Smoky, sweet and savory, this bacon bourbon jam recipe is simple and can easily be adapted to your personal taste.
I’ve found a new food love in this bacon bourbon jam recipe. It is definitely my new favorite when talking about jams and jellies. In fact, I might go so far as to say it’s in my top five condiments of all time (along with our homemade peach salsa)!
There are many places on the internet that say they have the “best bacon bourbon jam recipe,” but I’d throw my recipe into the ring with any other one I’ve seen. Believe me when I say, it’s THE ULTIMATE!
What Is Bacon Bourbon Jam?
We had never actually tasted bacon bourbon jam before I made this, but after reading numerous recipes, I knew I would love it. I actually created this recipe from about 20 other recipes I found across the internet.
My bacon jam is a mixture of bacon, onion, garlic, brown sugar, coffee, bourbon, apple juice, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. After cooking, draining, straining, simmering, and thickening, bacon jam turns into a deep, dark mixture of sweet and savory that compliments a wide variety of foods.
Don’t be too afraid of any of the ingredients, either. The alcohol cooks out and you barely even taste it. The coffee adds a deep flavor but doesn’t overpower the jam. Even the onions and garlic have distinct undertones of flavor throughout, but they don’t take over the entire flavor profile.
Trust me, if you like bacon, you can make this recipe work. Substitutions are possible, and we’ll discuss those after I give you the whole recipe. However, I would urge you to try it the way I have it written first. It may surprise you!
Bacon Bourbon Jam Recipe
Let’s go through the instructions and talk a little bit about the ingredients. You’ll better understand how they work in the jam and know how to adjust the recipe to your taste.
I used about 24 ounces (a pound and a half) for this recipe, but the next time I make bacon bourbon jam, I’ll use a full 2 pounds. Roughly chop the bacon into chunks. Don’t worry about the size of the bacon, because you can run the final product through a food processor.
Also, while most recipes on the web tell you to use thick cut bacon, I used a thinner cut. I’ll talk more about the reason why later on in the article.
When the bacon is almost crispy, use a slotted spoon or a spider strainer to get all the bacon out of the grease. Then remove all but about 3 tablespoons of the grease – leave that in the pan for the next step.
When I remove bacon grease from a pan, I always strain it through a paper towel in a small wire sieve and into a pint-sized Mason jar to keep in the fridge for later use. We call this our “private reserve.”
With about 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease left in the pan, add the onions (rough chopped) and sauté until caramelized. Then add the minced garlic and cook for about another minute until fragrant.
Bacon and Brown Sugar
Add the bacon back to the pan along with the brown sugar. Stir until all ingredients have been coated with the brown sugar and cook for about 1 minute.
Coffee, Bourbon, Apple Juice
Pour in the liquids. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let the liquid reduce by about half.
Salt, Pepper, Smoked Paprika
When the liquids have reduced, add the salt, pepper and smoked paprika. I personally used black peppercorns and coarse pink Himalayan Sea salt. I crushed that up in a mortar and pestle, then added the smoked paprika and dumped it all into the pan. (We get most or all of our spices from Azure Standard.)
Simmer Until Done
Continue to simmer until the desired consistency has been reached.
NOTE: If you plan on storing this in the fridge or canning it in jars for any amount of time, you’ll want your mixture to be a little on the thin side. Over time, the jam will thicken up, and the solids will absorb more of the liquid.
Bacon Bourbon Jam
- Medium stock pot or dutch oven
- Food processor optional
- Pressure canner optional
- 2 lb Bacon chopped
- 2 medium Onion chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 cloves Garlic minced (about 3 Tbsp)
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar packed
- ½ Cup Bourbon
- ½ Cup Apple Juice
- 1 Cup Coffee strong
- 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 ½ Tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- Chop bacon into roughly 1" strips. (This doesn't matter too much, as the whole mixture will be run through a food processor later.) Fry until almost crispy. Drain, reserving 3 Tbsp of bacon grease.2 lb Bacon
- Add the 3 Tbsp bacon grease back to the pot and add onion. Cook on medium-high heat until caramelized, stirring frequently.2 medium Onion
- Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute.6 cloves Garlic
- Add brown sugar and cooked bacon. Stir until sugar is melted and has coated everything.1 Cup Brown Sugar
- Add bourbon, apple juice and coffee. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture begins to thicken.½ Cup Bourbon, ½ Cup Apple Juice, 1 Cup Coffee
- Add paprika, pepper and salt. Stir, and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika, 1 ½ Tbsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 tsp Salt
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How Do You Serve Bacon Bourbon Jam?
Because of its sweet and savory flavor profile, you can serve this bacon bourbon jam recipe on literally anything!
- Bacon Jam Burger – Put a generous of the bacon jam on a burger! (Bonus points if you also add cowboy candy! IYKYK)
- Peanut Butter & Jelly – If you put bacon bourbon jam on a sandwich, what nut butter would go best with it?
- Charcuterie – Bacon jam would make the perfect addition to any charcuterie board.
- Grilled Cheese – A grilled cheese sandwich with bacon bourbon jam? Count me in!
- Scallops / Seafood – A light seafood flavor such as scallops might be the perfect vehicle to deliver the rich taste of bacon jam.
- Avocado Toast – If you’re looking to add a pop to your avocado toast, bacon bourbon jam is sure to fill that void!
- Pulled Pork Sandwich – This one kind of speaks for itself. Pork on pork? Say no more!
Can Bacon Bourbon Jam Be Canned?
NOTICE: The USDA has not approved any canning recipe for bacon. They have not scientifically tested and proven any canning recipe to be safe. Can this recipe at your own risk!
Bacon is NOT a USDA approved food for home canning. However, in this case, the pieces will be small enough, and there will be such a small amount of grease that the warnings against canning bacon shouldn’t be an issue.
We’re going out on a limb here, but we’re going to can our bacon bourbon jam!
Yes, I know. Some of you raised an eyebrow and folded your arms at that last statement. If you don’t want to process the bacon jam, don’t. Just make the recipe, put it into an airtight container, and eat it within a couple of weeks (though I seriously doubt it makes it that long).
What’s Your Take on Bacon Bourbon Jam?
Have you ever made bacon jam? Have you ever tasted it? What would you eat it on? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you make this recipe, be sure to tag us on social media! We’d love to see how yours comes out!
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Patrick & Jessie homestead in Middle Georgia with two of their four children and their three dogs. They love gardening, food preservation, and keeping their family prepared for any disaster that may come.