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Let’s Talk Bacon

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Bacon!

 
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.)

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Bacon!

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.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Bacon!

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!

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Let's Talk Bacon!

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.)

 

39 Comments

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Ann B on 11.8.2013

How about just plain favorite bacon? And anyway you cook it is good? That would be Nueske’s Applewood smoked. Oh. My. Goodness. That stuff is gorgeous.
But if you really want to know about favorite way to cook it- well that would be this: Set the oven for 350; line your pan with baking parchment; bacon on the parchment and into the oven for 30 min. Superb!!!

Carol N on 10.26.2013

My SO likes his bacon crispy but not burned, so I cook it on a plate lined with a paper towel and covered with a second paper towel.
BTW, if I am going to risk clogged arteries, I will do it with the best bacon I can buy. I get that at Oscar’s Smoke House in Warrensburg, NY, just like Rachel Ray. My second choice is from Schwann’s home delivery!

Britiney @ Consider the Lilies on 10.25.2013

I hate cooking on the stove because of the grease splatters and I tried the oven but wasn’t happy with that either. I still have to deal with the grease. Last week I tried cooking it on the BBQ grill and it was FANTASTIC! I’ll never cook it in the house again. I put a tight-grid wire rack on the grates and put it right on there. It cooked pretty much like the oven but I didn’t have to clean up any grease and my house didn’t smell like bacon.

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Nanci (TK) on 10.27.2013

Wow, that 3×3 grid method is interesting. I agree, Joan, my mother and grandmother have always fried bacon in a cast iron skillet and that’s why I’ve always done it that way. But you gals have me convinced. I’m going to try the oven method next time. Thanks everyone for your great ideas!

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Nanci (TK) on 10.27.2013

Ooh, that’s a great idea. I’ve got a big cast iron (9×13 Dutch oven) so I could use that on the grill. I’ll put my hubby to work next time I need to fry a jumbo package of bacon! Thanks for the tip!