Sunday, April 17, 2011

You just thought you knew how to cook bacon

I thought bacon couldn't get any better.

I just learned a new way to cook that potently flavorful, oh-not-so-good-for-you slice of heaven that never would have occurred to me.

"What's the secret?" you ask.

Bake it.

I know what you're thinking. That's crazy talk.

My dad raised me the "right" way. You place those yummy strips of goodness in a cold pan and then turn on the heat. That prevents them from shrinking so much. Soon they'll be sizzling in their own juices, striving for just the right level of crispiness. If done properly, you are rewarded with tasty morsels for the family to fight over AND that all-important byproduct -- Bacon Grease -- which gives your scrambled eggs a flavor jolt.

The problem is that the bacon never seems to cook evenly. Some parts will be overly done and others remain flaccid, unappealing hunks of fatty meat. Then there's that whole shrinkage factor thing, but let's not go there.

Recently, I came across a short article in my Cooking Light magazine titled "Your Bacon Is Burnt & Crinkly." I kind of felt like I was at a BA meeting (Bacons Anonymous). "Hi, my name's Dorsey, and my bacon's burnt and crinkly." (Hi, Dorsey!).

Anyway, this article encourages cooks to prepare bacon the professional chef way by baking it, not by pan frying it.

Here's how:

1. Lay your bacon strips out on a wire rack that you place over a foil-lined jelly-roll pan (that's a baking sheet with sides). The wire rack allows the grease to drip down so the bacon doesn't wallow in it's own juices.

2. Pop the pan in a cold oven and turn it on to 400 degrees.

3. Bake for 20 minutes or little longer if the bacon is thick. You don't need to turn the bacon, but you might need to rotate the pan if your oven has hot spots.

What you're left with is flat, evenly cooked bacon that doesn't shrink nearly as much.

Give it a shot, you may never cook bacon the same again, but I'm warning you that you might want to cook a little extra. If your family is like mine, you can never cook enough bacon.


  1. Hi Dorsey:

    I think I can smell it now....sounds absolutely fantastic! If only I cooked....



  2. My mom was cooking bacon in the oven before I was born! She even had a specific pan we called the bacon pan!Who knew she was such a trendsetter?

  3. I've been baking my bacon for the last year, but didn't do the foil or wire rack. Great idea, I will try that next time!


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