How to Make Bacon Jerky: A Simple and Delicious Recipe
We’ve all heard of beef jerky, but have you tried it’s bacon counterpart? Below, I’ll teach you how to make bacon jerky — a snack that you can easily take with you on trips!
Bacon is one of the things that every member of my family absolutely loves. I love it so much that I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use it! I know, it’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but I take it in moderation.
This recipe will teach you how to make bacon jerky without a dehydrator—a device commonly used for making it. As long as you have an oven, you’re all set!
Things You’ll Need to Make Bacon Jerky
The only thing you really need to invest on in this recipe is time. Making jerky is a long process, so you need to prepare yourself for a day or more of steady, slow cooking.
Any type of kitchen oven <electric or gas> will do for this recipe. The temperature in making bacon jerky is very low—as long as you have a device that can do 170F to 200F, you’re good.
Oven-Safe Metal Pan/Baking Sheet
You will need an oven-safe pan to catch the drippings from the bacon. I used the metal sheet pan that I use for baking cookies. The bigger the pan, the better!
Most ovens already have an oven rack, but if you don’t, you’ll need to get one. Replacement racks are available in kitchen supply stores or online.
If you’re ordering online, make sure that you have your oven’s exact dimensions. I learned this the hard way—I needed to return two racks I ordered because they’re too big for my oven!
You’ll be needing this brush for the bacon jerky marinade. I suggest using the silicone type of basting brush used in barbecues.
You will be working with very low heat, so having an oven thermometer is very important.
- 1 pound of uncured bacon
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup sriracha
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Step 1. Thaw Your Bacon
Make sure that your bacon has completely thawed before you place them in the oven.
Note: When buying uncured bacon for this recipe, get the ones with less fat, as fat will make the bacon jerky spoil faster.
Because you’re working with bacon, however, you will have to deal with some fat. This is completely fine! I just strongly suggest that you pick wisely—get the leanest ones you see.
Step 2. Make The Marinade
This sauce is for your marinade and for basting. Simply combine the ½ cup of honey, ¼ cup of sriracha, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a bowl.
This is my go-to marinade! I love how the sweetness and spiciness of the honey-sriracha mixture blend so well with the kick of pepper. I sometimes add a dash of chili powder, so you can try this one out, too!
There are so many ways to make your marinade, so feel free to experiment! Add Worcestershire sauce <yes, what they use in steaks!>, soy sauce, or even use a few drops of liquid smoke—the possibilities are endless!
Step 3. Prepare The Oven.
Preheat your oven to 175F <or whatever your oven’s lowest temperature is>. To save time, I suggest that you do this before you make the sauce for basting. Place your oven-safe pan or baking sheet at the bottom of the oven.
Step 4. Combine Bacon and Marinade
In a bowl, coat the bacon with the honey sriracha marinade. Before you mix, make sure that the bacon is dry by dabbing them with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
Step 5. Drape Each Bacon Strip on The Rack
Drape the bacon strips on the oven rack one by one. Arrange them properly—the pieces shouldn’t touch each other.
Once the oven is steady at 175F, place the rack inside. Make sure that you position it in such a way that all the oil drippings from the bacon will go to the baking sheet.
Step 6. Get Baking
The cooking time for bacon jerky varies because of the different cuts of meat. The thicker the cut is, the longer it takes to cook! I used store- bought bacon, and it took me 3 ½ hours to get to the chewiness that I like.
Step 7. Flip The Bacon
As long as you have a steady temperature, evenness of cooking should not be a problem. However, you can also opt for flipping your bacon after every hour to make sure!
Simply take out the rack after the first hour, and then flip each bacon strip. For this recipe, I flipped the bacon after the first and second hour.
Step 8. Cool The Jerky
Once you get to the texture and chewiness you want, you’re ready to take the bacon out of the oven.
Let the strips rest on paper towel to get rid of all the excess oil, and then cool for about 15-20 minutes, or until they reach room temperature.
Once all the strips of bacon have cooled, you’re ready to enjoy your homemade bacon jerky!
Step 9. Store The Bacon Jerky
If you plan to store your jerky for later consumption, simply place it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This could last for a month or two!
If you want to have a longer shelf life, store the jerky in the freezer! This would last for about 3-4 months. I honestly never make it to this point because I always end up finishing everything in just a few days!
There You Have It!
How did this recipe work out for you? I hope you had a good time following it!
I would usually take bacon jerky to activities like hiking and road trips, but most of the time, I just munch on them for a quick snack! Everyone in the family absolutely loves it, that even if we make a big batch, we always end up finishing it in a few days!
Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. Suggestions and recipe recommendations are also very much welcome!
Now that you know how to make bacon jerky, you can start experimenting on different flavors! Good luck!