- 1 package of bacon (about 10 strips), pastured or organic recommended
- package of thick-cut bacon, pastured or organic recommended
- about ¼ cup brown, white or coconut sugar
- few pinches of red pepper, cinnamon or any combination of spices
- rimmed baking pan
- oven-safe cooling rack*
- parchment paper or foil, for lining pan
- cheesecloth and/or fine mesh sieve for straining the lard
For best results, bring your bacon to room temperature first.
- Preheat your oven to anywhere between 350° F and 400° F. The hotter the oven, the faster the bacon cooks.
- Line your pan with foil or parchment paper, and place on top an oven-safe cooling rack, if you like. This will allow excess grease to drip away as the bacon bakes. Prepare a plate topped with a few paper towels.
- Space strips of room temperature bacon evenly the pan.
- Roast the strips until they firm up and are that signature, deep-hued reddish-brown. Begin checking for doneness after 12 minutes. It can take up to 20 minutes for thicker strips of bacon to cook.
- Transfer the cooked bacon to the paper towel-lined plate to sop up excess grease, or just let it cool slightly on the rack.
- To save the rendered fat left behind in the pan, carefully pour the fat through a mesh strainer into a heat-proof container. You'll want to strain it before it cools and gels. Line the strainer with cheesecloth to really filter out impurities and burnt bits.
- Store leftover bacon well-sealed in the refrigerator.
Classic Candied Bacon
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, and place an oven-safe rack on top.
- In a small bowl, whisk or stir together the sugar with any other ground spices you like.
- Line the strips of bacon on the rack, and press a thin coating of the brown sugar mixture on top of each strip. Be sure to break up any clumps in the sugar.
- Bake the bacon for 15 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the oven. Then with tongs or a fork flip the strips over and coat the bottom side with the sugar mixture.
- Place the bacon back in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 more minutes, until it stiffens a bit and is deeply caramelized (richly brown). Cool slightly and serve warm or room temperature.
- Store any leftover candied bacon in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
On Buying Bacon
If you are willing and your budget allows, spring for pastured and/or organic bacon. While not the key to longevity, pastured and/or organic bacon offers a bit more nuance in flavor and fewer residual pesticides. For the meatiest bite, look for thicker strips. If you call ahead or are willing to wait, many butchers will slice the bacon at the meat counter to your preferred thickness.
On Using a Rack
Placing a heat-proof rack inside the baking pan helps the strips cook more evenly and keeps them from sticking to the pan, parchment paper, or foil. It also allows grease to drip away from the bacon as it cooks. If you make candied bacon without a rack, it can help to spray or brush the foil with a little cooking oil. You don't need to do this if you line your pan with parchment paper.
Store leftover cooked bacon sealed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze cooked bacon, but the texture will suffer a little. When it comes to saving the bacon grease, technically it should be stable at room temperature. But I recommend erring on the side of caution and storing it in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.
On Nutrition Information
The Nutrition Information is for cooked bacon without any added ingredients. Candied bacon made according to the recipe below will provide (about) an additional four grams of added sugar per piece.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 12-20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- Serving Size: 1 strip
- Calories: 44
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 177.6 mg
- Fat: 3.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.1 g
- Protein: 2.9 g
- Cholesterol: 8.7 mg
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