Homemade Air Fryer Bacon Bits – Spicy Betch

Homemade Air Fryer Bacon Bits

Posted by Carrie Leigh on

air fryer bacon bits

DIY bacon bits sound easy enough, but the actual bacon bits product is a synthetic manufactured crumble that can be hard to replicate. I recently pre cooked a bunch of bacon for BLT salads but was disappointed that the refrigerated bacon leftovers (which we fried on the stovetop), were limp and not very crunchy.

I set to the internet to see if I could attempt bacon bits at home with less mess and less smoke.

Preventing Bacon from Smoking

Bacon will start to smoke at 374 degrees (science!), so whether you’re baking bacon or air frying it, keeping the temp below that smoking point will decrease the plume of bacon smoke on your house. some air fryer recipes suggested adding water to the air fryer basket to decrease smoke, which is something to try if you’re using a basket and having lots of smoke.

Easier Bacon Grease Cleanup

Compared to the stove, the air fryer is much easier to handle when it comes to cleaning up bacon grease. The grease is contained while the bacon cooks so there’s no splatter on the countertops. 

Air Fryer Bacon Bits Recipe

Cut Bacon Into Bits

The first step is the cut the bacon into small bits. Some recipes suggested freezing the bacon to make it firmer and easier to cut with a knife. I chose to use kitchen scissors and it was easy to cut the bacon into strips. I have Kitchenaid kitchen scissors that are dishwasher safe.

Season Bacon

This step is optional, as bacon on its own will taste delicious. The simplest recommended seasoning is black pepper. You can also dress up your bacon bits with something sweet like maple syrup, honey or agave, and then add a kick with cayenne pepper.

Air Fry Bacon

Arrange the bacon bits on the wire shelves of your air fryer. You can also use a basket. Either way, try not to overlap pieces of bacon. Set the air fryer to 350 degrees for 10 minutes. That's the exact amount of time it took me to get crispy bacon bites from about 7 pieces of bacon, but the timing will vary based on the volume of bacon and size of your bits.

Storage Cleanup

I wrapped my bacon bits in paper towels for about 10-15 minutes to let them degrease and cool, and then stored them in a glass container and put them in the freezer. As a salad topping, this will help them maintain their crispness.

You can dishwash the air fryer shelves. For the bottom shelf that collected the grease, you'll want to carefully lift it out (using heat protection like gloves or a silicone gripper) and dispose of the bacon fat in the trash or into a jar for future cooking.