Recipe: How to Make Bacon Jam

created at: 11/13/2012

It’s jam. Made from bacon. No snappy intro paragraph needed. Just make some.     

Recipe: Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 1 pound thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3⁄4 cup brewed coffee 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1⁄3  cup cider vinegar
  • 1⁄3  cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon chili powder 

Step One: Add bacon to Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 20 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate, leaving rendered fat in pot.

Step Two: Return pot to medium heat, add onion, shallot, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Return bacon to pot, then stir in coffee, water, vinegar, maple syrup, sugar, honey, allspice, and chili powder. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasion- ally to prevent scorching, until mixture thickens and rubber spatula or wooden spoon leaves distinct trail when dragged across bottom of pot, 1 to 11⁄2 hours.

Step Three: Remove from heat and let bacon mixture cool for 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mixture to food processor, leaving excess fat behind. Discard excess fat. Pulse bacon mixture until finely chopped, about 5 pulses, or until mixture has reached desired consistency. Transfer jam to jar with tight-fitting lid. Jam can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Bring jam to room temperature before using.

Mari Levine of America’s Test Kitchen says, “The final texture depends completely on personal preference. I like my bacon jam on the chunky side, when it’s got texture but is spreadable. Pulse it a few times, then check the consistency. If the bacon pieces are still a little too big for your liking, pulse it another few times. Just remember, you can always process it more, but you can’t go backward.”


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Recipe by Mari Levine. Photos by Anthony Tieuli.