This bacon jam, made with bacon, maple syrup, and coffee, is a sweet condiment slathered on burgers at the Skillet diner in Seattle–and just about everywhere else these days.
Yup. Bacon jam. Allow us to explain. Once upon a time in a land called Seattle there was a diner dubbed Skillet that was—actually, still is—known throughout the land for burgers slathered with a sweetly smoky lusciousness dubbed known as bacon jam. So ridiculously habit-forming was this curious condiment made from brown sugar, maple syrup, coffee, and bacon that the diner, which operated out of a vintage Airstream trailer, began to jar the porcine concoction and sell it throughout the land. What exactly is bacon jam? According to Skillet founder, Josh Henderson, whose jam-making prowess is demonstrated in the video below, it comprises bacon, onions, balsamic, and brown sugar. Bacon jam junkies have been conjecturing as to whether there are missing ingredients in years. A robust collection of renegade recipes exist online, most of them a riff on the recipe found below, a basic blueprint that’s been bandied about on various websites. We’ve not tasted the original jam from Skillet diner, so we can’t speak to this sweet jam recipe’s authenticity, seeing as some of its ingredients vary from the above. We can, however, vouch for the go-wobbly-in-the-knees responses we’ve witnessed in the dozens of folks who’ve sampled this bacon jam. We can fathom making tweaks to this recipe, like maybe making it a splash of balsamic rather than cider vinegar, cutting back on the sugar, tossing in a jigger of bourbon…or not. Here’s how to make it at home. Originally published November 8, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
What To Do With Bacon Jam?
Equally debated as the ingredients that go into bacon jam is what to do with it once you’ve made it. Slather it on burgers, clearly (below). Egg sandwiches. Grilled cheese. Waffles. Crostini. Surprise us. Surprise yourself. And kindly let us know how you did so in a comment below.
Special Equipment: 6-quart slow-cooker
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Makes 3 cups
- 1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow onions, cut into smallish dice
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, or less to taste
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (the real deal, please)
- 1. In a large skillet over mediumish heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towel-lined plates to drain.
- 2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from the skillet and reserve for another use. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the skillet, for 2 minutes. Add the bacon and stir to combine.
- 3. If making this on a stovetop, reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If making this in a slow-cooker, transfer the mixture to a 6-quart slow-cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until the liquid almost completely evaporates and turns syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- 4. Let the bacon concoction cool slightly before transferring it to a food processor and pulsing until coarsely chopped. Spoon the bacon lusciousness into individual jars or other resealable containers and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks. Transfer to a pan and rewarm gently over low heat prior to indulging.
Curious to hear more about working magic with your slow cooker? Peruse our entire selection of slow cooker recipes.