Everyone loves bacon, but few of us know how to cook it properly. Read on to learn some very valuable tips for preparing this delicious meat
1. Cooking in the Microwave
Sometimes we do not have 20 minutes to cook our bacon and we need to do it quickly. There are all kinds of bacon racks out there these days for your microwave, and most of them use a runoff system to drain away the extra grease when you are cooking.
However, you do not need this for really good microwave bacon: place three paper towel layers on a plate and lay your strips side by side. Cover this with another paper towel. To cook it, one minute per slice is usually the way to go, but every microwave is different, so watch the bacon as it cooks to ensure you do not overdo it.
2. Cooking in the Skillet
Most people like to fry bacon in a skillet in its own grease. There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but you are going to want to follow a few guidelines:
- Choose a large, flat skillet and lay out the strips so they don’t overlap, as this will leave parts of the bacon uncooked, and we don’t want that!
- Cooking only 1-2 strips will cause problems because there won’t be enough grease generated to prevent burning.
- Do not—do NOT—throw cold bacon onto a hot skillet. You should set your bacon out on the counter for a few minutes before you cook it, which will allow the fat to loosen up and go back to its more natural, softer state. When you are ready to start cooking, put the bacon in a room temperature pan and put in on medium heat. This will allow your bacon to slowly absorb the heat and cook evenly; this is the best way to avoid scorching and burning bacon.
- Don’t flip too much. You do not need to do this more than one time. If you are cooking on medium heat, expect to flip your bacon after 10 minutes, but every stove is different so keep a close eye on it.
3. Oven Style Bacon
If you ever wondered how restaurants are able to serve such perfect bacon, you need wonder no more: most restaurants have to cook large quantities of bacon, so they bake it.
To do so in your kitchen, preheat the oven to 350. Lay your slices out on a cookie sheet without overlapping them, and then place them in the oven. The entire cooking process should take about 15 minutes, but of course, cooking bacon is art, not science, so it would be to your benefit to keep an eye on it.
Many bacon lovers think that cooking bacon in the oven is the best way to go—you will get very crispy, flat bacon that you will never forget!
4. Vermont Style Bacon
Frying bacon is great, but there are several ways that you can spice it up, and one way to do so is to add maple syrup to the mix. Marinating bacon in syrup might seem strange; we do not normally marinate bacon before we cook it, but let me tell you, it will give your bacon a delicious twist that you will want to try again.
To do this, you just need to put several slices into a bowl and douse them with your favorite maple syrup. We recommend that you use thinner types of syrup because this will make less of a mess when you are cooking.
Be sure that the syrup covers all sides of the bacon slices, and then put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to let it all soak in. Then you fry up the bacon in your skillet the regular way. Delicious!
Ever thought of boiling your bacon? Doesn’t quite sound right, does it? But boiling your rashers eliminates fat splattering and keeps the bacon moist.
Add your rashers to a cold frying pan or skillet making and add water making sure you’ve covered the pieces of bacon. Turn the temperature up high to get the water reaching boiling point. All you need to do it allow the water to completely boil off and once it has, turn the temperature down to a low/medium heat.
This is the stage where the bacon can crisp up nicely and evenly but without the grease splattering or the rashers drying out. Perfectly moist, browned bacon!
Tips To Cook The Perfect Rasher of Bacon
- Always add your bacon to a cold pan and then heat it up. This reduces the chances of it burning and gives the fat enough time to melt away giving you less flabby fat to deal with.
- Don’t add too many rashers to a pan. This will cause the bacon to become flabby and floppy rather than crispy.
- Opt for a cast iron skillet if possible. It allows the bacon to cook more quickly producing crispier rashers.
- If you want tender bacon pieces but don’t want to fully go for the boiling option, just try adding a little water to your pan when frying.
How To De-Grease Your Bacon
Sometimes greasy bacon can be exactly what you want but if you’re turned off by your rashers swimming in fat, there are ways of avoiding the grease fest.
