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My favorite way to cook bacon... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

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My favorite way to cook bacon... [Nov. 3rd, 2008|08:07 am]
John
If you want really good bacon, my opinion is the best way to cook it is this:

Take a cast iron pan (a griddle is preferable), and use low heat. It'll probably take up to half an hour to cook the bacon, so make sure you have a computer (or book, or knitting, or whatever you do to pass the time) available.

Move the bacon around so the strips all cook relatively evenly. Drain off the grease (I use a spoon) when necessary. And let it continue to cook until it's as crisp as you like.

One suggestion for those who like their bacon floppy: try at least one of the crispy strips. You may (or may not) find that it has the taste/texture you want.

Do this just right, and you'll understand why doughnuts are said to have a creamy texture when eaten just out of the fryer.

This cooking technique brought to you by a bit of disappointment over Trader Joe's applewood smoked bacon, which I decided to rush, just a bit. It *really* needs slow cooking, and burns very easily.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: anansi133
2008-11-03 04:16 pm (UTC)
One rule of thumb I've read that makes sense, is to cook bacon naked. If the grease is popping out of the pan and burning your skin, then you've got it too hot.

My favorite way to cook bacon is in a cake pan in the oven. You can cook a lot of it at once, with low heat, and minimal handling.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-11-04 12:40 am (UTC)
Nod. Plus, honestly, it's hard to get good clothing for bacon. The little pig costume I put on it was cute, but it really didn't hold up well to the griddle.

But, yes, that's what I like about this method. There's the occasional pop if I get impatient, but it usually just lets the fat render off slowly.
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2008-11-03 04:28 pm (UTC)
I actually prefer to leave the grease -- when the bacon is cooking in its own grease, it renders the fat out of the strips.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-11-04 12:41 am (UTC)
Well, I don't try to leave the pan dry; there's always a bit of a grease film to conduct the heat evenly. I just don't like it to deep-fry :-).
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[User Picture]From: essaying
2008-11-04 12:46 am (UTC)
Ah, but that's the whole point -- when it *does* deep-fry, the actual strips come out less greasy, because being surrounded by hot fat renders the fat out of them.

Try it sometime & see what you think.
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[User Picture]From: laurarey
2008-11-03 05:23 pm (UTC)
Ok....I'll have to try your method, but I still think David's way is amazing. He takes a cookie sheet with about a half inch lip around all sides and places a cake cooling rack inside of it. He then places the bacon on top of the rack, fills the cookie sheet with water, and sticks the whole thing under the broiler.

Bacon isn't dried out, stays flat, and all the excess grease drips away into the water.
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[User Picture]From: wyang
2008-11-03 09:03 pm (UTC)

Hey, that's almost how I do it.

I do almost the same thing -- using a jellyroll pan (~quarter sheet), with a wire cooling rack... however, I don't put water in the pan, and I bake (starting with a cold oven) going up to about 350 degrees, rather than using a broiler. Takes me about 25 minutes, but it's a function of how fast your oven is....

Rendering the fat approach is good, but I prefer it baked because it's much lighter and less fatty (especially if you blot the bacon with a paper towel before serving like I do ;-).
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[User Picture]From: laurarey
2008-11-03 09:06 pm (UTC)

Re: Hey, that's almost how I do it.

The water keeps the grease from smoking. :)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-11-04 12:42 am (UTC)
I've done bacon in a baking pan before; this sounds like an interesting thing to try as well. It might be faster.
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[User Picture]From: malaechi
2008-11-03 08:24 pm (UTC)
If you were still in town I'd tell you to go to Thurn's on Greenlawn.. cut and smoked fresh weekly on site.. and only $4.29/lb.... nummy
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-11-04 12:43 am (UTC)
Hm. Yet another reason to try to find my way back to the mid-west sometime :-).
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[User Picture]From: malaechi
2008-11-04 01:57 am (UTC)
122 yr old German sausage shop FTW....
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[User Picture]From: firecat
2008-11-03 11:06 pm (UTC)
Mmmmm, crispy bacon.
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[User Picture]From: kshandra
2009-03-09 04:29 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I found this post again; I've got half a package of bacon ends with which I intend to make eleri's corn chowder. Sadly, I have no cast-iron cookware, so the oven method is in my immediate future.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-03-11 04:58 pm (UTC)
I've found I can do it on aluminum, but it has to be a still-lower temperature.

I've fallen in love with cast iron because I hate the thought of throwing out good metal, but I don't think you can recycle teflon-coated pans.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2009-03-11 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, and, obviously: eventually, all teflon coated pans get scratched up, so they have to be thrown out or recycled.
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