Million Dollar Bacon

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Million dollar bacon is a real thing, and it’s amazing! Anyone that has eaten breakfast at First Watch knows what I’m talking about. I go there for the breakfast drinks, but I stay for the glorious sweet and salty, maple-glazed bacon.

Slices of maple glazed bacon layered on a plate

It’s the perfect breakfast food for those special occasions when you want a little extra something, and it’s sure to impress your family and friends. It’s easier to make than you might think and only uses 5 ingredients.

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brown sugar, maple syrup, bacon, cayenne pepper, and black pepper


Brown Sugar – I would not substitute this any other sugar. Brown sugar gives it a richer flavor.

Black Pepper – This will give a little bit of kick to your bacon. I wouldn’t skip this one totally.

Cayenne Pepper – This adds a bigger kick. You can reduce or skip it, especially if you are feeding little ones or people who do not like spicy food.

Maple Syrup – I always use real maple syrup even with pancakes and French toast. Real maple syrup will give your bacon more flavor.

Thick Sliced Bacon – Some bacon is cut thicker than others, you may need to try this recipe a few times to find the bacon that works best for you. I love Wright thick sliced bacon and my second choice would be thick center cut bacon by Oscar Mayer. The Oscar Mayer bacon will take less time than Wright because it is cut thinner.

ingredients in a bowl, ingredients mixed with water, bacon dipped in glaze, glazed bacon on a baking rack


  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a baking rack over the top – this will help your bacon cook evenly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together some brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water. Separate your bacon into individual slices and then dip each slice into the maple glaze. Make sure all parts of the  slices have been covered!
  3. Place the bacon slices on the prepared baking sheet, making sure to leave a little bit of space between each one. 
  4. Place the remaining glaze into a small saucepan and heat to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, stir occasionally while cooking the bacon.
  5. Then bake for 20 minutes. Check on the bacon – if it looks like it’s cooking unevenly, rotate the pan.
  6. Give the bacon another 15 to 20 minutes to bake until it’s perfectly cooked for you. Remove from oven.
  7. Put onto a serving plate and drizzle with reduced glaze and enjoy!


Make sure the bacon is completely coated with the glaze prior to baking.

Do not overcook your bacon. Remember, bacon always seems to firm up a bit after it cools slightly.

Reduce or increase the black pepper and cayenne pepper to suit your preferred heat level. 

Thick bacon slices are not all created equal, watch your bacon closely near the 25 minute mark to make sure it is not overcooked. 


Place leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 30 days.

Leftovers can be reheated in a 325°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through. If you cook it longer than that, it will start to cook and become crispier.

You can also place a couple of pieces of bacon on a microwave safe plate and reheat at full power for 30 seconds.

Why Does Your Million Dollar Bacon Recipe Have a Glaze?

I’ve had the maple-glazed bacon at First Watch a few more times than I care to admit. It is not served like a crispier Candied Bacon. It is slightly crispy and yet still chewy. It is not dry and has some extra maple-y goodness on the plate.

All of the copycat recipes I have seen, including the one released by one of their chefs, seemed to be missing the extra glaze after it was cooked. 

I find its closer to their version when I give it a small drizzle of additional real maple syrup.

More Bacon Recipes



Million Dollar Bacon slices on a plate

Million Dollar Bacon

Million dollar bacon is a real thing, and it’s amazing! This bacon has been dubbed million-dollar bacon because of its insane flavor and luxurious texture.
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 15 Slices
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Beth Mueller


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 pound thick sliced bacon


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with sides with parchment paper and place a baking rack over the parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and water, and mix to combine.
  • Separate the bacon into individual slices.
  • Dip each slice into the maple glaze and place onto the baking rack, leaving space between slices.
  • Once all the bacon pieces have been coated and placed onto the baking tray, place the tray into the oven.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Check the bacon, if it looks like it is cooking unevenly, roate the pan.
  • Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the bacon is done.
  • Remove the bacon from the oven and allow to cool for a minute.
  • Place the bacon on a serving plate and drizzle with some additional rea lmape syrup.


  • Make sure to completely coat the bacon with the glaze prior to baking.
  • Watch the bacon closely after 30 minutes so you do not overcook your bacon.
  • Remember, bacon always seems to firm up a bit after it cools slightly.
  • Thick bacon is cut at different thicknesses depending on the manufacturer. The thickest of the bacons may take up to 35 minutes to finish cooking, bacon on the thinner side may be done as soon as 20 minutes.
  • Reduce or increase the black and cayenne peppers to meet your preferred heat level.
  • There are roughly 8 slices of bacon per pound of Wright Thick Sliced Bacon. 
  • There is enough glaze to coat about 4 pounds of bacon.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g
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