Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baking Your Bacon

Let's get something clear right away: If you're reading this blog, I care about you. Or at the very least, I care about your eating habits.

And it's because I care that I am bringing you this public service announcement:

Please. Please, stop cooking your bacon in the skillet. 

Meet your bacon's new best friend.

You know how this ends, anyway. You heat up your skillet (or maybe you don't, because you're just in the know like that) and you toss your precious strips of meat-candy onto it, and - disaster. The bacon immediately curls up and hisses at you like a rabid weasel. If you had already gotten dressed for the day, you're risking getting bacon grease spat at you. Even if you do escape the petulant grease missiles, you've got unevenly cooked bacon, a stovetop covered in grease splats (am I the only one who is bothered by this?), an apartment filled with bacon smoke, and a pan that is going to be a pain to clean. 

And- I don't know about you, but I don't have just bacon for breakfast. It's a companion to my Breakfast Blooms, my Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte or some scrambled eggs or toast. It's also cooked during a time when I'm doing twenty other things. Simply put, I don't have the time or the patience to babysit a skillet that should be capable of taking care of itself.

I submit that there is a better way.

Bake your bacon.

It's even easier than it sounds. 

Baked Bacon

1. Preheat the oven to 400F

2. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil

3. Place the bacon strips on the pan (close to one another, but not touching)

4. Place the pan in the oven

5. Forget about that bacon for at least 15 minutes while you rush around the house with a toothbrush in your mouth and one high heel on.

6. ??????

7. Profit.

Look at your lovely, lovely profits. Wall Street should run on bacon.

The result of baking your bacon in the oven is beautiful, crispy, not-burned, evenly cooked, straight as an arrow bacon strips. Your stove top will not be spattered, your clothes will not be grease speckled, your house will smell like bacon without the accompanying smoke, and (most importantly) the clean up is ridiculously easy. 

I like to put my bacon on a plate covered in paper towel to get the extra grease off. Turn off your oven, set the pan where it can cool, and let your bacon drip off. The beauty of this method is that you are completely hands-off with the bacon, and can cook whatever else you would like in the mean time. I usually set the timer for ten minutes and make a Breakfast Bloom or a fancy cup of coffee in the last five minutes. Depending on how thick your bacon is (or how thin) you may want to adjust your cook time. The shortest amount of time I ever left my bacon on was 12 minutes, but I like my bacon crispy. If you don't like your bacon crispy, I'm judging you, but I'll also let you know that you should start checking on it after about 10 minutes instead of 15.

The clean up can happen right then and there as your bacon drips, although I prefer to wait until the pan has cooled. Once the pan cools, the bacon grease will solidify a bit, allowing you to gather up the aluminum foil, wrap it over itself, and chunk it right in the trashcan. If you prefer to save your bacon grease, simply wait until the foil is cooled, then drain it into a suitable container. Whatever you choose to do with the bacon grease, your pan should be clean and the aluminum foil may be discarded.

Enjoy all that extra time on your hands! ...And, of course, all that bacon.

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