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Candied bacon jerky

Mmmm, bacon jerky. This is a homemade candied bacon jerky recipe that is made at home, in the oven, without a dehydrator. 
 

Candied bacon without a dehydrator

 

There was this Montreal foodie craft fair, le Salon J’ai Faim, several months back. And at this fair, there was this one booth selling candied bacon jerky, and the company that made that bacon was J.J.Comestibles. The bacon they were selling was sweet and salty, with a little kick from some cayenne. It was THE best bacon I’ve ever had. I bought myself one piece to test it out, and then I went back for a whole bag of their candied bacon because it was so fantastic.

I’ve had candied bacon on the brain ever since. It was that good.

Confession: I am totally hung up on and still in love with the bacon fat strips in that bacon from J. J. Comestibles. It was sweet, crispy, bacon-y goodness. It was so delicious that I almost didn’t share. Almost. I mean, come on: just look at it!

Spicy bacon jerky in the oven

 

It’s taken me months to try to make it myself for a few reasons, but mainly my paralyzing fear of the smoke detector. When that sucker goes off, all hell breaks loose in my apartment. There is usually a mad, panicked scramble for a step ladder. The fight to quickly find a kitchen towel among my mess. Then there’s me on the ladder, heart pounding, desperately trying to fan the smoke detector into understanding there’s no fire. Meanwhile, my cat is long gone, having bolted straight to the closet. She is no help when alarms sound (or for that matter, when doorbells ring or somebody knocks at the door). Making candied bacon had me fretting over this scenario because in my mind, a hot oven plus sugar dripping into bacon fat equals smoke, doesn’t it?

I don’t have the secret to J. J. Comestibles’ bacon jerky, but I have this version to tide me over in the meantime. This candied bacon jerky recipe yields crispy salty-sweet bacon with a slight chew and a kick of cayenne (and hooray! no smoke!). It’s everything I was looking for. Of course, if J. J. Comestibles happens to be selling some candied bacon jerky at the next fair, I will line up for it again, and again, and again, even if I can make my own at home. It’s that good.

What is bacon jerky?

Bacon jerky is a snack made from strips of bacon that are dried out. It can be made in the dehydrator or the oven, just like beef jerky. You can also make candied bacon jerky by coating the bacon strips with brown sugar before baking. This will yield a sweet coating that you can also add cayenne to if you’d like spicy bacon jerky.

How do you make bacon jerky without a dehydrator?

If you don’t have a dehydrator to make bacon jerky, use your oven. Bake the bacon jerky low and slow in a low temperature oven for many hours, almost 3 hours if you can. This allows the bacon to cook and dehydrate to become crispy and a little chewy. Flip the strips every hour to make sure that the bacon dries out as evenly as possible.

 Candied bacon jerky recipe

Candied bacon jerky

Spicy candied bacon jerky baked in the oven so that you can make bacon jerky in the oven without a dehydrator. 
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 128kcal
Author Janice

Ingredients

  • 100 grams light brown sugar 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 10 strips bacon I used the reduced sodium bacon that my grocery store sells, nothing fancy

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to about 225°F. Use a rimmed baking sheet with a fitted rack for this recipe if you can. Line the baking sheet with foil and spray the rack generously with cooking spray.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the brown sugar and cayenne. Dip/pat each slice of bacon on both sides in the sugar mixture, shaking off excess, and then place on the wire rack (note: you may or may not be able to squeeze them all on one pan).
  • Bake the bacon for about 2.5–3 hours, flipping the strips every hour. When the bacon is done, it will be a deep mahogany brown and will have shrunk quite a bit. Let the bacon cool a minute then move it around every so often to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan. The bacon will firm up as it cools. I won’t judge you if you eat it all in one sitting.

Notes

For the baking rack lined sheet pan, I used one from Chicago Metallic, which you can buy on Amazon
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal

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15 Responses to Candied bacon jerky

  1. Mardi Michels September 17, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Wowee – this looks pretty amazing 🙂

  2. musingmar September 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    OMG, my son, aka Bacon Boy, will love this! And the rest of us too, I suspect.

    • Janice Lawandi September 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

      Bacon Boy?! Best nickname EVER!

  3. Cathleen September 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    BACON JERKY??? My heart just jumped in excitement. This looks SO good!

    • Janice Lawandi September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      I know! The words had me stopped in my tracks and drew me into the booth at the fair 😉

  4. Taylor Bishop January 15, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I was wondering what temp and time you think it’d be if I used a dehydrator rather then the oven. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Janice Lawandi January 18, 2014 at 5:01 am #

      Great question, Taylor! While I don’t own a dehydrator, I’d probably follow this post from Well Preserved, using a dehydrator: http://wellpreserved.ca/how-to-make-candied-bacon-jerky-recipe/
      Let me know how it turns out!

    • Anonymous February 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      I use a dehydrator, I usually do beef jerky but mine doesn’t have a changeable temp. so I use what ever default setting I have. I will be doing mine for about 3-4hrs depending on how long it takes. I will gladly reply back Janice to let you know how it turns out. I used Louisiana Hot Sauce and Dark Brown Sugar instead. Which came out about the same only with a higher kick.

  5. Mary November 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    Does this bacon jerky require refrigeration or can it be stored in the pantry? What kind of shelf-life can I expect? I would like to give it as a gift…

  6. Susan April 4, 2018 at 11:07 am #

    OMG, Im in love with candied bacon jerky. I tried making I tried making some by following your recipe n instructions, but I found it rather challenging. Luckily I found a company that sells it online. It was delish 🙂 Here’s the link if anyone wants to try it http://www.baconmammajamma.com/product/candied-bacon-sticks/

  7. Jp May 20, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    I am trying this recipe out with a twist. Same sugar but added fresh ground black pepper, tbs soy sauce , fish sauce, shriracha, with the cayenne as well. 220 f , flipping every hour …results pending …

  8. Buffy June 25, 2019 at 9:46 pm #

    This tastes wonderful! I tried tonight for a party this weekend. Do you think it should be stored in the fridge or just in an airtight container on the counter?

    • Janice June 28, 2019 at 2:58 pm #

      So glad you liked it! I store it at room temperature, otherwise, it gets soggy and the sugar gets too gooey.

      • Amber September 16, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

        How long will it last at room temperature?

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