Double-smoked Candied Bacon

What could be better than bacon? The answer is candied bacon, with its sweet, spicy, smoky goodness. Thick slices of smoked bacon are coated in barbecue rub and smoked again. The sugars caramelize on the outside as the bacon slowly cooks through.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 12
Image of Double-smoked Candied Bacon

  • 12 slices of bacon, 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick, about 3 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dried garlic
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Maple syrup for serving, optional (we recommend a bourbon barrel maple syrup such as Blis)
  • Oak wood chunks for smoke

Prepare the smoker for 225°F smoking with oak wood (see detailed instructions for the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet following the recipe). Smoking duration will be 4 hours.

Grind the chopped garlic in a spice grinder (freshly-grinding your dried garlic leads to stronger flavor and a more interesting texture).

Combine the ground garlic with the sugars, salt, paprika, pepper and cayenne to make the barbecue rub.

Thoroughly coat each slice of bacon with the barbecue rub, packing it on to make sure it sticks.

Transfer to the smoker and smoke for 4 hours at 225°F with oak wood for flavor.

Remove from the smoker and serve with warm maple syrup (optional) for added sweetness.

Note: Although a dedicated smoker is ideal, this recipe is also good for cooking in a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill using our wood pellet smoking inserts.

Setup for the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet

If smoking only the bacon, load the smoker with 2 to 3 pounds of premium Kalamazoo Quebracho lump charcoal. Clip the pit temperature probe to the center of the bottom food grate and set the BBQ Guru pit computer to 225°F pit temp (you will not be using the food temp probe). Fully-open the chimney, ball valve, and fan shutter. Light the charcoal (see owner’s manual) and preheat the smoker for 1 hour to ensure even heat throughout the heavy stainless steel food chamber. Once the BBQ Guru computer indicates the pit has reached 225°F, about 30 to 40 minutes, reduce the fan shutter opening to 50%. After the first 45 minutes of preheating, add 2 large oak wood chunks to the ash pan below the charcoal fire. The embers from the fire will fall on the wood to create flavorful smoke.

Place the seasoned bacon directly onto the center food grate in a single layer. Close the door tightly and smoke for 4 hours, replacing the spent oak wood chunks approximately every 45 minutes.