Popcorn with Bacon Fat, Bacon, and Maple Syrup

Popcorn with Bacon Fat, Bacon, and Maple Syrup  Recipe

So wicked it should be illegal, this sinful dish should be saved for the evening after you’ve shoveled snow all day and can feel virtuous eating such an indulgence. Or invite a crowd to share at movie night chez vous.–Deborah Krasner

LC Easy Arithmetic Note

Our math skills are pretty much on par with that of an average second-grader–maybe not even considering that we’re still doing the old sort of math and not this new math. Anyways, when we want more of this recipe–which is always–we simply make a second (or third) batch instead of doubling or tripling the recipe. Easy arithmetic. And no risk of having popcorn spill out of the pot and onto the floor. On a tangent, we’re thinking a little dark chocolate would be the perfect addition to this equation—that’s the sort of math we understand. Boy, do we ever.

Popcorn with Bacon Fat, Bacon, and Maple Syrup Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes 12 cups


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup popping corn, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Coarse salt, preferably smoked salt flakes, as needed


  • 1. Heat a cast-iron or other heavy skillet over low heat and cook the bacon slowly until cooked through but not ridiculously crisp This should take about 15 minutes per side if the heat is low enough. Transfer the cooked bacon to a folded paper towel to drain, leaving the bacon drippings in the skillet. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it into a bowl.
  • 2. Carefully pour the bacon drippings into a 3-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid. You’ll need at least 1 tablespoon bacon drippings; if you don’t have enough, melt a bit of butter to make up the difference. Heat the pot over medium-high heat and pour in the corn, clapping on the cover. Shake the pan and listen for the sound of the corn popping. Once it begins to pop furiously, lower the heat to medium and leave the pan alone until it’s quiet and the popped corn begins to push at the lid off the pot. Turn off the burner but let the pot remain where it is so the residual heat can pop the remaining kernels.
  • 3. In the meantime, melt the butter. Measure the maple syrup. Grab your bowl of crumbled bacon. And find a ginormous bowl.
  • 4. Pour the popped corn into the bowl. Immediately drizzle it with the maple syrup and melted butter, sprinkle it with the crumbled bacon, and quickly toss to combine. Taste for salt and correct the seasonings, tossing again. Serve at once with napkins aplenty.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Jan 30, 2012

This recipe was a lot of fun. I was worried about burning the popcorn in the bacon fat, but it turns out my fear was unfounded. The popcorn popped up well without burning. The taste of the finished product is quite a treat. It has a slightly sweet maple flavor, but there is also enough salty flavor from the bacon fat and crumbled bacon to satisfy. This would be a great addition to any brunch or just on its own. It could easily become a habit.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Jan 30, 2012

Made this for my daughter, parents, and half-Spanish family, and everyone loved it. What can I say? Salty, sweet, sticky, yummy. Now somehow I have to figure out how to send REAL popping corn to Portugal and Spain!

Testers Choice
Jennifer Piercy

Jan 30, 2012

What a delicious snack! I love popcorn and make it frequently in my Whirly-Pop, which I also used for this recipe. Since the maple syrup and bacon are added after the popcorn has finished popping, there is no chance of the sugar burning, which has happened to me when making similar recipes. Really tasty and easy!

  1. Curt says:

    You have some really awesome stuff on here! This looks absolutely phenomenal!

  2. $35 a Week says:

    Must. Try. This. Immediately.

  3. I am almost speechless after reading the recipe and drooling over the picture. I just happen to have some almost local bacon in the fridge. This is going to happen at my house this weekend!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Sarah, I find “I just happen to have some almost local bacon in the fridge.” to be words to live by…let us know how it goes!

  4. Oh my. I have made something similar. It is Friday. Definitely a popcorn day!

    • Beth Price says:

      Abbe, I firmly believe that every day can be a popcorn day. Especially if it involves bacon fat.

  5. Sofia R. says:

    I just made this as my husband had never had it. His comment? “Make a HUGE batch of it and sell it during our village summer festivities. You’ll get rich fast!”

  6. Rick Rodgers says:

    I have had this recipe clipped for a couple of years, and I finally made it for Oscar night. It reminded me what a truly masterful book GOOD MEAT is. This is a fun recipe, but the other information in the book includes more sophisticated fare for grass-fed meat and poultry. There is a reason why the book was nominated by both IACP and Beard, a rare feat.

    • Lindsay Myers says:

      Hi Rick, we couldn’t agree more about how fun this recipe is! The cookbook is truly a wealth of meaty information. We simply couldn’t resist the novelty of bacon-spiked popcorn.

  7. Vivien says:

    Outrageously good. Very moreish.

  8. ruthie says:

    I second the dark chocolate and see maple bacon popcorn balls in my future. ;) Love popcorn balls, don’t have all those loose bits escaping and getting lost in the furniture. Heh.

  9. JenZ says:

    This recipe made me laugh out loud with glee :). I’m definitely making it today and am wondering how at strange my husband and kids will think I am if I make it for breakfast! It is so very tempting …

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Well, let’s see, JenZ, there’s whole grain, bacon, and maple syrup. Sounds like standard Sunday breakfast fare to us! Although we’re laughing now, too. With you, not at you. Let us know how it goes!

      • JenZ says:

        I did make it, although for an evening football snack. It would have made a tasty breakfast though! I made a bit more of the maple mixture and used applewood smoked salt, and it was delicious but also way more filling than regular popcorn (which I usually make with expeller pressed coconut oil and salt powder). I will definitely make it again!

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Swell, JenZ! Lovely to hear it, really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. And I am so with you on typically popping corn in coconut oil…soooo lovely.

  10. anne arris says:

    Have had popcorn popped with bacon grease. But to add bacon and maple syrup? Genius!!

  11. r says:

    Still answering to this? Oh man! Gonna cook that but if no maple syrup what is a man to use instead?!


    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Hey r, hmmm, if it was me and I wanted to make this but had no maple syrup, I would make kettle corn. And you do that by sprinkling some granulated sugar in with the unpopped kernels when you add them to the pan. You want to be certain to shake the pan often while it’s over the heat to ensure the sugar doesn’t scorch. The flavor won’t be as nuanced as if it was made with maple syrup and the popcorn won’t clump together the way it would with maple syrup, but it will give you the sweet salty smoky effect that the original recipe achieves. Good luck!

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