The Sweet And Spicy Flavor Combo Sunny Anderson Brushes Bacon With - Exclusive

If you don't know that Sunny Anderson loves bacon, you don't really know the Food Network personality at all. Meet a home chef who believes that no potato salad is complete without crispy bits of the meat, for the added crunch that bacon gives to the starchy side dish. Meet the bacon genius who knows that while classic, fried bacon may be magnificent, having fun with it makes for a food experience that's nothing short of opulent.

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, we asked Anderson to give us her top tip for making bacon on the grill. Her answer? Don't grill your bacon directly. Instead, use a nonstick pan and liven it up with a smokey, spicy brush. "You can brush it with a mixture of brown sugar, some Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, [and] some red chili flakes," Anderson advised. Yes, go ahead and use that liquid smoke. In the wise words of Anderson, "Some of the people that make grilling their career and their lives, they look at liquid smoke down their noses a bit, but I wouldn't know why there's a stigma because I don't feel the stigma."

Sunny Anderson wants you to 'have fun' with bacon

Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and red chili flakes might be too smokey and spicy for your bacon tastes. Don't throw in the towel. If you want to lean into sweeter or more herby taste profiles that's A-OK with Anderson, too. As she exclusively told Tasting Table, "That's the number one tip. If you're going to put bacon on the grill, don't just put bacon on the grill, do something fun with it."

We're spitballing here, but readers with a sweet tooth may want to brush their strips with brown sugar, maple syrup, and perhaps a bit of orange zest. Garlic lovers may opt to brush bacon with crushed garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, and a touch of lemon zest before grilling it to perfection. Pro tip? Add a touch of honey to that mix for extra caramelization. For a perfect blend of sweet and sour, on the other hand, try a balsamic vinegar, softened with a bit of brown sugar or perhaps even molasses. Trust us — and, above all, trust Sunny Anderson: Bacon can take most of the fun you throw at it.