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.)
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.
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.
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