It’s sticky, sweet and salty. Not only is it an unexpected treat, it’s also one of the most addictive appetizers ever.
Not only can this be eaten as a treat all by itself, but it also can be added to other dishes, such as a grilled cheese or a frittata. You can also add this treat to a Bloody Mary, which is personally my favorite way to eat this candied treat.
How to Make Pig Candy
There’s no real secret to making candied bacon. It’s just brown sugar and pepper added to bacon and baked. Read here for further instructions on how to bake bacon in the oven. Mix all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and then lay out the bacon on a baking sheet. It’s best to bake the bacon in the oven to avoid curling. Baking it in the oven will also keep it straight and make it much more useful for garnishes, such as for a Bloody Mary. The first step in making candied bacon is very similar to making crispy bacon!
This method of baking is also much easier to clean up a lined baking pan than a sticky frying pan! Just make sure to spray the wire rack with PAM before placing the bacon onto the tray.
Making your own grease trap with foil underneath the bacon will also make for easy cleanup.
After the bacon comes out of the oven, you can wrap it around shrimp or even a pretzel bite as an appetizer for a party. They will be hot, but still very pliable right out of the oven. If you want to serve the bacon in strips, transfer the bacon to a plate and let it stiffen up and cool.
How to Store
While pig candy is best the day it is made, you can make it the day ahead if you know you’re going to be in a time crunch the next day.
After the bacon comes out of the oven, allow it to stiffen up as it cools. It’s best to allow the bacon to cool on the baking sheet so that it will keep its straight shape. If you do want to wrap it around something, like a slice of cantaloupe or shrimp, make sure to do so while it is hot and still pliable. After the bacon is cool, you can store the bacon in an airtight container if you have leftovers.
You can also crumble the candied bacon when it is just cooled and then store in an airtight container. Making precrumbled bacon will make it easier to use as a topping. It’s also much easier to store since you can use a smaller jar. I recommend a glass Mason jar, but a regular plastic Tupperware will work just as well.
Variations of Pig Candy
Even though this is a very straightforward recipe, there are a couple of variations of this candied bacon.
If you want to give your bacon a bit of a kick, you can add a little (or a lot!) or cayenne to the sugar mix.
Alternatively, you can add in white sugar as well to the brown sugar to this recipe to crisp up the bacon even more in the oven. Not only will it make your candied bacon sweeter, but the white sugar will add more of that “crackle and crunch” that you look for when making candied bacon in the oven. The brown sugar will add a depth of flavor and the white sugar will caramelize, so you might want to use both types of sugar.
What to Serve with Candied Bacon
This treat can be served by itself. It also can be added as a garnish for other sides or drinks. I have created a collection of options for you to serve your candied bacon with: