Marks Daily Apple
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26 Apr

The Best Kind of Jam Is Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam 1Be warned that bacon jam is a highly addictive substance. You’ll no sooner make one batch than you’ll want to start another, tweaking the recipe slightly to make it a little smokier, or sweeter or spicier. Just remember that bacon jam is a condiment, not a main course to be eaten with a spoon – at least not every day.

What does one spread their bacon jam on? Scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, omelets, spinach salad, steak, burgers, salmon, grilled vegetables…the smoky, spicy, sweet flavor can jazz up just about anything. It’s a secret weapon to keep in the refrigerator, transforming a meal from blah to “aha!”

There are countless versions of this Southern specialty. This particular recipe for bacon jam leans more towards savory and spicy than sweet. The addition of coffee gives it a little kick, although not as much as versions with bourbon do…

Servings: Approximately 1 1/2 cups

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour to simmer


Bacon Jam Ingredients
  • 12 to 16 ounces of bacon (340 g to 450 g)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (a pinch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 of a chipotle pepper en adobo, chopped (or more, but these canned peppers add a lot of heat)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (15 ml)
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (120 ml)
  • 1/2 cup water (120 ml)


Cook the bacon, but not too crisp (save some of the fat for sautéing the garlic and shallot). Cut the bacon into one-inch pieces.

Cooked Bacon

In a little of that reserved bacon fat, sauté the garlic and shallot for a few minutes to soften the garlic. Add the chili powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, chipotle pepper in adobo, vinegar, maple syrup, coffee, water and the bacon. (As a substitution for coffee, simply use 1 cup/240 ml of water)

Simmer on low, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add a little water if the pot begins to get dry. The finished product should be thick and syrupy.

Simmering Bacon

Put in a food processor and pulse a few times to blend just a little, leaving the texture somewhat chunky.

Refrigerate until completely chilled. Bacon jam will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks.

Bacon Jam2

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I never thought to make a bacon jam. The only ingredient that throws me off is the cocoa powder. Is that an essential ingredient?

    C L Deards wrote on April 26th, 2014
  2. Maybe this tastes better than it sounds. In any case, I think I’ll pass. Thanks anyway, Mark.

    Shary wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • ABSOLUTELY tastes better than it sounds! First had it in a local restaurant about a year ago. Now can’t wait to serve it!

      Scott wrote on April 26th, 2014
  3. Strangely bacon jam is quite popular in mumbai. A number of restaurants have it as a condiment and you can even buy it from someone who makes it at home and sends it.
    It’s delicious ! Though I am sure it’s not as primal as this recipe Mark has shared. But who cares! It’s Bacon jam!

    Aloka wrote on April 26th, 2014
  4. Bacon? Did I hear, Bacon? I’m in. The wife is off visiting family this weekend, that means I have free range over the kitchen. so its an egg scramble with BACON jam tomorrow morning.

    Mark N wrote on April 26th, 2014
  5. Now that sounds too good! I’m makin’ some bacon.

    Nocona wrote on April 26th, 2014
  6. Oh my goodness, how can anyone NOT think this wouldn’t be the greatest thing ever??? Can’t wait to try it.

    Lauryn wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • I guess that should say, how can anyone think this wouldn’t be the greatest thing ever? Either way, it looks amazing. (Staple cookbook in our house: “Everything Tastes Better with Bacon”.)

      Lauryn wrote on April 26th, 2014
  7. Ridiculous. This reminds me of some bacon “granola” I made recently! Might have to add a splash of bourbon in here.

    Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • Bacon granola? Oh, yes! Recipe please?

      Jen K wrote on April 27th, 2014
      • Should be up within the next few weeks! Working on a huge rehash of my website and waiting to post a lot until that is done.

        Dr. Anthony Gustin wrote on April 27th, 2014
  8. Canapes, anyone? You can easily add this to the growing list of superbowl snacks by serving them with homemade crackers and sharp cheddar cheese shavings.

    I would even consider doing this with Paleo sandwich bread, only melting the cheese. Grilled bacon/cheese sandwich, anyone?

    Wenchypoo wrote on April 26th, 2014
  9. Bacon jam is the kind of jam I can really get behind! Thanks Mark!

    Stella wrote on April 26th, 2014
  10. I’ve never had bacon jam but it sounds tasty. Would probably make a good home-made treat to gift at housewarmings or around the holidays.

    Camille wrote on April 26th, 2014
  11. Is the bacon smoked or unsmoked

    Jon wood wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • Smoked. I would think unsmoked would make it more of a pork belly jam. I like this spread thinly on apples although sweet potatoes sound good, too.

