How To Make Bacon Jam

5 from 2 votes

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Bacon jam is easy to make using ingredients you can find in your kitchen. Add it to sandwiches, burgers, and more for a unique sweet and savory flavor.

Bacon jam in a jar next to a plate of crackers

What Is Bacon Jam?

Bacon jam is a bacon lover’s dream come true. It is a sweet and savory spread made from onions, brown sugar, vinegar, and of course… bacon! This jam is best served at room temperature or warmer for easier spreading. It can be used as an appetizer spread or over your favorite grilled meats. Comment below and tell us your favorite way to use bacon jam!

If you love unique jams, jellies and spreads, be sure to try our jalapeño pepper jelly or our homemade huckleberry jam recipe. Try any of these spreads with crackers and cream cheese for a quick and easy snack!

Ingredients in Bacon Jam

With only 4 ingredients, this recipe couldn’t be easier.

  1. Bacon Slices. Thick cut bacon works the best and gives the jam it’s hearty texture.
  2. Onion. The kind of onion you use will affect the taste of the jam. We like to use a flavorful red onion, but a white onion is also very good in this recipe.
  3. Brown Sugar. This gives the sweetness to the jam. You can use dark or light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a more molasses flavor.
  4. Balsamic Vinegar. This gives the intense balsamic flavor, which comes from grapes, to the jam. It complements the bacon beautifully.

What Does Bacon Jam Taste Like?

Bacon jam has a unique flavor that is more sweet than savory. It really does taste like a sweet, caramelized jam with a hint of maple syrup, especially if you use a maple flavored bacon. Depending on the type of bacon you use, it can even have a bit of a smoky flavor, like BBQ sauce. The texture can vary depending on how finely you chop the bacon and onions. It can be fine, with the texture similar to marmalade or preserves making it easier to spread. Use a food processor and pulse all of the ingredients until they’re the desired consistency. Or you can leave the pieces larger (like below) with the bacon in 1-inch pieces so the jam has more texture, similar to conserves or a relish.

Roast beef sandwich cut in half to show beef and toppings

Ways To Use Bacon Jam

This savory spread can be used to liven up just about anything! Here are some of our favorite things to add bacon jam to:

  • Spread it on hamburgers or chickenburgers. 
  • It’s so good on all types of sandwiches, especially on turkey or roast beef sandwiches
  • Also tastes delicious on grilled cheese, an egg sandwich
  • Grilled chicken or steak
  • Spoon on top of a pork roast or pork chops
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Spread on toast, bagels or English muffins.
  • Use as a pizza topping
  • Green salads or as a veggie spread
  • As a spread on charcuterie boards
  • With crackers and cream cheese
  • Try it on pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Top a fried egg with this bacon jam and serve with a hearty breakfast
Onions and bacon in a balsamic reduction in a skillet

Getting The Flavor Just Right

What I love about this jam is that you can easily adjust the sweetness to your liking. The caramelized onions and added sugar give it a good amount of sweetness and the balsamic vinegar brings that sweetness down and adds a punch of flavor. If you prefer it more on the sweet side, reduce the amount of vinegar and try using dark brown sugar instead of light. If you want it to be more savory, add a little extra vinegar and cut down on the brown sugar. Experiment with how you like it best to make it your own!

More Flavors to Try

  • You can also substitute about ⅛ cup apple cider vinegar for the balsamic.
  •  For extra spice, try adding a little chili powder or cayenne pepper.
  • Use fresh garlic cloves.
  • Add extra black pepper to taste.
  • For additional texture, scrape the browned bits of bacon from the large skillet.
  • Dice red onion or red pepper for added flavor and texture.
  • Use diced shallots in place of regular yellow onion.
  • Garnish with some fresh thyme.

Which Bacon Is Best?

Turning bacon halfway through cooking in the air Fryer

You can’t go wrong with a thick-cut bacon for this recipe. Obviously if you get a higher-quality bacon you will get a better bacon jam. If all you have is regular-cut bacon, that works great too! Using smoked bacon will give your jam a nice rounded-out smoky flavor that will taste great on burgers or grilled meats. Pre-cooked bacon doesn’t work well because you aren’t able to get enough drippings to make the jam. Also avoid getting maple flavored bacon as it may throw off the taste.

How to Cook Bacon for Bacon Jam

The easiest way to get perfectly cooked bacon is on the stovetop. Use a large skillet and cook the bacon in batches, turning them over every few minutes at medium heat until they’re nice and crisp. Then use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a plate with paper towels so it can drain. You can also cook bacon in a Dutch oven, a regular oven, or sometimes in the microwave. Make sure to save about two tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan to continue making the jam.

How To Store Bacon Jam

Bacon jam should be refrigerated after it has cooled past room temperature. It can stay in the refrigerator for up to a month. You can also freeze your jam to make it last even longer. Just thaw in the refrigerator before serving. If your jam is hard and difficult to spread after refrigerating, you can take the desired amount from the jar and heat in the microwave (only for about 10 seconds at a time because it will heat up fast). Remember, after the jam has been heated or brought to room temperature after refrigerating, it should not be refrigerated again. Be sure to only heat what you will be using. Keep the rest in the fridge until you need it again.

A spoon of jam made form bacon next to a cracker with the same jam


Can you can bacon jam?

Canning bacon jam is not recommended. It simply isn’t safe. If you want to store it long term, freezing is your best option.

Can I freeze bacon jam?

Absolutely! You can freeze your jam for up to 6 months. Just put it in a freezer-safe container or even a freezer zip-top bag to store.

More Recipes For Bacon Lovers

Top view of a jar of bacon jam with crackers

Bacon Jam

5 from 2 votes
Bacon jam is easy to make using ingredients you can find in your kitchen. Add it to sandwiches, burgers, and more for a unique sweet and savory flavor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Spread
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings



  • In a large non-stick skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease from the pan and remove bacon to drain on paper towels. 
    9 slices of bacon on a baking sheet
  • Add onion to the pan and saute until soft.
    Bacon slices on a paper towel next to a skillet with diced red onions sprinkled with brown sugar
  • Add brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and water. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar and vinegar reduces to a light syrupy texture.
    Chop bacon into small pieces and add to the mixture. Stir well to combine.
    Onions and bacon in a balsamic reduction in a skillet
  • Can be served hot or cooled to room temperature.
    A spoon of jam made form bacon next to a cracker with the same jam

Nutrition Information

Calories: 37kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 4mgPotassium: 37mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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