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Cooking Tests: Bacon (Part II)
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R J Keefe

Joined: 11 Jul 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:38 pm    Post subject: Slow Bacon Reply with quote

The slow-cooking result can be achieved on a griddle pan, if your stove is capable of very low flames. The bacon melts (as it does in the oven) as it cooks; there is no sizzling. The process takes at least two hours and requires minimal attention. As the bacon finishes, whip up some pancake batter and keep the bacon warm in a slow oven while the pancakes cook.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:44 pm    Post subject: bACON COOKING Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 2:46 pm    Post subject: Another alternative way to microwave bacon Reply with quote

My oldest set of twins had a most unusual way of cooking bacon in the microwave. They would wrap however many slices of bacon up in a bunch of paper towels, then nuke. It would be at least 6 layers, top and bottom.

Did I mention that my consumption of paper products has gone down to a third of what it is (paper towels, TP!) since those two joined the Army and moved out? That was one third of the family using two thirds of the paper products.

It's the Army's problem now. Skin_Colorz_PDT_01
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:56 am    Post subject: cooking bacon methods Reply with quote

deep fry the bacon.

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Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject: Microwave gadgets Reply with quote

The gadget may work better with a full rack than with just two strips. The additional strips would absorb more of the energy. The bacon would cook much slower. It works the same when cooking bacon in paper towels in the microwave. I have found that some bacon cooks much faster. There are differences from one package to another, and with the age of the bacon. The rack should make it easy to tell when it is done the way you like it.
Since this is an engineers cooking site, I will suggest another approach: Connect a clip to each end of a strip and measure its resistance. As the moisture leaves, resistance should increase. This could be used to make an automatic slow cooker, using a large light bulb for heat in an insulated box. Unless you use stainless steel clips, you would sacrifice one strip.
There was a device sold in the 70's that heated a hot dog by inserting sharp metal points into it and running straight house current through it for about a minute. It tasted awful, and there was no browning. Slow oven cooking creates taste.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:45 pm    Post subject: One thing to consider about the grill method... Reply with quote

You said the grease dripped down and there was nothing to clean up...

That may be true for 3 strips, but if you cook a full package, the grease will build up in the bottom of your grill and eventually run out the bottom (if you gave a gas grill)... theres supposed to be a little bucket to collect this (comes with most grill kits) but I dont know many guys who bothered to put it on.

I dont cook much with charcoal, but I suspect that the grease would end up mixing with the ash and make for a fun cleaning job as well.

Personally, I like it on the griddle... theres no better way as far as I'm concerned. Though, I am intrigued, I think I'm going to have to try it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:40 am    Post subject: bacon - now with real meat :) Reply with quote

Yeah... US bacon seems to be like "streaky bacon" in the UK, only with a vastly higher fat content - the pictures in the article seem to me to show well over 50% fat, and I remember looking for (and failing to find) bacon with a reasonable amount of meat when I last visited the States.

Here in the UK we also get "Back bacon", which has much more meat. Maybe it's just the USA that is bacon-poor? I've had decent bacon in NZ and Europe.

Excellent site, by the way. I like the logical layout of the recipies.

- notmyopinion
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 4:02 am    Post subject: Bacon on a George Foreman grill Reply with quote

I have an imitation George Foreman (iGF) grill (it has most of the
same features, just not the brand name or price tag) and I recently tried
cooking some bacon on it.

The result was probably the best bacon I've ever cooked.
Thats not really saying a lot. After reading this article I learned that
I've probably been doing it wrong all these years. (cooking it over too
high heat )

I did two batches of bacon on my iGF.
The first batch I started with the grill cold. I layed out as many slices
as I could fit comfortably. Then I closed the lid and plugged it in.
I started checking it for done-ness by eyeball after about 4 minutes.
By 5 or 6 minutes total cooking time, the bacon was done.

For the second batch I just put more raw bacon on the already hot iGF.
The cooking time was reduced a bit. Other than that, the results were
pretty much the same.

