There’ll be no tandem post this week. To tide you over ’til next week, let’s talk about bacon. BACOOOOOOOOOOON.
Until we had our first pigs processed, I was never a fan of bacon. I mean, I’d eat a piece now and then, but if given the choice, I always preferred sausage. Preferably in the form of links. Also, I thought that I preferred my bacon on the chewier side rather than on the crisp side.
I KNEW NOTHING, JON SNOW.
We had our first pigs processed, and we got all these packs of bacon. And I was like “What the what am I supposed to do with THIS SHIT? Are we supposed to CURE this shit? I DON’T EVEN LIIIIIIKE BACON, WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” (Jesus, what a whiny bitch.)
And then Fred was all “Well, the guy said that uncured bacon is THE BOMB, just cook it like you would regular bacon, and let’s try it!”
I was skeptical – I am ALWAYS skeptical, it should be my middle name – but I gave it a try. I fried up some bacon, and LO. It was AWESOME.
Then someone suggested that I cook it in the oven, under the broiler, and I liked that a LOT because I hate it when bacon grease spatters all over the stove top and the floor in front of the stove. I swear, I can scrub up the bacon grease with all kinds of grease-cutting cleaners, and we still go skating for weeks when we hit the spot in front of the stove.
The problem with making the bacon in the oven under the broiler is that the grease that is no longer spattering all over your stove top and floor is now splattering all over the inside of your oven. AND YOUR OVEN DOESN’T LIKE IT. I didn’t actually set off the smoke alarm while making bacon under the broiler, but it was only because I would run the ceiling fan on high and open the kitchen windows.
AND. THEN. I was browsing around on Pinterest as I am wont to do, and I saw a post someone did. I would be VERY happy to provide a link to that LIFE SAVING post, but the piece of paper I printed it out on was PEED UPON by a GODDAMN CAT, and so I have zero clue where it came from. If it was yours, let me know and I’ll credit you! (I did do an “oven bacon” search on Pinterest, and found 75 zillion posts, so apparently I’m the only one in the entire world who didn’t know about this method of making bacon.)
I’ve been making bacon this way for a couple of months now, and I consistently get the BEST BACON EVER this way. The bacon in these pictures is actually store-bought bacon (I needed to make it for an upcoming recipe), because that’s when I thought to take pictures, so that’s what you get.
Ready? Here we go!
Get out a cookie sheet, and cover it with tinfoil (this makes for easier clean up. If you prefer not to use tinfoil because you’re an earth-hugging hippie, then you go right ahead and skip this step. SOMEONE has to look out for Mother Earth, don’t they?)
Put a cooling rack or whatever kind of wire rack you have, on top of the tinfoil. If you don’t have a rack, it’s no problem – I just like to use a rack because it keeps the bacon out of the grease, and you don’t have to worry about blotting the grease off the bacon. (Bacon with grease blotted or drained off is actually a health food. IT IS KNOWN.)
If you use a rack, it might behoove you to lightly spray the rack with cooking spray. It’s not a definite necessity, but sometimes bacon will stick to the rack as it cooks, and if you don’t want to spend the rest of the day picking stuck bacon off the rack with your teeth, then this is a time-saving step.
Lay your bacon on the rack.
Did you notice that at no point have I mentioned needing to turn the oven on and let it preheat? This is because you put your pan o’ bacon in a COLD OVEN.
Let me repeat this:
PUT YOUR PAN OF BACON IN A COLD OVEN.
When your pan of bacon is in the COLD OVEN, turn the oven on to 375ºF.
Now, the time your bacon sits in that oven is going to vary. The store-bought bacon I made took 20 minutes to get to the crispy perfection I needed. The home-grown (uncured) bacon I usually make takes about 35 minutes. I recommend you check your bacon at 20 minutes, and then decide from there. If it’s nowhere near done, check it in another 10 minutes. If it’s close but not quite there, give it another 4 – 5 minutes. I cannot give you an exact time to let your bacon stay in the oven (and believe me, it’s killing me not to be able to do so, because if God wanted us to stand around the kitchen peering in the oven to see if our food is done, he wouldn’t give us SO MUCH OTHER SHIT that needs to be done RIGHT NOW. Who’s got the time for hanging around the kitchen all “Oh, is it done yet? Nope. Now? Nope. How about now? NOPE.”? I know it ain’t NONE OF US, am I right?)
This was my bacon after 20 minutes:
Note that the grease has drained away in a non-spattering way, all calmly collected in the bottom of the pan. NO smoke. NO need to turn the ceiling fan on high and open the windows and call the local fire department to let them know you’re making bacon. SO easy, SO mess-free, and SO DAMN GOOD.
(Hey, who sounds like an infomercial right now? Is it me? Send me three easy payments of $9.95 and you get a BONUS of SIX TINY KITTENS!)
I had to crumble this bacon up for my recipe, and I had a hard time not cramming it all directly into my mouth.
So there you go. Go make yourself some bacon. BLTs for dinner tonight? Scrambled eggs and bacon rolled up in a tortilla? THE WORLD IS YOUR BACON-FLAVORED OYSTER.
- Cooking spray (such as Pam)
- DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN.
- Line a cookie sheet or roasting pan with tinfoil (or not, you hippie).
- Place wire rack on top of tinfoil (rack is not strictly necessary, if you don't have one, don't sweat it, you can lay the bacon directly on the tinfoil; you just need to blot the bacon (or not) when it's done to remove some of the grease).
- Lightly spray wire rack with cooking spray.
- Lay your bacon in single slices along the wire rack (or on the tinfoil). Leave a little space between the slices of bacon so the bacon won't stick together.
- Place pan o' bacon in A COLD OVEN. Turn oven on to 375ºF.
- Depending on the thickness of your bacon, it may be done at 20 minutes, or might take as long as 35 - 40 minutes. Check the bacon at 20 minutes, and decide from there.