1 1/2 pound thinly sliced bacon
3 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 cup premium popping corn
For the caramel
3/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the bacon flat on a sheet pan and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drain bacon on a plate covered with paper towels. Lower oven temperature to 225 degrees F. When the bacon cools, chop it into small pieces and set aside. Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Add the popcorn and cook, shaking often until the corn begins to pop. Cover and continue cooking and shaking until the popping is done. Transfer the popped corn to the bowl.
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and corn syrup and mix well. Cook for 4 minutes until bubbly and hot. Remove from the heat and add the salt, baking soda and Sriracha if desired. Mix well. Working quickly while everything is hot, drizzle the caramel over the popped corn and top it with the bacon. Using two silicone spoons or spatulas fold the popcorn mixture gently until it is all well coated. Wrap a large baking sheet in foil and transfer the popcorn mixture to it. Spread the mixture evenly and put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and toss the popcorn and thenreturn it to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and transfer the popcorn to two clean baking sheets separating it and spreading it evenly to cool. Let rest for 10 minutes, then eat or store in an airtight container.