Baked Bacon

Bacon is notoriously hard to cook. There's a just-so temperature and just-so cooking time that will get the strips to the just-so crispiness. Too crisp or too chewy, and the bacon is very undesirable. I've gotten it right a few times, but I've also managed to get it wrong.

Last night, I tried a different strategy.

While pulling the bacon out of the freezer, I noticed it had instructions for stovetop, microwave, and oven preparation. Oven? That was new to me. Here's what I did:
Baked Bacon
- Desired number of strips of bacon
- Rimmed baking sheet or pan, big enough to lay the strips out without touching

  • Preheat the oven to 400.
  • Lay the strips of bacon on the pan such that they aren't touching (They'll stick together!)
  • Bake for 15 minutes. There's no need for turning during cooking.
  • Remove from pan onto plate with paper towels to drain.

Make sure to use a cookie sheet or pan with sides- the bacon grease collects in the pan, and I think the results would be really bad if it dripped onto the hot heating element on the bottom of the oven.

Why I liked this method:
  • It was hands-off. When preparing a "breakfast meal" (which I do for dinner every week or two) The eggs need to be scrambled, the hashbrowns need to be turned, and the bacon needs to be watched closely to get it "just so". I only can do one thing at once, so the multitasking-to-serve-everything-hot is sometimes hard with this meal.
  • The results were consistent. All the pieces of bacon were the same crispiness- none had burned or, worse- chewy- parts
  • I only have 2 frying pans, so, with hash browns, eggs & bacon all needing one, the timing of the meal is hard to coordinate. I really hate cold eggs.
  • The 15-minute cooking time was about the same time as it took to prepare the hashbrowns, so everything was served hot.
  • No hot bacon grease to splatter all over the kitchen.
I'll try this method a few more times, and it may become my bacon-frying method of choice. The first try went very well!


Teachin' this mommy new tricks! said...

Yummy sounds good.I really need to start cooking more!

Scribbit said...

My mom used to do this--too bad my oven broke this week. Darn it.

It's funny how much I rely on it--I notice it all the more when I don't have it working.

Alisse Goldsmith said...

i've never heard of cooking bacon this way, sounds like a good idea. my dad, "the chef" always cooks bacon in the microwave. i am not sure if this is because of the undesirable grease that comes from stove top, or because it is easier, but i tend to love bacon this way. it almost always gets the desired crispiness.

Beth @ The Natural Mommy said...

I am so trying this next time! You should post it as a Works For Me Wednesday - because I'm sure there are at least DOZENS more like me who need to hear this. :-P

Lisa said...

I find cooking bacon is reasonably easy on a gas stove. It's harder on electric & takes FOREVER.

My spouse, who is a reasonably good cook too, thinks I have some esoteric talent to cook bacon and have it turn out every time.

Not really too esoteric, I just stand there & turn it. Since I cook any potatoes or eggs in the bacon fat afterward, there is no multitasking. I like doing it that way because if I am hungry (and when am I not??), I can eat some bacon while cooking everything else.

I'll be your lone dissenter & say that I have cooked it in the oven before.. I like it pretty crispy & tend to burn it if I do it that way! Same in the microwave, which makes it too chewy ... to each his or her own.

Joanna said...

scribbit- Don't know what I'd do with a broken oven. Have a lot of spaghetti, I suppose. I was at a loss last week when our pipes froze- what was I to try to cook without any water?

Alisse- If the chef cooks it in the microwave, it should be good enough for me. As Lisa said, every time I've tried it, it's been chewy, which I can't stand.

Lisa- Josh, as well, thinks its some magic talent to be able to cook bacon on the stovetop at all. Yes, it takes forever on electric stoves. I didn't know it was different on gas.

Amy said...

I found this same method in the Joy of Cooking and I have done this ever since I read that. It is so much easier to clean up and makes making big batches go so much faster. They called it, "Oven Fried Bacon" in the recipes.

Great tip!