How to Make Bacon Jerky in 8 Easy Steps?

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Bacon jerky is a delicious treat that no one can just say no. The chewable texture of the meat will let your tummy crave for more. Of course, it has an alluring smell that can make anyone turn their heads. Fortunately, this delicacy doesn’t require you to become a kitchen expert. All you need to do is to get the right tools and ingredients. After that, you are ready to go!

How to make bacon jerky? It is a common question among household owners. Specifically, mothers who want to prepare healthy snacks for their kids are the common conveyors of this query. Aside from being tasteful, bacon jerkies are known to be nutritious.

Because the preparation doesn’t really involve too many additives, you can guarantee that the meat is free from harmful preservatives.

Moreover, the preparation of bacon jerky is not that difficult. As we mentioned earlier, as long as you have the right tools, you could do prepare this treat at the convenience of your home. Once you master the basic recipe of bacon jerky, you can create it anytime you want. Later, you will be able to craft original recipes by yourself!

Do you want to learn how to prepare a bacon jerky? Then you should read the rest of this article! We outlined a simple recipe that you even the simplest person could follow.

How to Make Bacon Jerky

Delicious home made bacon jerky

Things to Consider

Overall, making a bacon jerky is not an ordeal. However, there are some things that you have to be precise. One of this is the temperature. Specifically, the method of “cooking” a bacon jerky is through drying. You need to dry the meat so it would be dehydrated of its internal fluids and oil. This is the reason why a well-made bacon jerky has a chewable and non-oily texture.

At this point, you should already consider which machine should you use in the drying process. Ideally, you could use food dehydrators and food oven. These two allow you to control and measure their internal temperature so that the bacon would dry perfectly. Alternatively, you could also use smokers, as well.

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As a matter of fact, there are no drawbacks regardless which of these tools should you use. As long as you can subject the meat to the appropriate temperature level, you could still get a desirable result.

Once you already decided which of these heat sources you will use, then it is time to gather your ingredients. Here are they:



1. Putting the Bacon in the Sheets

Putting the Bacon in the Sheets

The first thing you should do is to put the tray on your cookie sheets. Through this, you are allowing the smoke to cover the bacon. Take note that this is the only initial cooking process.

2. Arranging the Bacon Properly

Next, you have to cut the bacon into strips. When placing them on the sheet, make sure that they are apart from each other. Otherwise, it would affect the overall drying process. The dehydrated liquid could seep through another meat if you place them too close to each other,

3. Applying the Dry Rub

Apply the dry rub to the bacon. However, unlike other types of meat, you cannot just use too much dry rub and concoction to bacon. Instead, the best thing you can do is to sprinkle the rub into the bacon gently. In this way, you can get the most desirable taste from your meat!

4. Flavoring the Bacon with Seasonings

Next, apply the garlic powder, black pepper, and brown sugar. The combination of these three ingredients can induce an irresistibly sweet taste in the bacon jerky. Do these processes on the opposite side of the meat.


  • When making bacon jerky or any types of jerkies, do not limit your seasonings. Aside from the seasonings we indicated, you could also use your homemade marinade or honey. You could even use a salad dressing. Your options are pretty limitless. However, you have to consider that over-flavoring your bacon jerky could cause the loss of its intended flavor.

5. Refrigeration

After the seasoning, place the tray in your refrigerator for around an hour. While you are cooling your meat, you can already fire up your smoker, oven, or dehydrator. Specifically, you should subject your bacon under the temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Drying Procedures

Bacon is on baking rack for drying

Image Credit to

Once you got the ideal temperature already, take out the bacon tray from your refrigerator. Next, place it on your heat source. Initially, the cooking process of jerkies takes time. Some type of jerkies (e.g. beef jerky) has an initial drying time of four to six hours. For a bacon jerky, you can do this for around two to three hours only.


  • How do you know that your bacon is becoming a jerky already? Well, there are physical indicators that would tell you that. For example, the noticeable color change of the meat is a good sign that you will have a bacon jerky soon enough!
  • Moreover, if you are using a smoker, make sure that the fire will be away from the bacon. Your goal here is to dehydrate the bacon, not burn it. Therefore, you should create fire in a distant area of the smoke box of the smoker. You should know that bacon is pretty delicate. Even a short exposure to fire could deter their quality instantly.

