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This bacon jam recipe is easily the best in the world. Bacon, onions, brown sugar, coffee, and balsamic are slowly simmered until thick and jam-like. It's simple to make and perfect for serving as an appetizer to elevate cheese and crackers.
This recipe was originally published in 2013. We've updated the post with some new photos and more information, but we've left the delicious recipe exactly the same.
Not to be dramatic, but this is the BEST bacon jam recipe in the world. We know that's a big statement, but we've been told it so many times that we have to believe it. There's something about the taste of sweet onions and smoky bacon that makes this jam totally irresistible.
The onions are sliced thick with chunks of chewy bacon throughout. All you have to do is simmer all the ingredients together in a pot on the stove. It will fill your home with amazing aromas, too.
If you're looking for compliments, bring this bacon jam to your next party. Your friends will love you for it!
What is bacon jam?
Bacon jam is a sweet condiment made with onions, bacon, brown sugar, and coffee. The ingredients are slowly simmered until they become a jam-like consistency. This popular condiment (also sometimes called bacon marmalade) has been popping up on menus everywhere in recent years.
Use it like jam and serve it with cheese and crackers or appetizers, slather it on burgers, or use it on grilled cheese for lots of bold and sweet bacon flavor.
Why is there coffee in here? While you don't taste any coffee flavor, it helps elevate and make the other flavors more pronounced. It's not a common bacon jam ingredient, and we think it's what makes our recipe so good.
Why you'll love it
There are so many reasons you'll love this bacon jam:
- It's both savory and sweet
- It's versatile – serve it on cheese boards or spread onto grilled sandwiches
- It's easy to make
- It can be prepared ahead of time
- It stores well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
- It has bacon in it!
We've tried a few bacon jams before and while they've all been pretty darn tasty, we think this one is extraordinary. Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this bacon jam recipe:
- Bacon – thick-cut bacon is best for this recipe.
- Onions – sweet onions, quartered then sliced thick.
- Brown sugar – adds a wonderful caramel taste and sweetness.
- Water – is used so that the onions have extra time to soften and become jam-like.
- Coffee – strong brewed coffee for maximum flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar – for a mild acidity to balance out the flavors.
Your bacon jam game plan
It's easy to make this bacon jam at home. Here's how to do it in a few simple steps:
- Start by slicing and cooking the bacon until just before it turns crispy. Remove it, along with some of the fat, from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the onions and cook until they're soft. Then, add the sugar and cook until the onions caramelize and turn dark brown.
- Add a splash of your leftover morning coffee (we're not joking!), some water, and the cooked bacon. Let everything simmer until it becomes thick and jam-like.
- Stir in a little balsamic, grab some cheese and crackers, and dig in!
Is it safe to can jam?
Canning meat is often not recommended because of the risk of botulism in low acid foods. If you're thinking about canning some of this jam, it's best to do a little research to see if you're comfortable doing it. If you decide to can some of this bacon jam, using a pressure cooker is a must; boiling water won't do. Here are a few reputable publications on canning meat to get you started:
How long does it keep?
It will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar or container for 2-3 weeks. When it's cold, some of the bacon fat will harden and turn white. Don't worry, as soon as it warms to room temperature it will look and taste amazing.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic?
Yes, you can. We like the dark color and the bit of sweetness that balsamic adds to this recipe. If you use apple cider instead, start with adding 1 teaspoon then adjust the amount to taste.
Should bacon jam be served hot or cold?
We like this jam best when it's served at room temperature. But we've also been known to eat it hot right after we make it or put it on crackers straight from the fridge.
Ideas for using bacon jam
You might be wondering, what do you use bacon jam on? The real question is, what don't you use bacon jam on!
Of course, this jam is the perfect sweet condiment for pairing with crackers and cheese like brie or goat cheese. It's a staple on snack boards like our cheese board with pomegranate baked brie or our epic holiday cheese board.
We like to make little crostinis and serve them with other toppings like dried figs, rosemary, roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, or baby arugula. We even use it on bacon jam pizza!
It also adds incredible flavor to burgers and grilled sandwiches like this grilled cheese and apple recipe!
Give it as a gift! Tie a pretty ribbon around the lid of a glass jar and give it to someone you know who loves good food. Remember to let them know that it needs to go into their fridge after you give it to them – if they don't eat it all right away.
- 1 lb thick cut bacon
- 2 extra large sweet onions (quartered and thickly sliced)
- ½ cup brown sugar (use coconut sugar for paleo)
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bacon into half-inch slices and add them 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 bits are ok. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan.1 lb thick cut bacon
- Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add the sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes.2 extra large sweet onions, ½ cup brown sugar
- Add the reserved bacon, coffee, and water and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam-like, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.½ cup water, ⅓ cup strong brewed coffee, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 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.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.