Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet pan with a silicone liner, parchment paper or foil. Lay the uncooked bacon sliced onto the pan. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cracked black pepper, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
½ cup brown sugar, ½ tsp. cracked black pepper, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, ½ Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the bacon slices, fully coating all of the slices. Using your hands, gently pat the sugar down onto the slices of bacon.
1 pound thick-cut bacon
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and if it isn't as crisp as you'd like, put it back in for the full 40.Carefully transfer the bacon from the baking sheet pan to a cooling rack and let cool for another 10 minutes.
Air Fryer Candied Bacon
Preheat air fryer to 400°F. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
Sprinkle mixture all over bacon and pat down.
Spray air fryer with olive oil, then add bacon and fry for 8 minutes, checking halfway through at 4 minutes to see if any of the bacon needs any rearranging to crisp up.
Serve and enjoy!
Depending on the size of your baking sheet pan and the number of bacon slices in the package, you may need to use two sheet pans.
Be sure to let the slices fully cool, this will allow the caramelized sugar to harden.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.