This Easy Candied Bacon recipe makes for the perfect sweet and salty snack, appetizer, or breakfast! And it only calls for 5 ingredients! Call it Candied Bacon, Pig Candy, Millionaire’s Bacon or Million Dollar Bacon… I just call it delicious!
This amazing recipe for Candied Bacon comes from Debbie Hinkle. We recently featured Debbie’s version in my column in Neighbors Magazine. I loved it so much, I knew I had to share it with y’all here, too. I did make a few tweaks – like doubling the delicious glaze – to amp up that sticky sweet and salty flavor!
Whether you call this pig candy, millionaire’s bacon, or just candy bacon, the one thing I love about this version is the addition of the vinegar. The acid is the perfect addition. That combined with the smoky flavor of the bacon and the sweetness from the brown sugar and maple syrup make this bacon truly epic. I might even like this better than my Praline Bacon.
While the recipe is very easy and only calls for 5 simple ingredients (brown sugar, maple syrup, rice vinegar, black pepper, and bacon), it does take a little time to cook. But trust me when I say your work will be handsomely rewarded! This stuff is SO GOOD!
Maybe it’s that caramelized sugar. Maybe it’s those crispy edges. Maybe it’s all of that combined with the salty bacon. I’m just not sure. I just know it’s magical!
How do I serve Candied Bacon?
Candied Bacon is best served at room temperature.
Candied bacon can be served all by itself alongside breakfast or can be a great appetizer or snack. You can also crumble and use as a topping for other dishes, such as waffles, pancakes, baked beans or chili. It’s also a great bloody mary topper!
How do I store Candied Bacon?
When using uncured bacon, leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours (or less in warmer climates) in an airtight container and will keep for 4 to 5 days. It can also be frozen. Just keep in mind that the refrigerator and freezer are typically humid environments and that humidity can effect the quality of this dish – especially the glaze.
Brown Sugar – I prefer light brown sugar for this recipe but dark brown should work just as well. I would not recommend swapping this brown sugar for another sugar or sweetener.
Rice Vinegar – Rice vinegar contribute a great delicate flavor and acidity to this recipe. In a pinch, I think you could swap it for apple cider vinegar, though I might recommend cutting the amount in half since it’s a little stronger.
Maple Syrup – I used real maple syrup for this recipe, though you could probably use maple flavored pancake syrup as well. Shh… just don’t tell anyone.
Black Pepper – Freshly cracked black pepper will certainly have more flavor, but I often use it out of the little metal can in the spice cabinet. I used about 1 tablespoon of the canned stuff for this recipe, but you can add as much or as little to taste.
Bacon – Opting for thick sliced or thick cut bacon means you’ll have a thick, sturdy piece of bacon in the end. And the longer cook time means that it gives all that sugar to get nice and caramelized. Regular bacon should work as well, just keep in mind you’ll need less glaze and the cooking time will be less. I included a note about this in the recipe notes on the recipe card below.
Easy Candied Bacon
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- black pepper
- 1 pound thick-sliced bacon*
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, rice vinegar, and maple syrup together. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add black pepper to taste. (I used about 1 tablespoon.)
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet or sheet pan with aluminum foil (for easier cleanup). Place a wire rack on the baking sheet and lightly spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place strips of bacon in a single layer on the rack. Bake for 10 minutes, turn strips, and bake 5 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and brush the top of the bacon with the brown sugar mixture. Return the bacon to the oven and bake another 5 minutes.
- Repeat every 5 minutes, turning bacon each time and brushing glaze on the top of the bacon strips. Continue cooking until bacon is browned and crisp – 30 to 45 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of your bacon. Allow it to cool on the rack for about 10 minutes before transferring it to a platter for serving. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 5 days.
Nutritional values provided are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
Did you ever meet a bacon you didn’t love ? I have gotten used to precooked bacon. Jimmy Dean is the best but not sold here any longer.
Thinking how to candy it.
Stacey, can the same ingredients work for pecans or do you need the egg wash?
I’m not sure I’ve ever met bacon I didn’t love! We often use the precooked stuff on busy weekday mornings. It’s just so easy. With it being coke, I’m not sure how you’d make that work – unless you just sprinkled it with brown sugar and popped it under the broiler briefly.
When it comes to the pecans, I worry that this glaze might be a bit too liquidy to stick to them. Let me think on that one…
I love candied bacon! I’ve always made it with only brown sugar and cracked black pepper. but I might try your version to compare. Enjoy all your recipes Stacey!
You’re so welcome! I think this is a delicious twist!