Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Bacon – Sweet Savory Strips of Party Food Perfection

I got the idea for making these from a guy named Rod Brooks, who hosts a sports talk show on KNBR, here in San Francisco.

Ironically, I was on my way to the gym when I heard hi
m talking about a party he recently hosted, and for an appetizer he had simply set out bowls of cooked bacon. Genius.

I decided to take that idea and make it a little more holiday-ish by candying the strips of fatty pork. Let's face it, the holidays are all about t
aking our favorite things: sports, drinking, toys, food, etc., and enjoying them in seasonally acceptable levels of excess.As I mention in the video, candied bacon is much more than a neat party favor. It makes the best BLT ever, and would make any plate of eggs so much more memorable.

One tip I forgot to mention in the clip – line your pan with foil! The caramelized bacon drippings are a little tough to wash off! Enjoy.





Ingredients:
1 pound thick center-cut bacon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp rice vinegar
black pepper to taste


View the complete recipe

38 comments:

Chefmd said...

Chef John -- a man after my own coronaries.

Lucia said...

Nice, today I was reading a bacon website. In one of my AB books there was also something similar to this, so I'm even more tempted to try now.

Jared Retter said...

holiday questions? had the choice today between bone in usda select prime rib or boneless usda choice. Which would you choose for your xfactor recipe!

Birder said...

WOW

That is all.

Chef John said...

i'd prefer with bones

Scott - Boston said...

A crazy-ass delicious bacon recipe? Is this some sort of cheap way of you trying to make the Yahoo News home page again?!? Bacon? Yeesh. Low blow.
Why don't you do it the honest way like every one else, Chef John, and accidentally taser yourself at a pep rally or teach your cat to flush the toilet or something. Yeesh.

"On the way to the gym"? WTF FTW! I feel like I don't know you anymore...

Incidentally, to Jared Retter who posted a question earlier: Go with the "bone in usda", as it's one of my favorite Springsteen tunes.

Scott - Boston

Chef John said...

With comments like, "...Go with the bone in usda", as it's one of my favorite Springsteen tunes." it's no wonder Scott from Boston has been named Food Wishes Commenter of the Decade. Congrats.

SavoryTv said...

This is the best Christmas present ever!

Thank you Santa Chef! I am fully convinced that I will be smothered with praise when I bring these to my 12/25 party!

Happy Xmas to you both,

Heidi

Chef John said...

Thanks! Same to you my friend!

Anonymous said...

Aaah cardiovascular bacon recipe. Very nice John, easy and looks delicious, something that will surely go down well with some stout.

Bill W, NH said...

I can't get my head around why this dish wasn't breaded and deep-fried first before the glazing !!!

Snack-Girl said...

After that post where you featured - me - you seem sort of - what is the right word? - bipolar with the bacon thing. :)
I can't wait to try it! Snack-Girl

Fan in Newfoundland said...

Must have been something in the air - the same night you posted this, a friend posted that she was making a candied bacon fudge!

Happy Christmas Chef John & readers.

NikiTheo said...

I can eat Candied bacon allll day long! I've put it in chocolate chip cookies and they are delicious!
It's a good thing my mom made all the bacon for our breakfast b/c otherwise, I'd be up there and making some right now, which is not a good idea after all the food we ate yesterday!

Anonymous said...

What brand/type of bacon? Looks better than I've been able to buy around here.
Luisa Vacaville

Chef John said...

it was ocsar meyer centercut thick cut. very lean, but doesnt get as crispy as the regular fatty kind . good luck!

Anonymous said...

Brunch for 6 on Christmas Day. Served Candied Bacon to munch on while opening gifts - they loved it. Ran out of glaze about half way through so made another batch. I used Kroger brand thick cut (on sale, buy one get one free) and trimmed the ends to fit the pan. Then your Eggs Benedict - fantastic. Made the eggs in advance per your instructions and stored overnight in the frig. Practiced the hollandaise the day before then made up a 1 ½ X the recipe just before plating up - perfect. Food Wishes rocks! Thank you Chef John.
Ed P - Bellevue, WA

Ryan N. said...

Brought these bad boys to a Christmas fondue dinner, and then all ravaging hell broke loose because they were so darn good! I think one or two may have ended up being dipped in melted cheese and chocolate. O the humanity! They are simply killer and make one the star of the night! Thanks for sharing.
Ryan N. - Missoula, Montana

Anonymous said...

