Friday, March 02, 2012

Bakin' Bacon

A good friend tipped me off the other day that bacon does not have to be a spitty, spattery, grease-ball fry pan mess.  I must confess in recent years I have even avoided making the heavenly meat due to the oily mess that ensues during, and after the frying process.  I was so intrigued by this thought. I pressed on with more questions, only to find out that - brace yourself - you can bake bacon in the oven.  The oven.  Say what??  Why was I not informed?  Did I miss a memo?  How could I have existed on earth all this time and NOT known about this?  So, armed with that tidbit of priceless information as the only inspiration I needed, I was to try this out for myself.

Bacon Bacon Bacon  (The next phrase that comes to mind is: Dog's don't know it's not bacon...)
Ok so I took out a slab o' bacon and proceeded to lay them out nicely on my half sheet pan (a gift from my hubby this Christmas because of my love for all things food Network related and they seem to use them all the time on shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, and the Barefoot Contessa.  It's like the law or something, if you want to be a wanna-be chef you MUST have a few of these lying about).  OK back to the bacon.  I laid out every strip in the package.  Perhaps I should have placed a few less strips so they weren't so packed in there, but come on now, you really can't have too much bacon, can you??

Next step was to put it in a 400ยบ oven for 20 minutes or until desired crispiness.  It was almost too easy.  That's it?  Set it and forget it?  No turning the strips over?  No grease jumping up and hitting your wrist?  No way.  OK, rock on.  Let's see what we get after 20 minutes.
Behold, the beautifully baked bacon

So I left it in a tiny bit longer than 20 minutes, mostly because I'm a big fan of "heading towards crunchy" bacon.  Nothing worse then chowing down on some bacon and having some undercooked section of white fat hanging there staring at you.  As you can see above, there was some major shrinkage going on, but on the good side all the bacon is perfectly straight and not bendy.  All that is left to do now is remove bacon from this pan onto a plate or pan lined with some paper towels to help soak up residual grease.

{One side note here:  I realized after the fact, that the bacon was so close together on the pan that they stuck together as a whole like a big cozy bacon blanket, which I'm sure Homer Simpson would have adored.  Can't you hear him saying in a dreamy fashion "Mmmm... Bacon Blanket.  When I tried to remove just one piece, the whole thing wanted to come up together.  I took two metal tongs and gently pulled them apart as I laid them on the plate to dry.  But now hey, if you EVER need a bacon blanket (to wrap around your meatloaf, omelet, grilled cheese, or your turducken) now you will know how do DO it!  Um, wait a sec, wouldn't we have to call it a Bacturducken?  Either that or a Turduckenon.  We will have to see on that one. Any more syllables and it's going to start sounding like an infectious disease or something, and I think we can all agree THAT is not appetizing.   
OK so final result?}

MMMmmmm Bacon.   Bacon = MEAT CANDY
Now THAT is what I'm talking about.  Isn't it just beautiful?  Maybe you should put your nose up closer to the screen and see if you can take a whiff of that wonderful bacon-y goodness.  Smell-o-vision would be a great invention right about now, no?  I'm thinking of using this lovely picture as a screen saver this month as I blog and salivate alternately.  Alright so this turned out to be one heck of a GREAT experiment.  If you have never baked bacon in the oven I recommend you try it as soon as possible. You will be in hog heaven.


Denn said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm.... Bacon!

Chris C said...

Jennifer, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your BLOG. You are so clever! I have my bacon in the oven right now. I had no idead you could bake bacon. I need a "big blue mama". Where do I get one? Keep it up....I'm making your mac 'n cheese for dinner. Oh, remmber, there is white pepper to sneak in on the kids! LOL!

Jenn said...

I got my big blue mama on amazon, but I think they sell them at Fred Meyer too and they have those 10% coupons off in the paper that might help. How did the Mac n Cheese turn out?

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