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Kings Island Amusement Park Giant Pretzel, Bacon Jam and Beer Cheese Recipe

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Try out this recipe from Chef Major's Kitchen: Miami River Brewhouse's "That's One Big Pretzel" with Bacon Jam and Beer Cheese

Chad Showalter

Director, Communications - Kings Island

Twitter: @ChadShowalter

“Any requests?”

That was the text I received after reaching out to Kings Island’s Executive Chef, James Major, when I asked him if he’d like to feature another recipe on this week’s Kings Island Blog.

“Yeah, about a thousand,” is what I wanted to say. But, instead I did what any smart man would do, and asked my wife. Without hesitation she said, “Bacon Jam and Beer Cheese!” 

If you’ve never had the experience of eating at Kings Island’s new (in 2019) restaurant, Miami River Brewhouse, you need to stop by this season and try out one of the many unique food offerings. From Rottisserie Chicken Flatbreads, to the famous BBLT (so much bacon you need two B’s!) or the vegetarian Impossible Burger – there’s something for everyone. Throw in some air conditioning on a hot summer day along with your favorite local craft beer, and that sounds like a pretty good time to me.

Try out the recipe below and reply to this post with your pictures! We want to see them! Check out my results below the recipe.

Chef’s German Pretzels


  • 4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup    granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • Poaching Liquid
  • ½ cup    baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ¼ cup pretzel or Kosher salt, for topping

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1 1/4 cup warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, or electric mixer, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the butter and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.

4. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water; set aside.

5. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape see this YouTube Video for a reference.

6. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

7. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

8. Let Cool or Eat Warm…Enjoy!

Bacon Jam

  • 1 package thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 one pound onion, diced
  • 5 tomatoes, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 12 oz. brewed coffee
  • 12 oz. Coca Cola 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 2 Tsp. chili powder 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

1. In a large fry pan cook bacon until crispy, remove and leave the bacon fat. 

2. Add onion and cook until translucent. 

3. Add garlic and cook for one minute, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cook down for 1 to 2 hours until most of the liquid has been reduced. 

4. Add salt & pepper to taste. 

5. Cool and transfer to air tight container. Good for one week refrigerated.

6. Warm and serve. Enjoy! 

Note from Chef: Bacon Jam is good on Pretzels and everything else! Burgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, mac & cheese, the list goes on! 

Beer Cheese 

  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic 
  • 12 oz. beer (your favorite) preferably lager at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. block cheddar (DO NOT BUY ALREADY GRATED)
  • 4 oz. Munster cheese (DO NOT BUY ALREADY GRATED)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in sauce pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. 

2. Whisk in garlic, beer and mustard and combine. Stir until mixture simmers and thickens. 

3. Add heavy cream. Remove from heat and add cheese stirring to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. 

Note from Chef: Enjoy with pretzels, on burgers, hot dogs with bread. You name it! 

The Verdict

Wow -- it’s everything I thought it might be. My favorite part was the bacon jam, and we have a lot leftover so we’ll be eating this on everything for the next week. I’m also struck by the time and care each of these recipes take. Rest assured that our cooks are cooking up something special each time you place an order at Kings Island. 

*Full DisclosureThe only problem we had was that after visiting three grocery stores to find yeast, we ended up just buying frozen soft pretzels, so the ones pictured are store bought and not the size of the enormous ones you get at Miami River Brewhouse. Next time we’ll make them!  Also, I used Guinness Beer because that’s what I had in my fridge. The type of beer you choose might affect the color of your beer cheese.

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Chad Showalter

Director, Communications - Kings Island

Twitter: @ChadShowalter

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