America’s Test Kitchen is a VERY educational and entertaining show. I really dig the food science and equipment reviews. Long before there was Alton Brown, there was America’s Test Kitchen breaking down the hows and whys of cooking. Of all the shows I’ve ever watched, there’s one cooking segment that I will never forget. The episode where they taught us to fry bacon in the oven.
I was changed forever. Never again would I stand over a fry pan being assaulted by popping grease. Never again would I stand for an hour cooking bacon that would be stolen off the plate faster than I could cook it and then have little to show for all my efforts. Never again would I clean a grease splattered stove top, back splash, counter tops and utensil caddies. Never again would I feel like I needed to re-shower after cooking bacon. And because of all those ‘nevers’, my family and I could enjoy eating bacon as often as we wanted.
Since then, I’ve learned to cook three pound package of bacon once a month. I store it in a good freezer container in the freezer and we enjoy it anytime in any meal.
I taught my son, when he was seven years old, how to plate the frozen bacon and reheat it in the microwave. Now, he enjoys bacon with his toast.
Now just to mention this for those healthy minded folks, I don’t always keep bacon in the freezer. When it runs out, it’s out. Bacon is a treat for us and we enjoy it so long as it lasts. This helps my family appreciate the flavor without expecting it with every breakfast. As a family of four, we have learned to use it sparingly, so it will last us until Mom is ready to bake again.
HERE’S ALL IT TAKES
Cover a cookie sheet with heavy duty foil and lay down bacon slices on ungreased foil. Slide cookie sheet on center rack in cold oven, set temperature to 400oF and bake for 17-20 minutes. There’s no flipping. Only rotate the sheet if your oven cooks unevenly. Watch bacon carefully in those last few minutes of baking, it can overcook within one minute.
GOOD TO KNOW: Bacon will appear lighter, but assuredly it will crisp up after it cools.
Rest the bacon on paper towels for a few minutes to absorb excess fat. Pour the bacon drippings into a clean heat resistant jar or container that can take the hot drippings and save for seasoning other recipes. And then reload the cookie sheet with the remaining uncooked bacon. The second batch of bacon will cook faster, so again, watch the bacon in those last few minutes.
GREATEST TIP EVER: Cook the bacon on the soft side of being fully cooked. Store cooled bacon in a freezer bag and throw in freezer for future meals. Reheat 2 slices of bacon in microwave on MED HIGH heat for 30 seconds or until warm. Cook longer when reheating more slices. You know how your microwave cooks, so adjust time as needed. Do not reheat with high power, it burns the bacon. Remember that the bacon is already fully cooked, you just want to warm it up, not cook it again.
Easy clean up is another advantage of this recipe. After storing away the bacon, toss the used paper towels onto the used foil, fold it up so it does not drip and throw away. Sometimes, I plan cooking bacon around good weather days or trash days. Why? So I can open up the windows to air out the grease smell and completely discard any greasy trash. Smelling fresh cooked bacon is good while it’s cooking, but it makes a lousy room freshener.
I dare anyone to try baking their bacon at least once.
Let me know what worked best for you. Did you sprinkle your bacon with brown sugar or cracked pepper before baking?
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