This two ingredient recipe for candied brown sugar bacon could not be easier! It's smoky, crispy and makes an amazing side for breakfast or a sweet and salty snack.
Remember back in the mid 2000's when bacon was having a moment? It may no longer be the biggest trend in food, but bacon will always have a place in my heart, and this dead simple recipe for brown sugar candied bacon has become my absolute favorite way to eat it. It has crispy edges, chewy centers and is truly the best bacon you'll ever have.
If you've never tried to candy bacon, you've ben missing out. It takes something that's already pretty perfect on its own and makes it even better by coating it in a sticky brown sugar glaze. The sweet flavor of the caramelized brown sugar harmonizes with the smoky, salty bacon for a truly perfect combination.
Want to go a step even further? Try making your own homemade bacon first, then use it to make this brown sugar bacon recipe. The best part is that it comes together in 20 minutes and is as easy to clean up as it is to make!
Why this recipe works
- Only two easy-to-find ingredients - brown sugar and bacon.
- Ready in 20 minutes.
- Use parchment paper for super simple cleanup.
- So versatile - serve with breakfast, dessert, on a burger, a BLT or other sandwich, or snack by itself!
- Bacon - You can use thick cut bacon or regular bacon depending on your preference, but thick-cut bacon will take slightly longer to cook. Always use the best bacon This recipe will not work with turkey bacon or plant based bacon, since they do not contain enough fat to help with caramelizing.
- Brown sugar - This recipe will work with both dark brown and light brown sugar, but note that dark brown sugar will have a deeper, more molassesy flavor.
- Rimmed Baking Sheet - It's important that your baking sheet has edges high enough to catch the rendered bacon grease.
- Cooling Rack - The bacon strips must be transferred to a wire rack to cool to keep it from sticking to the excess sugar on the baking pan.
- Parchment Paper - If you don't use parchment paper, you will regret it when your bacon is stuck to the bottom of the pan and it's impossible to clean. Avoid aluminum foil, as it will stick to the bacon as it cools.
Step by step instructions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then line a sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking and make for easier clean-up. Place bacon slices in a single layer, leaving a space between them.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, then use your fingers to gently press the sugar into the top of the bacon.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is deep brown, caramelized, and crisp. You can cook it for a few minutes longer if you want extra crispy bacon, but keep an eye on it to prevent it from burning.
- IMPORTANT: Remove the bacon from the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven, so it doesn't stick to the pan or paper. Allow it to cool down to room temperature on a baking rack before eating. Do NOT drain on paper towels or the bacon will stick.
Tips for success
- Be sure to use a parchment lined baking sheet for less sticking and easier clean up.
- Pressing the brown sugar
- Avoid overcrowding the pan and work in batches if you have to. If the bacon slices are touching when they bake, they’ll stick together, and you’ll have difficulty getting them apart without breaking them.
- The baking time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your bacon. Adjust the cooking time as needed.
This brown sugar baked bacon recipe is so simple and delicious on its own, but it can be jazzed up by adding different spices to the brown sugar mixture, like black pepper, garlic powder or cayenne pepper. Just avoid any spice blends that include salt, as the bacon is salty enough already. You can also use a pastry brush to coat the bacon with a layer of pure maple syrup before pressing on the brown sugar to give it a hint of maple flavor.
What to Serve with Brown Sugar Candied Bacon
While this bacon is perfect for snacking on by itself, try it in these recipes for a unique sweet and savory flavor:
- Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Apple Salad with Sharp Cheddar and Bacon
- Bacon Cheddar Burgers
- Sweet Potato Bacon Hash with Crispy Fried Eggs
- Bacon Dip
FAQ About Candied Bacon
Candied bacon can be made up to 2 days ahead, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will need to be to be recrisped in a 275 degree oven for about 15 minutes and then cooled to room temperature before serving.
As bacon sits out, it can become chewy and lose its crispy texture. To keep your candied bacon crispy, lay it out on a pan in an oven that’s set to 200 degrees F for up to 2 hours. Prop the door open slightly to allower steam and extra heat to escape.
Yes! Air fry at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes or until caramelized and crispy.
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