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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 September 28, 2020

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

              At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

              Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

              One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

              When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

              So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

              Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

              This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

              Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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              When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

              Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

              One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

              Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

              An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

              When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

              Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

              Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

              We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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              By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

              Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

              While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

              I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

              You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

              Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

              When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

              Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

              Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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              Con #2: Less Human Interaction

              One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

              Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

              Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

              This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

              While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

              Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

              Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

              This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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              For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

              Con #4: Unique Distractions

              Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

              For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

              To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

              Final Thoughts

              Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

              We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

              More About Working From Home

              Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

              Reference

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