Sprinkle some of these Smoked Bacon Crumbles on anything and it’ll probably taste better. Every bite is a little crispy, salty, and spicy. Simple to prepare, you might find yourself having these on hand regularly.
We’ve all seen the small jars of “bacon-flavored bits” sitting in the pantry. Here’s a secret: They aren’t actually bacon!
Join me on the dark side and create jars of crispy smoked bacon crumbles to be sprinkled on all the goods. Once you start, there’s no going back. Only more bacon.
Why This Recipe Works
- Bacon is a seasoning. The salty, smoky flavor of bacon is a great seasoning, drawing out the natural flavors of ingredients with its sodium. Also, the flavor of bacon is undeniably delicious.
- Low effort for a big payoff. Other than seasoning the bacon, the only real thing that’s required is patience. Cook the bacon and wait for it to be crispy, and you win.
How to Use Smoked Bacon Crumble
So, my fellow lover of bacon, you’ve made it this far and might be wondering what the applications for this could be.
I’m here to tell you, they are endless. However, I do have a few specific suggestions in mind!
- Appetizers: Sprinkle some on your favorite apps such as Coal-Roasted Pineapple Burnt Ends, Smoked Potato Skins, Loaded Baked Potato Jalapeno Poppers (see above), or even a skillet of Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip.
- Salads & Soups: Finish off your dish with a crispy bite. Try garnishing Creamy Southwestern Coleslaw, Grilled Poblano Broccoli Cheese Soup, and Creamy Jalapeno Carrot Slaw, or mix it into Grilled Broccoli Crunch Salad.
Prepping the Bacon
The only equipment you’ll need is a wire rack with a baking sheet and your smoker. Using a baking sheet allows for a simple transfer to and from the smoker, while also keeping your grill clean. There’s a lot of fat that renders off during this process.
What type of bacon should I use for bacon crumbles?
There isn’t a wrong answer. Thick-cut bacon is going to take longer to smoke, but you’ll have a larger bacon crumbles in the end. Smoky bacon is just going to have that extra layer of flavor. Seasoned bacon isn’t even a bad option, just be aware of balancing the flavors if you do choose something such as peppered bacon.
Seasoning Choices for Smoked Bacon
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s not extremely high with additional salt. Bacon is already pretty salty, and the flavors are concentrated when smoked and crumbled.
Our recipe recommends seasoning both sides of the bacon lightly with:
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Make sure you use chili powder and not chile powder. Notice the difference in letters, which tells you what the ingredients are. Chile powder will be 100% chiles. Chili powder has a blend of ingredients, generally a great go-to option for general seasoning.
Smoking the Bacon
Preheat your smoker to 300°F. Place the wire rack in the smoker and let the bacon smoke for about 60-70 minutes. If you are using thick-cut bacon, this might increase the time by up to 30 additional minutes.
Use your intuition. Every smoker is different, as is the fat content in the bacon. It’s not going to be an exact measurement of time, so check on the bacon once you hit the 50-minute mark and keep your eyes on it.
You’re looking for crispy bacon that isn’t too dark or brittle. Most of the fat will be rendered down and crispy.
Once the bacon is dark and crispy (see above) go ahead and remove it from the smoker. Dab any excess grease with paper towels and allow to cool.
Chop up the bacon with a knife, or food processor, or crumble it in a plastic bag. The bacon will crumble easily, so there’s little effort required.
Storing the Bacon Crumble
Make sure the bacon has adequate time to dry before storing. There will be very little grease left after the smoke.
Store the smoked bacon crumbles in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. It will start to lose its crispness after about 3 days, but if you’re going to use it as an ingredient to cook with, that’s not as important. Additional heat from baking or smoking will restore it to its crispy glory.
You will enjoy these homemade bacon bits so much more than those jarred, soy-based crispies from the store.Print
- 1 pack of bacon, 12-16 ounces
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 300°F.
- Lay out the slices of bacon on a wire rack with a baking sheet. Season each side lightly with a mixture of the chili powder and black pepper.
- Place the tray of bacon in the smoker and allow it to cook for about 60-70 minutes total. You might want to start monitoring it after 50 minutes.
- Remove the bacon when ready and blot it with paper towels. Allow it to cool completely before chopping it into small crumbles.
- Store the smoked bacon crumbles in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days. Use as a garnish for fresh dishes, or as a topping for baking.
- Every type of bacon will have a variance with timing due to the fat content, thickness, and smoker fluctuations. Use your intuition. You are looking for crispy bacon that’s dark, but not brittle and burnt. Try a sample and taste-test it for yourself.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
- Category: Rubs & Seasonings
- Method: Smoking
- Cuisine: Condiment
Keywords: smoked bacon, bacon crumble, smoked bacon crumble, homemade bacon bits