Introduction: BAM! Bacon Jam Recipe

I love bacon, and I'm constantly looking for new ways to incorporate it into my diet.  Enter: BAM! - short for B(acon) (J)am!  Part bacon, no parts jam, and extra dashes of awesome make bacon jam the new must-have condiment.  Having seen versions of bacon jams cropping up in stores everywhere, I went about contrasting and comparing home recipes to bring you the best bacon jam there can be.  The only problem - everyone sampling the tests had a different favorite!  So I'll just have to share all three winning recipes and let you decide on your own.

BAM!

Step 1: The Bacons and Friends

I had no idea how many different kinds of bacon there are available.  After a trip to my local Whole Foods deli counter, I decided to try everything they had - smoked, uncured, and Black Forest (my new favorite!)

All three of the following recipes started with the same base recipe:
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked* and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
*my favorite method for cooking bacon is baking it in the oven at 400F(200C) for ~20 minutes.  The bacon cooks evenly, there are no lingering smells, and cleanup is a snap!

Step 2: Variations

First step is to cook the bacon (as mentioned in the previous step) and saute the onions and garlic (might as well use up that bacon fat!).  Chop up the bacon, and combine with the onion, garlic, coffee, and vinegar. 

Next I added the remaining ingredients to make the three different variations, so choose your favorite!

Each variation included the following additions. 

Variation 1:
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Variation 2:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Variation 3:
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-4 chipotle peppers (packed in adobo sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • Ground pepper to taste

The pots were then brought to a boil and reduced to a simmer to stew over low heat for up to 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until reduced.

The first variation reduced to a really thick type of sludge, the others were more liquidy.  I wish there were a word for sludge that has a positive spin to it, as this was my favorite of all three.  Reduce the jam to whatever viscosity of sludge you prefer!

Blend in a food processor until combined but still chunky.  Too much blending at this point will make the resulting jam really gooey in a less-than-pleasant kind of way.  Plus it's nice to be able to see what you're eating.

Step 3: Taste!

They don't look like much when they're sitting in their unlabeled plastic dishes, but I didn't want to influence the judges! 

Everyone had a different favorite, and all were appreciated.  I guess the lesson to be learned from this is:

You can't go wrong with bacon jam!

Comments

author
jessicacates9 (author)2014-12-05

I made this today using the first variation. It says to summer for 4 hours, but after about an hour it was very reduced and sludge-like, so I'm hoping I did it right and that it turns out

author
kathybee (author)2014-11-12

How long do you process the jam. In a boiling bath?

author
fdpiech made it! (author)2014-10-03

Bacon Jam rocks - spread it on the inside of crescent roll dough and back it as directed - EPIC

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author
kpetet (author)2011-10-06

Pardon me for seeming oblivious, but I've never heard of bacon jam before... however, my entire family are bacon-lovers so my interest is certainly peaked.
What do you eat it on?
Crackers? Bagles? Eggs?? lol
Any recommendations?

author
chriscmoor (author)kpetet2014-05-24

It's bacon! You could put it on a bumper and it would be tasty.

author
Wartim (author)2012-06-05

Have you considered using a very strong and bitter dark beer instead of the coffee?!

author
lmnopeas (author)2011-09-20

I have wanted to try bacon jam for a long time. It looks heavenly. Does it need to be refrigerated? What do you think the shelf life is like? These would make awesome holiday gifts!

author
scoochmaroo (author)lmnopeas2011-09-20

It has no preservatives and wasn't properly canned in a heat bath, so it needs to be refrigerated. I don't know how long this would last if you did properly process it, but it's worth finding out!

author
Ratatosk (author)scoochmaroo2011-09-25

I think this would need to be pressure canned. The rule of thumb I've always heard is that anything with meat requires pressure canning; it also doesn't look like it has enough acid to be safely stored using a water bath - it needs the extra heat from the pressure canning.

Still, I imagine it will last in the refrigerator for a lot longer than it takes to eat it all.

author
vnickel (author)Ratatosk2011-09-25

You are absolutely right about pressure canning. A water bath is meant only for very acidic items like fruits and fruit jams. Pressure canning is the only way to can meats, as it sterilizes and creates the vacuum seal needed to keep meats preserved.


(an interesting point these days is that modern tomatoes no longer have enough acid for water bath processing.)

author
kshelton1 (author)vnickel2012-03-10

I was totally wondering how you could can this. I secretly wish I could can using water bath but knew it would need a pressure cooker, which is a lot more expensive! Thanks for the info!

author
dawn61817 (author)2011-10-26

I can't wait to try this! Everyone knows that everything is better with bacon!

author
deathnotx101 (author)2011-09-25

You Sir are a genius, it will win the academy award!!

author
Nneekers (author)2011-09-20

i really want to try the first variation (with brown sugar and maple syrup) and i have a TON of maple syrup i need to use up. Do u think its necessary to use PURE maple syrup? or do u think just the plain ole stuff will do?
any thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated! :)

author
scoochmaroo (author)Nneekers2011-09-20

I think you should give it a go with whatever you have!

author
Nneekers (author)scoochmaroo2011-09-20

thank you! i will!
i know my husband is gonna love this!
can't wait to try it out!

author
fire_drakon117 (author)2011-09-20

Less than 3 scoomaroo. Less than 3. Cant wait to try it

author

Ha! Favorite comment so far.

author
XxZombiexX (author)2011-09-19

This might be my new favorite thing in the world!
I had no idea bacon jam even existed, let alone be fairly easy to make at home! Being a fan of bacon myself, I never considered bacon to be just for breakfast, but now it's worked its way into a whole new class of food...what can't bacon do?

Do you have a favorite use for bacon jam that regular bacon doesn't work for? When I make some I'll probably put it on everything...just curious.

author

Not so much bacon, but for jam… eggs

author

Epicmealtime did bacon jelly :P

author
rocklocker (author)2011-09-20

You know what would be great with this? BEER, served up by Scooch in her beerkini.

author
SHIFT! (author)2011-09-20

Its's time to kick it up a notch, with BAM!

author
bowow0807 (author)2011-09-20

bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON! BACON JAM!!!!

author
szulli-randall (author)2011-09-20

My two favorite things combined into one! AMAZING!

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Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running Sousvidely.com! Follow me @sousvidely
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