Wicked. Sinful. Indulgent. Those are just a few of the words being bandied about by folks who’ve succumbed to this ridiculously crack-like concoction made, quite simply, from popcorn, maple syrup, bacon, and butter. And when we want more of this recipe–which is pretty much always–we simply make a second or third batch. That’s how easy it is to toss together. 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.Renee Schettler Rossi

Open waxed paper bag with popcorn and maple bacon bits spilling out

Popcorn with Bacon Fat, Bacon, and Maple Syrup

4.80 / 5 votes
This amazing popcorn is popped in bacon fat with bacon fat, bacon and maple syrup is a bacon-lover’s version of America’s favorite nighttime, couch-sitting, sitcom-accompanying snack.
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories68 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the meantime, melt the butter. Measure the maple syrup. Grab your bowl of crumbled bacon. And find a ginormous bowl.
  • 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.
Good Meat

Adapted From

Good Meat

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 68 kcalCarbohydrates: 5 gProtein: 1 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 10 mgSodium: 53 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Deborah Krasner. Photo © 2010 Marcus Nilsson. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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.

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!

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!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    That sounds as delicious as sin! Definitely something I can NOT try but my sense memory is going crazy at the thought of it.

    1. Grins. Lovely to hear that, Rainey. Oops. We mean, sorry for the sense memory short circuit!

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


    1. 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!