The Best Bacon Jam

The Best Bacon Jam

So guess what, guys. I think I might have just made the most insanely delicious jam/condiment/cheese plate accoutrement ever. Like, The Best Ever. I know the whole bacon jam thing is border line getting over done, as is the whole bacon thing (which I can’t believe I’m saying cause I LOVE bacon), but bear with me for a moment.

I’ve tried a few bacon jams before (but never tried making one) and they’ve all been pretty darn tasty. I guess it’s hard to really mess up bacon + onions + sugar. But I hadn’t tried one that was extraordinary, until last week.

The Best Bacon Jam

Early last week the handsome man and I took a trip up to the Okanagan. That’s wine country up here; often nicknamed Napa Valley North. We visited 13 different wineries and by the time we arrived at the restaurant at Hester Creek Winery (after skipping lunch in favour of more wine tasting) we were starving.

The first dish we shared was a burrata cheese plate with this bacon jam. There were a few other things on that plate too, but who’s kidding, it was all about the jam. Even the burrata took the back stage, for once in its life.

It was so different than any other bacon jam I have tried. The onions were sliced thick and there were chunks of chewy bacon. Before we even stepped foot outside the restaurant I had heard, “we, I mean can you (insert big pleading smile) make this as soon as we get home” at least 4 times.

The Best Bacon Jam

Last night I served this as a light starter with Thanksgiving dinner (we celebrate that a little earlier here in Canada). The room went quiet. Like, eery quite. Like, everyone had their faces stuffed full of bacon jam kind of quiet. I took it as a good sign. :)

5.0 from 8 reviews
The Best Bacon Jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The Endless Meal - Serves: Makes about 2 cups
  • 1 lb. thick cut bacon
  • 2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.
  2. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and reserve for another use.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam like, about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.
  5. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. There will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge. As the jam comes to room temperature these will disappear.
  6. Enjoy!


The Best Bacon Jam

About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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  1. says

    I have never heard of bacon jam before (might be because I am from New Zealand) but love all things Bacon and was delighted to find this recipe. I gave it a go, and added a dessertspoon of garlic because I cannot comprehend any savoury recipe without garlic.

    I was a little bit doubtful about the coffee in it, but I really like the idea of the balance of the four flavours – sweet, salty, sour and bitter, so put it in anyway and think it worked out well – no odd coffee flavour at the end.

    I also added about 1/4 cup maple syrup (though I did not reduce the brown sugar amount) added more balsamic and seasoned with salt and pepper.

    I also didn’t see the 1/2 cup water bit, but it turned out fine, not too liquidy or drippy at all and is really delicious – we had it with an egg and tomato sauce in a split cheese muffin and it was yummy, hubby LOVED it. Planning to freeze some and try serving it with a cheese platter for my birthday in a couple of weeks.

    Thank you for sharing, really appreciate this :)

  2. Roxanne says

    The first time I had bacon marmalade, I purchased it as a gift for my husband. He of course is a bacon-olic. To my surprise, he hasn’t touched it. I opened it & ate the whole thing this summer. I made myself a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich every morning for breakfast until it was gone. I toasted my bread. Spread one piece with mayo, the other with a very liberal helping of bacon jam, then tomato & lettuce. Mmmm. So easy to have one of my favorite sandwiches whenever I wanted. I’m going to make your recipe. I like the look of it (larger, more recognizable chunks), plus like the ingredients you used. I like the idea of not using maple syrup. Going to make a batch for myself, then hopefully can some for gifts. Thank you for sharing.

    • says

      That’s a great idea! I actually made it last night to for the first time in ages. I was thinking that a delicious dark stout or porter would be great instead of the coffee too :)

  3. Brandon says

    my bacon jam has about 15 minutes left in the final step and i did not add the extra water, yet it is very runny. Any suggestions or will the water cook down in the end?

    • says

      Hi Brandon,

      I add the water because I like to give the jam extra time to cook and and soften without becoming dry. The time it takes for the water to evaporate will depend mostly on the temperature of your stove. If you think the onions are soft and caramelized enough feel free to omit the water!

  4. Deepti says

    Just made a batch, I’m struggling to stop eating it. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. Surely going to be a regular in our house.

  5. Wendy says

    Hi Kristen, I made this tonight for the first time and it is absolutely devine!!! My only regret is that I didn’t make a double batch!! I also added about 1/3 cup of sweet chilli sauce to this near the end and it gave the jam an extra punch. I am having a “Girls Weekend” this weekend and I know my girlfriends are going to just love this with cheese and crackers and a splash of wine. I have printed off some copies of the recipe to add to their “Goodies Bag” as I know they will be all asking me for it! Thank you sooo much for posting this!! Yum Yum

    • says

      Love the idea of adding the chili sauce for a little punch. I think I’ll have to try spicing it up next time I make it :)

      Have a great girls weekend!

  6. Seana says

    I would also add that I did not add the extra water, and I simmered it on low for 3+ hours. By the end the balance was perfect when I added in the balsamic. The maple syrup idea is intriguing, but I think I liked the basic recipe as above. Will experiment… Thanks, again, Kristen. Will definitely check out your other recipes.


