help! sugared bacon disaster!!
Since last fall I've been wanting to try the NYTimes' sugared bacon and nut recipe. Finally got the ingredients and decided to bring a batch to a Sox Game 6 party. Long story short, my entire apt still smells like smokey char/burned sugar/bacon.
The nuts came out okay, not quite as browned as I would have liked and needing an extra dash of salt (I would have liked more pepper too) but still they were good and in the end munched quickly at the party.
Within 10minutes of cooking I started to smell the sugar carmelizing a bit too strongly. A peak in the oven showed much more liquid than I was expecting with a mix of bubbly of sugar and a lot(!) of bacon grease. A few minutes later the sugar was black and smoking. And a taste proved it not edible.
So, what did I do wrong? Bacon too fatty? (Would be surprised as it was supposed to be a leaner cut) I guess oven could have been too hot but it was cooking slow with the nuts. Otherwise, I can only think that maybe I'm missing a special instruction for getting the sugar on the bacon (I just sprinkled/rubbed it on both sides (and did have some that was likely just on the sheet ... but the entire tray was burned not just those patches)
Anyway, I still love the idea of this and would like to redeem myself if anyone can see where I might have gone wrong and wants to provide some guidance?!
I tend to agree that you probably sprinkled on the sugar too early and it burned before the bacon cooked. Sugared bacon isn't difficult to make, but it requires constant attention to prevent disaster. Bacon variables (fat content, thickness of slices, room or fridge. temp., etc.) along with sugar temperature variables (oven too hot, not hot enough; sugar too close to the heat source, not close enough) mean if you take your eyes off the action for only an instant your efforts can easily go up in smoke. Either bacon smoke or sugar smoke. Once you smell something burning, it's too late to fix it. Try watching it closely and, remembering that it continues to cook after it leave the oven, remove it from the oven slightly before you consider it done.
For now, you can soak a towel in vinegar and wave it around in the kitchen above your head for a few minutes and you may be able to neutralize that burnt sugar/bacon odor. Then, have another go at it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I have seen recipes for the rack over pan method but this just said to lay the bacon on a sheet of parchment (I actually used foil with some non stick spray). I guess the rack would have kept the brown sugar on the ban from burning with the rended bacon fat so I'll give it a try.
Jerzzy ... the recipe called for patting on sugar and sticking in the oven. Do you bake, drain grease, then sprinkle with sugar?