Written by adam on Jan 12, 2007
How To Cook Bacon
Show me a person that doesn't like bacon, and I'll show them a firing squad. The problem with bacon is a matter of family. We usually cook bacon the way our mothers taught us, and sometimes that can lead people astray. Some folks would have you believe that the best way to do bacon is in the oven. They say that it's better for you, and you don't get the bacon all curled up with burnt middles and raw, fatty ends.
While that may be true, it certainly doesn't fill the house with that wonderful smell that could wake the worst of hangovers. Let's face it: this is bacon, not salad. Whether you cook it in a skillet, George Foreman grill, or bake it in the oven, it is a mostly fatty piece of meat from the belly of the pig. You're not doing yourself that many favors by baking bacon.
My bacon is almost always done in a cast-iron skillet. This is a phenomenon that I cannot explain, other than that's how it's done in the family. The cast-iron skillet is a southern tradition that just lends itself to good quality bacon cooking. From a technical standpoint, the use of cast iron just make sense when cooking bacon. The iron holds onto heat really well, and tends to cook evenly when you get it going. The advantage of cooking bacon in your cast-iron skillet is that the skillet gets "seasoned" every time you do it. And let's not forget that cooking in an iron skillet leeches iron out of the skillet. Believe it or not, this is good for your body, especially for those of you who are pregnant.
Avoiding the curl
1. Put your cast-iron skillet over medium heat and let it warm up all the way. Really let it get hot, because we are going to crank the heat down the second that first piece of bacon hits the metal.
2. Add a little bit of oil to the skillet to make sure the first slices don't stick. Place about 5 slices to the skillet and crank the heat down to medium-low. The cast-iron's ability to retain heat means that you don't have to keep the stove's temperature up so high. And while the bacon fat renders off, the rendered fat will help cook bacon in the skillet.
3. Flip every couple of minutes. I'm a big flipper fan. I prefer to flip often so the bacon doesn't burn. If the heat is too high turn down slightly. Keep flipping until the bacon is done all the way through, and dark brown on both sides. This kind of quality comes with years of perfecting the bacon-cooking procedure. But my general goal for the bacon is to get it slightly chewy and almost crisp with no raw ends.
Responses to "How To Cook Bacon" ...
Pork Fat Rules!
I loves me some thick sliced peppercorn bacon. But don't give me any of the articial flavored maple stuff. Stinks up the house.
After you've cooked the bacon and you've got all that good pork fat, you're ready to cook a couple of nice greasy over-easy eggs. Add a cathead biscuit and you've got a litle slice of L.A. (lower Alabama).
I made bacon once in the oven, only because it was to make brown sugar bacon. Add a little brown sugar, throw it in the oven, voila. It was truly some of the best tasting stuff I've ever had.
I won't admit that I ate the whole package or anything. nono. I'd never do that. :)
Looks delicious! But you forgot the last step; disposing of the bacon fat. I pour the fat into a small custard cup and let it cool off, then stick it in the refrigerator. Once it turns into a solid you can scoop it out of the dish and throw it away. Of course some people use it to add extra flavor to other foods. A small amount of bacon fat does wonders to refried beans. Cheers!
Bacon dripping are a great starter for many dishes.
I pour my drippings through a strainer and into a custard cup, then use the chilled fat in my "down home" recipies like cornbread and greens.
You are truly a bacon guru. Bacon does take a little patience. Especially when you like it crispy but not burnt.
Your post made me smile - and not just because it was about bacon! My parents cooked bacon like this when we were growing up. I'd forgotten about that little detail 'til I saw your post.
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Since winter of 2004, I have been exploring the world of cooking and helping out my fellow men in their quests to better themselves in the kitchen. My name is Adam Byrd, you can learn more about me and my mission on my about page. Connect with me on MySpace, ThisNext, or FoodCandy.