Smoked Candied Bacon takes the best food of all time (bacon) and makes it BETTER with a sweet coating of maple syrup, brown sugar, and my famous sweet rub seasoning.
How to Make Smoked Candied Bacon
The key to the best candied bacon is the type of bacon that you start with. I highly recommend using a thick cut of bacon as your base. You can choose peppered or maple bacon if you like, but I prefer to create my own seasoning profile so I always go with a classic apple or hickory smoked bacon.
Place your bacon strips in a single layer on an elevated flat rack (like this one) over a cookie sheet lined with foil. Elevating your bacon allows the fat to render and fall away from the bacon so it won’t be overly saturated and the bacon won’t burn onto the foil with all of the caramelizing sugars.
Maple syrup acts as both a flavor element and a binder. I brush it on my bacon liberally before applying brown sugar and a healthy shake of my signature Sweet Rub (you can make your own or buy a bottle in our store). The sweet rub will add layers of classic BBQ flavor like smoked paprika, garlic powder, and more. Not enough to make the bacon too spicy or savory, just enough to keep the flavor interesting.
I cook my candied bacon at 275 degrees F in my smoker. My favorite wood to use is a classic with bacon, apple wood! Hickory, cherry, maple, or pecan woods also work great for this recipe. Smoke and slowly cook the bacon until all of the sugar is melted around the bacon and the edges have started to wrinkle. Flip the bacon over on the rack and brush on another layer of syrup and sprinkle with more brown sugar and sweet rub. Continue cooking to your desired crispiness. It takes about 25-30 minutes total.
Can I Make Candied Bacon in the Oven?
Absolutely! This recipe is for smoked candied bacon, but to make classic candied bacon in your oven you will simply follow the same time and temperature guidelines in the recipe below. Most smokers circulate heat similar to ovens and so the cooking process is similar. Of course, just like every grill, each oven can cook at slightly different speeds, so keep an eye on your bacon to prevent any burning.
Candied Bacon Recipe
- 12 slices thick cut bacon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Sweet Rub
Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a flat cooking rack on top of the baking sheet and lay the bacon down in a single layer on the rack.
Brush the top side of the bacon with maple syrup, then sprinkle each piece with some of the brown sugar and the sweet rub.
Place the baking sheet in the smoker and close the lid. Smoke for 12-15 minutes or until the fat has started to render, the sugar has mostly melted, and the edges have started to wrinkle.
Flip the bacon over and brush the top with maple syrup, and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and sweet rub.
Close the lid and smoke for an additional 12-15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked to your liking.
Serve warm and enjoy!