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

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58 thoughts on “The Best Kind of Jam Is Bacon Jam”

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  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?

    1. You don’t taste chocolate. It brings out the flavors of the bacon.

  2. Maybe this tastes better than it sounds. In any case, I think I’ll pass. Thanks anyway, Mark.

    1. ABSOLUTELY tastes better than it sounds! First had it in a local restaurant about a year ago. Now can’t wait to serve it!

  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!

  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.

  5. Oh my goodness, how can anyone NOT think this wouldn’t be the greatest thing ever??? Can’t wait to try it.

    1. 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”.)

  6. 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?

  7. Bacon jam is the kind of jam I can really get behind! Thanks Mark!

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. I’ve always heard that bacon jam is an old Southern classic, but now I’ll have to double-check.

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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…

  11. Oh my….bacon, chocolate & chipotle chilli…might give my asian sambals a challenge!

  12. Looks yummy. But I can’t help thinking that all the uses for it are good with just strips of bacon, which is quicker.

  13. this looks like the best recipe I have seen in some time. Will do this tomorrow!

  14. Bacon Chutney (what it actually is) sounds much more appetizing than Bacon Jam. 😉

  15. 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.

  16. Great recipie! Anything with even the slightest amount of bacon in it highly addictive 🙂

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. Oh, wow, I could kiss you for this right here. Can’t wait to make this (i.e., can’t wait to EAT this!!)!!

  20. 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

  21. I can’t imagine this staying in the refrigerator long enough to spoil.

  22. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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 🙂

  23. 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?

    1. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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….

  26. 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!!

  27. I didn’t think bacon was permissible because of chemical to cure it- what’s the deal with that?

    1. That’s why we buy uncured bacon. 🙂 No added nitrites or nitrates.

  28. 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!!

  29. 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.

  30. 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.