A Country-Fried Breakfast Tutorial

Okay, so I thought it sure would’ve been nice if someone would’ve given me a tutorial that included the basics of frying bacon and hashbrowns (two of the easiest things to mess up in my opinion), but no one did that for me, so I thought I’d do it for others.

My original goal was to include homemade from-scratch buttermilk pancakes in this tutorial, but truth be told, I got tired, so that will have to wait for another day.  In the meantime, I will take you through the rest of the breakfast.

First, we start with the bacon, because it cooks the longest (doing several batches). Good bacon starts at the grocery store. When looking for a good package of bacon, look for a solid string of meat from one to the other on most pieces. This will help you not pick those super-fatty bacon strips that shrink up to little nubbins that only slightly resemble bacon. Please don’t hesitate to look on the BACK of the package because they always put their prettiest side out front so you’ll buy it. Most bacon manufacturers either put a clear backing on their bacon or provide a little cardboard “window” that can be popped open to give you a view inside without damaging the packaging of the bacon. Make use of this, because no matter how pretty it looks on the front, if the back is all fat and no meat, your bacon will shrink terribly. Here’s an example of “good bacon”…it should look like this on both sides.

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This picture shows not only the little “windows” I spoke of, but also the tongs that I use to flip my bacon. I find tongs are much more useful than a spatula because they grab hold of the bacon and it doesn’t slip off like it does with a spatula. Any kind of tongs will work, these are just the ones I chose for today.
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Your first step is to heat your skillet. I’m using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet, so I don’t need any oil, but if your pan is prone to sticking, you may want to coat the bottom of the pan with some cooking spray for the FIRST batch only. Heat your skillet on medium heat for a couple minutes or until a droplet of water thrown at the pan sizzles a bit. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and carefully add bacon to the skillet. I’m using a 12 inch skillet and I can fit about 4 slices of bacon per batch. Why only four? Because you want to leave a little space between each piece of bacon for even heating, like this:
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You will want to fry the bacon for about 2 minutes, then use your tongs to flip each piece of bacon to the other side. Cook for 2 more minutes, and flip back to the original side. Finally, cook for about 1 more minute, and your bacon should look like this:
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It is important to note when that much grease is in your pan, it’s time to drain the grease off a little so that the popping of the bacon doesn’t get out of control and burn you. In this case, we plan on making hashbrowns, so draining the grease into my hashbrown pan works well. Others may wish to save their bacon grease in a coffee can for later use in giving green beans or other veggies more flavor.
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Our first batch of bacon:
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While putting the hashbrown pan with the grease in it on medium heat on a seperate burner, I finish up the bacon batches. I think it took me 5 batches, but I forget. Anyway, here’s the finished bacon (in the back are the semi-burnt ones that I made for myself, b/c I love burnt bacon, call me weird!) Now is a great time to throw the bacon in the oven (doesn’t have to be turned on) so that it retains its heat while working with the rest of the meal:
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Now that the oil for the hasbrowns has reached temperature (using the water droplet measurement just like with the bacon pan), I add the hashbrowns, being careful to spread them out as evenly and thinly as possible:
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Oh, and I’m just using storebought frozen potatoes, like these:
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Six minutes have passed and I check the bottom of my hashbrowns, but they aren’t browning as evenly as I’d like, so I switch them to the now-empty bacon pan, because cast iron heats more evenly than regular pans. It is very important to remember that you do NOT STIR hashbrowns. You just DON’T! The best way to “flip” hashbrowns after they have browned on one side is to cut a section of them with your spatula, scoot the spatula underneath the section, and flip. Repeat with the rest of the hashbrowns, and you’ll end up with much more evenly browned hashbrowns than if you try to stir them. Anyway, as you can see from this photo, the browning wasn’t even, so as I said, I switched to the better pan:
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I cooked for another 6 minutes on the second side, then flipped one last time to get as even of a brownness as I could, cooking them for another 2 minutes on the first side. Here the hashbrowns are in their serving bowl. Not perfect, but certainly not burnt or mushy either:
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And finally, after the hashbrowns are done and have been added to the oven with the bacon, I make the eggs. I still haven’t mastered these as well as I’d like, but I’ll show you what they look like frying, anyway. Yes, the ones in the back-over easy are peppered (for me) and the ones in the front are for hubby, so no pepper and a broken yolk, b/c he doesn’t like runny eggs, lol.
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And as a bonus, I thought I’d show you my Autumn tablescape:
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Published in: on September 26, 2007 at 6:57 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh yay! I found it! I will be doing this for sure too!
    I need to get some tongs for flipping the bacon. And maybe some better quality bacon!:)

  2. I really do suggest the tongs, they make all the difference for me. Another cool gadget is a bacon press (basically a weighted glass square with a handle on it that you put on top of your bacon while it’s frying so that it stays flat instead of curling. I want one-it’s on my wish list, but you can certainly make good bacon without one!

  3. Where can I get a square glass bacon press.
    Been looking forever – since I dropped and broke mine.


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