A while back, we cured our own bacon. You can sure use that recipe or run by the store and pick up a pound of bacon for this easy recipe.
The biggest tip here is you need to use thick-cut bacon… none of that stuff you can read a newspaper through. If you’re using our bacon recipe, I like to cut it about twice the thickness that you would find at the store labeled “thick-cut.”
Tip: The thicker the bacon, the more there will be to chew on. Mmm Hmm!
Prepare the Candy Coating
Start with some diced fresh jalapenos. The way we are going to get the heat out of the jalapeno and onto the bacon is by soaking the diced peppers in some Worcestershire sauce. From there, you can remove the peppers if you do not want too much heat. If you are like me and like to kick it up a notch, leave those jalapenos on the bacon while it smokes.
Pour the Worcestershire/jalapeno mix into the bottom of a 9×12 or similar casserole dish. Add each piece of bacon, thoroughly coating the meat so that the sugar and spice will stick to it well.
Once the bacon is coated, set in the ice box for about 45 minutes and allow it to soak up all of that flavor.
Tip: Use light brown sugar. The molasses will help the sugar caramelize on the bacon.
Mix light brown sugar and half of the coarse ground black pepper. Mix in the remaining spices. Shake off the bacon to remove the jalapeno and rub the sugar and spice mixture all over the bacon. Top with the remaining black pepper, and it’s about ready to go on the smoker.
Tip: Pat the seasoning onto the bacon slightly to help it stay on the hog better.
Set the bacon on a wire rack and let rest while you get the fire to going.
Get the Fire Hot
Use the Fogo Hardwood Lump Charcoal to get the fire hot if you’re using a grill. If you’re using an oven inside, pre-heat to about 375 degrees.
I added some applewood for a little burst of flavor. If you’ve got a pre-smoked bacon you may not need to add this. I always err on the side of more flavor.
Make sure you place the bacon over indirect heat. If you place it right on top of the fire, it’s gonna burn up.
Like A Cowboy in a Candy Store
Now, you can cook as long as you like. The candied bacon should be ready after about 20 or 25 minutes on indirect heat. That first bite will remind you of a Christmas ham, it’s so sweet. Then that heat will sneak up behind you and bite you in the backside.
Let it cool on the wire rack then you can store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Tip: Tie a bow around the jar and a label that says “Homemade Hog Candy“
Candied Jalapeno Bacon - Cowboy Kent Rollins
- 2 diced jalapenos seeded and stemmed
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 lb. bacon
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Coarse ground black pepper for sprinkling
- In a large casserole dish, add the jalapenos and Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Place the bacon in the dish and coat well on both sides of the bacon. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the brown sugar, garlic powder and cinnamon.
- Remove the bacon from the dish and shake off some of the jalapeno peppers. Note: the more peppers left on the spicier the bacon. Place the bacon on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle the bacon generously with the brown sugar mixture, then sprinkle with the black pepper, to taste. Pat the mixture into the bacon. Turn over and repeat on the opposite side. Let rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- Preheat the grill to 350 degrees F. or a conventional oven to 375 degrees F.
- For grilling: Clean and oil the grill. Move all the coals to one side of the grill. I like to use a blend of oak charcoal and apple wood chunks for smoke. Close the lid and cook for at least 15 minutes, flip and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the bacon has browned. Cook longer for your desired texture and color.
- Remove the bacon from the grill and place on a wire rack to cool at least 30 to 45 minutes. The bacon will set up as it cools.
For baking: bake for about 25 minutes or until your desired doneness.
- Serve as salad topping, in wraps or sandwiches. When completely cooled and dry, the bacon can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.