Bakin' Bacon

Someone recently asked me how I cook bacon.  I replied, “in the oven.”  This wasn’t met with surprise, and I can’t imagine that it’s much of a revelation to other bacon lovers either.

I can’t remember when I started bakin’ bacon, but I probably saw it on a cooking show.  I bet it made sense at the time, so voilà,  now I cook bacon in the oven.

You need a couple of things: a sheet pan, a baking rack and maybe some aluminum foil.  I say sheet pan and not cookie sheet because the lip on the sheet pan is extremely important in keeping the bacon fat in the pan and not on the oven floor.  Lay out the bacon, trying to keep all of the pieces separate, and put it in the oven.  If you like, you can line the bottom of the sheet pan with aluminum foil to catch the fat, as I did here.

Important note: put the bacon in a cold oven; then set it to 350.  You want to slowly raise the temperature so you can render out the fat, leaving flat, crispy, relatively fat-free bacon.  And if that last bit was true, pigs would be running scared.

I’ve tried the lay-the-bacon-out-on-a-frying-pan-and-hope-it-doesn’t-curl method.  Guess what?  It curls.  So, in an away-game situation where I don’t have a sheet pan, I just dump all the bacon in the frying pan, cook slowly, and constantly move it around.  Just completely skip the part where you try to fight the natural tendencies of proteins to shrink when heated.  You end up with crispy, curly, fatty, but tasty bacon.

Bacon is good.

That’s it.

Update:  It seems that I have erroneously sourced the origin of my bakin’ bacon.  It has been brought to my attention (by my mother) that while growing up, the only way bacon was cooked was in the oven.

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