I remember my first Trader Joe’s experience was when I was visiting Los Angeles and a friend introduced me to the original store in Pasadena. I had never heard of Trader Joe’s before and at that point it hadn’t taken the east coast by storm yet. I was so amazed at how a supermarket can be so much fun with all their own unique products and zany names. Then it started popping up all over New York City and its metropolitan area. Before you knew it, it got so popular that the checkout line got insane and that’s when I unfortunately stopped going (I hate waiting in lines).
Anyway, a few weeks ago when I went to Connecticut for a family function, I had to shop for some quick snacky foods for a motorcycle camping trip and what better place than snack heaven Trader Joe’s to stock up! I went for the usual pack curries that you can just throw into boiling water, some nutty bars, and jerky…and that’s when I saw Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky. Never had it before but, yes please!
I don’t know if it was due to a combination of riding for several hours, being hungry, and being in the middle of nowhere, but when I took my first bite of the jerky I was totally blown away by how good it was. I wouldn’t say it’s a jerky, but more like a chewy sticky bacon.
So of course me being myself, instead of driving several hours to the nearest Trader Joe’s to stock up again, I decided to make a copycat recipe so I can keep making it at my own convenience.
The only ingredient here that is processed of course is the sriracha sauce. As you know, I don’t like using processed ingredients but when it comes to sriracha, I accept no imitations. I know there are recipes out there for making the stuff, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. Maybe one of these days.
I hope you enjoy my recipe! Happy cooking and happy bacon snacking!
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Amy’s Sriracha Bacon Jerky
A Trader Joe’s Sweet Sriracha Uncured Bacon Jerky copycat recipe
- 1 lb. thick-sliced bacon (about a dozen slices)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
Set the oven racks in the middle and set the oven temperature to warm (see note).
Mix all the ingredients other than the bacon in a bowl.
Dip the bacon in the mixture and wipe off excess back into the bowl so it is not too sauced up.
Lay dipped bacon on a cooling rack placed on a baking sheet.
Place in the oven. After about 2 hours, flip and cook for another 1 or 2 hours or whenever it looks done (the fatty part should be kind of translucent). Then turn off the oven and leave it in there until cooled.
My oven is old and does not have exact temperature readings (you turn a knob to where you think it is and hope for the best). I set it to the middle of the “warm” block which I estimate is around 100°F. It took about 3 and a half hours for it to finish. The results were pretty close to the Trader Joe’s product which was not exactly dry but a little chewy. I tried another time at around 150°F but it finished in about 2 hours. The texture was a little more dry and somewhat stiffer. If you like that, then that’s fine too! So, the temperature will depend on what texture you want. If you swear by your dehydrator, then use that.