Crispy bacon bits are a versatile and flavorful addition to SO many dishes, from salads to baked potatoes to appetizers and beyond.
Compared to many store-bought bacon bits, these homemade bacon morsels offer the best taste, quality, and CRUNCH!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making this real bacon bits recipe step by step, along with essential equipment, pro tips, storage options, uses, and a detailed recipe to help you elevate your culinary creations with the amazing flavor of BACON!
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If you love bacon bits, be sure to check out our Bacon Lardons recipe, too!
Why You’ll Love Homemade Bacon Bits
Fresh and Crunchy: Homemade bacon bits are freshly cooked, offering a superior taste and texture compared to pre-packaged commercial bacon bits that may have been sitting on the shelf for a while.
Have Them Your Way: You can use smoked, unsmoked or flavored bacon depending on your taste preferences, and cured or uncured bacon.
Versatile: DIY bacon bits are a great way to add delicious smoky bacon flavor to so many dishes, from scrambled eggs to a baked potato to popcorn!
Low in carbs: Delicious bacon bits and bacon crumbles are naturally Keto friendly, low carb and gluten free.
What is the best bacon for making bacon bits?
Crispy Bacon Bits: If you want your bacon bits to be extra crispy, you’ll want to use regular sliced bacon (not thick sliced).
We especially like center cut bacon for making crispy bits, because it has more lean bacon which cooks up extra crunchy.
Chewy Bacon Bits: Thick sliced bacon is great for chewy bacon bits. Thick-cut bacon strips will cook up golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside.
To make crispy bacon bits, the main piece of equipment you’ll need is a large skillet. (Read about our the best frying pan for bacon.)
You’ll also need:
- A spatula for cooking
- A slotted spoon for transferring
- Paper towels for draining
Check out all of our Bacon Cooking Essentials in our Amazon Store!
Step by Step Instructions
Here’s how to make your own bacon bits:
STEP 1 | Chop the bacon. Cut the bacon strips in 1/4 to 1/2 inch squares, depending on the size you want.
Pro tip: If you cut the fatty part and lean part separately, you can make sure both types are cooked evenly.
STEP 2 | Prepare to cook. Place a skillet or frying pan on the stove and add the chopped bacon pieces in a single layer. (Add the fattiest pieces a couple minutes before you add the lean pieces if you have them separated.)
Make sure the pieces don’t overlap to ensure even cooking. If you’re working with a large amount of bacon, you may need to cook it in batches.
STEP 3 | Start cooking the bacon bits. Turn the heat up to medium. Keep a close eye on the bacon as it cooks.
Use the spatula to flip the pieces regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Adjust the heat if necessary to prevent the bacon from cooking too quickly or burning.
STEP 4 | Cook to your liking. Cook the bacon until it reaches your preferred level of crispiness.
Some people prefer a slightly chewy texture, while others like their bacon bits extra crispy. The cooking time typically ranges from 5 to 10 minutes.
STEP 5 | Drain the bacon bits. Once the bacon reaches your desired level of crispiness, use a slotted spoon to transfer the small bits from the hot pan to a plate lined with paper towels. This will help absorb excess fat, making the bacon bits crunchier and less greasy.
(Note: We always strain and save bacon grease, a.k.a. ‘liquid gold’ for cooking and baking.)
STEP 6 | Serve or store. Your homemade bacon bits are now ready to be used in various dishes.
Sprinkle them over salads, baked potatoes, omelets, or any other recipes that could benefit from a burst of savory bacon flavor!
How to Make Bacon Bits in the Oven
If you prefer, you can cook bacon in the oven on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and parchment paper until extra crispy. (Visit the link above for full directions.)
Drain the golden brown strips on a paper towel-lined plate and cool for 15 minutes. Chop the bacon with a sharp knife to make bits.
Maple Bacon Bits
To make, cook a batch of our heavenly Maple Candied Bacon. Cool the strips of bacon completely and blot with paper towels to remove excess grease.
Chop the candied strips with a sharp knife to make candied bacon bits.
More Ways to Use Bacon Bits
Real bacon bits are a great addition to so many dishes. Here are some of our favorite ways to use them:
Baked Potatoes: Split and top baked potatoes with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits for a classic favorite.
Egg Dishes: Fold bacon bits into your cheese omelet, add to quiche, or sprinkle on scrambled eggs to start your morning right!
