Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Ever been driving along mindlessly, and before you know it – you’ve sat through an entire song that you otherwise can’t stand?  No, this isn’t a PSA against bad music, although I implore you to listen to the goods, this is a lesson in mindlessness.

It is entirely too easy to sit down with a bowl of this popcorn, mindlessly shovel it into your pie hole, and then realize you’ve eaten an entire batch.

I don’t want you getting sick – so take it easy with this stuff… please!

This treat has it all – complexity, sweetness, saltiness, and oh yeah… BACON!

Feel free to change the amount of bacon or bourbon – as there could always be more.

Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn


9 strips of bacon

2 1/4 cups of unpopped kernel corn

1 cup butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

1 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup bourbon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Vegetable oil

Fleur de sel


Fry bacon and set aside.

Put 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium high heat.

Add 3 kernels to the pot – when they begin to pop,  add 3/4 cup of popcorn (you’ll be making three batches), cover and shake pot occasionally, so popcorn doesn’t burn.

Remove pot from heat once popping has slowed, place popcorn in a large bowl.

Repeat for remaining batches.

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Crumble bacon over finished popcorn.

In a large pot, bring butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Stir in bourbon, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda and mix.  Be careful, the mixture tends to take on a life of its own and might over flow.

Pour caramel mixture over bacon and popcorn mixture.

Toss to coat evenly.

Spread mixture over three baking sheets covered in parchment.

Sprinkle each tray liberally with Fleur de sel.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Cool for 1 hour.

24 thoughts on “Bacon Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

  1. OK when I poured caramel mixture over bacon and popcorn mixture the popcorn shriveled up. I followed the recipe exactly as written. It looks like I am going to have caramel bacon popcorn nibs. What did I do wrong?

    • Here’s how I bring the sauce and the popcorn together. There are three batches of popped corn. I take the first in a large bowl and cover with a little less than a third of the caramel mixture – just enough to coat it really. Then I toss it well to cover all the popcorn pieces. I do the same with the next batch of popped corn. Then the remaining corn and caramel get the works. This batch will be like you described – popcorn nibs. Then I bake, as in the recipe. At the end I toss it all together and it’s the perfect mixture – normal fluffy caramel corn with bits of nibs and bacon.

      Sorry that it didn’t turn out this time, I should have been specific with the coating process. Try it again, I know it’ll be a hit!

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for bacon and bourbon pairings. Fantastic! I can’t wait to try this recipe and several others. Looking forward to future posts!

  3. Oh wow. I stumbled across this. It looks totally amazing and I can’t wait to try it out next weekend. What am I saying? I can’t wait to try this out for breakfast.

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  6. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe – I just made a batch, and dear god, it’s like crack!
    I substituted some of the butter in the caramel for the rendered bacon fat, and used rum because I didn’t have any bourbon in the house.

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