In this post, we’ll show you how the make the best smoked candied bacon, with a delicious caramelized glaze that provides the perfect balance of sweet & savory with just the right amount of heat. You won’t be able to eat just one piece of bacon!
What is Candied Bacon?
Pretty much everyone loves bacon! And what’s not to love? It’s crispy, savory, delicious and darn near perfect just the way it is. Or so I thought… until I tried candied bacon for the first time.
A few years ago at a family Easter gathering, someone brought along candied bacon as an appetizer. I had never heard of candied bacon before so I wasn’t sure what to expect when they offered me a slice. After the first bite, I was hooked!
It was unlike anything I had ever tasted! A slice of chewy bacon covered with the amazing flavors of brown sugar and maple glaze… it was sweet, it was savory, it was sticky and delicious! And ever since I first tried it at that family gathering, I’ve been wanting to re-create it!
Smoked Candied Bacon with a Kick
When I set out to create my own recipe for candied bacon, I knew two things for sure: First, I wanted my bacon to have a spicy kick to balance out some of the sweetness. And second, I wanted it to have a smoky flavor.
So I got to searching! I found some great recipes out there for candied bacon, made a few simple adjustments to add some heat and smoke, and came up with what I think is the absolute best way to make smoked candied bacon!
It turned out perfectly. Just the right amount of caramelized, sticky sweetness with just the right amount of heat to balance it! And cooking it on my Traeger pellet grill took it up another notch by bringing in a hint of smoky flavor that brought it all together.
Our smoked candied bacon can be served as an appetizer, a snack or even a dessert. And it will be a staple recipe for our parties and family gatherings from now on. My family and friends couldn’t get enough! They absolutely raved over it, and I know you will too!
This really is the best candied bacon! Now let’s get to the recipe.
Ingredients for Smoked Candied Bacon
These are simple ingredients you might already have in your kitchen. If not, you can pick them up at your favorite grocery store. You’ll find a full recipe card with measurements and nutritional information at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick look at what you’re going to need.
- Thick cut apple wood bacon
- Dark brown sugar
- Sweet Texas Heat BBQ Rub (or any sweet heat BBQ rub)
- Pure maple syrup
How to Make Smoked Candied Bacon
Set grill temperature to 300 degrees.
Spray oven safe wire rack with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix brown sugar and Sweet Texas Heat seasoning in a small bowl.
Pour brown sugar/seasoning mixture onto a cutting board.
Open bacon package.
One slice at a time, press the bacon slices onto the brown sugar mixture on both sides until coated (you will likely have leftover brown sugar blend – you can use this to sprinkle a little more on top of the bacon slices after placing them on the wire rack).
Lay coated bacon strips on a greased wire rack in a single layer.
Place the wire rack in the smoker directly on the grill grates and close the lid.
Cook at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
During the cooking process, pour ¼ cup maple syrup into a small bowl (tip: you can pour the syrup into a small cast iron skillet and heat it on the grill, but this isn’t required).
Once the bacon has cooked for 45 minutes, open the lid and using a basting brush, rub a light coating of maple syrup on the top of the bacon slices.
Close lid and smoke for 5 more minutes.
Remove bacon from grill and let sit until cooled to room temperature.
Remove bacon from wire rack and place on a plate.
You can serve the bacon at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to let them solidify more and serve cold. They’re great either way!
Store your leftover pig candy (sorry I had to!) in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil and serve within 2-3 days. This delicious bacon is even better the next day, in my opinion!
What to Expect from this Recipe
This smoked candied bacon is chewy and delicious, with a perfectly caramelized glaze. The savory bacon blends beautifully with the sweet brown sugar and maple syrup, and the sweet Texas heat gives it just the right amount of spice. The indirect heat of the pellet grill brings out an incredible smokey flavor!
Your family and friends will LOVE this candied maple bacon! It’s the best appetizer and/or dessert for your next gathering, and the best thing… it’s such an easy recipe. You won’t believe how simple it is to make!
One bite, and we know you’ll love it as much as we do! Give it a try, and let us know what you think.
Make it Your Own
We love this smoked bacon candy just as it is, but here are some great ways to make it your own!
More heat! If you like spice, take it up a notch by sprinkling some black pepper or red pepper flakes onto the bacon before putting it on the grill. We recommend this classic Four Pepper Blend from FlatIron Pepper Co. It’s our favorite! Just add the pepper flakes right on top of the brown sugar/seasoning coating.
Change the glaze! If you don’t like maple syrup, or just want to try something different, consider glazing your bacon with honey instead (regular or hot). We recommend heating it first so it spreads more easily.
Change your bacon! We used applewood smoked bacon, but you can use any pre-seasoned type of bacon you choose. We recommend sticking with thick-cut bacon for the best result as thin bacon may not hold up as well.
What to Serve with Smoked Candied Bacon
Our smoked candied bacon is a great addition to any meal. It works beautifully as an appetizer OR a dessert. If you’re looking for some great recipes to serve it with, here are some of our recommendations:
For a mouth watering main entree, try our World’s Best Butter Burgers! They are juicy, tender and full of buttery flavor! These burgers would pair perfectly with our smoked candied bacon. You can serve the bacon on the side or on the burger itself. Give them a try!
This Delicious Creamy Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole from Southern Home Express would go great with our smoked candied bacon! You could even add the candied bacon pieces on top!
Check out these incredible Crumbl Copycat Turtle Cookies from Out of the Box Baking! Nothing pairs with sweet and savory bacon quite like chocolate, caramel and pecans. You’ll definitely want to give these a try!
Thanks for Stopping By!
That’s it for this post, friends! We hope you enjoy the sweet, spicy and caramelized flavors of this smoked candied bacon recipe! This is a simple recipe that the whole family will love!
Why Not Pin Some Pictures While You’re Here?
See this recipe at:
About the Man Behind the Grill
Zach Morrow was born and raised in Texas and has always had a passion for great barbecue. He’s at home behind the grill and loves to feed his friends and family home-cooked favorites as often as he can. He especially loves trying new things and is excited to produce recipes like this one for Backyard Texas Grill.
- 24 oz. thick cut applewood bacon
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons Sweet Texas Heat BBQ Rub
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
1. Set grill temperature to 300 degrees.
2. Spray oven safe wire rack with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Mix brown sugar and Sweet Texas Heat seasoning in a bowl.
4. Pour brown sugar/seasoning mixture onto a cutting board.
5. Open bacon package.
6. One slice at a time, press the bacon onto the brown sugar/seasoning mixture on both sides until coated (you will likely have leftover brown sugar blend - you can use this to sprinkle a little more on top of the bacon slices after placing them on the wire racks).
7. Lay coated bacon slices on greased wire rack.
8. Place in smoker and close the lid.
9. Cook at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.
10. While cooking, pour ¼ cup maple syrup into a small bowl (tip: you can pour the syrup into a small cast iron skillet and heat it on the grill, but this isn’t required).
11. Once the bacon has cooked for 45 minutes, open the lid and using a basting brush, rub a light coating of maple syrup on the top side of the bacon slices.
12. Close lid and smoke for 5 more minutes.
13. Remove bacon from grill and let sit until cooled to room temperature.
14. Remove bacon from wire rack and place on a plate.
15. You can serve at room temperature or place in the refrigerator to let them solidify more and serve cold. They’re great either way!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 357Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 970mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 19g