Alton Brown's Tip For Truly Great Candied Bacon

Bacon is one of those foods that can be either savory or sweet. Typically paired with breakfast, bacon complements the likes of eggs as easily as it does pancakes. If you're leaning on the latter, you can take the sweetness a step further and spruce up your bacon with some maple syrup. Or, you can go all-out with the sugar by making candied bacon.

Candied bacon is delicious on its own, as well as in recipes. You can pair candied bacon with roasted green beans or even chicken liver mousse. The bacon derivative takes the best qualities of the meat — namely, its crispy texture, robust flavor, and slightly sweet undertones — and turns it into a completely new dish. It's well worth a taste, as well as a try in the kitchen.

To make candied bacon yourself, simply cover bacon strips with brown sugar and bake the combination until the sugar melts and the bacon crisps. You can also add black pepper for extra flavor.

While candied bacon seems simple enough, there is room for error. Celebrity chef Alton Brown knows a thing or two about cooking, and his key to candied bacon has nothing to do with the candied elements. Rather, the trick to perfectly candied bacon is all about the bacon — with one particular cut of meat slated for the most success.

For the best candied bacon, choose your bacon wisely

The cure to any and all candied bacon woes? Try using uncured bacon. That's right. On Brown's website, he describes the steps for making lacquered bacon and reminds home chefs to use the natural stuff. Getting natural and uncured bacon is pivotal to your success at candying — and it's not because the bacon itself is natural.Rather, Brown recommends using uncured bacon because of its consistency. 

The uncured meat sits somewhere in the middle of textures. It's thicker than regular bacon, but not quite as thick as thick-cut bacon. This medium thickness ensures that the bacon can both crisp up and caramelize properly. Thick-cut bacon, for example, may take too long to crisp up while overly thin bacon may burn before the sugar has had enough time to caramelize.

Because natural and uncured bacon hovers somewhere in the middle, it primes your recipe — and the candying process — for success. With the right cut of meat, you'll master the art of sweet bacon ... and perhaps wind up with a new favorite snack.