How to Make Bacon Jerky: the Best Methods for Perfect Jerky

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Bacon is a part of life. Bacon Jerky? Even better! It tastes great, it fills a hole in that corner of your stomach, and it puts a smile on everyone’s face. But what if you don’t know how to make bacon jerky?

Where do you begin? Do you need a smoker? A dehydrator? How do you stop it from crisping? 

Luckily for you, we’ve put together the best guide on how to make bacon jerky. You can use a smoker, a dehydrator, or even an oven!

It’s hot this year, and there’s nothing better than serving up some bacon jerky before the BBQ starts. You’ll impress your friends with the most delicious and best-cooked bacon jerky possible with this guide.

This article was written for people like you and me. People that love a good piece of jerky and want to be able to enjoy it any time they want.

That’s why I’ve looked around everywhere for the best recipe. That's also why I’m giving you all the best-kept secrets to making perfect jerky.


What You Will Need for Perfect Bacon Jerky?

  • Bacon: Of course, the first thing you’ll need is bacon. How much, though, and what type?

    Your instincts will tell you that you’ll want thick, fatty bacon, but this isn’t the case. 2-pounds of uncured, regular cut bacon will get the job done a lot better.

    Also, try and get the freshest bacon possible without freezing it.

  • 1 cup of brown sugar: You’ll want that extra sweetness that’ll make your bacon jerky as tasty as possible.

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper: Well-seasoned bacon means that your guests will be begging for more. Who knows, maybe you’ll even teach them how to make bacon jerky!

  • ½ cup sriracha: This adds a subtle kick to your bacon jerky. Well spiced and seasoned bacon jerky will add to the flavor much more than sticking your bacon into an oven or smoker and merely letting it cook. Note: this is optional with a smoker.

  • ½ cup honey: It’s almost crucial if you’re making jerky to add a bit of honey. Try tasting it without and compare it to what it feels like with soft, flowing honey. Note: this is optional with a smoker.

If You’re Using a Smoker, You Will Also Need/ Need Instead

how to make bacon jerky in a smoker
  • 2 baking sheets, 2 cooling racks: This will be what your bacon jerky will be cooked on and where it will be kept fresher and softer, so make sure you find the right sheets by testing a few out against your smoker!
  • Charcoal: This is to start the flames before you add the Hickory Wood.
  • Hickory Wood: Hickory Wood is the best option to burn, as the density will create a thick smoke that’ll wrap around the bacon and keep it succulent and tasty.
  • Garlic Powder: This can be used instead of, or as well as sriracha and honey. Honey may melt or drip too much in a smoker, so using dry rub and garlic instead, or using a smaller amount of honey is recommended.

The Best Method for Preparing Bacon Jerky

An oven or dehydrator would require the usual set of things as well, such as bowls, knives, etc.

You will get better results using a smoker, as it cooks the bacon on the surface rather than through and through.

However, not everyone has access to a smoker, and so our guide also includes the best methods of making oven-cooked, and dehydrated bacon jerky, too.

If there's not enough time to cook bacon jerky over and over again, the best way to store it after is with Ziploc bags, so try and have a few of these to hand, too.

So, you’ve collected all of your ingredients together. Now what? It’s time to cook!

Make sure you have plenty of time set aside while you’re preparing your jerky and that nobody else needs to use the oven, smoker, or dehydrator.

That’s why it’s great to start cooking in the morning at a BBQ and entertain your guests, before impressing them with the best-made bacon jerky as a mid-afternoon snack.

How to Make Bacon Jerky With a Smoker

How to Make Bacon Jerky With a Smoker?

First of all, let’s go through the smoker method. It’s relatively simple and doesn’t need much.

After you’ve seasoned and prepared the meat and the fire, you’ll need to check the bacon jerky until it’s ready for its final preparations.

1. Preparing the Meat and the Fire

The first thing you’ll want to do is slap your bacon down on your baking sheets.

Make sure none of the bacon is touching. Otherwise, not all of the bacon will be fully smoked. Spread them out evenly and flatly.

You’ll then need to season your bacon.

You can test out and perfect the method of seasoning, but starting with a small dusting of garlic powder, a medium pinch of brown sugar, and a hefty pinch of brown sugar is a good starting point.

Then you can add a small pinch of sriracha and a drop of honey if you wish.

Once you’ve added this dry rub to the first side of all your bacon, repeat this process on the other. Then, allow it to cool in your fridge for about an hour.

While your seasoned bacon is cooling, you’ll be able to start your smoker. Add the charcoal and wait until the coals are beginning to burn white, then start to add the hickory wood.

Make sure where your bacon is going to be cooked is reasonably level and consistent around 190°F.

2. Cooking Your Bacon Jerky

how to make maple bacon jerky

All you’ll need to do after this is add your seasoned meat to the fire! 

A good idea is to cook the bacon at the front of the smoker while you add fuel and flame to the back. That way, you’ll reduce crisping and keep the temperature level.

You’ll want to do this for two hours, regularly checking on both your heat and your bacon. You want to keep the temperature as level as possible for the best results.

There shouldn’t be much, but if there is too much fat accumulating, then you may want to pour it away.

3. The Final Stages

After this, you’ll want to put your bacon to one side and preheat your oven to 190°F.

It may be a good idea to dry your bacon with a paper towel at this point and remove any excess grease or fat that has built up.

When your oven is ready and when your bacon is dryer, place your bacon inside and cook for up to a further three hours. Check on it every hour.

You’ll know when your bacon is reaching the color you want. Take it out of the oven and dry it off one last time, then it’s ready to serve!

If you’ve got spare afterward, you can always place your perfect bacon jerky in a Ziploc bag and store somewhere dry.

How to Make Bacon Jerky With an Oven

This is almost exactly the same as how you make bacon jerky with a smoker, only you can season it differently, and the cooking times and heats are different.

  • Preparing The Bacon: Imagine your following the steps for smoking, only this time, you’re making a mix with the sugar, pepper, sriracha, and honey. Then, you’ll want to lather both sides of the bacon with this. You’ll still want to ensure that the bacon isn’t touching, and you’ll want to start preheating the oven to 170°F.
  • Cooking The Bacon: When the oven is ready, slide in the bacon and prepare it for up to three hours, checking on how it’s going every hour.

How to Make Bacon Jerky with a Dehydrator?

All you have to do here is follow the oven cooking steps then stick your bacon in your dehydrator for three hours, flipping it every hour. This’ll give your bacon an extra tasty kick.

Dehydrators aren’t too expensive. There’s a lot of places you can get one at a great value. Below is my suggest.

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator, Standard*
  • Great for homemade jerky and dehydrating nutritious fruits and vegetables. Even makes healthy pet treats.
  • This particular model is 06300-05.
  • Top-mounted fan and heating element provide consistent air flow for optimum drying.
  • No tray rotation needed; no mixed flavors.
  • Includes 4 drying trays; expands up to 8 trays. Additional trays sold separately.

Now That You’ve Learned How to Make Bacon Jerky... Dig In!

Get started, then! What else is there to do?

You know how to make bacon jerky with or without a smoker, and you don’t need many ingredients, only the cheap ones.

What do you think? Are you ready, excited, is your mouth watering? Comment below and let us know.

After you’ve made it, share this article and comment so that you can show everyone how to make bacon jerky with perfect results!

1 thought on “How to Make Bacon Jerky: the Best Methods for Perfect Jerky”

  1. I’ve made bacon jerky that was quite good. But I bought uncured bacon and was curious to see how different they taste. Thanks! Do you have a book yet? I might be interested!


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