I made popcorn with bacon fat.
I was initially hesitant to divulge this information. But you all reacted favorably to it. In fact, very favorably. And so we find ourselves here, with a bowl full of bacon fat popcorn, a saucepan of caramel and a pile of crispy bacon pieces. There is only one logical next step: Mix it all together to make the most kick-butt, crunchy-chewy, salty-sweet Homemade Caramel Popcorn with Bacon.
This is another one of those stick-in-your-teeth sweets, so I’d like to give a special shout-out to all the dentists for the small part I’m doing to keep the clientele a’flowing. And for all those who don’t share my candied bacon addiction, check out the pork fat-free recipe for Easy Homemade Caramel Corn.
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- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
- In a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until a majority of the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve the bacon drippings.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved drippings, plus the vegetable oil, to a large stock pot over medium heat.
- Add the popcorn to the pot and cover it. Once you hear the first kernel pop, remove the pot from the heat for 1 minute. Return the covered pot to the heat, shaking it over the flame until all of the kernels have popped. (It may take up to 5 minutes for all of the popcorn to pop.) Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl, sprinkle in the cooked bacon pieces, tossing to combine, and set the bowl aside.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Then allow the mixture to boil, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. (The caramel will bubbly vigorously once you add the vanilla.)
- Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, stirring to coat the popcorn and bacon.
- Transfer the coated popcorn into two 9x13-inch shallow baking pans.
- Bake the caramel corn for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove the caramel corn from the oven and spread it onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet to cool completely before breaking it into pieces and serving.
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Recipe inspired by AllRecipes.com.
Delicious. Much easier than I thought it might be. Turned out great!
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Katie!
This turned out great. The only tough part was mixing it in but only because I thought I was smarter than you and tried to mix it on a sheet pan. I quickly switched to a bowl and it was much easier. Thank you for the recipe! I’m sure this won’t be the last time I make it.
I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Jennifer!
Amazing recipe! Made bags of these to give away for Christmas, but only managed to bag 3/4 coz the kids (and husband) could not keep their hands off it. Have been instructed to make a batch “all for us, no sharing” tomorrow.
Love this! I’m so thrilled your family enjoyed the recipe, Theresa!
This will be my new go-to guilty pleasure snack! Sooooooo good!
I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Pat!
Growing up in the 50’s- 60’s, our mom always popped corn that our Dad raised in bacon fat.. Reserved Bacon fat was a staple in the refrigerator..obviously we ate the bacon but never thought about mixing it with the popcorn …delicious..
Loving it!! Just made some and now can not keep my fingers out of it!
Not a healthy recipe – but you only live once! Might have to try this when my son has friends over!
I would like to make this for a wedding popcorn table. Should I be concerned about the bacon not being refrigerated for a couple days? Thank you!
Hi Tammy! You’ll want to make sure you store the caramel popcorn in airtight containers so it doesn’t get stale/soft, but it should keep (if packaged correctly), for up to 5 days. Enjoy!
hi! how far in advance can I make this for a party ? A few days ahead? How can I store this?
It’ll stay fresh for about 3 days, just as long as you keep it in an airtight container. Enjoy!
You just won me over. Tomorrow the slow cooker pork w/hoisin, then caramel popcorn with bacon fat. OMG! Totally decadent!
Awesome! Great recipe lineup, Julie!
How much does this recipe make? I would like to make it for a party tomorrow and am wondering how many times I need to multiply the ingredients.
Hi Mary! It’s hard to gauge the exact yield because some of the popcorn kernels don’t pop, but if I had to estimate, I’d say about 10 cups (10 to 12 servings). Hope that helps!
Nothing like a little bacon fat. Very intriguing combo with caramel and popcorn. Looks fantastic! :) ela
My mouth is watering! This is genius!
I am with Julie!! No words….other than amazing of course!
What? I can’t even process all the amazingness going on in this recipe. Popcorn cooked in bacon fat?! My mind is blown.
holy moly, I have no words!
Whhhaattt?! Are you crazy?! That is ridiculous…I want that in my tummy
Happy Valley Chow
Totally adore this, Kelly. All the way.
Seriously?!? My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures. This looks AH-mazing!
Oh, yes! Everything is better with bacon! Pinning!
I can’t even imagine how sticky your fingers get with this in the absolute BEST way possible.
Ohhhh, yes. ALL IN.
Caramel corn = life.
BUT THEN YOU ADDED BACON.
This is life.
I loveeee caramel corn! I bet this stuff is so addictive!