When it comes to cooking, bacon is an art form. It takes time and discipline to cook a piece just right. Not only that, but if you love bacon, chances are everyone else in your house does, too. Is there really such a thing as cooking up a few slices of bacon? When the other members of your household smell it, you will be cooking more and more. Why not just skip a step and cook more of it in the beginning?
Frying bacon in a pan can be a long and difficult process. It also might not be the most rewarding endeavor. After all, most skillets are hardly big enough to lay several long strips of bacon out flat. The result is folded-over bacon that does not cook evenly all the way down the piece. This can all be quite frustrating, but fear not: there is an easier way.
Bake your bacon! This solution is so simple, you’ll wonder why you never thought of it before. An oven dish can be much more spacious than a stovetop skillet can, so you’ll have more space for your bacon to lay out flat. This way, there will be no bubbles or folds in your crispy strip.
Another advantage to oven-baked bacon is the fact that the heat is spread evenly throughout the area. According to Adam Sappington, “the bacon cooks more evenly without the hot spots which can occur in a skillet.” This means that the entire strip will be flat and crispy.
Adam and his wife, Jackie, are co-owners of The Country Cat restaurant and co-authors of Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from Portland’s The Country Cat. They are both chefs in the restaurant, so they are familiar with having to cook bacon in bulk.
For Adam, the flavorings are what make the biggest difference. He is weary of ingredients like corn syrup and liquid smoke because they affect the flavor and quality of the product. Instead, Adam prefers bacon that has been cured with salt, sugar, and spice. In his opinion, the bacon tastes best when it has been cured for at least five days.
In order to make the bacon, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, selecting a baking dish with edges on all sides. Line the flat surface with parchment paper to keep the bacon from sticking to the dish. Lay each strip down longways. It might be touching the other pieces, depending on how much bacon you are cooking, but the pieces of bacon should not overlap. This will prevent them from cooking properly.
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The next step is the baking. You can make it as crisp as you want. Jessie Kissinger explains that “for bacon that is set and partially crisp, but not too crisp, [it should be cooked for] approximately 7 minutes.” How crunchy you make it is all up to you.
Bacon is delicious, and cooking it doesn’t have to be difficult. Use a baking dish, and you will be on your way to the perfect strip of goodness.
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