How to make Bacon Jerky: a pretty easy Recipe

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 21, 2021

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There are many different ways to prepare bacon, but one of my personal favorite is crispy bacon jerky. Those who have their doubts right from the start can relax, as there is nothing difficult about preparing good bacon jerky.

All you need is a good recipe, the right cooking tools and of course the ingredients, although that last one mostly depends on the recipe you have chosen. The Internet is really full of very interesting recipes, some of them don’t require much time while with others it’s the exact opposite.

That’s great news for bacon jerky lovers, as it makes it possible to experiment with the flavor.

How to make bacon jerky

The recipes assume using an oven or a food dehydrator ( plenty of times both ). So no matter if you have both of those devices or just one of them, you will be able to easily prepare delicious bacon jerky. ( personally I prefer using a food dehydrator ).

So let’s not waste any more time and just move on to preparing this delicious snack.

How to make Bacon Jerky at home

One advantage of bacon jerky is its long shelf life, which means you can make it to go without worrying that it will go bad after few hours. You can find a lot of different bacon jerky at stores, although the prices might be discouraging, as well as different types of additives in many cases ( preservatives etc ).

Only with homemade bacon jerky you can be sure that it was made of very good quality bacon and that it contains no preservatives. On top of that, you save some money if you have a big family and a huge demand for delicious bacon jerky.

Required tools:

  • Oven or Food Dehydrator
  • Few mixing bowls
  • Basting Brush
  • Baking Sheet and Oven Rack ( if you use oven method ) Optionally tinfoil to cover the baking sheet


  • 2 pound of uncured bacon
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Step 1: Recipe Preparations

When buying bacon, make sure that it is as low-fat as possible. If you have frozen bacon in the fridge then simply defrost it much earlier. If you have the bacon ready then we can move on to the essential stage which is preparing the marinate for the bacon.

The truth is, it’s the second most important thing after cooking. The marinate determines the flavor of your bacon and impacts the end ( visual ) result. This is the place for all kinds of culinary experiments once you feel confident about preparing bacon jerky.

For now, though, just stick to my recipe and simply combine all the ingredients in one bowl and mix it all thoroughly ( brown sugar, cup honey, 1/2 cup sriracha and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper ).

Next take the bacon and make sure that it really is defrosted and dry ( use paper towels to get it dry ). Mix the dried up bacon in the bowl with the finished marinate until the whole surface of the bacon is coated in it.

Are you done? Then you can move on to the next step which is cooking!

Step 2: Cooking

As you can see, there are several ways to prepare bacon jerky, not everyone owns a food dehydrator which is why I decided to show that other devices can be used as well.

Using Oven

First let’s take the oven, prepare the baking sheet, tinfoil and the rack. Set the temperature to 170-180 degrees F and put the tinfoil all over the baking sheet.

When cooking, there’s a lot of grease dripping from the bacon, which makes it a good idea to cover the baking sheet with tinfoil so that when you’re done cooking you can just throw away the dirty foil instead of wasting time and nerves on manual cleaning of the sheet.

Next place the bacon all over the rack and once the oven reaches the right temperature, place it directly over the baking sheet. Don’t put the bacon directly on the sheet, it’s only here to collect the grease dripping off the bacon.

When placing the bacon, make sure that the edges don’t touch, as it prevents it from cooking evenly.

How long to leave the bacon in? That depends mostly on the bacon’s thickness but usually it’s about 3 hours when using this recipe. Monitor the cooking process once in a while to make sure that everything goes as supposed to and that the bacon doesn’t get burnt.

If the bacon gets the right texture after cooking is over, take it out and place it on paper towels to get it dry. Wait for a moment until it cools down and start eating or packing some of the portions in the fridge for later.

Using Food Dehydrator

I prefer to prepare bacon jerky using a food dehydrator for that, but I have to warn that it is a pretty time-consuming method when it comes to the total time of preparing bacon jerky, although the results are worth it.

Remember! You can’t dry raw bacon, it is dangerous and might lead to food poisoning through the bacteria present in raw meat.

That’s why you should start by properly preparing ( cooking ) the bacon using an oven for that, for example. Above I have described the oven method step by step, I recommend it as it allows to prepare seasoned bacon, which can’t be done with a frying pan, for example.

Therefore, once the bacon from an oven is ready, take it out and dry it well. Next start the food dehydrator, set the maximum temperature and only put the bacon in when the maximum temperature is reached.

From that moment, flip the bacon over every hour and repeat it over the next three hours or so. It is hard to clearly say how much it will take, it all depends on the type of dehydrator and its power. That’s why I insist that you check the bacon’s texture every hour so that you can tell how much more time is needed for it to be perfect.

Once you’re done drying the bacon, wait for a moment for it to cool down and start eating or put it in the fridge. If you’re planning to freeze the bacon jerky for later then put it in vacuum bags. The advantage of bacon jerky prepared this way is its long shelf life.

A small downside is the long preparation time, together it all takes up to about 8-10 hours.

Also read: how to reheat your bacon so it remains crispy

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.