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+ servings

Lacquered Bacon

Think of this sweet and savory snack as a candy bar, but with pork at its heart. How could you want anything more?
We've provided measurements in the recipe below, but feel free to just eyeball the sugar and pepper amounts. And if you can't find dark muscovado sugar? Dark brown will work fine, but just know that the final result won't be quite as complex.
Natural, uncured bacon is important to use here, not for the ingredient list, but because it is thicker than standard issue bacon, but not as thick as “thick-cut” bacon.
Side note: "Uncured" bacon doesn't actually mean that the bacon hasn't been cured. It just means that it hasn’t been cured with the additives nitrate or nitrite, which are preservative chemicals. It still has been cured in the way that we think usually about it, which is that it has been packed with a salt-filled mixture, including celery powder. Celery contains some compounds that are a lot like nitrates, so basically this is just like any old bacon — don’t fall for the uncured thing.
This recipe first appeared in the Pantry Raid video series.
Alton Brown with Laquered Bacon
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


  • 12 ounces natural, uncured bacon (not thick cut)
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed dark muscovado sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Heat oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set a cooling rack inside the pan.
  • Lay the bacon on the rack in a single layer so that there is no space in between each slice. The slices shouldn't overlap.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Use your hands to break up any lumps of sugar. Evenly sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on top of the bacon slices. Your goal is a uniform sheet of sugar-topped bacon. Lay a second piece of parchment on top of the bacon, then use your hands to help smooth out and adhere the sugar. Remove the parchment.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and let the bacon rest for 1 minute. Flip each slice of bacon over, then move the slices that have been in the middle of the sheet pan to the outside edge, moving the outer pieces more towards the center of the sheet pan. Evenly sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the second side of bacon; again, being sure to break up any remaining lumps.
  • Return the sheet panto the oven, rotating the pan as it goes in so that the bacon can cook evenly. Continue to bake for 15 minutes. At this point, check on the bacon. If it is still fairly floppy and dripping fat, turn off the oven, then return the tray to the cooling oven for 5 minutes. If it isn't super floppy, you're done.
  • Transfer the bacon to paper towels to cool and crisp. Devour, or store in a tightly sealed container for ... up to forever.