Saturday, February 16, 2013

How to... cook bacon in the oven


I love bacon but hate the mess and spattering grease (ouch!). In addition, I hate the lingering smell of bacon wafting through the house- I feel like our living smells like a grease pit for an entire day.

I've tried various recipes/how-to's to cook bacon in the oven but either my bacon didn't crisp enough or it was too burnt. I finally (finally!) found a happy medium- not only does the bacon smell get contained within the oven, there is no potential for splattering grease (less mess, less risk or burning your arms/fingers), and it's so much easier than standing on top of your stovetop watching it cook.

Let's go! (Don't let the bacon grease go to waste- here is my post on how to save bacon grease.)

Directions for regular bacon:
  1. Line a shallow-rimmed baking pan with foil. (This will make cleanup easier.)
  2. Arrange the bacon on the pan, side-by-side, being sure not to overlap the pieces. (In fact, leave a little space between the bacon slices so they have room to brown and crisp.)
  3. Place the bacon in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. (Don't preheat the oven- it must be cold when the bacon goes in.)
  4. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until desired crispiness. When the larger bubbles have subsided and there are smaller bubbles appear on the bacon, you know it's done. (I cooked my regular- non thick- bacon for 16-17 minutes and it was perfect.... but take it out as soon as the bacon is golden brown but not excessively crisp. Keep an eye on the bacon in the final few minutes of cooking so it doesn't burn.)
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate right away (to absorb bacon grease and to prevent the hot pan from continuing to cook the bacon), and allow the bacon fat to cool down. (I eventually pour my bacon grease to another container to save for later uses.)
Smaller bubbles on the bacon = They're done and ready to come out of the oven!
Directions for thick-cut bacon:
  1. Line a shallow-rimmed baking pan with foil.
  2. Arrange the bacon on the pan, side-by-side, being sure not to overlap the pieces. (In fact, leave a little space between the bacon slices so they have room to brown and crisp.)
  3. Place the bacon in the cold oven. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees. (Don't preheat the oven!)
  4. Bake for 10 minutes; then flip them over with tongs, and bake an additional 12-17 minutes until desired crispiness. (I bake it for an additional 13 minutes.)
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate (to absorb bacon grease), and allow the bacon fat to cool down. (I eventually pour my bacon grease to another container to save for later uses.)
Source: Adapted from Food.com and The Kitchn


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