Get a large sauce pot or Dutch oven (about 4 quarts or larger) with a lid and heat it over medium-low heat. When hot, add in the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes or more (be sure to not let it overcook and burn). Remove pot from heat and scoop out the bacon with a slotted spoon or spatula onto some paper towels to drain; set aside.
Pour out bacon grease into a metal or glass measuring cup; 1/4 to 1/3 cup rendered fat should remain, but if there is not at least 1/4 cup, supplement with canola or other high-heat cooking oil to make 1/4 cup.
Put the pot back over the heat and add the grease back into it. Set heat to medium high, add a few kernels to the pot, and put the lid on the pot. When the kernels start to pop, carefully lift the lid and pour in all of the kernels, sugar and the salt. Stir to combine and put the lid back on the pot. When the kernels start to pop, use two pot holders or kitchen towels to lift the pot on both sides while holding the lid down; shake the pot often until the popping starts to subside (about 1-2 seconds between pops). Remove pot from heat, very carefully removing the lid (watch out for the hot steam), and pour in the kettle corn into a large bowl. Immediately sprinkle the spice rub and cooked bacon on top and stir to combine. Let cool slightly before serving.
Store at room temperature in a sealed container or in a large resealable bag for up to 2-3 days.