Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oven Bacon

Eating bacon is pure pleasure.

Cooking bacon is always a messy chore. 
Grease splattered stove, counter tops and floors. 
Really is bacon worth it?  Absolutely!

I have given up the frying pan for the sheet pan when it comes to cooking bacon, which renders the bacon fat without the mess.  Simply foil line a sheet pan and lay your bacon strips on the foil and place it in a cold oven, then turn the heat on to 400 degrees.  No preheating needed.  The cold oven allows the bacon to slowly render its fat which results in long flat strips that won’t curl up.  Set your timer for 15 minutes.  The bacon will take 17 – 20 minutes to get nice and crispy (depending on the thickness).  Peek in on the bacon after about 15 minutes.  Bacon goes from almost cooked to burnt pretty quick.  When the bacon is at your desired doneness place on paper towel and dab the tops of the bacon with another paper towel.

This process not only makes perfect bacon it also leaves you with very little to clean up.  Let the bacon fat solidify on the foil then simply fold up the foil sheet and toss it in the trash.  All that is left is a fairly clean sheet pan that goes straight into the dishwasher.

I sometimes pour off the bacon fat into a glass jar to save for later.  When all you need is a touch of bacon flavor not the actual bacon.  A teaspoon of bacon fat goes a long way to flavor many dishes.  Sautéed onions and mushroom, home fries or hashed browns, fried rice, spinach salad dressing or to flavor oil when frying chicken.  The list goes on and on.

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