There are plenty of recipes for delicious, crunchy bacon. In my life, bacon jerky is definitely one of the most popular snacks. Plenty of people list the nutritional value, while I simply love the taste, which is why I return to it so often. Using different recipes in order to discover new flavors.
Overall, preparing good bacon is very easy. I could actually say that it would be much harder for you to see that the plate that was full of jerky bacon just 5 minutes ago is now empty.
But don’t worry, preparing a simple recipe takes about 15-20 minutes. The situation gets significantly longer if you wish to prepare something special in marinade.
The cooking time, on the other hand, is much longer, but that depends on the cooking method you choose. You can prepare it using an oven, a dehydrator or a smoker.
How to Make Bacon Jerky – a simple recipe for an oven
An electric or gas oven will be perfect for this. The priority is that your equipment is able to keep a constant lower temperature from about 170F to 190F.
A metal place would also be useful, as it would be needed to catch the lard from the bacon during cooking. And of course an oven rack to put the bacon on.
You will also need such accessories as: Thermometer and Basting Brush.
Now let’s get to the ingredients
If you have frozen bacon, then please defrost it. When buying bacon, make sure to pick the one with the lowest fat content.
Now start up your oven, heat it up to 170F. Before it gets hot, we will get the marinade ready.
The most important thing when cooking bacon is temperature. Bacon is very delicate which is why higher temperature can get it burned within few seconds.
First let’s take care of the marinade. It will be a mix that will make the marinade sweet and spicy. If you’d like something else, you can add other ingredients. It’s all up to you. I will show you a simple recipe for the start.
Mix 1/2 cup of sriracha, 1/2 cup honey and 1 teaspoon ground black pepper in a bowl.
Then make sure that the bacon is dry ( if it’s not, use paper towel to collect the remaining moisture off it). Now you can put the dry bacon in the marinade bowl, stir it all thoroughly.
Prepare the oven rack, put the bacon on it slice by slice so that their edges don’t touch. Once the oven is hot enough ( 170F ), put the rack in the oven. At this moment you need a container under the rack where the fat dripping from the bacon will be collected. I chose a metal plate.
The duration of cooking bacon in the oven largely depends on the bacon’s thickness. For example, I grilled my bacon for more than 3 hours.
You have to check it every hour, however, to tell its state and if the frying level is good for you. It would be sensible to flip the bacon every hour.
If you decide that your bacon is ready now, remove it from the oven. Place it on paper towels so that they soak all the excess oil off it. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes to cool down.
If you wish to keep your bacon for longer, pack it in plastic ziplock bags or vacuum bags. Then put it in the fridge or the freezer if you wish to keep it for longer.
I don’t recommend packing it in containers if you don’t have to, though, the best solution would be to eat the bacon within the next few days. It will make it very tasty and definitely fresh.
Smoked Bacon Jerky using dehydrator
That’s the most popular method for bacon, let me show you how to prepare bacon jerky this way.
You do everything like in the method above, which is in an oven.
The difference is, after removing the bacon from the oven, you have to put it in the dehydrator.
Set the highest temperature in the dehydrator, and keep your bacon in there for about 3 hours. Flip your bacon every hour and see what condition it is in.
After all this, you should have tasty crunchy bacon jerky.
You can also prepare bacon in a smoker. You have to set the same temperature as with the oven. Your task is to observe the condition of the bacon. It’s hard to tell how long you should cook the bacon because it depends on how thick your bacon is.
Thick bacon might even take few hours more to cook than very thin one.