Makin’ bacon

baking sheet bacon 2

I have bacon on the brain, and I want your help.

I was reminded recently that bacon doesn’t always happen on top of the stove. I knew this, I think, in theory, but not in practice.

If you’re a converted baking sheet bacon maker, pardon me: I’m a little slow on the uptake. But if you’re still scooting bacon around in a pan four pieces at a time, the way I’ve always done it, and if you aren’t too attached to your container of congealed bacon grease, I have a weekend experiment for you. It saves time, and probably calories, and if you’re as sloppy a bacon maker as I am, a good deal of laundry detergent.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Fit a cooling rack into the sheet. Arrange bacon slices on the rack – yes, you can cook, lordy lordy, a whole pound at once, if the bacon’s sliced thick! Slide the sheet into the oven and heat to 400 degrees. When the oven tells you it’s preheated, start checking the bacon – it should be done about five minutes after the oven reaches 400 degrees.

The beauty of the thing is that you can just let the grease cool right on the foil, then fold it up like it never happened. There’s the argument for not wasting the foil, but I think this technique reduces the number of paper towels you need, so perhaps the waste discussion is a moot point.

You can cook the bacon plain, of course, but baking bacon opens the door on bacon as substrate. I drizzled ours with maple syrup and sprinkled it with a good dose of chili powder before popping it into the oven, and it disappeared with greedy reviews.

But Oh! the places you’ll go! I’m envisioning smearing it with mustard and drizzling it with honey, or coating it with my own cracked black pepper. . .

What else have you done with baking sheet bacon?

16 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, pork, recipe

16 responses to “Makin’ bacon

  1. I just learned the baking sheet trick and maple syrup is the best! I can think of a few things that might be just as yummy.. how about apple butter? or a good bar-b-q sauce? or teriyaki?

    Ok, now I got to go cook up that slab of bacon in my fridge.

  2. SAWII

    Sprinkle with brown sugar or cinnamon sugar for extra yumminess.

  3. What a great idea for making bacon, especially in large batches. I definitely agree that the foil usage is totally worth it.

  4. Della

    Does the bacon grease splatters around the oven?

  5. Roxanne

    You can dump the leftover grease in your biodiesel barrel and use it for a hog Hummer, pork Porsche or bacon Beamer.

  6. You make bacon by curing pork belly. If you want the exotic flavors try curing your pork belly with them before frying the resulting bacon.

    Bacon is fried and comes from a pig. It is not baked or microwaved, nor does it come from either a turkey or a steer.

    Bacon will taste best if fried in the nude.

  7. I love cooking bacon in the oven. I’m a recent convert and I don’t know why we waited this long to try it. And yes, all the tasty add-ons are great and so easy to do. I like sprinkling it with brown sugar–it’s like bacon candy.

  8. Ooh, you guys are great – barbecue sauce sounds amazing, and as a rule, I don’t even like the stuff. And SAW, I never would have thought of cinnamon!

    Della, I haven’t noticed that the bacon splatters around the oven at all – anyone else?

    Julie, I’m going brown sugar and cinnamon next time, i think …

  9. KD

    I tried the oven to cook gobs of bacon last night for the bacon cheddar cheese burgers my husband requested for our Fathers’ Day feast. It worked GREAT, although it did take 20 minutes, not 5 after the temp reached 400 in my oven. Maybe because I had 2 pans in the oven so the air didn’t circulate as well?

    Anyway, thanks for the tip. The bacon turned out perfect for the burgers.

  10. Oooh, KD, sorry if that threw your timing off – must depend on the oven, of course. Mine takes forever to heat up. But two pans might have changed it, as well. Glad it worked out in the end!

  11. I used to bake full sheet trays of MUCH bacon at a restaurant job. BLT with arugula for the L and aioli, (I think) for the mayo…Tomcat bakery bread.

    I don’t bake full sheet trays any longer, but I never went back to the stove top…

    I have a little clipping from the NYT where they cooked bacon with sugar and tossed the nuggest in with spiced nuts…I love the sound of it, but the reality is: I don’t like cold bacon. Ever…and that would have to cool down if it was sitting with the nut mix…And I wonder about the shelf life of cooked bacon. I’m not into eating any meat after it’s been out of the oven too long…

    I’m thinking way too much about bacon.

    b

  12. I have never tried or heard of cooking bacon on a drying rack. Now that is a great idea. I wonder if I’ll even need to blot them with a paper towel?

  13. dinnerwithjulie

    This is exactly how I make it, sprinkled with brown sugar (or maple sugar) and black pepper. Bacon candy.

  14. Pingback: Fantasy Vinaigrette « hogwash

  15. Very nice information…the World needs more Bacon info! Thanks for this🙂

  16. I’ve cooked it in the oven, and in the microwave (on a plastic device made for that, which hangs the bacon and catches the grease below it). One of my new favorites is grilling bacon, especially right after burgers or steaks. It only takes a couple of minutes. I use turkey bacon for this, which is healthier, and grilling it imparts a lot of flavor so you don’t think so much about it being turkey bacon.

    On my blog, there have been several “Buffet o’ Bacon” outings, where it was like Iron Chef except the main ingredient had to be bacon. That’s always a good time!

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