Air Fryer Pecan Praline Candied Bacon

Air fryer pecan praline candied bacon is an indulgent way to serve everybody’s favorite food. Crispy, salty, sweet, and full of porky flavor, we know you’ll come up with dozens of ways to use this gorgeous finger food.

Seven strips of air-fryer pecan-praline candied bacon in a white plate

Adapted from Coco Morante | The Ultimate Air Fryer Oven Cookbook | Mariner Books, 2021

The dining scene in Portland, Oregon, caters to a brunch-loving crowd, and one of the hottest tickets in town is a Southern comfort food spot called Screen Door. They serve an addictive side dish of praline bacon with a candied coating of brown sugar and pecans.—Coco Morante

Air Fryer Pecan Praline Candied Bacon

I don’t have an air fryer. Can I make this candied bacon in the oven?

No air fryer? No problem! This indulgent candied bacon can be cooked in a 375°F (190°C) oven. Follow the directions below, cooking until crispy, 13 to 16 minutes.

If I left off the topping, can I still cook bacon this way?

This method also works well for plain bacon, as it keeps the bacon from curling (great for sandwiches!) and there’s very little clean-up. Start it in a cold oven, as written, and cook for 8 minutes, or 10 minutes if you want it extra crispy. For thin bacon, adjust the cooking time to 6 minutes.

Besides breakfast, what else can I do with candied bacon?

We have a few suggestions for using up those leftovers (haha! Right?) that are hanging around. They’re amazing in a salad, chopped up into cornbread, on a spicy chicken sandwich, on a charcuterie board, or most ingenious of all… with a Bloody Mary that will make your eyes roll back in your head.

Air Fryer Pecan Praline Candied Bacon

Seven strips of air fryer pecan praline candied bacon in a white plate
In my version, this still tastes incredibly decadent even with leaner center cut bacon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per slice. The bacon starts in a cold oven, which helps to keep it from curling up as it cooks.
Coco Morante

Prep 5 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 20 mins
Breakfast
American
6 slices
152 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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Equipment

Ingredients 

  • 6 slices center cut or regular bacon medium or thick-sliced (do not use very thin bacon)
  • 1/4 cup raw pecan halves
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper optional
  • Pinch of salt

Directions
 

  • Line the air fryer cooking pan with foil. Lay the slices of bacon on the pan in a single layer. Place the pan of bacon in the cold air fryer oven.

    TESTER TIP: Fold up the sides of the foil to create a “boat”. This will keep the grease from spilling out of the foil and makes cleanup a breeze.

  • Set the air fryer oven to bake at 375°F (190°C) and set the cooking time for 8 minutes.
  • While the oven is preheating, in a mini food processor, combine the pecans, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, cayenne, if using, and salt. Process until you can still see little pieces of pecans, but the mixture is beginning to clump together, about 8 (1-second) pulses.
  • When the oven has preheated, wearing heat-resistant mitts, remove the pan from the oven. Drain any accumulated fat from the cooking pan. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of the pecan topping down the center of each slice of bacon, then press it down so it spreads out almost to the edges of each slice.
  • Place the bacon back in the oven and let cook until crispy, about 8 minutes.
  • When the cooking program ends, use tongs to grasp the end of each piece of bacon and slide it onto a serving platter or plates while still hot and pliable (this will keep the topping from cracking). Let the bacon cool for about 2 minutes, then serve warm.
Print RecipeBuy the The Ultimate Air Fryer Oven Cookbook cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 152kcal (8%)Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mg (6%)Sodium: 147mg (6%)Potassium: 69mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 49IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 9mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Looking for an easy, yet elevated, extra for a charcuterie board? This air fryer pecan praline candied bacon is a perfect addition. It offers a sweet, buttery, crunch with a kick that pairs perfectly with nice soft goat cheese or other soft cheese.

The air fryer method employed here eliminates the messy splatter associated with the traditional stove-top frying process and lining the air fryer basket pan with foil in a ‘boat’ shape makes the draining and clean up super quick and easy. So much so that there’s no need to wait to make this for guests—it’s perfect for a midnight snack when you’re not sure if you’re in the mood for sweet or savory because this recipe satisfies both. Enjoy!

I used Smithfield thick-cut natural hickory smoked bacon for this pecan praline candied bacon and made it in a traditional oven. The praline mixture came together quickly and easily—8 pulses worked well. My oven took about 5 minutes to preheat, and then I applied the praline mixture to the warm bacon. After 8 minutes, the bacon was still uncooked. I put it back into the oven for 4 more minutes, at which point I wasn’t sure if it was cooked or not, but the praline mixture began to smell lovely.

I preferred the bacon cooked for an additional 8 minutes (16 total)—it was chewy/crisp and the praline mixture smelled amazing. As for the taste? What a treat! The title is spot on—it tastes like praline bacon. I initially balked at the 6-piece quantity, but 1-2 pieces really does the trick. This recipe yields incredibly delicious sweet, salty, crispy-chewy goodness. Depending on the level of bacon-loverness (I like making up words) your family or guests falls into, this will serve 2 to 3 people with additional breakfast food included. This will definitely be entering the breakfast rotation, sharing the spotlight with the beloved maple sriracha bacon recipe.

It took 11 minutes to get bacon cooked after I added topping. This candied bacon would probably be good on a flip flop. It’s salty and sweet and crunchy with some heat and…bacon. It’s a great recipe. I served it with a salad.

I waffled over giving this recipe a full TC rating (pardon the pun) but it’s so close I’ve given it. The taste is bang on delicious but sadly my bacon never fully crisped using a traditional oven. Parts of it were and the bacon was fully cooked, but it never truly hardened.

The recipe is very easy to make. I used thick center-cut bacon, pecan pieces, and salted butter. As the bacon is already salted using the salted butter I felt added enough. I got 6 slices of the praline bacon. And as I said before it was delicious. I didn’t expect to like the addition of nuts to bacon but I did. I would certainly make this again but perhaps cook the bacon longer.

This pecan praline candied bacon was a simple recipe that would work as an accompaniment to a salad, a snack, or cocktails. I served the bacon on top of a salad with blue cheese dressing.

Originally published December 24, 2021

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