      Lauri wrote on April 26th, 2014
  12. Bacon jam originated in Seattle I believe at one of the original Food Trucks. I’ve had it and it is soooo good, especially with an omelet.

    Gillian wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • Just posted this! It’s Skillet food truck & they use grass-fed beef. So yummy! I know you can buy the jam to use at home, but I’ve only had it with the beef + arugula.

      sara wrote on April 27th, 2014
      • Yes, we bought it at Well Seasoned in Langley, BC.

        Gillian wrote on April 28th, 2014
  13. I made once made bacon jam and I became violently ill after eating it. It was just too rich and maybe a little too glutonous.

    PatrickP wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • Shouldn’t be any gluten in there if you’re not adding any grain-based products. It also shouldn’t make you sick if your ingredients weren’t contaminated or you don’t have severe allergies to any of the ingredients, or as long as you don’t eat the whole jar in one sitting. Becoming violently ill after eating any food is troublesome to say the least and should prompt an immediate visit to your doctor.

      Mantonat wrote on April 28th, 2014
    • Because I am HIGHLY sensitive to gluten … I wonder if the vinegar could be the culprit. I am also sensitive to corn, soy, etc… but I can only have 2 types of vinegar or I get sick. Apple Cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. I have also reacted to coffee. I bought Folgers since it was on sale and I got sick from it. Also instant coffee is not gluten free. I don’t know how sherry vinegar is made… but people like me can’t have things like other people … for example… brandy, although most people who are gluten sensitive can drink regular brandy (not flavored) people like me would react to the brandy because of the glue that is used in the oak barrels when it was fermenting… there can be hidden gluten that I was “chosen” to react to… but life is still so much better :) thinking of trying this recipe.. will have to tweek it to suit my allergies…

      Kathy P. wrote on May 5th, 2014
  14. Mmmmmmmmm bacon……

    salixisme wrote on April 26th, 2014
  15. Mine will be…Jalepeño Bacon Jam!

    Paleo Joe wrote on April 26th, 2014
  16. A hahahahahahaha bacon jaaaaam
    I love it here

    Tom B-D wrote on April 26th, 2014
    • ^ This is my favorite comment of the week.

      Nicole wrote on April 26th, 2014
  17. Oh my….bacon, chocolate & chipotle chilli…might give my asian sambals a challenge!

    Carol wrote on April 26th, 2014
  18. Looks yummy. But I can’t help thinking that all the uses for it are good with just strips of bacon, which is quicker.

    Julia wrote on April 26th, 2014
  19. this looks like the best recipe I have seen in some time. Will do this tomorrow!

    wildgrok wrote on April 26th, 2014
  20. My father in law would freak out over this stuff.

    Ben T wrote on April 26th, 2014
  21. Bacon Chutney (what it actually is) sounds much more appetizing than Bacon Jam. 😉

    Jenny wrote on April 27th, 2014
  22. Actually, I believe this is a relish. No fruit, pectin or sugars. Except the maple syrup but 1 TBLsp doesn’t count. Or this is possibly Bacon du Grok au jus. Bacon au Saindoux.

    Korg wrote on April 27th, 2014
  23. Great recipie! Anything with even the slightest amount of bacon in it highly addictive :)

    Aaron wrote on April 27th, 2014
  24. I’ve never made it, but there’s a food truck here in Seattle (Skillet) that serves grass-fed burgers with bacon jam (no bun for me!). As strange as it sounds, it’s pretty amazing. Very rich!

    sara wrote on April 27th, 2014
  25. Airport security once stopped me boarding a plane with a jar of this bacon jam. I had to eat it all on the spot. Joy.

    Scott UK wrote on April 28th, 2014
  26. Oh, wow, I could kiss you for this right here. Can’t wait to make this (i.e., can’t wait to EAT this!!)!!

    Carol wrote on April 28th, 2014
  27. Bacon jam is the bomb! People always ask what it’s good on and my response, ” A spoon. Grilled cheese sandwich. Egg and cheese sandwich. A spoon. Crackers. A spoon.” Really, you’ll just want to eat straight from the jar warm.

    I’d discovered it in San Francisco after chasing the Bacon Bacon Truck. Oh man… so good.

    I’ve tried Seattle’s Skillet’s Bacon Spread and it just didn’t do it for me like the one in Seattle.

    Mark’s recipe is different from the recipe I use, but I am going to have to give it a shot because the cinnamon and cocoa powder intrigue me.

