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Bacon Jerky

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I know it sounds crazy, but yes! You can make bacon jerky! And it’s darrrrn delicious. 

Image shows a white table with small ramekins of bacon jerky. The front ramekin has a hand holding a slice of bacon jerky. Text above reads "Bacon Jerky"

You start with that crazy addictive bacon flavor and add a marinade that takes it up a notch, and it turns into a snack you just can’t put down. 

Why bacon jerky? 

Well, because it’s tasty for one. 

Secondly, it’s really easy to make. With most jerky, you do a lot of slicing meat into thin strips, such as with this deer jerky recipe. Or even if you’re not slicing, you’re shaping ground deer into jerky-shaped strips, as in this teriyaki venison jerky recipe. 

With this recipe, all you do is stir your marinade ingredients together, arrange your jerky on a tray, and baste it on. 

Is bacon jerky safe? 

Yes! We know that pork must be heated sufficiently to eliminate the possibility of parasites. 

The temperature you need to reach, though, is only 145º Fahrenheit. That is far lower than any frying pan. Suffice it to say that bacon doesn’t need to be crispy to be safe. 

Is this jerky shelf stable? 

Different sources will give you different answers, but here’s my experience: The sources that give bacon jerky a shelf life of months to years usually cure it with sodium nitrate. We don’t use that. Though this recipe is different than our usual jerky marinade recipe, it still doesn’t contain preservatives beyond salt. 

That’s because traditionally, jerky is shelf stable because its low moisture and sodium content make it nearly impossible for bacteria to grow. 

The same is true with bacon, but it has a relatively high-fat content, which can go rancid. So I recommend that if you won’t be consuming it within 3-4 days, you can refrigerate it for 2-3 weeks or freeze it for several months. 

Tips and tricks

After making several batches, here are a few things I’ve learned to make really good bacon jerky: 

  • Use the leanest bacon you can find. You’ll see in some of the process photos below that the bacon is pretty fat. This is the batch where I learned that fat jerky isn’t great, and switched to the leanest I could find. Don’t worry, though! If you do end up with jerky that’s fattier than you prefer, just bake it at 400º for 4-5 minutes on parchment paper, and you’ll end up with pretty awesome candied bacon. 
  • Use the oven if your dehydrator doesn’t go hot enough. Some dehydrators are low heat, but that’s okay. Most ovens go down to 175-200º. You can simply use a metal rack, like a cooling grid, for cooling cookies. Just place it over a cookie sheet to catch drips, and lay your jerky on top. Prop the oven door open a little, and you’re all set. 
  • Use Thick-cut bacon for heartier jerky. 
  • Find the meatiest bacon you can. That means skipping the cheapest brands and going with the good stuff. If you raise your own hogs as we do, and they’re extra fat, consider trimming off extra fat, render it out, and save it for cooking.

How to Make Bacon Jerky 

Gather your ingredients

  • 24 oz. thick cut bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Optional: a few drops of liquid smoke, half a teaspoon of onion powder
Image shows a white bowl sitting on a counter with soy sauce, onion salt, and Sriracha to make bacon jerky marinade.

Arrange your bacon slices on a tray or dehydrator grid, then mix the marinade ingredients together, and brush the slices with it on both sides

Image, taken from above, shows bacon jerky in a dehydrator on a countertop.

Put your jerky in the dehydrator on the highest setting for 4-6 hours or in the oven on the lowest setting (200º or less), with the door propped open for 3-5 hours. 

When it’s done, your jerky should be dry but still pliable. 

Image shows several small white ramekins on a counter holding jerky made from bacon

Store in airtight zip-top or vacuum-sealed bags for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator, or freeze for up to 6 months. 

That literally all there is to it! Scroll down for the video and printable recipe card. 

Print

Bacon Jerky

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4.7 from 6 reviews

Bacon jerky is a super tasty treat to make for your family, plus lots of protein!

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3-6 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: Varies

Ingredients

Scale
  • 24 oz. thick cut bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce (more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • a few drops of liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Arrange your bacon slices on a tray or dehydrator grid,
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl
  3. Brush marinade over both sides of bacon slices
  4. Put your jerky in the dehydrator on the highest setting for 4-6 hours (I have this dehydrator), or in the oven on the lowest setting (200º or less), with the door propped open for 3-5 hours. 
  5. When it’s done, your jerky should be dry but still pliable. 
  6. Store in airtight zip-top or vacuum-sealed bags for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator, or freeze for up to 6 months. 

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7 Comments

  1. I am grateful that you shared this article with me since it brought a smile to my face when I was reading it. As was the case with this particular piece, I usually read the shorter essays and explain the writers’ intentions afterward.






  2. Sounds amazing. One question though, there seems to be a mixture of opinion about cooking your bacon first in the pan. Does this recipe require the bacon to be cooked before dehydrating? Thank you from Australia.






  3. Regarding bacon jerky, it’s important to ensure that proper food safety measures are followed during preparation. While bacon jerky can be safe to consume, it’s essential to address potential concerns.






  4. Regarding bacon jerky, it’s important to ensure that proper food safety measures are followed during preparation. While bacon jerky can be safe to consume, it’s essential to address potential concerns.

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