  7. Seana says

    You are DA JAM! Made this tonight whilst (a tribute to my British Friends) I was hosting up BBQ. No one would leave my damned kitchen long enough to enjoy my new deck furniture. They all wanted to “help” stir my (er, YOUR) bacon jam. I am glad I made a double batch. Everyone had a spoonful on their hamburgers and I have enough to serve tomorrow on crostini at my best friend’s bridal shower. Thanks for helping me out! Ps. The only change I made was to add a hit of Cayenne pepper… Next time I might mince a scotch bonnet in there…
    My husband was afraid I would leave him for you. Just sayin’…


  8. Stacie says

    This sounds great and I can’t wait to try it. My question is about the bread in the picture. Do you have the recipe? It looks fantastic and I would like to try it with other things, like breakfast!!

  9. ChrisW says

    I’m hoping to try this recipe, but wanted to incorporate pure maple syrup as well. Any suggestions for what to substitute, or if I should just add a quarter of a cup? Maybe less brown sugar or water or both? I’m not much of a cook, so my instincts are lacking… Thanks!

    • says

      I think maple syrup would be a great addition! I would reduce the amount of liquid by about as much maple syrup as you add. Also, reduce the amount of brown sugar. You can always add some more close to the end if you want it a little sweeter. :)

  10. Chris says

    Sounds yummy, can’t wait to try it but will substitute the brown super for a paleo friendly alternative I think. Can you tell me what the cracker/bread that you have in the image is please?

  11. Rachel says

    Thank you SO much for posting this recipe! I moved away from Osoyoos (to Cranbrook, BC) in September. I was looking for a bacon jam recipe because I missed the very same bacon jam that you fell in love with at Hester Creek. You’re my hero!

    • says

      Hi Eve,

      The bacon jam goes awesome on a cheese plate … especially on top of some creamy brie. I’ve put it on sandwiches and the other day someone recommend I try it with peanut butter, although I haven’t been that brave yet :)

  12. Brooke says

    I made this today for Christmas gifts. I noticed it took about 2 hours for it to thicken up to a jam-like consistency, but maybe it took me longer because I doubled the recipe?? FYI: this can be canned in a pressure canner. I used 10lb of pressure (but it depends on your altitude) for 75 minutes. Tasted great and all the jars sealed just fine. Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      A friend made this recipe and shared it with us , which is how I found my way here: delicious!

      I personally wouldn’t pressure can it (and definitely not water bath it) because I’d be worried about density / heat penetration issues and as of spring 2015 there are no tested, documented pressure canning times for bacon jam from reputable sources such as NCHFP, USDA or Ball who have done lab testing on heat penetration in this mixture. I would definitely do what Kristen does and treat this as a refrigerated product, or freeze it. It’s delicious as is, and it’s nice to share food products worry free with friends knowing the products are 110% safe :}

      • says

        Thanks for your input about canning this. When it comes to meat and canning I always err on the side of caution. Looking forward to seeing your website!

  13. Gemma says

    This sounds delicious. My friend has insisted I freeze some for when she visits in a couple of weeks. Will it be ok to freeze?

    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Jaleemom says

    I just now finished making your Bacon Jam. It was an easy recipe to follow, fun to make and here is the part I like most, it is delicious. I can’t wait until my bacon loving sons get home to try it. Thank you for sharing.

    • says

      Hi Jenni,

      I’ve canned things many times before but never any meat. I would do a little further investigation to see if there area any specific requirements when cooking meat.

    • says

      I think people would love to get this for Christmas. Just remember that it does need to be kept cold so I wouldn’t put it in until just before you give it.

  15. says

    I LOVE bacon jam, like.. stupid love. I had some in a pizzelle at this event, and it was just ridiculously good. I just started an “indulgence” themed linkup, and I’d lovelovelove for you to submit this so I could feature it!

    I’m a big fan of your blog as I’m sure you can tell by my frequent, often less than cohesive comments. There’s a submit your link button at the post:

    Thank you!


  16. Scott says

    Just finished making it, but the onions are black. I think they’re partly burned and it’s partly from the sugar caramelizing and maybe from the espresso I used for the coffee. It doesn’t look like much, but it tastes good!

  17. says

    There was that foodnetwork star who lost – they did that “best thing I ever ate” and his burger choice was one made in a hotel that did bacon/onion jam. Theirs looked more cohesive (great word, huh?), and was a secret recipe (bla bla). For me, I would cut the onions not as thick, and use two types red/vidalia, likely. I am not sure about the brown sugar – perhaps some honey but definitely the balsamic!

  18. Natascha says

    Hi Kristen,

    is there a 1/2 cup of water plus 1/3 cup strong coffee? I noticed the 1/2 cup of water in the instructions but not in the ingredients list ( I am anal☺) so I just want to make sure as I would like to make this, it looks yummy!

    • says

      Hi Arianna,

      Oops … looks like I missed that! Thank you for pointing it out :)

      I’ve corrected the recipe now. You add the bacon back in at step 3. Thank you again for letting me know about the error!

  19. Dominique says

    Have I been living under a rock for my whole life? I’ve never heard of bacon jam before. It sounds amazing. Going to make this recipe tonight!


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