Maple-candied bacon

Like so many brilliant things, maple-candied bacon (also known in some parts as “millionaire’s bacon”) is something that was practically in front of your eyes the whole time; it just took someone with vision to point it out. At its heart it’s bacon roasted with some form of sugar and maybe some spices until crispy. I don’t know who came up with the original idea, but many people since then have tried to bring it to life.

Most recipes I’ve seen recommend roasting the bacon for about 10-20 minutes. In my experience, that’s not long enough to get the bacon crispy enough to stand up on its own. That might work with thinner strips of bacon, but you want your bacon to stand out. Use only the right cut of bacon and the right type of maple syrup (see notes below on each), and roast until the bacon is beautifully dark in color and just this side of burned.

Though this recipe requires specific ingredients and a careful eye, this is perfect for any level of cook who can follow a few precise directions. Plus it can be made well in advance if necessary. Get ready to be the hit of the party.


The bacon: use only thick-cut bacon, but not excessively thick, which will make the bacon too chewy. For example, Applegate’s Thick-Cut Bacon is actually too thick; their Sunday Bacon is a better thickness for this recipe. On the other hand, standard thin bacon will burn before the syrup has done its job.

The syrup: use only grade A dark amber color/robust taste maple syrup. Formerly known as grade B, it was never actually considered inferior despite that label. It’s simply thicker and richer in taste.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
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Serves 16 people


  • 2 lbs thick-cut bacon (see note in description)
  • 1/2 cup Grade A dark amber/robust taste maple syrup (see note in description)


  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Arrange the oven racks just above and below center in the oven.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets (half-sheet pans) with heavy-duty aluminum foil. If you have baking racks that fit the pans, place a rack in each pan; it’s also fine to make this recipe without the racks.
  • Place the strips of bacon in a single layer on the lined sheet pans. They can fit together touching or even slightly overlapping in the pan if necessary.
  • Brush syrup on the bacon and roast for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Flip the slices, brush syrup on them once more. Rotate the pans and switch their positions in the oven.
  • Keep a very close eye on the bacon to keep it from burning, especially if some slices are thinner than others. When the bacon is dark in color, remove it and place on a large piece of parchment or wax paper and let cool. The bacon is done when it’s stiff when cool and has a delicate crunch to it. If the bacon is still a little flimsy when cool, you can either use it as-is or put it back in the oven to cook it a little further.
  • After the bacon is cooled completely, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to bring to the party. The bacon will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days if necessary.
  • To serve, line a large glass or mug with parchment and arrange bacon like a bouquet.

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