The bacon came out wonderfully tender crispy (personally I can't stand
chewy bacon) without being over cooked. Since it's constrained by the
grill while cooking it comes out nicely flat. Due to the nature of the
grill, the grease drains away while cooking so the bacon isn't greasy.
Lastly, since the system is closed while cooking, there is little
opportunity for splatter.

On my particular grill, cleanup is a Pain In The Posterior. It doesn't
disassemble at all. Being an electric appliance I can't just toss it into
a sink of hot water. There are other, more expensive, models with
removable cooking surfaces which are dishwasher safe.

Overall, I'd say using an electric clamshell style grill to cook bacon
works very well. I wouldn't recommend running out to buy one JUST
to cook bacon. If you do run out to buy one, choose wisely. Consider cleanup.
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Theresa L.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject: Making bacon Reply with quote

Thank you so much for your amusing and insightful article on preparing bacon. I need about 40 slices for a brunch this weekend and I was all set to prepare them in a pan/skillet. I'm going the oven route now - thanks! This will make my event so much easier to pull off.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:39 pm    Post subject: My Method Is Still The Best Reply with quote

After reading this post on your second wave of tests on cooking bacon, I still think my method is the best...the one I posted in your Bacon I post. Check it out.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: The Kentuckians way to cook bacon Reply with quote

First you gotta have good bacon. Not the watery mess sold in the grocery stores these days. You want real hickory cured bacon that has had salt rubbed in it to cure it.

Now this is mighty hard to come by these days so you may have to find some farmers or backcountry smokehouse folks who will sell it to you. My favorite was in the next town over and they would take me into the smoking rooms and open a door to a smoker. There would be a small pile of hickory sawdust smoldering on the floor and hanging above were many slabs of sow belly.

I would ask the curing man to pull me down one he thought was best and he generally would get me a nice on. I never had it sliced by them but just took the whole slad wrapped in paper home. It was strong enough that the whole pickup would smell like hickory smoke.

Now to cook it. I would take a real real sharp butcher knife and cut a slice bout 1/8 inch thick or maybe a bit thicker. You never never want thin bacon. I would either cut on thru the rind (outer skin) , then slice that off later or fillet about 2 inches with the flat of the knife along the top of the rind.

Next goes some pure lard into the 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet. This skillet must NEVER be touched by women's hands. They will ruin it with soap and remove the seasoning. Never let them touch it and it will never stick, long as you clean it right afterwards.

Bring the lard up to heat and put the bacon in the pan. If your temperature is just right and enough lard(to just cover the bacon) it will never pop or splatter and also because all the liquid in it has been cured out!!

This bacon will not shrink either. What goes in the skillet is the same size as what comes out. You then look for when the fat parts of the bacon tend to get done. Its a judgement call anyway and you will learn. You then put it on a platter on top of some folded paper towels and then another to pat the top. This removes the extra grease and results in a certain brittleness. No chewieness. Don't want that. I like mine to be at the point where I can snap it in two. Not burned either. Just right is what I want.

You will also notice that with this good bacon that there will be NOTHING sticking to the bottom of the skillet. What that is with normal bacon is the carbon from the sugar burning. You don't want that either. No sugar cured bacon. No sir.

Now the hard part. No a lot of folks can eat this type of old fashioned bacon. It may be a bit too salty for them or too smoky. But once you get to like it you won't be able to live without it. City bacon will just not work for you anymore.

Now with the bacon grease in the skillet you can do many things. You never dispose of it. You first can fry you some eggs. Over easy or sunnyside up. Let the grease cool down a bit. Use a spoon or metal spatula to flip grease onto the top of the egg and it will cook perfectly. Put it on a plate and pat with a paper towel then pepper it.

The leftover bacon drippings(grease) can be used to season a lot of vegetables or to make cornbread with(also in the skillet). You can season turnip greens with it or collards or whatever. Green beans too. You can also put it in a qt. mason jar and save it in the icebox.

