Who doesn’t love a crisp slice of bacon? Whether you have it for breakfast, add a slice or two to a burger, or sprinkle crumbled bacon over a salad, most people would agree that it’s a flavorful addition to many dishes. Even the smell of bacon cooking is mouth-watering. However, bacon isn’t very fun to cook in the frying pan. The grease splatters everywhere. You have to keep an eye on it to make sure it cooks evenly, and it takes forever. Not to mention, you can only put so much in a frying pan at one time to cook it evenly. Baking your bacon is a great alternative that will give you a great tasting result without all the hassle.
Choose Your Bacon
Bacon comes in so many varieties these days that it could be a hard choice. Do you want brown-sugar cured bacon? Maybe you would prefer hickory smoked. Some people prefer thicker slices while some prefer thin. Pepper-cured, country bacon is a choice that some people never make, but it makes a delicious bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. If you don’t eat pork, you can even choose a turkey-based bacon product. Whatever you choose, try to make sure that it has good, thick streaks of meat within the fat for the best result.
Preparing the Pan
For easy clean-up, line a heavy pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. If possible, use a rimmed baking dish so that the grease will accumulate in the rim and drain away from the bacon. Place the bacon on the pan in a single layer. The slices can overlap slightly so that you can get more in the pan, but don’t crowd the pan too much. An over-crowded pan of bacon will result in pieces that stick together.
Bake the Bacon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the oven rack in the center position in the oven. Put the baking pan in the oven, and wait for five to eight minutes. Turn the baking pan around so that the bacon will cook evenly. Allow the bacon to bake for five to eight more minutes. Keep an eye on the bacon to make sure that it isn’t over-cooking and that the grease does not spill over the sides of the pan. A good way to protect your oven from grease spills is to use a slightly larger pan to catch any leaks. Either set the first pan inside of the larger pan or set the larger pan on a lower rack beneath the bacon’s pan.
Drain the Bacon
Remove the pan from the oven. Place the bacon on a serving dish that has been lined with paper towels. Allow all of the excess grease to drain from the bacon before serving.
What About All That Grease
You will notice that you have a lot of grease in the baking dish. Baking grease can be discarded or can be saved for later use. If you choose to discard it, allow it to cool slightly, and pour it into the trash. A good way to make sure that you don’t make a mess is to pour it into an old plastic bottle or something else with a lid that was also going into the garbage. You should not pour it down the drain. Over time, grease build-up can do a lot of damage to your plumbing system. If you choose to store it for future use, invest in a grease pot with a strainer near the top. Bacon grease is often used to season a pot of beans or greens. Some people often swear by it as the best grease to use when frying eggs.