Bacon Jam


  • 1 pound smoked bacon, pre-sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or to taste (optional)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes or to taste (optional)


1. Preheat heavyweight saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat. The pot’s capacity should be around 3-quarts.

2. Prep work: Cut bacon into 1-inch strips. Cut the onion in half, and then cut each half into 1/4-inch slices. Dice jalapeno pepper (for less heat, remove ribs and seeds). Chop cloves garlic.

3. Add bacon to the pot. Fry until fat renders and bacon is lightly browned and beginning to crisp. Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towels and let drain. Pour off all but one tablespoon of bacon fat.

4. Add sliced onions and jalapeno peppers to the pot. Sauté on medium heat until tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds.

5. To the onion, jalapeno and garlic mixture, add dark brown sugar, brewed coffee, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, bourbon, water, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine and deglaze the pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add bacon and stir to combine. The mixture will be soupy. Reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until liquid becomes thick and syrupy.

6. Remove pan from the stove. Cool for about 30 minutes.

7. Spoon mixture into the food processor bowl. Pulse 3 times in 1-second pulses. Taste the jam. If it’s too chunky, pulse 1 to 2 more times. Do not over-process. The jam should have chewy bits of bacon throughout.

8. Spoon bacon jam into glass jars with tight lids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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