Lacquered Bacon

Lacquered Bacon

Although bacon frying in a pan is iconic, there is a better way … much better.

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  1. 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  2. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground, separated into 1/4 measurements
  3. 4 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  4. 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more if you're up to it)
  1. Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and lay the bacon in a single layer so that there's little or no space between the pieces on a cooling rack set in the pan.
  3. Liberally sprinkle one side of the bacon slices with the 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 4 tablespoons sugar and red pepper flakes.
  4. Set the sheet pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and use the back of a spoon to spread the dissolved sugar/pepper mixture evenly across the slices of bacon. Wait one minute.
  5. Flip the bacon over and liberally sprinkle the other side of the bacon with remaining black pepper and 3 tablespoons sugar.
  6. Return the sheet pan to the oven and roast until desired doneness: 15 minutes for chewy, 18 minutes for crisp. Cool completely before devouring.


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  1. 1
    Kristin Coble

    For those having an issue with smoke–i keep two parchment covered cookie sheets at the ready. When I flip the bacon I move it to a fresh lined pan. The smoke is coming from the fat/melted sugar from the first 15 min…This cut down the smoke issue by at least 80% 🙂

  2. 7
    Merak Spielman

    I wanted a substitute for muscovado sugar because I don’t know where to buy it locally, and on Amazon it costs $25/lb, which is a little silly.

    I read that the most readily available substitute for muscovado sugar is dark brown sugar.

    I tried this recipe with the brown sugar I had in my pantry. It came out tasty, but not, I think, the way it was supposed to. It wasn’t nearly as dark and “glazy” as the picture. Most of my glaze liquefied and dripped into the pan, where it promptly burnt (good thing I put down parchment). I think muscovado is much darker than the brown sugar I used.

    It might work better to make your own very dark brown sugar with white sugar and molasses. Or maybe even just brush the bacon with molasses and sprinkle a bit of sugar on.

  3. 10
    Kat Gnagey

    Our church recently had a bacon themed dinner. I made this and your praline bacon. Both were a big hit. I had about 20 guys come up to me and ask me for the recipe. Everyone was also curious as to how I got the bacon so flat; I then told them about the joys of cooking bacon in the oven.

  4. 16

    Anyone know the shelf life for this delicious piggy glazed goodness? I was thinking about bringing this on a week long hike but not sure if it wood go bad or not.

  5. 18

    Oh my! I haven’t had a smoking issue but my oven seems to run a little cool. My roasting times were closer to 20 and 20. Looks quite pretty. This is my first go round so I don’t know if I’d want more sugar. I generally prefer the taste of pig to sweet 🙂 Definitely won’t be the last time! Our local market seems to have closely dated thick slab bacon…guess what’s coming home 🙂

  6. 19
    Jackson Slade

    Never have tried “candied” bacon, I just can’t bring myself to over cook meat for any reason and nobody has offered me a piece. Guess I’ll stick to putting it in candy, cooked the way I like.

  7. 20
    Tom(x slices)

    The ingredients list needs one modification – “1 pound thick cut bacon” should be “1 pound thick cut bacon (x slices)”. Some of the “thick cut” bacon I’ve seen is so thin it can’t be cooked to chewy 🙁 If the recipe mentioned that 8 slices was a pound that’d help.

    I’m so making this tomorrow…

  8. 21

    I have made this several times- LOVE IT– but!- the portions of brown sugar etc — not enough – used way more- after flipping the bacon and putting it back into the oven– about 8 minutes in, it begins to smoke terribly- even with windows open and fans on — I was hoping his blog would mention a way around this, but it just brings me back to the recipe when I click on ‘read more’ — I’ve tried with & without parchment paper – same result. Any suggestions?

  9. 28
    Brianne D

    we made this on the grill today with bacon from our local meat locker. It was delicious! We also almost doubled the brown sugar mix so it was even more flavorful.

  10. 31

    This recipe sounds amazing.
    Question for those of us who can’t eat sugar.
    Anyone tried this with other sweeteners like stevia?
    I bake my bacon all the time, but I haven’t tried to make Pig Candy with stevia…
    I’m looking for new ways to enjoy my bacon!
    Any hints, recommendations, etc..?
    Thank you!

    • 32

      Stevia would work just fine, but you won’t get the candied effect that you will with brown sugar due to the lack of dark sugary molasses found in brown sugar. You can however make your own (almost) sugar-free brown sugar by mixing your stevia with brown sugar (1 Tbsp molasses / 1 cup stevia). The molasses will have a little sugar in it, but it’s necessary if you want that mouth-watering lacquered flavor.

    • 33

      Erythritol will caramelize! It’s not quite as sweet as sugar though. My thoughts would be a blend of Erythritol and Stevia to taste. Or even easier try Truvia (its a pre-made combo of both) to get that texture. You could put just a touch (1tsp of molasses to get the flavor. Spread out across the whole pan the sugar count will be negligible.

