They say life is hard. Not so, my friends. Not so when you’re tasked with trying a new way to make and subsequently eat bacon. And of course, you’re right — making bacon in the oven isn’t exactly a “new” concept.
“My mom/dad, always made our bacon this way,” you probably said to me if you’re a friend I spoke with recently on the subject.
But most people probably make bacon on the stove, whether in a grill-top pan or otherwise, with a bacon guard to keep the spatters at a minimum or just freeing up your range to grease galore. It’s also fun to say “bakin’ bacon,” for obvious reasons, and that’s enough justification to do something around here.
OVEN TEST 1
First I found a recipe for “crispy, crunchy bacon,” with flour-coated bacon that bakes in the oven. Cool, let’s try that, because bacon.
THE BACON: D’Artagnan
THE METHOD: The instructions said to coat the bacon in flour and place it on a foil- or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Did that. Failed to check the bacon while cooking, perhaps trusting too blindly. At the 20-minute mark, checked bacon to find it on the verge of inedibility.
Crunchy, indeed. Exhibit No. 38783 on why you can’t believe everything you read on the Internet. If you need homemade bacon bits, however, this is your new jam.
But don’t worry, it wasn’t a total waste — I made the same bacon on the stove top and it was delicious like bacon wants to be.
OVEN TEST 2
After returning to the Consumerist’s deeply underground super secret lair and bemoaning that poor, burned bacon, my understanding and empathetic coworkers shoved me out of my funk by suggesting that I redo the oven test, only skipping the flour and keeping an eye on the bacon while it cooked, this time.
THE BACON: Boar’s Head
THE METHOD: You can look for a recipe with a fancy name on it, but even Ina Garten’s “Roasted Bacon” comes down to what I did — preheat oven to 350 degrees, lay uncoated bacon on foil-covered tray, bake for 20 minutes.
This go around, I set a timer for 10 minutes and checked the bacon then. It looked pretty delicious, but I let it go for a further three or so minutes. This will vary, of course, by how cooked you like your bacon.
THE TAKEAWAY: Delicious, perfect, bacony. And without all the spattering on the stove top. I just left out the grease-covered foil to let it congeal a bit and then tossed, so clean-up is definitely a lot easier.
Also, I got to eat a lot of bacon.
Special thanks to tasters/owners of reliable ovens, Lauren and Liz, along with guinea pigs Jim, Katie, Bobbi and Todd. You are my best bacon friends.
Found a kitchen or DIY experiment — old or new, it doesn’t matter — you want me to try? I’ve got my limits, but I’m open to suggestions. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line WE TRIED IT.