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A wooden plate with a mason jar filled with bacon jam surrounded by bread slices, fresh thyme and a glass of bourbon.

Bourbon Bacon Jam

Brace yourselves, bacon lovers. From brunch to cocktail hour and even dinnertime, you'll want to slather this savory and sweet bourbon bacon jam on everything in sight. No matter how you serve it, everyone is sure to gobble up this irresistible bacon spread.
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 31kcal


  • Large pot
  • Food processor


  • 1 ½ pounds thick-cut bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (see note)
  • Leaves from 3-4 thyme sprigs
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • Pinch of salt


  • Add the chopped bacon to a large cold pot. Turn heat to medium. It might look like too much bacon at first, but it will cook down. Stir well every few minutes to help the bacon cook evenly. Cook until the bacon turns crispy and the fat renders and turns foamy. Once the bacon finishes cooking, move to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. If some pieces finish cooking sooner than others, go ahead and move those over.
  • Remove most of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions and give them a stir. Cook the onions until they caramelize. Only stir occasionally to allow the onions to caramelize.
  • Bring heat back to medium. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds and then add the bacon back to the pot along with the maple syrup, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release those cooked bits. Allow the mixture to bubble and cook for a few additional minutes to thicken. About five minutes should do.
  • Turn off heat. Stir in fresh thyme leaves, bourbon and a pinch of salt.
  • Add the bacon mixture to a food processor. Pulse until it looks like ground meat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy!


  • While I don't find this bacon jam spicy, the cayenne does give it a kick. If you're sensitive to spice, add a little bit at a time to taste.
  • Reserve the bacon grease. It's great for cooking, especially in this andouille sausage-chicken gumbo.
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 109mg | Sugar: 5g