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Bacon Jerky

Bacon jerky is the delicious, sweet, sriracha cousin of candied bacon. It's chewy, salty, smoky, and the perfect snack!

We've all had beef jerky, but you haven't lived until you've had bacon jerky.

It's got plenty of smoke flavour, all the yummy bacon umami, and a spicy sweet glaze.

This bacon jerky recipe is dedicated to bacon!

Bacon jerky wrapped in red and white twine.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> Use homemade bacon, if possible! Our lives changed for the better when we started making home cured and smoked bacon, and I use it whenever possible. I have a full homemade bacon tutorial if you're ready to jump in and get making bacon.

No. 2 --> Don't rush the process - this will take a while, just like beef jerky. I recommend sipping some coffee and reading a good book while you wait!

No. 3 --> Wrap your cookie sheet in a layer of tinfoil. This makes the clean up a total breeze.

Bacon jerky stacked in a wide mouth mason jar.

Bacon Jerky vs Bacon Candy

While these two recipes are similar, bacon candy is cooked at a much higher temperature, 375f vs 200f, for a shorter period of time. Candied bacon is cooked to a crispy, crumbly texture with a caramelized sugar coating while bacon jerky has a chewier, jerky like texture.

Showing the texture of the side of the bacon jerky.

Key Ingredients

Bacon: I highly recommend a thick cut bacon for this recipe - we want to be left with some meat when we're done cooking it! I love using my home cured + smoked bacon. However - if you do not have thick cut bacon, this can be done with regular cut bacon, but it must be watched much closer.

Sweetener: This recipe needs a little sweet - the sugar will caramelize and coat the bacon which is exactly what salty bacon needs - a hint of sweet. Brown sugar, dark brown sugar, and maple syrup all work for this recipe.

Spice: If you're like us, you like your sweet to be accompanied by a little heat. I personally love a little zip in my jerky. For this recipe you can use sriracha, cayenne powder, red pepper flakes.

Note --> If you're using all dry ingredients, be sure to add a small amount of maple syrup, corn syrup, or honey to help bind the sugar into a paste so it sticks to the bacon!

An overhead photo showing the ingredients for this recipe.

How to make bacon jerky

  1. Preheat oven to 200f. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place an oven-safe wire mesh rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  2. Combine desired sweetener and spice in a small bowl. See recipe card below for recommended combinations and quantities. In this photo guide, I made brown sugar sriracha bacon jerky.
  3. Lay the bacon strips on the mesh rack, and brush on the sauce with a silicone brush. Flip the bacon and brush the back side too.
  4. Oven:Bake in the oven at 200f for 2 hours. After 2 hours have elapsed, flip the bacon. Cook at 200f for a further 1-2 hours, or until the bacon reaches your desired texture.
    Smoker: Cook in the smoker set at 200f for 2 hours. Flip the bacon, and continue to cook for another 1-1.5 hours, or until bacon reaches desired texture. *A pellet grill with a circulating fan may cook the jerky more quickly due to convection - begin checking the bacon for doneness around 3 hours.*
    Dehydrator: Cook the candied bacon jerky in the oven at 200f for 2 hours, after 2 hours, transfer the bacon to the food dehydrator set at the highest setting and continue to cook for another 2-3 hours, or until bacon reaches desired texture.
  5. Remove the bacon jerky from the oven, smoker or dehydrator and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying or storing in the fridge.

Storage information

Bacon jerky is a perishable product and even though we are cooking most of the moisture out of it, the jerky should be kept in the fridge and is best eaten within 3-4 days.

It can be sealed in an air tight container and frozen for up to 6 months. I doubt it will last that long!

I generally usually only make one sheet pan worth at a time, it gives us a nice little treat without having too much to handle.

Bacon jerky wrapped in red and white twine with one piece out.

Oven vs Dehydrator Vs Smoker

Making bacon jerky is easy, picking how you want to do it is harder! This recipe can be made in the oven, dehydrator, or smoker.

The oven and smoker will have similar results, but the smoker will have more smoke flavour. The dehydrator cannot reach the same temperature as the oven and therefore may take a little longer.

See the recipe card below for detailed information on how to cook in each appliance.

More bacon recipes to love!

Cooling Rack: Using a cooling rack with feet keeps the bacon off the cookie sheet, allowing hot air to circulate all the way around the bacon while it's cooking. A baking rack helps to decrease cooking time and gives a better end product.

Tin foil: I'm not huge on single use items, but I do like tin foil. It's great for recipes like this to minimize clean up and to help keep everything clean. For this recipe, I used regular tinfoil as it covers my baking tray perfectly, and it would be overkill to use the heavy duty stuff!

📖 Printable Recipe

Bacon jerky wrapped in red and white twine.
Yield: 10 pieces

Bacon Jerky

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Bacon jerky is a sweet, spicy, smokey and chewy snack! This easy to make bacon jerky recipe is so fun to make and eat.

Ingredients

  • 10 slices thick cut bacon

Honey Sriracha:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha

Brown sugar sriracha:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha

Maple cayenne:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

Instructions

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200f. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place an oven-safe wire mesh rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  2. Combine desired sweetener and spice in a small bowl.
  3. Lay the bacon strips on the mesh rack, and brush on the sauce with a silicone brush. Flip the bacon and brush the back side too.
  4. Bake in the oven at 200f for 2 hours. After 2 hours have elapsed, flip the bacon. Cook at 200f for a further 1-2 hours, or until the bacon reaches your desired texture.
  5. Preheat oven to 200f. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place an oven-safe wire mesh rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  6. Combine desired sweetener and spice in a small bowl. See recipe card below for recommended combinations and quantities.
  7. Lay the bacon strips on the mesh rack, and brush on the sauce with a silicone brush. Flip the bacon and brush the back side too.
  8. Bake in the oven at 200f for 2 hours. After 2 hours have elapsed, flip the bacon. Cook at 200f for a further 1-2 hours, or until the bacon reaches your desired texture.
  9. Remove the bacon jerky from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying or storing in the fridge.


Smoker Method:

  1. Preheat smoker to 200f. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place an oven-safe wire mesh rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  2. Combine desired sweetener and spice in a small bowl.
  3. Lay the bacon strips on the mesh rack, and brush on the sauce with a silicone brush. Flip the bacon and brush the back side too.
  4. Cook in the smoker set at 200f for 2 hours. Flip the bacon, and continue to cook for another 1-1.5 hours, or until bacon reaches desired texture. *A pellet grill with a circulating fan may cook the jerky more quickly due to convection - begin checking the bacon for doneness around 3 hours.
  5. Remove the bacon jerky from the smoker and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying or storing in the fridge.

Dehydrator Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200f. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and place an oven-safe wire mesh rack on top of the cookie sheet.
  2. Combine desired sweetener and spice in a small bowl.
  3. Lay the bacon strips on the mesh rack, and brush on the sauce with a silicone brush. Flip the bacon and brush the back side too.
  4. Cook the candied bacon jerky in the oven at 200f for 2 hours, after 2 hours, transfer the bacon to the dehydrator set at the highest setting and continue to cook for another 2-3 hours, or until bacon reaches desired texture.
  5. Remove the bacon jerky from the dehydrator and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying or storing in the fridge.


Notes

storage information

Bacon jerky is a perishable product and even though we are cooking most of the moisture out of it, the jerky should be kept in the fridge and is best eaten within 3-4 days.

It can be sealed in an air tight container and frozen for up to 6 months. I doubt it will last that long!

I generally usually only make one sheet pan worth at a time, it gives us a nice little treat without having too much to handle.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 370mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g

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