[CnD] How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven

Helen Whitehead hwhitehead at cogeco.ca
Thu Aug 31 07:41:53 EDT 2017


How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven



I think we can agree that crispy, smoky bacon is one of life's greatest 
pleasures. However, standing over a hot stove dodging sputtering bacon 
grease
is not. Here is how we can have the best of both worlds: a hands-free, 
hassle-free method for cooking perfect bacon, all in the oven.


I was a skeptic of oven-baked bacon at first. Give up cooking the long 
strips in my beloved cast iron skillet? Really? There's just something that 
feels
so nostalgic and right about cooking bacon that way - tenderly flipping and 
monitoring the progress of every slice, though yes, while nursing the 
occasional
oil-spatter burn. For a few quick slices, I still think a skillet is the way

to go; but when cooking a pound or more of bacon for a big Saturday brunch
or for a week of easy meal add-ins, I am a total oven-baked bacon convert.

For one thing, it's just so easy. There's no flipping or monitoring 
involved. You just lay the bacon on a baking sheet, stick it in the oven, 
and set
a timer. The strips of bacon bubble away in the oven (no splattering!) and 
gradually becomes the crispy, golden-hued, irresistible bacon we know and 
love.


For another thing, there's the convenience of cooking an entire batch of 
bacon in one pan and all in one go. I find that a pound of medium-thick 
bacon
fits on a single baking sheet. To cook even more (or if your bacon doesn't 
all fit on one sheet), you can cook two baking sheets at once.

Bacon cooked in the oven definitely gets crispy, but I also find that it 
retains a bit of chewiness near the middle, especially when cooking 
thick-cut
bacon. I love this, but if you love your bacon crispy through and through, 
then you might try baking it on top of a metal cooling rack set over the 
baking
sheet. Lifting the bacon up lets it cook from all sides and get even 
crispier.


Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the bacon in a single layer without 
touching.
Bake the oven in a 400°F oven. Check halfway through - the bacon should be 
starting to render its fat and become golden on the edges.
Bake the bacon until golden and as crispy as you like it, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the bacon to a paper-lined platter to drain.

How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven
What You Need

Ingredients
1 to 2 pounds bacon

Equipment
Aluminum foil
1 to 2 baking sheets
Tongs
Paper towels
Platter

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F: Turn on the oven and preheat to 400°F. Place a

rack in the lower third of the oven. If you're cooking multiple sheets of
bacon, position a second rack in the top third of the oven.
2. Arrange the bacon on a baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with foil (this 
makes clean-up easier). Lay the bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer.
The bacon can be close together, but don't let it overlap or the bacon will 
stick during cooking. If necessary, use a second baking sheet.
3. Bake the bacon: Place the baking sheet of bacon in the oven and bake 
until the bacon is deep golden-brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Exact 
baking
time will depend on the thickness of the bacon and how crispy you like it. 
Begin checking around 12 minutes to monitor how quickly the bacon is 
cooking.
The bacon fat will sputter and bubble as the bacon cooks, but shouldn't 
splatter the way it does on the stove top. Pour off the bacon grease as 
needed
so the bacon isn't totally submerged in grease.
4. Cool the bacon: Remove the bacon from the oven and use tongs to transfer 
it to a paper-lined platter to drain and finish crisping. Serve immediately.
You can also refrigerate leftover bacon for a week or freeze it for up to 
three months; warm the bacon in the microwave before serving.
5. Clean up: If you want to save the bacon grease, let it cool slightly, 
then pour it into a container and refrigerate. If you don't want to save the

grease,
let it solidify on the baking sheet, then crumple the foil around it and 
discard.

Recipe Notes
. Even Crispier Bacon: For even crispier bacon, set a metal cooling rack 
over the foil-lined baking sheet and lay the raw bacon over the cooling 
rack.
Elevating the bacon allows it to cook from all sides and become 
extra-crispy.



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