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Jul 28, 2008 07:05 PM

Carmelized Bacon

Has anyone made the Carmelized Bacon recipe that ran in the New York Times back in January 2008? Recipe can be found here:

I ask because I made it this weekend. It was really good, but not quite as earth-shattering as I expected. And I had to do a LOT to get it cooked -- the instructions didn't really work.

Tips would be appreciated. Thanks! :


Books so good they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)

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  1. yeah, i do it all the time, but i just sprinkle the brown sugar over the bacon (liberally) and i do use the hot pepper component (i love chipotle powder). then i put it on a sheet pan and roast it at about 400 degrees until....well, until it's done. we call it (quite irreverently) crack cocaine bacon.

    1. Along that idea, I've taken shrimp, deveined it and put a sliver of jalapeno where the vein was. Wrap w/ bacon, sprinkle w/ brown sugar and bake. It's really good. Sweet, salty and spicy. I prefer more bacon to sweet ratio than the recipe's.

      5 Replies
      1. re: chowser

        It goes by a different name, but that recipe has been around in the South for years. It's called "pig candy." It's simpler than the times recipe. You can find it at ttp://

        1. re: Potomac Bob


          Thanks so much! That does sound a lot easier than dealing with the sludgy wet sugar.

          One question -- when we made it the pan filled up with a LOT of bacon grease... which then took all the sugar off the bacon. How do you manage that aspect?


          Books so good they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)

          1. re: Peter

            When I make this, I place brown sugar in a shallow square glass dish and then firmly press each strip of bacon into the sugar. I typically dip one strip at a time to ensure an even coating of sugar on both sides. I like it really sugary, so I don’t shake any of the sugar off after pressing it onto the bacon.

            Next, line your baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Place a cooling rack on top of your pan and place the strips of sugared bacon on the rack. This keeps your bacon from swimming in grease. :)

            When I cook plain bacon, I collect the drippings from my pan, strain the grease through a coffee filter, and freeze the drippings in small plastic containers/jars and reserve for future use. The foil makes clean-up a breeze. You can’t do that with the sugared drippings, b/c the drippings caramelize while cooking.

            To cook, place the bacon in a cold oven at 400-425 degrees. Obviously, it takes longer to cook at lower heat, but I think you get less shrinkage that way.

            You can skip the brown sugar all together, cook plain bacon using the technique I’ve described, and before the bacon finishes cooking (maybe 5-7 minutes before taking them out of the oven), brush the strips of bacon with maple sugar. Let it caramelize, flip over, and brush the other side.

            I prefer the sugar to the syrup b/c once you stick it in the oven, you don’t have to keep messing with it. However, I do flip my bacon and/or rotate my pans to ensure even cooking. I like my cooking method b/c it results in a lot less mess, smoke, grease, etc.

            Also, when you take the sugared/syrup bacon out of the oven, let the bacon cool on the rack. Do not remove the strips from the cookie rack until the bacon is completely cool. They will stick to everything while they’re hot and don’t even think of trying to put them on paper towels.

            If you want to remove some of the excess fat/grease, you can dab the cooked bacon with paper towels immediately after removing them from the oven to remove some of the excess fat that’s pooled on top.

            Hope that helps!

            1. re: cvhound

              Wow! What a thorough and helpful write-up! I can't wait to try it. Thank you.

              One more question, if I may. When you use this method, is it possible to get the bacon really, really crispy? "snaps like a twig" crispy?

              That's what I was hoping for the first time and no matter how long we cooked it, it never got there. I was afraid of burning the edges (which maybe darkened at an accelerated pace due to the sugar?) before the softer parts rendered enough fat to get crispy.

              Oh, and one more thing -- light or dark brown sugar? It probably doesn't make a huge difference but since you were so detailed I thought you might have a preference and a reason. ;)

              Books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)

              1. re: Peter

                Hi Peter. Glad you found my post helpful! Sorry, but I've never used dark brown sugar on my bacon b/c I typically cook with light brown sugar at home. I did, however, try it once with maple syrup, but preferred the version made with brown sugar instead.

                And yes, your bacon will get super crispy after it cools. Especially since bacon continues to cook after you remove it from the oven. We prefer the taste of thick cut bacon, but you might try a thinner cut if you want it to "snap like a twig," lol!

                Good luck and let us know how it works out!

      2. Channel surfing the other day I came upon Paula Deen. I hesitated because she had a young female on. I lingered a moment and the young lady did bacon with both the b. sugar AND dry mustard. That sounded pretty good.
        I gave up on the oven method because it required getting that rack clean (or letting the bacon swim in the fat). Since I didn't have the FNetwork crew to clean up, I went back to the Microwave.