Marinated Bacon – Tips, Tricks and Favorite Flavorful Marinades to Take Your Bacon Up a Notch

Bacon is one of life’s most perfect foods. It’s smoky, salty, crispy comfort food that makes everything taste better. But basic bacon can get boring. Why not take your bacon experience up a notch by marinating it before cooking? The answer is yes – you can absolutely marinate bacon for added flavor!

Marinating infuses juicy pork bacon with extra savory, sweet, spicy or tangy flavors. It’s easy to do and opens up a whole world of gourmet specialty bacon to enjoy in BLTs, baked potatoes, salads and more. Read on for tips on how to marinate bacon successfully, recommended marinade times, go-to flavor ideas and favorite marinade recipes.

Can You Marinate Raw Bacon?

The first frequently asked question is – can you actually marinate raw uncooked bacon before cooking it? The answer is a resounding yes!

Marinating works by allowing seasoned liquid to penetrate into the pork meat. Raw bacon readily absorbs flavors from acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus juice, savory seasonings like herbs and spices, and sweet components like brown sugar or fruit juices.

The marinade tenderizes the bacon and infuses it with extra flavor all the way through. Marinated bacon then cooks up infused with the marinade essence, taking your dishes to new heights of flavor.

Tips for Marinating Bacon

Marinating raw bacon is simple, but following a few tips will give you the best results:

  • Choose a non-reactive dish like glass or stainless steel for marinating. Acidic marinades can react with metal.

  • Make sure bacon is fully submerged in marinade to maximize flavor penetration.

  • Flip bacon a few times while marinating to evenly coat all sides.

  • Chill in the refrigerator during marinating to prevent bacterial growth,

  • Pat bacon dry before cooking to prevent steaming versus crisping.

  • Cook marinated bacon thoroughly until crispy to eliminate any bacteria risk.

How Long to Marinate Bacon

Most bacon marinade recipes recommend marinating for 3-12 hours. The longer time infuses more flavor. General guidelines include:

  • 3-6 hours – Provides good flavor infusion

  • 8-12 hours – Recommended for maximum marinade penetration

  • Overnight – Most convenient, allowing bacon to marinate while you sleep

The thickness of the bacon also affects marinating time. Thinner sliced bacon marinates faster than thick-cut styles. Adjust marinade times as needed.

Go-To Bacon Marinade Flavor Ideas

Virtually any marinade that sounds good to you will pair deliciously with bacon. Some top flavor combos to try include:

  • Brown sugar – Sweet, sticky bacon

  • Maple syrup – Pancetta-style flavor

  • Bourbon – Smoky and boozy

  • Soy sauce or teriyaki – Savory umami-rich

  • Chili sauce or sriracha – Spicy kick

  • Balsamic vinegar – Tangy zip

  • Fruit juices – Fruity flair like apple, pineapple, cranberry

  • Southwest – Cumin, chili powder, garlic

  • Herbs – Rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano

  • Coffee or espresso – Intense, earthy flavor

  • Smoked paprika – Extra smoky essence

Get creative mixing and matching wet and dry ingredients to craft signature marinades.

5 Best Bacon Marinade Recipes

Ready to marinate your bacon for gourmet flavor? Try out these delicious marinade recipes:

Sweet and Smoky Bacon

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Thai Chili Bacon

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Everything Bagel Bacon

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Everything Bagel seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Cranberry Orange Bacon

  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Coffee Bacon

  • 1/3 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Once marinated, cook your bacon until crisp, let the flavors shine in your favorite dishes and get ready for the compliments!

Cooking and Serving Marinated Bacon

The basic method for cooking marinated bacon is the same as regular bacon. Cook over medium heat in a skillet or bake on a foil-lined sheet pan. The only difference is patting off excess marinade before cooking so the bacon crisps up nicely.

Some ideas for serving and enjoying flavorful marinated bacon:

  • Chop up and sprinkle on salads, soups or baked potatoes
  • Crumble into omelets, quiches or frittatas
  • Top burgers, sandwiches or pizza
  • Mix into dips, apps or cheese balls
  • Serve alongside steaks or in bacon-wrapped dishes
  • Garnish bloody marys or maple old fashioneds

The possibilities are endless! Let your taste buds guide you.

Tips for Storing Leftover Marinated Bacon

Marinated bacon keeps best by refrigerating promptly after cooking. Follow these storage tips:

  • Let cool completely before refrigerating in a sealed container.

  • Use within 4-5 days for optimal freshness and texture.

  • Reheat gently before serving. Don’t overcook to preserve crispness.

  • Avoid freezing marinated bacon, as freezing diminishes texture.

The Joy of Homemade Marinated Bacon

Infusing bacon with crave-worthy flavors is easier than you think. Let your imagination run wild playing with marinades. Sweet, spicy, herby or tangy – the flavors penetrate deep into the pork for bacon that’s memorable.

Brining up the yum factor of basic bacon opens up a whole world of new recipe ideas. Try marinating bacon today and take your dishes to new heights of flavor!

How To Make The Best Homemade Bacon


What is the best way to season bacon?

Even though it doesn’t necessarily come with a mild flavor, bacon is a total blank canvas. With the help of some extra ingredients and spices for your bacon, you can take its original savory, salty, and smoky flavor and enhance it with things like chili powder and coffee, Sriracha, maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey.

Can you marinate cooked meat?

Remember first that meat should rest for 10-20 minutes after it finishes cooking. Letting your proteins spend that time in a marinade has several benefits. As the hot protein relaxes, it warms the marinade, bringing out max flavor, and some of the juices blend into the marinade to create an instant sauce.

Can you use marinade from raw meat?

If some of the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, reserve a portion of the marinade before putting raw meat or poultry in it. However, if the marinade used on raw meat or poultry is to be reused, make sure to let it come to a boil first to destroy any harmful bacteria.

How do you marinate Bacon?

Place the bacon in the bag one slice at a time moving the bag to cover each slice with the marinade or they will stick together and not marinate. when there isn’t enough marinade to cover any more bacon stop filling even if it’s a little more or less than 2 lbs. Place in the refrigerator, turning every time you open the fridge.

How long do you marinate Bacon before cooking?

Salt the bacon for about 24 hours. Remove it from salt and pat it dry. Use the paprika to marinate the bacon. Leave it for about 15 days to cure. As soon as the bacon is marinated, cook it at low temperatures for about 6 hours. As you cook the fat will come out. Cut the cooked bacon into cubes of 2 inches/5cm.

Can You Grill Bacon?

Grilling bacon is the perfect way to enjoy our favorite crispy pork treat. While traditional bacon recipes call for oven-baking or skillet-cooking, we can take things up a level by cooking the meat over high heat and smoky flames. This easy grilled bacon recipe uses juicy thick-cut bacon slices with minimal preparation.

How do you cook bacon in a microwave?

In a small microwavable bowl, mix together the warmed honey, mustard and pepper and stir. Heat in the microwave (or add to a small saucepan) for a minute and set aside. Now, cook bacon for around 20 minutes (until fat has been rendered) and remove from oven. Pat bacon dry and brush each side with the honey mixture.

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