I bet, if you are like me, you reach for the frying pan every time you go to cook bacon. I know that is how I grew up; to the sound of sizzling bacon in a black, cast iron skillet… the fragrant aroma of salty pork goodness wafting through the house calling me to come get some.
Hey, nothing wrong at all with cooking your bacon that way. I still do sometimes. However…
My new favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven. Why? Well, there are a couple of reasons. For one, I am lazy. It is so much easier to let a baking sheet cool and then to just roll up some foil and throw it away – cleanup – done. Secondly, with the dry-cured bacon that I produce at home, I find that the bacon cooks up better, crispier and just has an overall better texture than when I pan fry it.
It is so easy. Here is what I recommend:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Take your favorite baking sheet (preferably one that is really sturdy since you will be taking it out of the oven full of hot bacon drippings) and line it with aluminum foil.
2. Place a wire rack onto the foil lined baking sheet. I use one of those racks that you use to cool cookies on when they come out of the oven. (if you don’t have a rack, you can omit this step).
3. Spread out the bacon slices in a single layer onto the rack. I like using the rack because the bacon cooks evenly, I don’t have to flip the bacon, and it keeps the bacon out of the bacon drippings.
4. Slide the sheet into the oven for about 20 minutes-ish or until the bacon is browned and crispy.
5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, place the bacon slices onto a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb access drippings.
Cleanup is easy. Throw the rack into the dishwasher. Let the bacon drippings cool completely. Then, just roll up the foil and throw it away. Done and done!
Oh Those Awesome Drippings
STOP RIGHT THERE!! Another thought is to keep those wonderful bacon drippings for more awesome recipes such as pie crust made with bacon fat. Wait, what?!! Yep, so many wonderful things you can make from those drippings.
1. Get a glass container large enough to hold the drippings. A Mason jar works great.
2. Place a wire mesh strainer on top of the jar and line it with 2 layers of paper towels.
3. While the drippings are still hot. poor the dripping through the paper towel lined strainer into the jar.
4. Put a lid on the jar and stick it into the fridge.
You now have clarified bacon drippings. Easy.