Deviled Eggs – Crispy bacon bits will take your deviled egg recipe from good to GREAT!
Soup Garnish: Sprinkle bacon bits over soups like clam chowder or potato soup for an extra layer of flavor.
Large Bacon Bits – Cut bacon in 3/4 inch to 1 inch squares before cooking for super sized bacon bits.
Smoky Bacon Bits – Brush the bacon strips with Liquid Smoke flavoring before chopping and cooking.
Savory Bacon Bits – Brush the slices of bacon with soy sauce before chopping and cooking for a savory, Asian-inspired flavor.
How to Store Bacon Bits
Make sure the bacon bits are completely drained of excess grease and cooled. Then transfer them into an airtight container or jar and store in the refrigerator.
For the best flavor, plan to use the fresh bacon bits within 3 days. To store them longer, we recommend freezing (see directions below). Frozen bacon bits will last for about 3 months.
Can You Freeze Bacon Bits?
Yes! Bacon bits freeze well, and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Here are some tips to keep your bacon bits extra fresh and delicious:
Cool Completely: Allow the homemade bacon bits to cool completely to room temperature before freezing, which will prevent condensation from forming in the container and causing freezer burn.
Portion into Batches: Depending on your needs and how you plan to use them, portion the bacon bits into smaller batches. This will make it easier to thaw and use only what you need without thawing the entire batch.
Use a Freezer-Safe Container: Select an airtight, freezer-safe container or resealable plastic freezer bags to minimize air exposure, which will keep the tasty bits fresher.
Pack and Seal: Place the portioned bacon bits into the chosen container or bag. Press down gently to remove excess air, or use a vacuum sealer for the best results. Make sure the container or bag is tightly sealed.
Label and Date: Always label the container or bag with the contents and date.
Store in the Freezer: Place the labeled and sealed container or bags in the freezer.
How many tablespoons of bacon bits in a slice of bacon?
You’ll get about 1 tablespoon of small bacon bits from a regular slice of bacon.
Pro Tips for the Crispiest Bacon Bits
Use lean bacon for the crispiest bits. The lean part of bacon cooks up crispier than the fattier part. Center cut bacon generally has a higher ratio of lean meat.
Make sure your bacon is well chilled. Bacon is easier to chop when it’s very cold. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to chop it. You can also put it in the freezer for 20 minutes, which will make it even easier to cut in neat cubes.
Cook until well browned. Browning the bacon will render more fat, giving you golden brown, crispy morsels of deliciousness.
How to Make Homemade Bacon Crumbles
Do you prefer bacon in freeform crumbles rather than in cube-shaped bits? Here’s how:
Cook bacon on the stovetop or make oven cooked bacon. Cook, turning once, until the bacon slices are very crisp. Drain the strips thoroughly on paper towels and blot to remove excess grease. Let the bacon cool and rest for about 30 minutes.
Using your hands, crumble the bacon into small pieces. Use a knife to break up any larger pieces.
How to Make Turkey Bacon Bits
To make bacon bits from turkey bacon on the stove, place strips of turkey bacon in a skillet set to medium heat. Cook the bacon, turning it regularly with tongs or a spatula, until it’s brown and crispy. This typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
When done, remove the turkey bacon from the skillet, let it cool briefly on paper towels to remove excess grease, and then finely chop it into small, uniform bits with a sharp knife.
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Printable Recipe Card
Bacon Bits Recipe
- 1 pound regular sliced bacon
- Using a sharp knife, chop the bacon in 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch squares, depending on how large you want the bits to be.
- Place a skillet or frying pan on the stove and add the chopped bacon pieces in a single layer. Make sure they don’t overlap to ensure even cooking. If you’re working with a large amount of bacon, you may need to cook it in batches.
- Turn the heat up to medium. Keep a close eye on the bacon as it cooks. Use the spatula to flip the pieces regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Adjust the heat if necessary to prevent the bacon from cooking too quickly or burning.
- Cook the bacon until it reaches your preferred level of crispiness. Some people prefer a slightly chewy texture, while others like their bacon bits extra crispy. The cooking time typically ranges from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the bacon reaches your desired level of crispiness, use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a plate lined with paper towels. This will help absorb excess grease and make the bacon bits less greasy.
- The bacon bits are now ready to add delicious flavor to a variety of dishes!
Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help.
If you post your creations on social media, tag #BENSABaconLovers so I can share! Thank you for your support. – Eliza
Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.
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