Candied Bacon (Million Dollar Bacon)

Delicious caramelized bacon which can be made in the oven or the air fryer.

Candied Bacon

Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 40 min | Resting Time: 15 min | Yield: 8 servings


  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil, silicone liner, or parchment paper


  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet pan with Silpat, parchment paper or foil. Lay the uncooked bacon sliced onto the pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the bacon slices, fully coating all of the slices. Using your hands, gently pat the sugar onto the slices of bacon.
  5. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Check at 15 minutes and 30 minutes. If it isn't as crisp as you'd like, bake it a little longer.
  6. Carefully transfer the bacon from the baking sheet pan to a cooling rack and let cool for another 10 minutes.

Air Fryer Instructions

  1. Heat air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pepper, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
  3. Sprinkle mixture all over bacon and pat down.
  4. Spray air fryer with olive oil, then add bacon and fry for 8 minutes, checking halfway through at 4 minutes to see if any of the bacon needs any rearranging in order to crisp.