Bacon is downright incredible just the way it is!! Then there’s bacon jerky🤯. Bacon Jerky takes that smoky delicious porky goodness and combines it with the texture of beef jerky. It literally blew my mind the first time I made it.
There are only a few steps to making Bacon Jerky and it all starts with thick sliced cured and smoked bacon. This will give you the best results. If you use thin (regular) sliced bacon the end result will be crispy, and we are looking for chewy. As far as getting the bacon, you can either make it yourself or buy some from the store already sliced. Either way works. Once you have the bacon you will need to decide on what flavor you would like you bacon jerky to have (limitless options) and create a marinade to brush onto the bacon. Finally, you’ll just place that marinade coated bacon into your smoker till it’s dried to your liking. Sounds simple.
Making the Marinade
I love how customizable this recipe is. The options for flavors are limitless. Honey, Maple Syrup, Soy Sauce (low Sodium), BBQ Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, or Worcestershire sauce offer a great base to your marinade. Adding garlic, dark brown sugar, onion powder, ginger, coriander, Korean gochujang, black pepper, cayenne pepper or even chipotle powder will add beautiful layers and complexity to your bacon jerky.
What I try and shoot for is a marinade that not too watery but not too thick as well. Almost like a glaze that’s very easily spreadable with a brush. So, after you’ve mixed all of your marinade ingredients, if you notice that it’s a little runny, just reduce the sauce on a medium heat till it reaches the perfect consistency.
Drying the meat
We will be using our Smokin-It smoker with the Jerky dryer attachment to dry our bacon. This is my favorite way to this tasty meat snack for several reasons. First, I can add additional smoke to my bacon jerky. Second, these digital smokers are very precise at keeping the temperature so I can maintain that 200f through the entire cook without overcooking my jerky, and finally I can make LOTS it. These smokers have a lot of capacity so I can really pack that bacon in there for 1 big load! I will be adding a Jerky Dryer (also from Smokin-It smokers) to the top of our smoker. This “jerky drier” pulls moisture out of the smoker, in essence turning the smoker into a huge dehydrator. The benefit of using this is cook time. I’ve noticed that it cuts the cook time almost in half.
Can you use an oven to make Bacon Jerky? Sure, but most ovens are not designed to keep a very low temperature so if you choose to use an oven, you’ll have to do some clever temperature management otherwise you’ll end up with crispy candied bacon which let’s be honest is pretty amazing as well. To use your oven set your temp as low as it will go, preferably 200f and leave the oven door open by about an inch. This will allow moisture to escape. Halfway through the cooking process, blot the bacon dry and flip it over, blot again. Continue cooking till it reaches the desired consistency of dryness
Enjoy the video and the recipe where I take you through the entire process of making this double smoked sweet & spicy bacon jerky. If you have any questions let me know.
Here are a few things you might find useful when making Bacon Jerky
- Smoker from Smokin-it (I use the Model 4D Digital WiFi)
- Jerky Dryer for a Smokin It Smoker (This speeds up the process and turns your smoker into a dehydrator)
- Seafood Racks for Smokin-it Smoker (these are nice but can be made with regular racks)
- Stainless Steel drying racks (for drying jerky once finished)
- Heavy Duty Kitchen Vacuum Sealer (for storage)