Ah, bacon. What is it about bacon that makes hearts go aflutter? Even just the aroma of bacon cooking is sometimes enough to stop people in their tracks to follow the scent trail to its source. People have added bacon to just about everything you can think of, including ice cream and chocolate martinis (served in glasses rimmed with maple syrup and bacon bits, no less). Grocery shelves house bottles of bacon salt and bacon spray. Cooks stash precious jars of bacon grease in the refrigerator, and I promise you using a dollop of that instead of oil will kick up your favorite fried rice recipe a few notches.
Bacon pretty much makes almost everything better—and special. Toss it with some tomatoes and pasta and you have a super simple yet incredibly tasty Bacon Tomato Capellini, which is where the photo above comes from. (If you love bacon and pasta, you’ll definitely want to check that out.)
Since we’ve established there are endless ways to use bacon, let’s talk about cooking bacon.
What’s your favorite method or technique for cooking bacon?
For Betsy, lately it’s been on a foil-lined baking sheet (with sides, of course) in the oven. She loves not having to babysit it on the stove, and the less is mess. She says her mom microwaves it but she thinks doing it that way makes the bacon shrivel and it doesn’t get as crispy. She tried using a wire rack once but her bacon just stuck to the rack, so she likes the foil.
I do pretty much the same thing, but for a different reason. See, my husband doesn’t like the smell of bacon in the house. (Shocker, I know.) So I cook it in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet, like Betsy. (I skip the wire rack not because my bacon sticks to it but because I don’t enjoy cleaning it.) As soon as the bacon starts to sizzle and the edges look slightly crisp, I shut the oven off and let the bacon finish cooking in the residual heat. That way, when I open the oven door to retrieve the now-crisp bacon, much of the bacon smell will have dissipated inside the oven.
Nanci, on the other hand, is a stovetop kind of girl. She swears by her favorite 12-inch Griswold cast iron skillet and fries several batches of thick cut pepper bacon in one morning. Then she drains the bacon on paper towels, lets it cool, the wraps it up in clean paper towels. All that bacon goes into a bag to store in the freezer for quick microwave heating on weekday mornings. Smart!
How about you? Do you have a favorite method for cooking bacon? Or maybe a favorite bacon trick? It’s your turn to share and we’d love to hear your tips! (Or maybe you just want to profess your undying love for this marvelous piece of porky goodness. That’s okay too. We understand.)