Friends, buckle up, because today I am bringing you the most delicious spicy bacon jam imaginable. At least in my imagination. Double the smoke by using chipotle peppers in adobo to spice and flavor the already-smoky bacon.
To that, add in some honey, cane vinegar (balsamic if you don’t have/can’t find cane), smoked black pepper (or regular), a healthy dose of fermented honey-garlic sauce, and some espresso powder.
Cook it all down until jammy, and then spread it on your sprouted English muffins for the best breakfast sandwich, or take that bacon smashed cheeseburger up 3 additional levels with a schmear of this sweet-spicy-sticky jam–the best bacon jam ever!
You may also enjoy my tangy tomato jam recipe. Another unexpected yet delicious savory jam.
For ease of browsing, you can find all my condiment and jam recipes in one place. Thanks for visiting, friends!
Watch my spicy bacon jam web story here.
What Makes This Recipe Awesome
This jam is pretty spectacular. What makes it so great is that I have chosen ingredients that already play up what’s so addictive about bacon:
Using the best bacon: You can absolutely use bacon purchased from your grocery store.
If you go that route, make sure to get the best quality bacon they have.
Since the flavor of this jam is undeniably bacony, the better the bacon, the more flavor your jam will have.
Porky sweetness: gets dialed up with some cane vinegar and honey.
Smoky Goodness: This jam ups the ante when it comes to smoky flavor with the addition of smoked black pepper and chipotles in adobo. The chipotles are also what give this jam a bit of heat.
Garlic, Baby: I have a jar of garlic in fermented honey sauce, and I used a good 2 full Tablespoons in this jam. Tons of garlic flavor, plus additional sweetness and a little fermented funkiness. So dang good, y’all! You can absolutely just use some honey and some minced garlic. The kind I had is no longer available online that I could see, but you can make your own fermented garlic honey if you’d like.
Savory Deliciousness: some instant coffee or espresso powder brings a little mysterious, savory edge to this jam. You can’t really taste it as “coffee,” but it does provide some backbone.
How To Make It
Bacon jam is pretty easy to make, friends. The procedure is very straightforward with only a few steps. First, let’s check out the ingredients you’ll need.
Where necessary, I will add my ideas for substitutions.
- bacon: You’ll need 1 full pound. If you use peppered bacon, you can leave out the smoked black pepper if you’d like
- sweet onion: adds sweet, caramelized depth and lends to the lip-smacking, finger-licking stickiness that is part of this jam’s charm
- honey: adds sweetness. Feel free to substitute brown sugar, maple syrup, sorghum syrup or even a combination
- cane vinegar: a delicious, dark vinegar made from sugar cane. It is slightly sweet, so it not only adds tang but a bit more sugar. Balsamic is a great sub here, but feel free to use any vinegar you have. The main point of the vinegar is to add a touch of acid to balance out the fattiness, so it’s your call as to which kind you use: apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, white vinegar, blush vinegar, red wine vinegar: all are acceptable substitutes.
- chipotles in adobo: adds some spiciness and additional smokiness. You can substitute ground chipotle or your favorite hot sauce to taste as well. Or if you don’t want yours to be spicy, leave it out entirely
- fermented honey sauce with garlic: This product is a recent find, and I’ve been putting it in everything from salad dressings to this jam to soups and stews. Substitute 3-4 cloves of minced garlic for the sauce if you don’t want to buy it. (It’s unavailable now). If you’re intrigued, you can make your own!
- instant coffee: Adds just a bit of backbone and mysterious slight bitterness. Not strictly necessary, but I love a recipe with as many layers as possible. If you do too, use the coffee.
- kosher salt: Yes, bacon is salty, but it really needs just a touch extra to bring all the flavors into focus.
- smoked black pepper: You can also substitute regular black pepper. Smoked black pepper is another favorite though, so pick some up if you are intrigued.
Here’s how you’ll make your chipotle bacon jam:
- Chop bacon into 1″ pieces and cook until about halfway done.
- Pour off the fat that has accumulated in the pan, and add the onions, fermented honey and garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until the bacon is completely cooked and the onions are very soft and starting to caramelize.
- Pour off most of the additional fat that has accumulated. (See Tips and Tricks)
- Add the honey, chipotles in adobo, vinegar, and the instant coffee and cook down until jammy and the whole concoction is a deep mahogany brown color, including the onions. This will take 30-40 minutes on medium heat.
- Scrape all the jam into the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until you like the texture.
- Cool and then store in the fridge.
Equipment You’ll Need
You don’t need a ton of specialized equipment to make this recipe, but here are a few items that will make your life easier.
The one must-have (unless you really like to chop things into tiny, tiny pieces) is a food processor. If you don’t use one super frequently, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on one.
This Hamilton Beach food processor will get the job done and won’t break the bank.
Hamilton Beach has been making food processors for a very long time, and they make a very solid product for a much more budget-friendly option, especially when compared to the Fancy Brands. Not for someone who pulls their food processor out every day, it's great for lighter-duty, occasional use.
