Wait. Bacon and jerky in the same sentence? No that is not a typo, you read that right.
Bacon jerky, ladies and gents is one of my favorite snacks and soon to be yours too! This stuff is delicious and super easy to make.
So now I have tempted you with this yummy snack, you might want to know how to make bacon jerky right? Lets get into it!
How To Make Bacon Jerky In A Smoker
What You Need To Make Bacon Jerky
Equipment You Will Need
- 2 x cooling racks with cooling trays
- Pellet smoker, charcoal smoker, gas smoker or an indoor electric smoker
- Your preferred wood, wood chips, charcoal or fuel source
- Zipper-lock plastic bags for storage
- Basting brush
Ingredients For Bacon Jerky
- 2 pounds of regular-cut bacon
- Brown sugar
- Sea salt
- Black pepper (coarse is best)
- Garlic Powder
- Onion powder
- Sriracha or your preferred hot sauce (or bbq sauce)
Getting regular-cut bacon is important because thick-cut will be very chewing, and thin-cut will cook far too quickly ad crisp up.
1: Prepare the Smoker
Following your smokers manufacturers instructions preheat your smoker to 190°F. My top picks for wood to use for bacon jerky are apple, cherry, hickory pecan, or maple. But feel free to use your preferred wood or wood chips.
2: Prepare the Bacon
In a bowl mix together your spice rub. Above I have used brown sugar, sea salt, fresh black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Feel free to sub in your own spice mix. In another bowl mix together honey and sriracha hot sauce.
Set the cooling racks on the cooling trays and lay the bacon out flat. Being sure the bacon pieces are not touching so the smoke can penetrate all parts of the bacon evenly.
Lightly coat your bacon on both sides with your honey and sriracha mix using a basting brush. If you do not like spicy sriracha you can always use bbq sauce or a more mild hot sauce.
Sprinkle over your spice rub. I prefer a light sprinkle. Once you applied the dry rub to one side, flip the bacon over and apply it to the other side. Place in the refrigerator for around an hour.
3: Smoke the Bacon
Place the trays in your smoker. This is the first part of the cooking process and will take about 2 hours.
Make sure that the bacon is kept as far from the fire as possible and that the temperature remains right around 190°F. Allowing it to cook to quickly or slowly will end in a bad batch of bacon jerky.
After 30 minutes of cooking, check the cooling trays for excess bacon grease. If they’re full, then you’ll want to dump them. Whether or not you save the drippings for other recipes or put it in an old coffee can to throw out is up to you. Repeat this process every 30 minutes.
At this point, you’ll also want to make sure it’s cooking evenly on both sides by carefully turning several pieces over. As long as the temperature is steady, you likely won’t have to worry about this problem, but it’s good to check anyway and flip them all if you feel the bottom is cooking faster than the top.
4: Cooking Your Bacon Jerky
At the 2 hour mark, the second cooking process starts. This part of the process will take about 3 hours. If you don’t have an oven or a dehydrator you can continue to use your smoker.
Once again, it is important to maintain a steady temperature during the second cooking process.
Start by pre-heating the oven or dehydrator to 190°F. Once at temperature bring your bacon in from the smoker. Dump any accumulated bacon grease and blot the meat to remove as much of the excess grease as possible.
Slide the bacon trays into the oven. This next cook should take anywhere between 2 – 3 hours. If you are using a dehydrator it will be closer to the 2 hour mark.
You should check for the first time after one hour. If you start seeing the desired color and texture changes, you’ll need to start checking more often to make sure it doesn’t go too far. It’s not uncommon to be checking every 15 minutes near the end of the process.
Once the bacon jerky is exactly the way you want it, remove from the oven and let rest on the cooling rack. Remove any excess grease with a paper towel. Once it has cooled it’s now ready to be enjoyed!
How To Make Bacon Jerky in a Dehydrator
If you have ever wondered if you can dehydrate bacon? Well, you’re in luck you can! We have done this many times before and comes out delicious. Since this method does not include a smoker, my hot tip to add a little bit more flavor would be to add in a little bit of liqid smoke to your honey and sriracha sauce.
- Follow the same steps above for preparing your bacon. Once in the refrigerator continue with the following steps.
- Turn on your dehydrator and pre heat at 190°F. Once at temperature place your bacon in.
- Every half hour, pull out the bacon jerky and pat them dry. You find each time there will be more grease.
- Depending on your preference, the bacon jerky should take around 3 hours. The best thing to do is to check it for color and texture every 15 – 20 minutes.
- Once at your preferred color and texture, remove from dehydrator and rest for an hour or so before eating.
- Store the bacon jerky in a sealed container and consume within 7 days.
How To Store Bacon Jerky
Make sure you get all of the grease off before you store your bacon jerky by giving it a good pat down. Then, it’s a simple matter of putting about 4 ounces of bacon jerky in each Zipper-lock plastic bag. Or if you would prefer use a air tight container with a piece of paper towel at the bottom.
Keep your bacon jerky in a cool, dry, dark place so they’ll be ready for you whenever you want to enjoy it.
Whats your favorite type of jerky?