Bacon Jam Takes Traditional Burgers Over The Top

Ordinary bacon cheeseburgers have got nothing on our bacon jam burger!

If you’ve never had bacon jam, get ready for flavor bliss! Much like the highly popular candied bacon craze, bacon jam highlights the way in which sweet and savory flavors can come together for a taste that is truly special.

This ultimate grilled bacon cheeseburger features a rich and flavorful bacon jam spiked with bourbon. Crisply cooked bacon and sautéed onions serve as the jam’s sharp and savory base, while maple syrup and brown sugar add just the right blend of sweetness. I then round out the jam with the bold flavors of bourbon and coffee before simmering the mixture to a jam like consistency.

Combine the jam with a juicy reverse seared burger patty, a couple slices of baby Swiss cheese, and a buttery brioche bun, and you’ll be waving goodbye to ordinary bacon cheeseburgers forever! 

The best part is that you will have extra bourbon bacon jam to us on grilled cheese sandwiches, on crostini, and so much more. 

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Bacon Jam Burger

Sweet and savory homemade bacon jam is the star of the show in this delicious burger recipe.

Course. Lunch. Dinner. Entree. Sandwich.

Cuisine. American.

Makes. 2 burgers

Takes. 15 minutes prep. 1 hour total cook time.

Serve with. A bourbon based cocktail.


Bourbon Bacon Jam

1 pound bacon

1/2 cup diced sweet onion

1/2 cup brewed coffee

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

The Burger

1 pound ground chuck

1 teaspoon Morton’s kosher salt (read more about the science of salt here)

4 slices baby Swiss cheese

2 hamburger buns, preferably brioche

Lettuce (optional)

Sliced tomato (optional)


1) Cook. To prepare the bourbon bacon jam, cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until the fat is rendered and the bacon is browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain. Remove all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the diced onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, approximately 7 minutes. Add the coffee to the skillet and use a spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the bacon, bourbon, vinegar, brown sugar, and maple syrup to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is thick like a syrup, approximately 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Use within an hour, or the jam can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four weeks.

2) Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F on the indirect side. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.

3) Prep. Divide the meat into two 8-ounce portions. Gently form the meat into patties that are approximately 1/2-inch wider than the bun to allow for shrinkage during the cooking process. Season both sides of the patties with kosher salt.

4) Cook again. Place the burgers on the indirect side of the grill, positioning the vent directly above the burgers in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Cook the patties for about 10 minutes.

5) Push the tip of a rapid-read thermometer such as the Thermapen into the side of both burgers. When the temperature reaches 105°F, flip the burgers and cook for approximately 10 more minutes. Because they are not over direct heat, you do not need to flip them often.

6) When the burgers are about 20°F below the final doneness temp you want (see’s award winning Food Temperature Guide), get ready to move them to the direct-heat zone. If you are on a gas grill, crank it up to high. On a charcoal grill, you may want to add more pre-lit coals. If necessary, take the meat off of the grill and close the lid while the hot side heats up.

7) Put the burgers on the direct heat side to brown them. Leave the lid up so the heat is concentrated on one side of each burger. If the fire flares up, move the burger to another spot. Flip the meat every minute to form a nice crust on both sides.

8) When the interior reaches 5°F below the desired doneness, add two slices of baby Swiss cheese to each burger and let them cook until the cheese melts, approximately two minutes.

9) Serve. To assemble the burgers, place each patty on a bottom bun and, if desired, add lettuce and/or sliced tomato. Spread a thick layer of bourbon bacon jam on the top buns before placing on the burgers. Serve immediately. Note that any remaining bacon jam can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches, on crostini, and more.

Here's a video a reader, Mike Chavez, made of this recipe:

"I had a dream last night that a hamburger was eating ME!"Jerry Seinfeld

Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

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