Other nice-to-have equipment:
- Large cast iron skillets are super versatile and useful and will last forever if you take care of them. I made my bacon jam in a 12″ skillet from Lodge, which is about as heavy as I’d want to try to pick up.
- I love my silicone spatula set from OXO and use all 3 styles almost every day.
- One-piece measuring spoons. Even though I almost always weigh my ingredients, I don’t need to be so precise in this recipe (and neither do you). These spoons will last you forever. NOTE: if you have lots of small spice bottles, the larger round spoons won’t fit down inside them. If you find this annoying, be sure to also grab a set of spoons designed for narrow jars.
Bacon Jam Tips and Tricks
Even though you really need to store this in the fridge, the flavor and texture will be best if slightly warmed.
I scoop out what I think I need into a small microwave-safe bowl and then heat it for 10 seconds or so until it is spreadable and at least room temperature if not actually warm.
If you end up with jam with a lot of extra fat in it, refrigerate it BEFORE you put it in the food processor. That way, you can scrape off the extra fat.
Once you do, then you can reheat to loosen it up and then pulse until you get your desired jammy texture.
Don’t throw away that excess bacon fat that is flavored with chipotles and other goodness. Fry up some potatoes or eggs in that stuff!
For a less spicy, more fruity bacon jam, try my bacon peach jam.
You can also vary any of the ingredients in this jam to make it more or less spicy.
Q & A
Even though we’re talking about a pound of bacon and 1 whole onion, the jam cooks down to yield about 2 cups. I figure 1-2 tablespoons is about a serving, so you will get between 16-32 servings, depending on how much you love your jam!
Expect your spicy, bacony goodness to last at least 2 weeks in the fridge.
I am not a canner, but I don’t think it’s safe to can a meat-based jam, especially using the hot water canning method. Keep the jam refrigerated for between 2-4 weeks and/or freeze your leftovers in portions for several months.
What To Serve It With
Submitted for your approval: an epic breakfast sandwich including chipotle bacon jam, pepper jelly, a fried egg (I fried it in a ring for a regular shape), melted cheddar cheese, and pimento cheese bread (purchased from a local bakery).
I highly recommend serving this jam on any kind of breakfast sandwich. Slathering a thick layer on a spent grain English muffin is an excellent place to start. See?
It would also be great as a condiment on a burger. Consider subbing out bacon jam for the lacquered bacon in this BBQ bacon smashed burger. You can even mix some into the ground beef for your burger patties.
Bacon and onions go hand in hand, so spread some on one of the buns of this epic onion burger.
Don’t discount this deliciousness spread onto a hot biscuit.
And I was super happy with the results of swirling a good amount of it into my latest batch of succotash.
For a similar type of savory jam, you may like my onion jam recipe. It can go anywhere bacon jam goes, but it has a less assertive (though no less delicious) flavor, so it can act as a supporting player.
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- 1 pound excellent quality bacon
- 1 sweet onion, chopped (I used Vidalia)
- 1 Tablespoon garlic in fermented honey sauce (or use 3 cloves fresh garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 chipotles in adobo, chopped
- 1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or sorghum syrup
- 1/4 cup vinegar (I used cane vinegar. Balsamic is a good choice as well)
- 1 Tablespoon instant coffee
- Chop the bacon into 1" pieces and cook until about halfway done.
- Pour off all the fat that has accumulated in the pan. Save it--good stuff!
- Add the chopped onion, garlic in fermented honey, salt, and smoked pepper.
- Continue cooking until the bacon is mostly cooked and the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes over medium heat.
- Pour off as much of the rest of the fat as you can. Save it!
- Add the chipotles in adobo, honey, vinegar, and instant coffee.
- Continue cooking over medium heat until it has a jammy texture and is dark in color and the onions are brown and soft all the way through, an additional 20-30 minutes.
- Spoon off as much additional fat as you can (if there is any left), and scrape all the jam into the bowl of your food processor.
- Pulse until you like the texture.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if it needs it.
- Pack into a clean jar or other lidded container and keep in the fridge.
- RFor best flavor and to make sure the jam is spreadable, reheat portions for a few seconds in the microwave.
Jam will keep up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
Spoon into portions and freeze for longer storage. Once frozen, keep your portioned jam in a zip-top freezer bag. It will stay good for a good 3 months or so.
Feel free to leave out the chipotles if you don't like spicy jam. You can also add extra if you like it super spicy.
Make a chocolate bacon jam by melting in some milk or bittersweet chocolate to taste. Make sure you do this after the jam is completely cooked so you don't burn the chocolate.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 2 Tablespoons
Amount Per Serving Calories 192Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 28mgSodium 569mgCarbohydrates 15gFiber 0gSugar 13gProtein 10g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
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Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends!
Enjoy the bacon jam, take care, and have a lovely day.