  11. 35
    David Browning

    I LOVED Good Eats, as many do. For Father’s Day I was looking to use the Good Eats beef jerky episode and make some great snacks for my dad. Unfortunately time was not on my side. I saw this on Alton’s facebook page and was so excited to try it. I also added some cayenne pepper to the mix and they came out amazing and addictive. Thank you so much and I WILL be using this recipe more often =D

  12. 36
    Bill Bergell

    That’s just “Candied” Bacon… If you want somethin’ special!!!… Put in in your smoker!!! Now that’s good!!!

  13. 39

    We call it pig candy, and I usually do it in a smoker (a Yoder pellet is my weapon of choice). I will give a warning because in the oven it may, I repeat may smoke up the house…..not that I have ever done that….no one can prove it…..

  14. 41

    I would posit that there is too much black pepper in this. The kick was a bit much and i might consider going down on the amount by even half.
    Overall, great stuff though. The oven will smoke when you open it 🙂

  15. 43
    Crystal B.

    I’ve been glazing bacon with homemade honey sriracha and the hubby DEVOURS it! Give it a try….In a squirt bottle, combine 2 parts sriracha, 1 part honey. Shake well and put that stuff on everything.

    • 47
      Walt Waisath

      The purpose for using the parchment paper is for easier cleanup. If you use aluminum foil, you could reflect additional heat back to the bacon’s underside and overcook it. If you are now thinking this will speed up the cooking time, there could be a disparity between the cooking time of the bacon and the caramelizing of the sugar mixture. This would lead to properly cooked bacon but an incompletely melted glaze (or overcooked bacon by the time the glaze is spreadable).

  16. 48

    I just tried this today, and it turned out looking exactly as pictured. It might take a little more than two tablespoons of sugar, but not a lot more. I had a 3/4 cup of sugar out and less than half of it. I wasn’t crazy about the taste, in my head it was going to be this amazing sugary bacony awesome taste, and it ended up being sugary. Not bad, in fact pretty good, just not bacon. You need to consider how and where you let the bacon cool, paper towels that I use with regular bacon are just going to stick to these!

    • 50

      I haven’t noticed any splattering of bacon grease. It does collect in the pan, though. We make sure the parchment covers the entire pan and comes up the sides just a little to keep the grease from getting on the pan, it makes clean up a little easier.

    • 52
      Walt Waisath

      Without the parchment paper, it is definitely a chore to clean the pan. Follow the previous advice and make sure to line the pan thoroughly, and up the edges (I tend to cut mine a little too long, but that is not a bad thing in this case). As to splatter, since baking is indirect heat, it does not heat the bacon and its fat as fast, thus reducing splatter to almost none. I have never had to clean my oven specifically because of baking my bacon.

    • 53

      Definitely not. Splatter occurs when you have a hot oil with something containing water submerged into it. The sudden vaporization of the water will cause an almost explosive effect leading to, you guessed it, splatter.
      This is not an issue due to the cooling rack you’re using in the pan. It puts the bacon above the grease and keeps it from frying in its own fat.
      No splatter here 🙂

  17. 54

    I just made a lovely batch of this, and assuming my family doesn’t inhale it instantly, I’m wondering about the best way to store it. Any suggestions?

  18. 56

    i tried this with with applewood smoked bacon which was sort of thick cut. I had to use more sugar to coat it liberally. It was excellent.

  19. 57
    Sassy Chef Hollie

    So, I just made this and am eating as we speak. First of all… USE THICK CUT BACON People!!! Secondly, quadruple the amount of brown sugar, etc… and line the sheet pan with foil then transfer to parchment after its been cooked. Delicious and not hard to make at all!! YUMMMMMMY!!

  20. 58

    I would love to get a version of this recipe that has a balsamic glaze instead. A local restaurant has a to-die-for balsamic glazed bacon that I have never been able to replicate.

  21. 59

    I found this much easier to make using a broiler pan with the bottom lined with foil for easy clean up (not all the way on the bottom–leave some space between foil and pan)–and yes, using a lot more brown sugar than AB calls for, and it’s gotta be DARK brown sugar. I use cayenne pepper and some kosher salt with. Transfer to wax paper after baking. And yes, have to use thick-cut bacon.

  22. 60

    This is to the people asking why their attempts at making this bacon hasn’t worked. I believe that when Alton Brown says ‘thick cut’ bacon, he really means THICK cut bacon. I had my meat market cut it half again as thick as their regular thick cut, and it worked like a charm. Yum!

  23. 61

    Curious as to how many who claim to have tried this recipe ACTUALLY tried it. Because I did, and wondered at how such a small amount of sugar/pepper was supposed to cover the bacon “liberally” on both sides. Bottom line: It doesn’t. There’s something missing from this recipe, and judging from the other similar recipes out there, it’s chutney, mustard, or maple syrup. Mr. Brown, you’re usually an inspiration, but this recipe as written is a huge disappointment. I hope you’ll update/fix it (and let us know), because all this makes is (slightly) flavored bacon. Edible, but not what was advertised.