    Oh, if you share your bacon jam, expect to be asked when you’ll be making it again. My friends know which ones I TRULY love because they’ll get a little jar of baconny goodness from me. :-p

    Pamela wrote on April 28th, 2014
  28. I can’t imagine this staying in the refrigerator long enough to spoil.

    Gordon Guano wrote on April 28th, 2014
  29. You had me at bacon….

    Pat wrote on April 28th, 2014
  30. Would it be okay to use a blender? I don’t own a food processor and I have decided I need this jam in my life.

    Eliza wrote on April 28th, 2014
    • Seems like it would be too thick for a blender. The mixture would all just stick to the sides, or else the blender would liquefy everything too much. Although I guess it doesn’t hurt to try. The worst that could happen is that you’d be forced to eat extra-smooth bacon jam.

      Mantonat wrote on April 28th, 2014
      • Cut up the bacon into smaller pieces – I’ve made bacon jam a couple of times and have never used a food processor to break it down as the bacon pieces have been small enough to create a chunky affect :)

        Anna wrote on April 28th, 2014
  31. Is vinegar a necessary ingredient? I’m imagining it helps keep it from spoiling…how long do you think it would be good for without it? I can’t stand vinegar in any way shape or form; I can’t stand the smell or taste in even the smallest amounts & if I do eat just a little, like in ketchup for instance, it can make me very nauseated & sick to my stomach. So is there anything I could substitute?

    Sharon wrote on April 28th, 2014
    • The sourness of the vinegar helps balance the other rich, fatty and sweet ingredients. You could try other tart liquids – lime juice might be good in this recipe since it has other Mexican spices and flavors. A sharp white wine might also add balance. Verjus, the juice of unripe white grapes, is also sometimes a good substitute for vinegar. You can find it in many specialty food markets.

      Mantonat wrote on April 28th, 2014
      • Thanks so much!

        Sharon wrote on April 28th, 2014
  32. Bacon…. Nuff said.

    Katybombatey wrote on April 29th, 2014
  33. Thus is so good…I made this tonight and served a spoonful over some sautéed garlicky kale. Perfect.
    I didn’t have any cocoa powder, so I tossed in a small square of 72% dark chocolate.

    Christina wrote on May 4th, 2014
  34. Does Everyone eat bacon?? I have to say….I’m surprised….I Love the taste of Bacon-especially extra crispy and I love Pork Rinds for a treat/snack…but I won’t eat any pork and haven’t for several years…… I’m just curious….

    ThreeStrong wrote on May 8th, 2014
  35. er…that is… I no longer eat pork due to health concerns. Gosh….When I purchased my Olde English Bulldogge the breeder told me I could feed her pretty much anything that I myself eat – Except for Pork-no pork for bullies! I figure it it’s not good enough for her then I’m not eating it!! the other thing ‘Lola’ won’t eat are cashews; so,…well,…I no longer eat those either ’cause that ‘lil’ dog ‘o mine eats anything!!

    ThreeStrong wrote on May 8th, 2014
  36. I didn’t think bacon was permissible because of chemical to cure it- what’s the deal with that?

    mybestieandI wrote on May 23rd, 2014
    • That’s why we buy uncured bacon. :) No added nitrites or nitrates.

      Curtis wrote on May 23rd, 2014
  37. The ingridients did sound funny, but I thought, it’s bacon, I’m in.
    and that was the best choice I made this week.
    This is the most delicious thing I ever tasted (well, it’s at least among the top3)
    thank you for this great recipe!!

    Ella wrote on May 27th, 2014
  38. hi everyone

    I try this recipe this evening and it looks like a french recipe called “rillette”. I just to wait tomorrow to taste it at my breakfast… But it tastes good anyway.

    jerome wrote on July 3rd, 2014
  39. Made this, it wasn’t very good. I used smoked bacon.

    Stephanie wrote on July 31st, 2014
  40. Just found this recipe (& your website) – click from

    This sounds soooooooooooooooo good.
    I’ll be making with grass-fed, grass-finished bacon, uncured.
    But was wondering if I can use (ACV) Apple Cider Vinegar w/the mother instead of the sherry vinegar. – Seems like I can.
    And I’ll be using Water instead of coffee (never did like that stuff)

    Thank you for this recipe… Now I just need some fresh eggs from a farm & some raw milk would be nice. – and then some grain-free bisquits….. Sorry, just thinking & getting very hungry.

    Bets wrote on June 19th, 2015

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