until they come to room temperature.
  • When fully cooled, serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

Video

Notes

Possible add-ins- 1 tablespoon of chili powder or smoked paprika or a dash of cayenne pepper. 

Nutrition

Calories: 178 kcal, Carbohydrates: 7 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 14 g, Saturated Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 23 mg, Sodium: 243 mg, Potassium: 84 mg, Sugar: 7 g, Vitamin A: 65 IU, Calcium: 8 mg, Iron: 0.2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 178
Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brown sugar bacon recipe, candied bacon recipe
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of candied bacon for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 7 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I have always wanted to try candied bacon! This is going on my to do list this weekend! Looks DELICIOUS!

  2. Bacon! Can’t go wrong there. As for the $650 I should say pay bills because we have fallen on some tough times, but I really want a vacation back to OK to see my friends. It’s been 7 years since I have been “home!”

  3. I do love me some bacon! I have never heard of candied bacon before, but now it is definitely a must try!

  4. I could do some serious damage with $650. 🙂 It would probably go towards are kitchen renovation. (So we have a nicer space to make candied bacon!)

  5. That is a great giveaway! I know that I am probably boring- but I would split it between my kids’ savings accounts!

  6. Thank you so much for this fantastic giveaway. By the way, candied bacon is the best!!!