I made these and they were insanely delicious. I also ran out of glaze and had to whip up a quick second batch. My family went crazy for these and finished them all before I could set some aside for the following day. They are already asking when we'll have these again...

armedbear1746 said...

If it's okay with you, I'm going to post a link to this from my blog to your candied bacon. (Actually, I already did, but will take it down if you wish).

This is SuperBowl week on my cooking blog and I thought your Candied Bacon would make an excellent choice for a finger food. Obviously, you had the same idea. btw, I gave full credit to you for it.

lilian85 said...

What can i use to substitute maple syrup? Is honey alright? Can't wait to try these. I bet they go great with a salad.

Chef John said...

sorry, not sure. maybe some brown sugar?

Lilian said...

As in replace the 2 tbsp maple syrup with brown sugar? Could I perhaps try it with maltose instead?

Chef John said...

yes. you'll have to experiment, i've only made it the one way, so really not sure. enjoy!

Sladie said...

... that looks absolutely delicious.

I just found your website through a stumble (I love you StumbleUpon!) and your blog is incredible.

I'm going to be trying this one out next time the butcher has some nice bacon on display ^_^

pollystyrene said...

Made it today for a party tomorrow- used Coleman bacon from Costco (2.25 lbs)- nitrate- and hormone-free. So far it's amazing. I have had to make a little more syrup mixture than I calculated- maybe I'm just being to messy and it's running off the edges or putting too much on, but it's sooooo good. Hope it's as good tomorrow!

Just curious, what function does the vinegar serve? Just to cut the sweetness a little? I don't taste the vinegar, so something's working!

Nancy said...

Just made the candied bacon this morning and had to fight off my husband from trying to sneak a bite while it's still cooling. :o) Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

mysterysinc said...

I made the candied bacon as an appetizer for Thanksgiving. To say it was a hit is an understatement!

After my niece tried it, she immediately took a photo of the bacon and put it up on facebook. The caption.............Candied Bacon..Life Changer.

I will be making this from now on at every party or holiday.

Thank you!

~~Lauri~~

Chef John said...

That's great!! Link? Thanks!

Chris K. said...

I made this recipe for my girlfriend's office party tomorrow. I added a wee bit of 5-spice powder and bourbon whiskey to the glaze, simply because I am a jerk, and I could.

Jennifer thought the glaze tasted like cough syrup. I tucked that one away for later: Nyquil glazed bacon? Might work... but after commingling with all that bubbling bacon fat, a marvelous, transcendental transformation took place.

It's a tragedy that pork is neither kosher nor halal, because in my heart of hearts I believe this amuse bouche would bring peace to the Middle East.

Chef John said...

:-) yes, it would.

Gary said...

I made candied bacon for Christmas eve. It is officially a new family tradition. There's no nutritional rationale for eating candied bacon - it is pure delight and comfort. The 4 people (including me) knew they shouldn't eat it but we couldn't stop, and we ate a full pound of bacon in mere minutes. I think it's just the thing for a holiday tradition - for health reasons I'll limit it to once a year!

After 35 minutes of basting every 5 minutes at 350F my bacon wasn't browning. My oven thermometer said the temp dropped to near 300, I'm assuming from opening the door so often. I cranked the temp up to 375F, as I've seen other recipes recommend 400F for bacon, and I also left the bacon in for 7 minutes per side and it came out perfect.

Way to go Chef!

fukoffski said...

Can these be made the night before? I'm considering them for the guests at my daughter's first birthday party...

Anonymous said...

Is there a difference between rice vinegar and regular vinegar?

Michelle said...

I made these today and they were awesome. I put a bit of cayenne pepper in the glaze to give it some kick.

Thanks for the recipe!

Candice Bryant said...

Can you use veggie bacon to make these? I am going to make these for the rest of my family, however due to health problems, I have been a vegetarian for 15 years now, but dang this just looks so delicious!

Barbara said...

Made three pounds of this today for a party. Lots of smiles. Truly a labor of love ... Love of bacon, and love of family and friends. It takes time and is a little messy to clean up, but worth the effort. Fun idea!

Barbara said...

A labor of love. Love of bacon, love of family and friends. I made three pounds today for a party and it took quite a bit of time to make and clean up, but worth the effort. Fun idea! I also put in a bit a cayenne, but it would need more for the kick I was looking for.