    • 62
      Kyle Smoldering

      Im certain my main man, AB would kick this recipe’s ass with the exact ingredients supplied. There Is a reason he had a cooking show and not you and I. Haven’t tried this yet but will do this week. If there’s one man in the world I love, It’s Sir Alton Brown.

  24. 64

    Made this over the weekend. Came out great, but unfortunately I didn’t follow the one Cardinal rule of cooking bacon. “Always make twice as much as you think you’ll need.” The first batch didn’t last very long. I ate most of it. Had to make more the next day. Yumm!

  25. 66

    This is how we always do bacon. No seasonings or sugar, just laying it in the pan to cook. Take it out after 12 minutes for limp bacon, 15-20 for crisp lovers. So much easier than pan frying.

  26. 68

    I tried it, delicious. The red pepper gives it a pleasant heat at the back of my throat. I pulled it out about 1:15 earl and it was just in the nick if time. My oven has hit spots, and any longer and it would have burned. It stuck to the rack, but I solved that by inverting the rack and pushing it down of the rack.

  27. 69

    Tastes good, but the recipe doesn’t coat nearly as well as the picture suggests. Just how does one LIBERALLY coat both sides of a pound of bacon with three tablespoons of sugar/pepper? I’m thinking triple the recipe next time. Or a different recipe, since some of the suggestions posted here to add Dijon, etc. sound great.

  28. 70

    I’ve done Pig Candy aka Lacquered Bacon with brown sugar before. I tried muscovado and it was fiasco in a hot oven. Very easy to burn and horrible to clean up. I’ve changed to light brown sugar as my first choice. A bit of cinnamon is nice too sometimes.

  29. 73
    D. Brian Clark

    This is a must try. Sounds great. Also, try frying bacon – dip in melted semi-sweet chocolate – chill = best sweet/salty candy bar ever!

  30. 74

    I have the same ? as Rebecca. How should I store it (assuming we can dtop eating it) and will it survive being shipped to deployed military in a hot , humid climate if I include desiccant in the box.

    • 76
      Dan Leeder

      Regarding sending the bacon overseas: There are enough preservatives in bacon that it should be just fine, especially since it has been cooked. Just put it in a couple large ziploc bags. It should be okay. What a great treat for someone serving away from home!

  31. 77

    I am baking this right now but in my opinion you need about 2x as much of the rub for proper coverage. I also added some cayenne pepper 🙂

  32. 80

    Mr. Brown, not to be cliche, but I’ve been a huge fan of your Good Eats and travel shows for a very long time, and my wife and I enjoy rewatching episodes frequently. We have been doing the lacquered bacon for quite some time, though our recipe calls for a bit of Dijon mustard and maple syrup. I like the addition of red pepper flakes though!

    Thanks for your body of very educational and enjoyable works!

  33. 81

    My family for years has made something similar to this. Put the bacon on a baking sheet, spread yellow mustard on the bacon, and sprinkle liberally with light brown sugar. Bake in an oven preheated at just under 300, adding more brown sugar as needed, till “done.” You will know when done. Cool on a cooling rack and cut into pieces when cool. Amazing

  34. 82
    Charles ludwig

    Mr. Brown you are a genius. This recipe is amazing much like most every recipe of yours that I have tried. Thanks so much for your service to the culinary world.

  35. 83
    Michelle Messina

    Canadian Statistics say that Canadians like bacon soooo much, they will have it over sex 8/10! At least with this recipe you can guarantee satisfaction! xo

    • 84

      Why not..Sex after bacon eating? Or sex WHILE bacon eating? Or as a reward, the couple get to make post sex bacon for energy for round two?

  36. 87
    Shara Chess

    Perfect, I have a friend who adores BACON in all forms. She’s in the hospital right now; I’ll make this and bring it to her. Me, I’m one of those strange folks who doesn’t go crazy for bacon or chocolate, not sure why really, maybe just missing that gene? Is there a “cure”? ; )

  37. 94

    I’ve been roasting bacon in a pan with a wire rack at 400 degrees for 40 minutes for years, it’s the only way to do bacon! I’ll have to try this lacquered bacon now! 🙂

  38. 95

    I have tried to print this recipe 2 times…12 pieces of paper..yup..wth..recipe is broken up ingredients…:( want to make this……

  39. 102
    Andi Hannan

    Sounds yum, but we baste ours with a mixture of Dijon mustard, Brown sugar, a little maple syrup and crushed rosemary. Nectar of the gods!

  40. 104

    Sounds wonderful. Just please be careful when taking the bacon out of the oven! 3 years ago I seriously burnt my forearm when the pan shifted as I was taking it out of the oven and hot bacon grease splashed all over my arm resulting in 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns.

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