How to Make Bacon Jerky - featured image

Bacon jerky is quite a popular snack in US households. So, instead of spending countless amounts of money on this store-bought treat, did you know you can make one at home?

However, people are often put off because they believe that preparing bacon jerky is quite tricky and time-consuming. Bacon jerky is a delicious treat nobody can say no to, while its nice and chewable texture will have everyone fighting for a piece.

The best thing about this snack is that you don’t have to be a wizard in the kitchen, and we are going to show you how to make bacon jerky.


  • Bacon
  • Spices: salt, pepper, and brown sugar
  • Dehydrator
  • Cookie sheet and rack


Before you begin

Keep in mind that bacon requires slow and steady cooking. Therefore, use the low-temperature setting. Make sure to cook it on a rack and a cooking sheet to collect all the dripping, which you can use to additionally season your bacon in the end. Depending on how crunchy or crispy you want your bacon to be, cut thicker or thinner slices. If you are familiar with making beef jerky in a dehydrator, this process is not very different.

Preparing Bacon Jerky at Home in 7 Steps

STEP 1: Preheat your dehydrator at 200 degrees Fahrenheit

The most popular method of making any type of jerky is using a dehydrator. So, before you put any bacon inside, you need to preheat it. The low temperature will ensure your bacon cooks slowly, at a consistent temperature. Due to the high percentage of fat, you should preheat your dehydrator at 200 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent it from burning.

STEP 2: Place bacon slices on the rack while placing the cookie sheet under to catch drippings

The next step would be to place bacon slices on a rack. Make sure to put a cookie sheet under to catch drippings, which you can use as an additional seasoning.

As the bacon dehydrates, it releases delicious juices and fat onto a cookie sheet.

STEP 3: Season your bacon to both sides

The basic recipe requires a mixture of black pepper, brown sugar, and a bit of salt. However, you can find countless recipes online, according to your taste and preference. While some use honey, others will apply sriracha, cayenne pepper, or maple syrup.

Your options are endless; however, you do have to season your bacon on both sides to ensure it’s coated properly. If you decide to use the basic bacon jerky recipe, be aware that a mix of these ingredients will provide your snack with an overpoweringly sweet flavor.

STEP 4: Put the rack and cookie sheet in the dehydrator and let it bake for 2 to 3 hours at most

As soon as your dehydrator reaches an ideal temperature, it’s time to place the bacon inside. It takes about three hours for bacon jerky to be ready. At any time, you can check whether your bacon is cooked from both sides or not.

The thickness of the pieces will influence the drying process. For instance, if your slices are thicker, it might need double time for dehydrating. That’s why if you want a quick snack, cut thinner pieces.

STEP 5 (OPTIONAL): After 2 to 3 hours, take the bacon out and marinade it

Marination can add fun flavor to your bacon jerky, so you might want to experiment with different marinades. This entirely depends on your personal preference and the spices you use.

But, if you decide to coat your bacon pieces with marinade, make sure to lower the temperature anywhere from 160 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

STEP 6: Cook it for another 2-3 hours until you reached the desired texture

To get that crispy texture, bacon needs to stay another 2-3 hours in a dehydrator. One of the easiest ways to check whether your bacon jerky is ready is to see the change in color of the meat. As soon as you notice the difference in color, it means your jerky is done.

Or, if you want it to be a little crispier, leave it in a dehydrator a bit longer.

STEP 7: Turn off the dehydrator, remove the bacon, blot off any grease and let it cool

As soon as the drying process completes, turn off the dehydrator and remove the bacon. To blot the excess fat, use a paper towel and let the bacon cool down. You can store bacon jerky into airtight containers or a ziplock bag; some even say you can freeze it as well to prolong its shelf life.

So now that you know how to make this delicious treat, you should be aware of its nutritious value. For instance, one pound of bacon jerky contains approximately 49g of protein and 662g of calories. But these are only estimations, and a lot of nutritional value disappears during cooking time.

Recommended reading: Salmon jerky recipe

Bacon jerky in a pan

Final thoughts

Even though preparing bacon jerky in a dehydrator requires a lot of time, we can say it’s pretty easy to make your favorite snack at home. As long as you go through the above-discussed steps, you can quickly modify the recipe based on your taste.

Consequently, you can prepare numerous recipes that your family will certainly love. If you are fan of hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, other activities which require staying outside, bacon jerky will be a perfect packed meal to bring with you.

We hope that our how to make bacon jerky in a dehydrator guide will help you make the most delicious snack and treat your family with an abundance of flavor.