Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

It's no secret by now that I love a good recipe using bacon. I mean, bacon has it's own category in my recipe index. And it may shock you to know that we eat bacon probably 3 to 5 days a week. I think our favorite part of going paleo was that bacon was no longer viewed as a naughty food and transitioned easily and happily into an everyday dining staple. Although, there are times when I do believe we are taking advantage of this whole bacon thing. I'm pretty sure we aren't meant to eat it every single day, paleo or not. But it's just SO darn good, we can't seem to help ourselves!*

Tip number 1 if you are planning on integrating bacon into your life more (as you should, duh) - get no nitrates / nitrites added bacon. There are still nitrates / nitrites in the bacon from celery juice that is added to the bacon - but at least it's coming from a natural vegetable product. There is a lot of hub bub back and forth about nitrates / nitrites and nitrates / nitrite "free" products. Like most things, there is an argument for both sides. I'll just say that I swear by Trader Joe's Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon, it's thick cut, and simply delicious.

Now on to the good stuff - perfectly cooked bacon. This method yields delicious crispy bacon with minimal clean up. Thank goodness!  No more wiping grease off your entire stove for like ever after cooking up some bacon. Or standing as far away from the stove as you can with your arm fully extended to avoid pops of grease as you try to flip your bacon. I also really like how the pieces come out flat. Bacon in a frying pan always curls and twists and just never ends up looking as pretty as I want it to. Maybe that's just me.

So, what is this miraculous way to cook bacon, you ask? I'll tell ya  - in the oven! This method also leaves more space on your stove and more of your hands (all two of them) free to make the other parts of breakfast. Once we started cooking bacon in the oven we never went back. I seriously can't imagine cooking it any other way. This is the only way we seem to get perfect evenly cooked bacon every time. Here's the thing though, you've got to learn your oven and your bacon. Cooking times can drastically vary depending on what type of oven you have and what kind of bacon you buy. My mother in law says it takes her 40 minutes for her bacon to cook in the oven. It takes me only 18. And if I ever switch up from my usual Trader Joe's bacon I almost always burn the stuff because the cut is thinner and it cooks faster. You've basically got a one to two minute window with this cooking method to get the perfect level of doneness. Surprisingly, Adam is the best at not messing this up. He's the bacon master in our house.

So that last paragraph may have made oven cooked bacon seem a little more daunting than it really it is. Go back and read the part where I said Adam is the bacon master. I assure you it's really quite easy, I just want you to know that it's a little bit of trial and error to figure out what works for you and your oven. But once you figure it out, I swear, you will swear by oven baked bacon.

Oven Baked Bacon Method

1 package bacon
1 or 2 baking sheets
parchment paper or foil

Preheat oven to 400.

Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or foil. Place bacon in an even layer side by side on the baking sheet(s). 

Place the baking sheet(s) in the oven. I often stick the bacon in before the oven it is all the way heated up if I don't feel like waiting, it never seems to affect the time too much as long as the oven was some what heated up once I put the bacon in. The slow cooking of the bacon will help render the fat. 

This is the timing that works for me with thick cut bacon: I set the timer for 10 minutes after I stick the bacon in the oven. After 10 minutes, I remove the pan from the oven and carefully flip each piece of bacon. Then I place the bacon back in the oven for 7 to 8 more minutes. I've never had to go over 18 minutes both at my Long Beach house and at our new house. But while cooking bacon this way on vacation, my bacon took close to 30 minutes. So start watching your bacon after 15 minutes, but don't be surprised if you end up needed to cook it longer. 

*If you are concerned about our bacon consumption, it's not as bad as it seems. We often eat one slice in the morning with eggs. And we take bacon breaks and switch it up with some chicken apple sausage here and there. 

Now what to do with that delicious perfectly cooked bacon? (Well besides just eat it.) Here are two of my favorite recipes that call for already cooked bacon:

Love, Luck, and Happiness! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover