It’s delicious, chewy, lean, and you can prepare the recipe in various flavors.
I’m talking bacon Jerky. It’s one of those easy to prepare snacks that even non-bacon fans would love. So today, we share a fantastic bacon jerky recipe. It’s simple, giving you creative room to experiment with different flavors and cater to your taste needs. You can choose savory, sweet, tangy, or all three flavors in one.
What is bacon jerky?
As the name jerky goes by, bacon jerky is a type of pork trimmed to lean, thin pieces and preserved by salting and dehydration. This preservation process makes the bacon jerky last longer when stored correctly.
While bacon, smoked and seasoned with salt is good, it’s best to marinate with more great tasting ingredients that make your taste buds dance.
What will you need to cook bacon jerky?
A bacon Jerky recipe gives you much freedom on what equipment to use. You could use an oven, dehydrator, or a smoker. It all depends on what you have, how long you want to take, and your tastes.
Oven versus a dehydrator
Some kitchen fanatics swear by the oven while others would pretty much use the dehydrator. What really matters is not the equipment you use. It’s the time settings, the thickness of the bacon, and the spice combination you choose.
You will require a baking sheet and a metal cooling rack to fit inside the baking sheet to use an oven. Here’s a tip that saves you hours from cleaning a greasy mess.
Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. This way, the fat from the cooking bacon drops on the foil and not your baking sheets. After cooking, you’ll only need to dispose the aluminum foil and do a little cleaning for the baking sheets.
How to make bacon jerky in an oven
Making bacon jerky in an oven is a straightforward process that yields the best results. Follow along and master a recipe that’s delicious for a lifetime.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200℉
Step 2: Cut the bacon into an ⅛ inch wide and 1 inch long strips. Too thick strips take longer to dry to the desired crisp.
Step 3: In a bowl, mix your marinade ingredients.
Step 4: Add your bacon jerky to the marinade bowl and mix until the bacon is fully coated. Alternatively, you could put your marinade mixture in a ziplock bag, add your jerky strips, and shake everything up. Then put it in the fridge for 3- 24 hours for the bacon to marinate.
Step 5: Put a cooling rack over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Make sure that the rack fits on top of the baking sheet. You don’t want the sizzling fat spilling out.
Step 6: Arrange your marinated bacon jerky ¼ inch apart over the cooling rack. The bacon jerky strips should be spread out and not topped over the others.
Step 7: Place your rack in the oven. It should cook for 3-6 hours, depending on the texture you are going for. Again, you have to turn sides every 1 hour to ensure that all sides cook evenly. Then use paper towels every once in a while when fat stagnates on a bacon jerky.
Step 8: When the bacon is cooked to your preferred crispy level, remove it from the oven and let it cool off. If there is any fat left, use a paper towel to blot.
How to make bacon jerky in a dehydrator
Now, we will use a dehydrator to make bacon jerky. Compared to an oven, a dehydrator is a better and quicker option of cooking bacon jerky.
Step 1: In a frying pan, cook the marinated bacon jerky strips until it’s crispy.
Step 2: Drain the excess fat using a paper towel. You could reduce this process by buying lean bacon with lesser fat. Or, cut off the fatty parts before marination.
Step 3: Once you bloat the excess fat, place your strips on a dehydrator, subject to its specification. Cooking bacon jerky on a dehydrator will take 6- 8 hours.
Step 4: Turn occasionally to ensure even and consistent cooking. Once it’s your desired level of color and texture, remove, and cool completely.
Can you keep bacon jerky for later snacking?
Yes, you definitely can.
As long as you completely dry off the fat, let it cool, bacon jerky will last longer. Making bacon jerky in batches will save you much time and give you a ready snack for those tired or lazy days.
Place the excess bacon jerky in a zip lock bag or an airtight container. Also, ensure to store it in a dry and cool place until you are ready to snack.
The recipe: Sweet and spicy bacon Jerky
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 6 hours
Total time: 6hrs 15 minutes
Yield: 24 bacon jerkies
- Oven, dehydrator, or smoker
- Baking sheet and cooling rack
- Aluminum foil
- 2 pounds bacon
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup sriracha
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200℉
Step 2: Cut the bacon into thin slices, preferable, ⅛ inch wide by 1 inch long. To get a chewy bacon jerky, cut with the grain. And to achieve a tender texture, cut against the grain.
Step 3: In a bowl, mix your seasonings and wet ingredients to make a flavor-rich sauce.
Step 4: Using a brush, coat the bacon jerky with your marinate sauce. Or, dip the bacon into the bowl until fully coated.
Step 5: Arrange the slices on the cooling rack. Remember to leave out space between the cuts to allow even cooking.
Step 6: Put the bacon in your oven and occasionally turn from side to side. If fat stagnates on a bacon jerky slice, bloat it with a paper towel. Cook for 4- 6 hours until it reaches your preferred texture.
Step 7: Remove the bacon jerky and put it aside to cool completely.
Step 8: Enjoy your bacon jerky.
For later snacking, store in an airtight container, and put in a cool, dry place.
Did you try out this bacon jerky recipe? Let us know in the comments how it turned out.