Candied bacon takes baked mac ‘n cheese to a new level

It's sinfully delicious!

There is just something about that smokey BBQ flavor that makes things taste good.

In fact, Craig Sander, who we’ll refer to as Hap, believes anything you can smoke, should be smoked.

That includes your favorite baked mac ‘n cheese.

Yup, he combines all of the cheesy goodness in an aluminum tin and lets it bubble to perfection on his smoker.

“I figured mac ‘n cheese is good, so what better than putting it on the smoker to give it a smokey cheese flavor,” Hap said.

But Hap doesn’t stop there.

He decided to take this already delicious side dish to a new level.

We’re talking candied bacon!

“Everybody likes bacon so I take bacon and I candy it on the smoker, get it real crispy,” Hap said. “And when I make my smoked mac ‘n cheese, I typically put it all over the smoked mac ‘n cheese.”

Heartland Weekend’s Nichole Cartmell got to sample the creation during the 26th Annual Jaycee BBQ Fest. She says it is sinfully delicious.

Hap is quick to admit there is nothing healthy about the candied bacon baked mac ‘n cheese, but he says the side dish is always a winner.

While he wouldn’t give us his secret recipe, Hap says all you have to do is sprinkle enough candied bacon on top so you get a piece or two in each bite.

Try this:

Add Smokey Flavor to your Mac and Cheese

3 Tips to Take Your BBQ Up a Notch From a Seasoned Winner

BBQ season in the Heartland is officially smoking.

Let your stomach lead you to these festivals:

  • Cape Jaycees BBQ Fest: Aug. 17 – 18 at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Praise the Lard: Sept. 20 – 22 in Murphysboro, IL
  • Barbecue on the River: Sept. 27 – 29 in downtown Paducah, KY