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Smoky Bacon Popcorn with Burnt Sugar and Sea Salt

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  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/3 cup corn kernals
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and fry bacon until crispy. Once crispy and fat is rendered, remove bacon and let drain on paper towels. Remove bacon grease from the skillet, except for about 2-3 tablespoons. Continue to heat over medium-low heat and add popcorn kernals. Stir or shake the pan until the corn begins popping, cover it once it does. Continue to shake the pan until all the kernels are popped. Turn off heat and add popcorn to a large bowl. Season with salt, cumin and smoked paprika, then crumble bacon over top and toss.
  • To make the burnt sugar glaze, add sugar to a (different) large skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir for about 6-8 minutes, until the sugar becomes golden, then add in boiling water and whisk until the sugar is disclosed. If a few pieces crystalize, it’s fine. Simple strain the sugar/water immediately to get all the liquid, then pour it oven the popcorn. Toss constantly for a minute or two until the bacon and glaze are evenly dispersed. Serve!

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