Chef Rhadia believes bacon makes everything better. Once you start eating this, you won’t be able to stop.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Chef Rhadia
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup of reserved bacon fat
- 2 cups light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 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 stockpot 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 with 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 rest of the bacon fat, 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 bubble 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 9×13-inch shallow baking pans.
Bake the caramel corn for 20 minutes, stirring every 10 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.