Monday, April 16, 2012

Baked bacon

Bacon is, surely, one of God's gifts to us all. I love bacon in all forms -- fried, crumbled into salad, as a garnish on soups, in a sandwich with crisp lettuce and juicy tomato, wrapped around a filet of beef (are you sensing a little ode to Bubba in Forrest Gump here? "there's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp...") But I digress. My point is, I've never met a slice of bacon I didn't love.

That said, I am a little particular about the perfect slice of bacon. It has to be crisp, with just a bit of chew to it. Not so brittle it shatters when you chew it, but not at all limp. Just right. To achieve this perfection while frying bacon is a near-impossible task, at least for me. There is a nanosecond when the bacon is perfect, absolutely perfect. Take it out at that moment to drain on a paper towel, and it's heaven on earth. But...leave it in for just a moment longer, out of uncertainty or busyness with some other dish, and it rewards you with the overdone, overly brittle, texture of bacon that says too bad, buddy ... you had your shot at perfection and you missed it. (Yes, I think about bacon way too much.)

Anyway, enter baked bacon. It is such an exquisitely easy way to achieve perfect bacon without standing over a skillet dodging popping grease. You can easily bake it to the level of crispness you prefer. I bake mine at 275 degrees, a lower temperature than a lot of recipes call for, for a longer time. This pan of bacon was baked for almost an hour at that temperature, but this is a much thicker center-cut, so it takes a fair bit longer than thinner slices. You should probably start checking it after 20-30 minutes. And the clean-up is so much easier, especially if you use aluminum foil on your baking tray as I do.

If you have not tried baked bacon, I urge you to give it a try. It has a texture that is so much better (to me, anyway) than fried. The bacon does not curl up, stays nice and flat and beautiful, and it just tastes so much better, so much more bacon-y.

This pan of bacon is slated for BLTs and salads this week for Steve and me. I know we'll enjoy it. Let me know if you bake your bacon, and how you like it, okay?


  1. I have never tried baked bacon. Often I want it quickly and so into the microwave it goes. I'll have to give this a try.

  2. Do give it a try; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I agree the time it takes is an issue. The good thing is, you can cook a whole package and refrigerate the slices, then heat and eat as you wish. It keeps and reheats like the precooked bacon you can buy at the grocery store -- about 10-12 seconds in the microwave for a couple slices.

  3. This sounds like something I will definitely try. I love bacon and hate the popping of the grease also. I had a question, when you bake it does it make a mess in the oven like it does on top of the stove? Love your website!!!

  4. Thanks, Sherry! No, it does not make a mess in the oven. The bacon cooks slowly and does not pop at all. It actually doesn't give off as much grease as it does in the micro or skillet. If you look closely at the picture, you can see there's not that much in the bottom.

  5. I was wondering the same thing about the mess... so good to know. I usually cook bacon in the microwave, too - 1/2 to a full pack at a time. I like to cook most or all of it at once (depending on menus) to have that task behind me.

    What about smell - does the smell linger the same as when you cook on stovetop or in microwave? Not that there's anything wrong with the smell of bacon... sometimes it just doesn't smell as good later in the day!

  6. I think the smell does seem to dissipate sooner, Paula. I'm like you -- love smelling it while it's cooking, but later on ... not so much.

  7. Just pound your blog and am so enjoying it! Looking forward to catching up and back post...and I will definitely give BAKED bacon a try! Looks good and I love BLT's!


  8. Thanks so much for stopping by, Dianne. I love your blog so much. It never fails to lift my spirit. :-)


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