Bacon Jam Recipe

A versatile condiment is full of salty, sweet-candied smoky bacon, with earthy notes of coffee and pops of heat.

Bacon jam slathered on a biscuit

Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cooking the onion and garlic in some of the rendered bacon fat intensifies the smoky bacon-y flavor and adds richness.
  • The food processor turns the reduced bacon mixture into a jam-like consistency.

More great sauce ideas are coming in from the request line. Most recently Serious Eater Spencer sent along a call for burger toppers, onion jam and bacon jam. Being a meat-centric individual, I opted to tackle the latter first.

Having never made bacon jam before, I did some searching around and found a Martha Stewart recipe that serves as a popular starting point.

I only made some minor adjustments—adding red pepper flakes and adapting it for a stove top instead of slow cooker—but pretty much stuck to the recipe that starts with crisping a pound of bacon, then sautéing onion and garlic in the flavorful rendered fat. The onion, garlic, and bacon are then simmered in a mixture of vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee until thick and syrupy. Finally, the entire thing gets a whirl in a food processor until it's a fine, but textured "jam."

I was blown away with the results. This was one complex condiment, with the salty and smoky bacon having a candied flavor from the sugar and syrup, as well as a very earthy quality thanks to the coffee and nice pockets of heat whenever I hit a red pepper flake. I happily spread this all of my burger, but it also found uses as a pizza topping and a spread for biscuits, all which were made even more delicious by this bacon jam.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

August 2012

Recipe Details

Bacon Jam Recipe

Active 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs
Serves 16 to 24 servings
Makes 2 cups

A versatile condiment is full of salty, sweet-candied smoky bacon, with earthy notes of coffee and pops of heat.


  • 1 pound bacon, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

    Small pieces of bacon crisping in a Dutch oven
    Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel.
  2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from skillet; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.

    Sauteing chopped onion in rendered bacon fat
    Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel.
  3. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

    Simmered down bacon jam mixture
    Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel.
  4. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in an airtight container up to 4 weeks.

    Bacon jam mixture in food processor
    Serious Eats / Joshua Bousel.

Special Equipment

Food processor, large skillet or Dutch oven

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
88 Calories
7g Fat
5g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 to 24
Amount per serving
Calories 88
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 111mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 56mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)