Today, we’re making Old Bay Candied Bacon!
Old Bay Candied Bacon
This recipe is soooooooooo easy. We need a whole 3 ingredients and a little bit of patience before we have the most delicious bite in the universe at our fingertips. You can’t really ask for much more than that!
Let’s start with the bacon. Here’s the thing you have to remember about bacon. Not all bacon is created equal. Excluding the flavored smoked bacon, it’s not even just as easy as choosing between regular and thick cut bacon. Different brands yield different results when it comes to bacon. Some strips are thicker. Some strips are longer. Some strips are fattier. And, these are all things that will impact the cooking time of the bacon. So, keep that in mind.
We’re going to use a regular cut bacon for this recipe. I find that since we’re baking this bacon in the oven, the thick cut bacon doesn’t get crispy enough for my liking. And, this bacon is already going to be a little bit naturally softer because of the sugar mix we’re adding on top. So, stick with regular cut bacon.
To help our bacon get as crisp as possible, we’re going to line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean up), then we’ll place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Normally, I’d say that if you’re baking bacon, the bacon needs to have direct contact with the fat in the pan to get the ultimate crispiness. But since we’re loading this bacon up with sweet and sticky sugar, we don’t want the sugar to glue our bacon to the pan. So, we’ll elevate it on a rack so the oven air has the opportunity to evenly circulate around each piece.
Once we have our bacon arranged in a single layer on our baking rack, it’s time to spread on the brown sugar. We’re going to sprinkle brown sugar all over each slice, then we’ll rub it in with our fingers to really make sure we’re getting the ultimate sugary contact on every slice. Then, we sprinkle our Old Bay right over the top of the brown sugar. And, to the oven it goes to get gooey and crisp.
Like I said, we have to watch this bacon. It can go from flimsy to burnt in the blink of an eye. What we’re ultimately looking for is deep golden caramelization and a somewhat firm slice of bacon. You’ll see the ends of the bacon become darker in color, and we want to get these out of the oven before we go from deep caramel to burnt black. You’ll be checking on this bacon every minute or two once you hit a certain point on the clock.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, we’re going to take it out of the oven and immediately transfer it to a parchment paper lined plate or tray. If we let the bacon cool on the baking rack, IT WILL STICK. And then, you’ll be having crushed bacon instead of beautiful bacon slices. The bacon will still seem a little flimsy at first, but it will harden up as that sugar does its thing.
After the bacon sets up for a minute, it’s ready to devour. And, each bite is pure bliss. For starters…BACON. There’s no explanation needed there. Then, you add in that sweet and caramelly brown sugar with that surprise hint of gentle spice from the Old Bay, and the bite is truly magical.
Now, how do you serve candied bacon? Honestly, I just eat it straight as a side dish…for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But, it’s also amazing on a grilled cheese. I mean, AMAZING. And, it’s pretty delicious on a bacon, egg, and cheese sammie too.
I can’t wait to hear your favorite ways to eat this bacon!
Ok, everyone. Have no fear, there’s more Old Bay content coming soon. We’re going back to our savory roots with it, and it’s gonna be epic.
Until then, enjoy! And, let’s eat!
Old Bay Candied Bacon
- 9 slices regular cut bacon
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ heaping tsp Old Bay seasoning
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil, and top with a wire baking rack that's been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the baking rack.
- Top each bacon slice with brown sugar by gently patting it down and spreading it with your fingers over the bacon. Sprinkle each slice evenly with Old Bay.
- Bake for 18-25 minutes until the bacon is mostly crispy and the sugar has caramelized. Carefully remove bacon to a plate lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool for 5 mins until the bacon has firmed up. Serve, and enjoy!
- *Not all bacon is created equal. Even with regular cut bacon, the length and thickness can vary between brands. So, the cook time on the bacon will vary. Start checking the bacon at about 18 minutes for doneness. It goes from floppy to burnt quickly, so don't walk away in the last few minutes of cook time.
- *I prefer regular cut bacon over thick cut bacon for this recipe, because it cooks faster and gets crispier.
- *Elevating the bacon on a wire rack is an important step to allow air to circulate around the bacon which helps it cook. Lining the pan with foil is solely for easy clean up.
- *There are lots of ways to enjoy this bacon! Eat it as is as a side dish, or put it on a sandwich like a grilled cheese, a breakfast sandwich, or a burger.