This post may contain affiliate links which help support Girls Can Grill.
What makes this bacon jam recipe different from all of the other recipes out there is that it includes a little jalapeno for heat, some whiskey and beef broth to add richness.
What is bacon jam?
Jam on its own is a preserve usually made with fruit. What makes it different from jelly is that it includes the pieces of fruit; whereas jelly doesn’t.
While we usually think of fruits like strawberries and boysenberries when we think of jam, jams can also be made using vegetables and even meats. Sometimes these types of preserved jars of goodness are called chutneys.
Honestly, the terms jam, jelly and chutney are mixed up a lot in everyday conversations. I make an amazing red pepper jelly, but technically, it should probably be called a jam, since it includes processed red pepper.
- Bacon: This recipe starts with the bacon. You can use any type of bacon, but I recommend sticking to a traditional thickness. If you choose thick-cut bacon, your jam will be a little too chunky.
- Red Onion: The red onion is the primary vegetable that adds wonderful flavor and natural sweetness to the bacon jam.
- Brown Sugar: In order for the jam to thicken, you need to add a lot of brown sugar. This also helps sweeten the jam. I prefer dark brown sugar because it has more molasses.
- Jalapeno: To counter the sweetness, use at least 1 jalapeno pepper.
- Red Wine Vinegar: Vinegar is also used to balance the sweetness. I like using red wine vinegar, but you can also use apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
- Beef Broth: Beef broth provides an elevated level or richness to this jam.
- Soy Sauce: In addition to the beef broth, the soy sauce adds umami to the bacon jam.
- Whiskey or Bourbon: Finally, what makes this bacon jam kick ass is the tablespoon of whiskey or bourbon. It’s completely optional but so good!
Substitutions: If you want to make your bacon jam spicier, use a serrano pepper or habanero pepper instead of the jalapeno. You can also use a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of cayenne pepper or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chili powder to add heat.
See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.
How to prepare bacon jam
- STEP ONE: Start by prepping all of your ingredients. Chop the bacon into pieces. Dice the onion and mince the jalapeno and garlic.
PRO TIP: If you like spice, use the jalapeno seeds. If you prefer a more mild jam, discard the seeds.
- STEP TWO: Place a large sauce pot on the stovetop or grill over medium-high heat. Add the bacon to the pot and cook, until it’s brown and crispy.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy bacon from the pan, separating the drippings from the bacon itself. It’s okay if a few browned bits are still in the bottom of the pan.
Return 1 tablespoon of drippings to the pan and save the remaining tablespoons of bacon grease to use in other recipes.
- STEP THREE: Reduce the burner to medium heat. Add the diced onion and diced jalapeno to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
- STEP FOUR: To the pot, add the brown sugar, beef broth, soy sauce, vinegar and whiskey. Let that cook down for about 15-20 minutes. You want the liquids to reduce and thicken.
- STEP FIVE: Next, add the bacon crumbles to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
How to jar bacon jam
This bacon jam recipe makes 2 cups. I like to store the jam in 8-oz. jars. You’ll need two.
For even distribution, spoon the bacon and vegetables evenly into the jars. Then pour in the liquid and add the lids.
Let it cool to room temperature for about an hour before storing it in the refrigerator.
At this point, you can store the bacon jam in a sealed mason jar or an airtight container in the refrigerator for a week. If you aren’t going to use it right away, you can freeze the jars for a few months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for best results.
As the jam cools, the bacon grease will start to harden on the surface. You can remove the top layer if you want, or just pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds and stir the grease back into the jam.
The National Center for Home Food Preservation does not support canning cured meats like bacon using the boiling water method, so it’s best to make this in small batches.
How to use bacon jam
Time to make all of those bacon lovers in your life happy.
GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips
- Use regular-cut bacon, not thick-cut
- If you like smoky flavor, look for apple wood or hickory wood smoked bacon
- Save any extra bacon fat for future recipes
- Control the spice level by using or omitting the jalapeno seeds
Frequently Asked Questions
Bacon jam will last in the refrigerator for about a week. There are no added preservatives in the recipe, so it should be treated like cooked bacon when storing it. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Bacon jam is a great condiment for burgers, sandwiches or hot dogs. It’s also awesome served on a cheese platter with crackers and sliced meats.
Bacon jam is sweet, but it’s a balanced sweetness because it’s made with added salty flavors like smoky bacon, rich beef broth and soy sauce, along with savory vinegar, onions and peppers.
Want even more great grilling recipes and tips? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for my latest grilling adventures. If you make a recipe, I’d love for your to leave a comment and rating below. Thanks.
Kick Ass Bacon Jam
- 10 slices regular-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp whiskey or bourbon
- Cook Bacon: Place a large sauce pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until crispy. Remove the cooked bacon from the pot and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon from the pot.
- Sauté Veggies: Reduce the burner heat to medium. Add the onion and jalapeno. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Reduce Jam: Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and cook for 15-20 minutes, until it reduces and thickens.
- Final Reduction: Add the cooked bacon back to the pot and let the jam continue cooking and reducing for 5 more minutes.
- Serve or Store: Either serve it immediately or store it for later. See the post above for serving and storing suggestions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.