BTW making good cornbread is a lost art. Its getting just the right amount in the skillet, no sugar and no flour. Just bacon drippings, Martha White cornmeal(white only) and one egg and some milk. Got to have just the right amount of milk. When baked if too thick won't taste right nor if too thin. Let it bake a tad too long and its coarse. Get everything just exactly right and you will eat the whole pan full. Save some to crumble in a glass of buttermilk with salt and pepper on the top. Heaven. I mean heaven.

I can cook up a pot of white beans with a ham shank and a pan of cornbread and some fried potatoes and I am back on the farm. Well I still live on the farm but you know what I mean.

Round here if you go to the church fellowship dinners you will get the best food you ever ate. This is cooked by older farm wives the old fashioned way.

This is the way I have cooked bacon all my life.

To clean the skillet after pouring off the drippings. Hold it under the cold water faucet and wipe with a paper towel. It will have a slight sheen of animal fat on the surface. Put it in your over to store it. I keep all my cast irons skillets there. For just myself I use a little skillet. Maybe 5 inches or so.

With the white beans and cornbread you got to have a good white onion or Valdia onion. Can't never get too much black pepper on white beans, some say.

Again I must say. Don't try this with city bacon. Not the same.
Now that many of the local smokehouse folks are out of business I am considering building one myself. A small metal one out back. My friend made one and it was easy. Got the plans out of Mother Earth some time back.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:59 am    Post subject: Bacon Tests part II Reply with quote

I agree that oven baking produces the best texture and flavor. Many restaurants bake bacon, both for taste and because you can cook enough to feed a crowd without taking up all your skillets.

The slower bacon is cooked, the more flavorful it is. However, as a compromise between flavor and speed, I find that a medium oven works well. My method is to stack the bacon in two-strip piles in a cold, ungreased pan, put in a cold oven and turn the oven to 350 F (gas mark 4ish). Depending on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you like it, it is cooked in about 15 minutes, and it renders enough fat out so you have a respectable amount of dripping for later use. If you like very well-done bacon, you should remember that baked bacon does continue to cook for about a minute after it's removed from the heat--so take it out a little early to avoid a charred mess.

I miss British bacon. On the other hand, since I save bacon drippings for other uses, there's not that much waste from American streaky bacon. Just have to cook more slices to make a decent sandwich.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 6:07 am    Post subject: Re: The Kentuckians way to cook bacon Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
First you gotta have good bacon. Not the watery mess sold in the grocery stores these days. You want real hickory cured bacon that has had salt rubbed in it to cure it.

Definitely. I live in Pennsylvania and get mine from an Amish farmer who still makes REAL bacon.

Anonymous wrote:
8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet. This skillet must NEVER be touched by women's hands. They will ruin it with soap and remove the seasoning. Never let them touch it and it will never stick, long as you clean it right afterwards.

Now this I have to disagree with. My HUSBAND is the one who would have the cast-iron skillet soaking in a sink of double-strength detergent, not me. He actually tried to run my good cornbread skillet through the dishwasher! I would almost call that grounds for divorce....
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:56 am    Post subject: local source for good bacon Reply with quote

My local Whole Foods Supermarket has the best readily available bacon that I have found. It is thick cut, smoked nicely, not too fatty, and supposedly nitrate free (or at least ADDED nitrate free.) It does have a rather short shelf life, so don't buy too much unless you plan on cooking it soon thereafter. I guess you could try freezing it but I prefer to have it as fresh as possible. The meat cutter/butcher usually has some in the case, but the Whole Foods gourmet thick cut pre-packed is just as good.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Canadian Bacon Reply with quote

Canadian and Australian bacon[s] were mentioned in some of the messages. In that regard, we'd like to recommend one, a Canadian bacon. It's called "Peameal bacon" or "Real Canadian Bacon"--possibly because what is generally sold in the U.S.A. as Canadian bacon isn't the real thing. It's more like round ham lunchmeat; real Canadian bacon is oval and entirely different in taste. We highly--highly--recommend it.

The Real Canadian Bacon Co. can be reached at either the following web site:, or by phone at 1-888-BACON-01 and it is a uniquely delicious product (fantastic for bacon/lettuce/tomato sandwiches).[/url]
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