Bacon itself is already so good that it creates the bacon mania in North America. There are various recipes with bacon as the star that people die for. Jerky, literally any kind of jerky, is great. Beef jerky, pork jerky, chicken jerky, turkey jerky, you name them are all delicious.
Combining these two we have bacon jerky that I’m sure everyone will love. The only problem is that prepackaged bacon jerky is expensive. But you can always DIY bacon jerky very simple at home. This post will introduce to you how to make bacon jerky in two ways.
Sweet & Spicy Bacon Jerky
The combination of sweetness and spiciness will be a taste explosion in your mouth. The only problem we have with this recipe is that you may not be able to stop eating.
- 1 lbs. bacon
- 1 cup sugar
- Sriracha sauce
- ½ cup of honey
- Step 1: Coat your bacon with brown sugar
The ratio is 1 cup of sugar for 1 pound of bacon. Put the bacon in a large bowl, add sugar. Mix well to make sure sugar covers all the bacon strips. Leave the bowl there for 10 – 15 minutes.
After 10 – 15 minutes, lay the bacon strips on the oven rack
- Step 2: Preheat the oven
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. If it can’t go down to 170 degrees, set the lowest setting. Put a cookie sheet with aluminum foil on the second oven rack.
- Step 3: Bake the bacon
Insert the bacon rack above the rack with the cookie sheet. Bake for 1 or 1.5 hours, depends on how thick the bacon strips are. Make sure the bacon strips are accessible to the heat of the oven. You can flip the strips every half an hour if you like.
- Step 4: Make honey + sriracha sauce
Take ½ cup honey and ½ cup sriracha sauce and mix well. You can change the ratio based on which taste you prefer. Take the bacon out from the oven. Brush bacon strips with the above mixture both sides.
- Step 5: Bake again
Put the bacon tray back to the oven. Bake for another 2 hours. If the strips reach your desired texture, use a paper towel to remove excess moisture, sauce, or fat; then let them cool down. If you prefer them to be crunchier, bake a little longer.
- Step 6: Dehydrate (optional)
You can stop at step 5. But if you have a food dehydrator, you can dehydrate the baked bacon to dry them more. Dry at the highest setting for 2 – 3 hours until they reach the dryness you prefer. Flip occasionally.
You can store these delicious, crispy, sweet, and spicy bacon jerkies in ziplock bags in the refrigerator for a week. If you plan to eat them all in one night, then don’t worry about how to preserve them.
Spicy Smoked Bacon Jerky
There is no better way to add a hint of smoke and spicy flavor to your bacon jerky.
- 1 lbs. bacon (regular or thick cut)
- Coarse black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Brown sugar
- Cookie sheets
- Aluminum foil
- Smoke wood
- Zip lock bags
- Step 1: Season the bacon
Place the rack on the cookie sheet to allow smoke to surround the strips. Put the bacon strips onto the rack with space between each slice. Dust the bacon with garlic powder, sprinkle black pepper and chili powder, finish by a little of brown sugar.
Rub them gently to absorb the spice rub. Flip and apply the same seasoning to the other side. Put the bacon rack in the refrigerator for about one hour.
- Step 2: Prepare the smoker
Start with coals then wood. Control the temperature at 190 degrees. Check the temperature as near as possible to the cooking surface.
- Step 3: Smoke the bacon
Place the bacon rack into the smoker. Smoke for about two hours. Keep your fire far away from the bacon to avoid burning up the strips. You will notice a slight color change of the bacon.
The most important factor is to maintain a consistent temperature. Check during the smoke time if any side is cooking faster than the other. Remove the bacon from the smoker after an hour.
- Step 4: Bake the bacon
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Blot the bacon slices with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Place the bacon on a rack and slide it into the oven.
The bacon should be in the oven for 2 – 3 hours, depends on how you want the outcome. The secret to not overbake bacon jerky is to check every hour at the beginning and every 15 – 20 minutes in the end. Take it out of the oven and put it on a plate with paper towel.
- Step 5: Serve and save the bacon jerky
Let the bacon jerky cool down before you try them. You should remove all the residual grease for a better taste. After it cools, you can enjoy them yourself or with friends and family.
If you prefer to save the bacon jerky for a while, put them into zipping lock bags and seal. It will be even better if you have a vacuum food sealer machine. Put them in somewhere cool, dry, and dark.
More Options on How to Make Bacon Jerky
The two ways of DIY your bacon jerky at home we present above are personal preference. The best thing about making your own bacon jerky is not that it is cheaper than branded ones, but you can customize it as you wish. How great it is to add your own twist that no one else has in the bacon jerky.
With the above two recipes, you can change the amount and ratio of the seasonings to please your palate. You can also add what you like or remove what you don’t like from the ingredient list. Remember not to overpower the bacon taste with too much spice.
Besides baking and smoking then baking bacon to make bacon jerky, you can use only a food dehydrator to make dehydrated bacon jerky. It will take a lot longer time to finish than the two methods we introduce above. About the taste, is everything bacon taste amazing?
The best bacon to make bacon jerky is lean and regular-to-thick bacon. It also depends on how you like the jerky to be. Therefore, I would suggest you give everything a try then decide what you like most among all.
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Bacon jerky makes an excellent snack for almost every occasion. An alone night with movies is comfortable with some strips of bacon jerky. Nothing makes a perfect football match than bacon jerky and beer and good mates. The fragrant strips complement your chit-chat with friend better than anything else.
If you ever pick up a bag of bacon jerky at the supermarket then put it down because of its price, you can now make it yourself. It tastes even more exciting with your personal twist in there. I hope this instruction on how to make bacon jerky serve you well.