Okay, after much searching and trying different methods, I’ve decided that when dealing with nice, thick-cut bacon, the best option for cooking includes the oven. Sure I can cook it on the stove top like everyone else, but inevitably I’ll end up with one or two “batches” that are overdone, it takes forever, b/c few pans have the size to make the whole pound at once, and I have to deal with splatters and burns if I’m not careful.
In our house, it’s an ironic twist that I can make bacon in a pan, and dh can make bacon in the microwave, but neither one of us can properly cook bacon using the other’s method. I just can’t microwave bacon properly to save my soul, and dh would burn the house down trying to make bacon the old-fashioned way.
Amazingly, though, I think anyone could make bacon in the oven, if the slices are thick enough. I’ve tried it with thin-sliced bacon and it’s a lot harder to get cooked evenly, so that’s why I recommend baking for the thick-cuts. Another absolutely fabulous thing about baking your bacon is that you can bake it while you are making pancakes, eggs, and hash browns, too! It’s great for those holiday breakfasts or mornings where you don’t want to spend all morning slaving over a hot stove-like when you have guests in town! And if you are totally tired of watching your beautiful bacon strips shrivel into niblets of nothingness and a whole lotta grease, then this is definitely the method for you. Because of the slow-cooking method, you don’t lose nearly as much of the bacon to grease, which leaves you with more luscious bacon-y goodness on your plate!
So, without further ado, let’s get to bakin’ some bacon!
Start with a thick-cut bacon, I prefer applewood smoked bacon for it’s subtle apple flavor. It goes great with most breakfast applications, and adds a little something to appetizers and dinners utilizing bacon!
Next, you need to prep your pan for the bacon. In this case, I’m using my largest jelly roll pan/cookie sheet with sides. I’ve chosen to cover it with foil, b/c doing so makes cleanup fast and easy. All you do is pour the bacon grease into a can or jar (for use later in green beans or other vegetables to add flavor) from the corner of the pan, slip off the cooled foil into the trash, and throw the pan in the dishwasher-no muss, no fuss.
Second, you are going to place the bacon in the pan, lining it up as close as possible to the next slice-without letting the pieces overlap, as that would make for uneven browning.
The next step is simple: Put the pan of bacon in the COLD oven (no preheating, here, folks-another time saver), and turn the oven on to 400 degrees. “Walk away, just walk away” in the immortal words of our favorite chef, Alton Brown. Okay, you can set your timer for 16 minutes, just to check it, but then walk away. The bacon, depending on thickness, should take anywhere from 17 to 20 minutes…possibly longer for super thick cuts, but 20 usually does it. If you are trying this with thin bacon (despite my loving warnings), then you want to start checking it at 10 minutes, just in case.
This is approximately what your bacon should look like when it is finished baking. I like to drain my bacon, so I just throw it on a paper-towel lined plate, and serve. If it’s for company, it might make it to a pretty platter, but really, bacon doesn’t need fancy dishes-bacon rocks all by itself!
So the next time you burn a batch of bacon or need to make bacon, but just don’t have time to stand there flipping it, try this method of bakin’ your bacon, and I’ll bet you’ll be impressed with the results!