Oven Baked Bacon! Perfectly Cooked Without The Mess ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Oven Baked Bacon! Perfectly Cooked Without The Mess

Like most meat-eaters, I love bacon. Its savory, crispy, salty, smokey, and, well, fatty flavor makes for a very happy mouth (if not a healthy heart.)

Hickory smoked nitrate free bacon from Sweetland Farm by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

But I HATE cooking bacon. I hate dealing with a pan of burning hot, splattering fat. And I hate cleaning the grease off the stove and surrounding counter tops afterwards.

Bacon out of the oven by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

So this whole oven-baked bacon thing is a real revelation! Not only does it allow you to make perfectly cooked, crispy bacon, but it also limits the mess to a single baking sheet! Muchas gracias to my brother-in-law, Michael, who introduced us to this method when he and his lovely wifey visited over the holidays.

Bacon draining on a paper bag by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2013

And it's so easy! You can also pack even more heavenly punch by sprinkling some brown sugar, ground coffee, maple syrup or cayenne over the strips of bacon before you put them in the oven. (Thanks to my Facebook fans for those tips!) Here's what you do:

Oven Baked Bacon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then open your bacon. I used the amazingly good hickory-smoked, nitrate-free, naturally raised bacon we bought from cousin Norah's Sweetland Farm in Vermont (MMMMWAAAAH! IT IS SO GOOD!).

2. Lay the strips out on a heavy baking sheet in a single layer. Make sure that the sides of your baking sheet are high enough to handle an ocean of melted bacon fat (if not, you can throw a big old sheet of aluminum foil in there and twist the sides up to make a tall enough border.) If you want to flavor the bacon - sprinkle/drizzle the coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar or cayenne over the strips at this point.

3. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake for anywhere between 15-25 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how thickly cut your bacon is and also on how you like it cooked.

4. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and lay out a heavy brown paper grocery bag (more effective and less wasteful than using paper towels). Lay the strips on the bag to drain. Then serve!

5. Pour the fat off into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the fridge for future use. Read more about some good ways to use this tasty fat.

You might also like:
Save Your Bacon Drippings! Greening Your Kitchen
Maple Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Maple Roasted Yams With Bacon & Beer

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Andrea Mynard said...

I have lots of bacon from the Berkshire pigs we had in our garden last summer and so it's great to be reminded of an easier/less hassle way to cook. Only just read your post about using the drippings to cook with later - really good point. I've only recently rendered lard from back fat and realised that lard has had a bad press. If it's homemade from well reared pigs it adds great flavour to food and isn't as unhealthy as we've been led to believe.

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