Our Growing Edge, Recipes
Comments 50

Bacon Jam


The Koala and I spent Christmas in Christchurch. Our first meal off the plane was at Terra Viva Cafe with The Koala’s parents. When I saw Hot smoked salmon and bacon jam salad on their menu, I didn’t look any further. I didn’t have to. Nothing could beat that combo for me. The salad was both tasty and light, the perfect meal for a “just got off the plane and I’m going to have an epic dinner later”. You can read my review and photos over here.

Since then, I’ve been dreaming about bacon jam. “But Genie, what the hell is bacon jam?” I hear you cry. Well, bacon jam is bacon (of course) cooked down with onion, garlic and sweet gummy goodness until it is caramelised and crazy good. I had to make it.

I had a browse at some recipes and decided on this one from Dinner With Julie. I’ve simplified an already simple recipe. Seriously, if you are a fan of bacon, you need this in your life. This recipe will make your house smell amazing so make sure you have have a plan on how to sample some of this jam this immediately after cooking. Would make a great edible gift for a bacon fanatic.


My tips and adapted recipe below. This recipe makes about 2 cups of bacon jam and can easily be doubled if required.


Bacon tip:

This is a good time to use free range bacon. I used a 50/50 mix of streaky bacon and rindless eye bacon from Freedom Farms which conveniently come in 250 gram packs (about half a pound). I wouldn’t use 100% streaky as it’s quite fatty, but if you prefer a bit leaner, going all middle, shoulder or eye bacon should be fine.

Jar tip:

Use a jar that holds 2 cups (500ml). As you can see I was expecting a lot more jam when I selected my 1 litre jar. Sterilise the jar by boiling it or baking in oven.

Coffee tip:

We have an espresso maker so I made a double shot espresso. Feel free to brew coffee however way you see fit. You might be apprehensive about the use of coffee but it gives the jam a rich flavour without being overpowering. Trust me!

Bacon Jam

Makes about 2 cups


  • 500 grams free-range bacon, chopped (about 1 lb)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1/2 cup coffee (I used espresso)



  1. Fry the bacon in a hot sauté pan for 10 minutes until cooked. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic in the same pan for 3 minutes until starting to turn golden.
  3. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the sugar, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, mustard and coffee. Cook uncovered on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened, glossy and jammy.
  4. Cool and transfer to a sterilised jar. Refrigerate if not using immediately but bring to room temp for serving (or heat up). Bacon jam will heat up a little when spread on hot toast.


So far, I’ve eaten bacon jam:

  • on toast with eggs
  • on garlic bread
  • with cheese and bread
  • smeared on steak
  • on a salad
  • …and from a spoon

Other ways I’d like to eat bacon jam

  • In a grilled cheese sandwich
  • On top of grilled oysters (almost like Oysters Kilpatrick)
  • Stuffed into mushrooms
  • In a burger (bacon jam cheeseburger!)
  • On a pizza
  • In a sandwich
  • On cheese and herb scones
  • On herb muffins


The critics* say:

“Oh my god. This is my new favourite jam.”

“Fuck, that’s good.”

“Aww das good jam”

* Critics are my friends who have tasted this bacon jam.

Notes for the future:

Next time I might try adding a little whiskey towards the end and a bit more onion might make this a bit gummier.

Any other creative suggestions for using bacon jam? Aside from digging at it with a spoon?


our-growing-edge-badgeThis post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things.  Francesca from Fearless Kitchen is the host for this month’s event.

If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here.

This entry was posted in: Our Growing Edge, Recipes


I am Genie, a graphic designer/photographer obsessed with food and bunnies. I live in Whanganui, New Zealand with my husband, The Koala and our two rabbits, Kobe and Bento. I write about my hedonistic ways and I love the mantra "Eat well, travel often". I prefer not to write about myself in third person. www.bunnyeatsdesign.com


  1. Looks great. I did a chorizo jam before Christmas but took my eye off it and it ‘overcaramelised’ so wasnt very ‘jammy’ still tasted fine though. That looks perfect.

  2. Wow – that sounds amazing. I can think of a few people who would appreciate this as a gift so I think I’ll have to get on with making some. How long do you reckon it would keep?

  3. I need to make this now. Well maybe tomorrow when the shops open!

    Do you need to sterilize the jars if you plan to eat it in a few days (or, to be honest, less)?

  4. Lan | morestomach says

    yes to bacon jam. i have had it in the back of mind for YEARS to make it and i never do. it being a condiment, you could use it in a sandwich in lieu of mayo or mustard.

  5. Alice says

    I am in love with this idea –just wondering if you know how long bacon jam will keep?

  6. Bacon Jam! We loved it when I made a slow cooker version. We used the last of it a few more months ago so it’s time for a new batch. You should always refrigerate your bacon jam, there is a high probability of a reaction from the garlic and bacon, bacteria can multiply and produce the Staphylococcus aureus toxin.

    • Hi Eva, I do refrigerate it (and would recommend). Do you have any idea how long it lasts refrigerated?

      Still, it lasted only 3 weeks even though I tried to ration it out towards the end. We ate the last of it on Saturday. Stirred through ground beef and formed into burger patties.

      • I’ve read different times, some say 3 weeks is max. I actually froze mine because I was so paranoid. If I make it again, I’ll freeze in zip lock portion sizes so I only take out what I’ll need for that day.

        • That’s a good idea. Also, if you know what you’re going to do with it, such as make bacon jam burger patties, you could mix those up and freeze those too.

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  8. Bacon Jam! You just blew my mind. This looks fairly painless to make it my tiny kitchen but maaaan…. maple syrup and balsamic are expensive in Korea. Bacon jam and kimchi…I wonder what that’ll be like.

    • I think you’ll like it Marnelli!

      I adore kimchi. I have been eating kimchi and cheese grilled sandwiches. I think the addition of bacon jam would work.

  9. This sounds amazing Genie. I love the idea of having it on toast topped with a fried egg. Gives a whole new meaning to an eggs and bacon breakfast. I’m not a big bacon fan (I know, weird right) as I often find it too salty, but I can imagine that the onion and sugars would fix that right up for me. I’ve enjoyed looking through your site tonight, you make me miss Auckland…

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  11. Yep, as soon as I saw the title I cried out what the hell is bacon jam?? Now that I know and have seen your ways of serving it, its a great idea!

  12. realfoodwithdana says

    Ohmygosh. Bacon Jam?! with smoked salmon on a salad?! That is my kind of dish. Love that you included all different kinds of ways you could use it too 🙂

    • Hi Dana, I fell in love with that salad too. Bacon jam experiments are fun and delicious. There’s no shortage of things to eat it with and also no shortage of people willing to help 🙂

  13. Elaine Walmsley says

    As a Canadian this is a must try for me!! love your site. ohh i once had a bunny too, named him Peter.

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

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