If you’re cooking bacon in the oven try cooking it on an incline. This allows the fat to heat up and crisp the rashers but then drip off reducing the overall fat on the bacon.
As mentioned before, adding water to your bacon reduces the fat so once it comes to crisping it up, most of the fat has melted off.
Marinating your bacon Vermont-style in maple syrup can be delicious but what if you don’t want to spend time preparing it first?
Maple-glazing your bacon is the solution and is much quicker to do. Just cook your rashers until browned (but not crispy) drain and set aside. Mix up some maple syrup, dijon mustard and brown sugar in equal measure and using a brush, glaze your bacon on one side.
Return your browned rashers to the pan on a low heat and cook glaze-side down for 2 minutes. Turn and repeat on the other side. Keep adding glaze and turning 5-10 times until you get a nice caramel crisp. Serve immediately.
5 Easy Bacon Recipes You Need to Try At Home
1. Bacon Halloumi Bites
Make these as a snack or hors d’oeuvre at a party – either way they’re extremely easy to whip up and will be eaten pretty quickly!
- 225g block of halloumi
- 12 rashers of bacon
- Pepper to taste
Line a baking tin with foil and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Cut the halloumi up into 24 pieces and each rasher in half.
Lay the halved bacon rashers out and grind some pepper on to taste. Proceed to place one piece of halloumi on each half rasher and roll them up. Place in the baking tin and place in the oven for 18-20 mins. And voila!
2. Bacon Jam
Bacon jam makes an amazing condiment with a meal or simply spread on a piece of bread, put into sandwiches or even smothered on pancakes.
- 450g thick bacon cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 sliced onion
- 65g of brown sugar
- 235ml of beef stock
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
Place the bacon pieces into a pan on medium heat and cook for around 10-15 minutes. Add the sliced onion and fry off for a further 5 minutes until soft.
Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Pour in 1/4 of the stock, letting it simmer until reduced and thickened (usually takes around 10 minutes). Repeat this process in 3 further stages until all the stock has been used.
Put the mixture into a blender adding in the honey, paprika, and black pepper. Blend for around 30 seconds so the mixture is still chunky and not smooth. Add the butter and mix until completely melted. Let it cool and transfer to a container of choice.
3. Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Not convinced? This sweet and salty treat is worth a try!
- 1 and a half sticks of softened butter
- 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 2 and 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of corn starch
- 7 slices bacon pre-cooked crispy and roughly chopped
- 2 cups of chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. (350 degrees F.) In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add to this, the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cornstarch to create a wet mixture.
Gradually add the flour to the mixture a little at a time until everything is combined and smooth. Fold in the bacon and chocolate chips. Place the cookie dough onto a lined baking tray (the mixture should make approx. 24 cookies) and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove and place on a cooling rack and make sure to store the cookies in the fridge.
4. Bacon and Egg Cups
These are simple to make for a snack or breakfast alternative using the great combination of bacon, egg and cheese!
- 12 slices of bacon
- 12 eggs
- 113g grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease a 12 cup muffin tray and place a rasher of bacon into each mould. Crack an egg into each one and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the egg whites have fully cooked.
5. Slow Cooker Chicken with Bacon Gravy
An easy slow cooker recipe with a wonderful bacon taste running through.
- 680g boneless and skinless chicken breast
- Few grinds of pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cooked rashers of bacon
- 24g chicken gravy powder
- 350ml water
- 160ml heavy cream
Add the chicken breasts, thyme, garlic, pepper and bacon to the slow cooker. Mix the gravy powder with the 350ml of water (ignoring the measurements found on the gravy packet itself) until smooth. Pour the mixture over the chicken.
Cover and cook for 3.5 hours on the highest setting making sure not to take the lid off during this time. When the time is up, add the cream and mix into the gravy. Serve with mashed potato and vegetables.
Featured photo credit: pdoctor via pixabay.com