Spicy Maple Candied Bacon
What meat is salty-sweet and made from sugar, spice, and everything nice? My Candied Bacon, that’s what! Sometimes lovingly referred to as “pig candy,” these crunchy strips are equally at home on a Cobb salad or next to a slice of French toast.
Bacon candy might sound like a culinary stretch, but I assure you: it is nothing short of inspired. Just think about it: smoked pig belly sweetened with maple and spiced with chili powder? It’s a guaranteed winner for an appetizer, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
About This Recipe
This crowd-pleasing snack is incredibly memorable – it’s savory and sweet, it has the faint hint of heat from chili powder, and it has the most beautiful crisp and crunchy texture. In fact, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I first tried some!
What’s even better is that this candied bacon is cooked on a sheet pan, meaning clean up is a snap! Simply line a sheet pan with some foil, then pour off the fat and toss the mess. No spatters or burns or slaving over a stove here – just pure, intentional flavor.
All you need is a sheet pan, foil, some thick cut bacon, sugar, and chili powder to make this ridiculously easy appetizer. With just five minutes of prep and about 30 minutes of cook time you will have a tray full of pig candy to pig out on.
Speaking of pigs, this recipe post is sponsored by Moink: a farmer owned and operated community that ships humanely-raised meat directly to your door. Made for busy, healthy families who want high quality, ethically-sourced meat directly from farmers, the Moink box is a tender hearted carnivore’s dream.
If you’re a softie like me, you’ll love Moink’s commitment to humane treatment. The majority of Moink animals are “farrow to finish,” meaning they spend their entire lives on the same farm with the same caretakers.
While you might not associate a candied bacon recipe with health-minded folk, Moink bacon – as with all of their meat – is raised without antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified grains, sugar or weird, artificial ingredients or preservatives like nitrates or nitrites. So, go on and indulge, my friends! I’m pretty sure you’ve earned it.
The boxes are fully customizable, and can include any variety of their high-quality chicken, lamb, beef, pork or wild-caught fish. Oh, and did I mention that shipping to any of the lower 48 states is FREE? For specific product information and to get free bacon for life, visit moinkbox.com/muybueno; you’ll be glad you did.
How to Make Pig Candy
Once you realize how easy this spicy maple candied bacon recipe is to make, I have a feeling you’ll be bringing it to all of your holiday potlucks!
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chile powder, and maple sugar to form a paste.
Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan and carefully pour off any excess grease.
Now comes the fun part: spoon about a teaspoon of the spicy sugar mixture over each strip of bacon.
Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.
TIP: I recommend flipping the bacon and sprinkling with additional mixture every 10 minutes.
The bacon is done when the brown sugar is melted and the bacon is a deep brown color.
Transfer the caramelized strips to a clean piece of parchment paper to cool. The candied bacon will crisp as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature – it is delicious either way!
Making candied bacon is pretty darn simple. That said, I have a few recommendations to ensure your success:
- When possible, opt for thick cut bacon; it has a better texture!
- If you use regular (not thick sliced) bacon strips, the cook time will be shorter. Thick cut: Total bake time is about 30-35 minutes Thin cut: Total bake time about 20-25 minutes.
- Save your bacon fat! Since you pour it off before the sugar and spices are added, you can use it for frying your eggs or making your cornbread.
- If you’re on team floppy bacon, don’t be tempted to pull the tray out too soon. While I can respect your bacon preferences, the “candied” part of the equation will work out better if you cook until the bacon looks like it’d be crisp.
If you’re not sure what to do with your pig candy once you’ve made it, I can guarantee you will not have a hard time figuring it out once you get started. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
- Crumble it over cobb salad, macaroni and cheese, or breakfast sopes
- Place strips between a stack of waffles
- Garnish a Bloody Mary or serve it alongside a Michelada
- Chop it up and serve it with toothpicks on a charcuterie board
- Serve it alongside French Toast
Honestly, just use it wherever you think regular bacon would taste good.
Frequently Asked Questions
If stored between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge, it should last you for up to 3 weeks!
Preferably in your tummy! But if you have leftovers, use some parchment and a zip top bag or airtight container and keep in the fridge.
The delightful thing about this spicy maple candied bacon is that it pretty much goes with everything! Serve it for breakfast with a mug full of cafe de la olla; layer it into a BLT for lunch; add it to your deviled eggs for a tasty appetizer; chop it up and add it to your chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Or just eat it plain like I do.
Popular carnivore recipes
If you made my recipe for Spicy Maple Candied Bacon, please be sure to rate and review it below. If you come up with a winning way to use it, share it with the world on Instagram and don’t forget to tag me!
Spicy Maple Candied Bacon
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons chile powder
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 pounds thick cut bacon (20 slices)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. F.
- Line large baking sheet with foil.
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, chile powder, and maple sugar to form a paste.
- Arrange the bacon strips in a single layer on the foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan and carefully pour off any excess grease.
- Spoon about a teaspoon of mixture over each strip of bacon.
- Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. I recommend flipping the bacon and sprinkling with additional mixture every 10 minutes.
- The bacon is done when the brown sugar is melted and the bacon is a deep brown color.
- Transfer the bacon to a clean parchment paper to cool. The bacon will crisp as it cools.
- Thick cut: Total bake time is about 30-35 minutes
- Thin cut: Total bake time about 20-25 minutes.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
This post is in partnership with Moink. As always, thank you for reading and for supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.