If its one thing that America is known for, its bacon. The aroma, the taste and the texture, this miracle elevate any dish to the next level. However, most people cook bacon wrong. They either over cook it or under cook it. Thanks to the fact that it curls up, it makes it really difficult to cook it evenly. Thankfully, the Best Way to Cook Bacon is actually hands free.
What type of Bacon
Two types of bacon dominate the market, normal and thick cut Bacon. I recommend getting the thick cut bacon. Since there is more meat, there is less chance of it drying out. It also gives you the perfect balance of crispy and chewy. The smoke flavor is also more prominent when you get thick cut bacon.
How to Cook Bacon
There are many ways to cook bacon. The goal is to turn it crispy while at the same time giving it some chew. You dont want to char it to a crisp, but leave some fat unrendered. If too much fat is unrendered, then it taste flabby and unappealing.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in cooking bacon is cooking it evenly. In a pan, they curl and parts of it gets uncooked. There are ways around this such as using a weight to keep it flat.
The real challenge to cooking bacon is to cook it evenly and render just enough fat. Below, you will find a list of the different ways to cook bacon. They all have their pros and cons, choose one that best suits you.
Oven Baked (Best Way to Cook Bacon in the Oven)
Oven Baked is the best method and quickest way to cook big batch of bacon. Since heat surrounds the bacon, you cook it from all side. Not only that, the amount of bacon you cook is only limited by the size of your oven. This is great if you have a big family.
However, its really inefficient if you only cook bacon for one. The time it takes to heat up the oven and cook is not worth the time and energy.
Nevertheless, to cook bacon in a Oven, preaheat the oven to 400 degree fahrenheit. Then pop it in. Check it once in a while to ensure that its browned to your liking. Once its done, drain the fat and soak it in water for easy clean up. Thats all you need to do.
Pan Frying (Best Way to Cook Bacon on the Stove)
Pan Frying is how most people cook bacon. It uses less energy than the oven and its fat. You can use any pan but I find that cast iron works best. Plus, you help season the pan with more fat.
To cook the bacon, place it on a Cold Pan. Do not put bacon on a hot pan. You want the fat to render while it heats up. Turn on the heat and put a burger weight on it. Using it will help keep the bacon flat.
You do not need to add any additional oil. As the pan heats up, the bacon natural fat will start lubricating it.
After a minute or two, you will start to hear it sizzle. I would give it a quick peak to see how brown it is. Once it turns to a deep hue, turn it briefly and plate it. You just want to make sure the other side is cooked.
Air Fryer Bacon
Air Fryers are populating kitchen all over the USA. Contrary to the name, it doesnt really fry food but rather bake. In my opinion, they are more effective than traditional toaster oven. The big fan circulates the hot air throughout the oven. You might wonder, why this isnt better than a traditional oven? Its because of how little space it has. In a traditional oven, you can line it across it horizontally. Where as in the air fryer, you are limited by the space. Nevertheless, the results are pretty good. Usually there is a bacon setting on most air fryer.
Best way to Cook Bacon Warpped Food
Food such as Bacon Wrapped Hotdog or Scalloped requires slightly different ways of cook. It really depends on what you wrap it with. For hot dog, using a Pan is the best way. It rolls easily and since its wrapped, you can turn to cook it evenly. Although I do recommend you use a toothpick to keep everything in place.
With Scallops, you need to use a chopstick. I recommend high heat, to quickly sear all side. If you dont, you will easily overcook the scallop. Be sure to heat up the pan smoking hot prior to putting on the pan.
For things like eggs with Bacon, the oven is the best method. You might want to use a muffin tin to keep everything intact.
Cooking Bacon without the Mess
Cooking Bacon is messy, oil splatters everywhere and the air fills with oil. When it settles, it leaves a greasy residue on the surface. Baking it in the oven is one way to contain all the grease. However, you do need to clean it out afterwards.
If you want to cook it on the stove, use a splatter guard. Splatter guards with perforation will let the bacon breath without sogging it up. You can read our article on the Best Splatter Screen Guard to help you make a choice.
There are many ways to cook bacon. The best way to cook bacon is via the oven. The heat surrounds the bacon and cook it evenly. You can also use it to cook large batch of bacon. However, this method is not effective for cooking single serve bacon. In those situation, using a pan is the next best method. However, when the bacon curls, it usually leave traces of it uncooked. Using a weight to keep the bacon flat is a good work around. I like the one offered by Lodge.