Upgrade Your Bacon for the Ultimate Breakfast Spread

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. (Photo courtesy of Eric Kleinberg/TNS)

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.

Candied bacon is sweet, salty, and savory—just the thing for a decadent (yet easy!) breakfast spread.

What Is Candied Bacon Made Of?

Make sweet and salty candied bacon with just three ingredients: bacon, brown sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. Regular-sliced bacon works best for this recipe, rendering the bacon crisp and candied. 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.

Candied Bacon

Serves 4 to 6

  • 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)

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees 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.

Place the sugar and black pepper into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the sliced bacon and toss until the slices are evenly coated in the sugar mixture.

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.

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

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

Thinking beyond breakfast, candied bacon makes a great salad topper and is a sweet surprise inside a classic BLT.

Patty Catalano is a contributor to TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to [email protected]. Copyright 2022 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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