Any suggestions on cooking bacon?
Dec. 31st, 2011 @ 05:37 pm
I'm really interested in the rendered fat more than the bacon, though I'll certainly use it for omelets and other things, I use the fat for browning meat in stews and chilis for adding flavor. I've yet to find a consistent way to cook without burning or undercooking, and I'm not rendering as much fat as I'd like.
Any thoughts? Thanks!
|Date:||January 1st, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)|| |
Put a cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet and lay the bacon strips out on the rack. Bake it on low. The fat will render into the baking sheet and the bacon will be consistantly cooked through but not burnt.
That is an excellent idea! I'll definitely give it a shot, and it also lets you do an entire pkg at once!
|Date:||January 1st, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)|| |
I always cook bacon that way because it saves me from having to clean bacon fat splatters off the stove top.
I'll check out those blogs, thanks!
|Date:||January 1st, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)|| |
I actually prefer pan-fried bacon to the oven method (though it's been a while since I've done oven, may be worth a re-try), but the principle is similar--cook it on low. I let the pan heat up, and once the first pan-full of bacon really starts to sizzle, I turn it down (our burners go from 1-10, and I usually keep it at about 3). Also, we cook it in a cast iron skillet. I find I get more consistent results than with other pans.
|Date:||January 1st, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)|| |
Same here--with a LOT of bacon, I'll bake it, but for smaller amounts I panfry. Heavy skillet, and every time it "bubbles up", I flip it.
I also save the bacon grease for other cooking (great in cornbread or biscuits you intend to serve with gravy).
I might have been cooking it too high. We have an electric range as my wife is paranoid of gas, I'd much prefer flame to electric.
My wife says that I did it once before in the oven, but I only vaguely remember it and I don't remember the result. It couldn't have been too long ago, I'll blame it on turning 50 last month. :-)
|Date:||January 1st, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)|| |
if you are look more for the rendered fat buy "fatback" or cured pork belly if you can find it...blocks of pork fat with just a few streaks of meat...
I hadn't considered that. I would imagine that it's available, I don't have great grocery stores locally, just Walmart and a very small chain, but we're 100 miles from El Paso in Southern NM so it might be available.
My only concern would be that it might have a different flavor since most bacon is smoked, but I could add a quarter or eighth teaspoon of liquid smoke after melting it and that might do the trick. But my first experiment will be the oven method.
Have you tried either baking it or nuking it?
The problem that I have with nuking is that I need to use a paper towel to avoid totally mucking up my microwave, and that absorbs a lot of the grease. I had a wonderful tray for microwave bacon but it got broke and I've never seen it's like. Most of the microwave bacon trays that I've seen the bacon ends up in a V-shape, and I want it flat.
Baking it is going to be my next experiment, thanks!
If you are just interested in the fat, try this. Cut the bacon into lardon and put into a pot with a small amount of water and heat slowly to a simmer. The boiling point of water is higher than the fat melting point, but below where the meat cooks. Once all of the water has been evaporated you can raise the temp to cook the bacon crispy. This will maximize the extraction of fat. This same trick can be used for duck fat, chicken fat, ham fat, or making chicharrón.
Look around you might have a latino butcher in the area that will have fat-back or rendered lard.
That's an interesting concept, I'll have to look in to it.