Have you tried baking your bacon yet? I’m sure by now you’ve seen a chef on Food Network do it, if you haven’t tried yourself. I remember watching the Barefoot Contessa layer it across a rack fitted into a baking sheet years ago. In one of my favorite cookbooks, Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant, she has a whole paragraph in her introduction titled “Bake Yo’ Bacon”. Let me be the first to say, I am quick to stand by the old school method of frying it up in a pan. And now that I’ve said that let me also say, you are going to love baking it in the oven.
The first time I tasted “baked” bacon was at a brunch party. The hostess had cut the bacon pieces in half lengthwise and baked them into a chewy crispy combination of perfection. The first time I tried doing it myself, I was responsible for bring 5 pounds of cooked bacon to a breakfast bar themed menu for my son’s school party. I didn’t have time to stand in front of the stove and get dressed before having to make and serve my bacon obligation. And that was it, I gave it a try. And then it was: “why haven’t I done this sooner?”
So here is my first entertaining tip: If you need to make a surplus of bacon for a crowd, or your stove top is loaded with pots and pans and you still need to make that bacon, or your just not in the mood to stand in front of a burner because you’d rather be sitting down and drinking your coffee… Bake it!
Barefoot Contessa suggests placing it on a rack first, Jessica Merchant suggests lining your baking sheet with aluminum foil. I just jam it on there… a method for everyone. The rest of the instructions are about the same. Preheat the oven to 375° and bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the bacon. And save your fat! Pour it into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. (Great for biscuits, cornbread…)