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How to Cook Bacon Perfectly Like a Chef

How to Cook Bacon Perfectly Like a Chef

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.

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    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!

    5. Boiling

    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

    1. 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.
    2. Don’t add too many rashers to a pan. This will cause the bacon to become flabby and floppy rather than crispy.
    3. Opt for a cast iron skillet if possible. It allows the bacon to cook more quickly producing crispier rashers.
    4. 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.

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    Maple-Glazed Bacon

    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

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        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.

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          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

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              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

              Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

              To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

              Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

              1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

              Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

              Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

              To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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              2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

              Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

              If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

              Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

              3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

              Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

              Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

              4. Feed Your Brain

              Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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              This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

              Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

              Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

              5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

              According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

              Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

              Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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              6. Write it Down

              If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

              It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

              You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

              7. Listen to Music

              Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

              8. Visual Concepts

              In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

              Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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              Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

              9. Teach Someone Else

              Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

              Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

              10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

              Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

              So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

              Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

              More About Boosting Memory

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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