Using smoker for drying bacon jerky

  • Also, do not forget that you have to make your drying temperature consistent. This is the key for a successful and flawless bacon jerky. Moreover, this is the reason why you might need a food thermometer so that closely monitor the internal temperature of your machine. Once you can achieve this, you don’t have to worry about anything else (except for the grease).
  • The cookie sheet can catch those grease residues. However, if you noticed that the bacon is producing too much oil than it should be, then you should get a separate container or can to dispose of the liquid. Take note that you have to close your heat source after you take out the tray. In this way, you can preserve the temperature correctly.

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7. Testing the Dryness

As we mentioned, the initial drying time of a jerky is around two to three hours. But you could do a test to assess if the jerky is done already. Just flip the bacon and see if it is cooking on both sides. But if the temperature is consistent, then you should not worry too much.

8. Dehydrating the Bacon Until It’s Done

Delicious home made bacon jerky is done

You just have to continue to this process for a straight six to eight hours. If you are drying a thick bacon, then the time would drastically double. That’s why we said that you should prefer thin strips of bacon instead of the thick ones. When rotating the tray, make sure that you blot the meat so that the excess fat would be extracted.

How do you dehydrate bacon?

To dehydrate bacon, you need a dehydrator, an oven, or a smoker. The thinner the bacon is, the better, as this speeds up the dehydration process. Here are the steps to properly dehydrate bacon:

Step 1: Put the tray on the cookie sheets. This will help the smoke cover the bacon as we go along the dehydration process.

Step 2: Put the strips of bacon in the cookie sheets and make sure that they are apart from each other. If they are too close to one another, liquid from the bacon strips can seep through another strip of bacon,which will affect the drying process.

Step 3: Gently sprinkle the dry rub into the strips of bacon. Unlike other types of meat, bacon can’t have too much dry rub applied.

Step 4: Flavor the bacon strips with seasoning using our recipe, or any ingredients  of your choice.

Step 5: Place the tray with the bacon strips in the refrigerator for around an hour. While the bacon strips are cooling, preheat your dehydrator, oven, or smoker to a temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6: Place the refrigerated tray of bacon strips in your heat source once the desired temperature is reached. It’s time for the drying process. Leave the bacon strips in your heat source for around two to three hours. Make sure to keep the temperature consistent throughout the entire process.

Step 7: Test the bacon’s dryness after two to three hours. If completely dry, continue the dehydration process for straight six to eight hours to achieve proper dehydration of the bacon jerky.

How do you know when bacon jerky is done?

You can tell if your bacon jerky is done, or any type of jerky for that matter, when it’s completely devoid of any moisture, fat, or oil. In other words, bacon jerky is done when it’s completely dry. You can test this by gently bending a strip of bacon jerky at a 90-degree angle. If any moisture is produced, the bacon jerky is not dry enough to be done.

Check out this YouTube video for a detailed guide on how to make a bacon jerky:


Can you put bacon in a dehydrator?

Yes. Especially if you want to make bacon jerky, using a food dehydrator is a must to remove all of those liquids and oils from the bacon. As an alternative, you can use an oven or a smoker to dehydrate your bacon.

Is bacon jerky a thing?

Bacon jerky is definitely a thing. In fact, it’s a delicious snack that can be made at home by non-experts. Bacon jerky has an alluring smell and is quite nutritious. As long as the right tools and ingredients are available, making bacon jerky at home won’t be an ordeal.

How long will bacon jerky last?

When sealed properly in an air-tight container and kept unopened, bacon jerky can typically last up to a year. It can last even longer if you add preservatives with the bacon jerky. Otherwise, it can last up to a week before going bad, if you plan on making it a snack.

Does bacon jerky need to be refrigerated?

Bacon jerky, when prepared correctly, does not need to be refrigerated. To properly store, keep it in a cool dry place.

What is the proper temperature for bacon jerky to use in a dehydrator?

Your bacon jerky needs to ideally be subjected to a consistent temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit in the dehydrator to achieve a successful and delicious bacon jerky.

Do you need to cook the bacon before dehydrating?

No. Bacon does not need to be cooked before dehydrating. However, before dehydrating, the bacon strips need to be applied with a dry rub, seasoned well and refrigerated for up to an hour.


Although the entire process takes time, it is undeniable that making a bacon jerky is pretty straightforward. Once you can familiarize these steps, you will be able to alter the recipes to your liking. And a result, you could create various recipes that you and your family will certainly love! Indeed, learning how to make bacon jerky is a true form of investment!

Did you learn from this article? What other bacon jerky recipes do you know? Share us your secrets in the comment section below!

Last update on 2022-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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