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Cooking Tests: Bacon (Part I)
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jan-or-anson
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best bacon in my opinion is turkey bacon, and the best way to cook it (or at least the easiest) is to put about eight strips on a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray (or cookie sheet) and bake in the oven at about 350-375 F for about 10 minutes. Delicious.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider it borderline sinful to waste something as wonderful as pork fat, so frying a few strips of bacon is usually a prelude to frying something else in the rendered fat -- some eggs, or asparagus, or a steak. Panfrying just makes more sense when I'm going to toss something else in the pan right after I take the bacon out.

Everything but the squeal...
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am wondering about the effects of microwaving the bacon at different powers.

Is the "paper stick" factor reduced by cooking it at 50% power instead of 100%? Is there a desirable change in texture? eg: less crispy; more chewy?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you need to cook a lot of bacon in a small microwave, you can stack it. Using the paper towel technique, just put a couple on the bottom, around 4 pieces of bacon, another paper towel, more bacon, paper towel and so on. I always throw a couple of paper towels on top of the pile to keep splatter down. You just need to increase the cook time. You can do an entire package and get crispy, straight bacon in approx 6 mins or so (depends on your microwave). The paper towels absorb all of the grease, but if you can fit some sort of plate in there, it is helpful for any run off.
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Dougal
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit late to the game but my prefered method is to use a sandwich press (2 flat hot plates, pressing the bacon in between) this lets you cook to the desired level of crispyness (or not in my case, I like lean non crispy bacon) and keep it falt. cooks really quickly too.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE: Cooking bacon in the microwave.
We use the trick of using two plates together: 1 dinner plate, and a smaller side plate.
Upturn the side plate in the middle of the dinner plate, and drape the bacon on the bottom of the side plate (which is now facing up).
The bacon cooks; the grease drains down the sideplate and is caught by the dinner plate.

We also use a piece of kitchen roll over the top (so it doesn't spit everywhere) and voila!
PS: It's an idea to intermittently open the microwave and unstick the kitchen roll from the bacon.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

please no cup measures - why not weigh (in g/kg).

temps in C not F please.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1620
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: measuring cups

Unfortunately, here in the United States, most recipes are written using volumetric units for solids. I have been endeavring to provide the correct mass units as well in more recent articles, but haven't had the time to go back to fix the older articles.
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Mole
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if on the next iteration you could try pan frying using a cast iron pan. My sister insists that this is the only way to cook bacon (for evenness, etc.) and I'd love to see a comparison.

Great site! I love to cook, and I love the layout of your recipes ... they make perfect sense!
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ManxMan
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bacon, difficult topic.

The americans like crispy, streaked bacon.

Brits like bacon back and cooked not burnt.

Interesting article, but for me and most of the people i know, well we cook it in the pan or the grill (americans: broil). the biggest difference once the meat is cooked and the fat has coloured then it is ready. teh use of back bacon means that there is more meat less fat.

also crispy back bacon is not very edible.
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Steve F.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of both worlds - bake your bacon on the broiler pan!

The grease drains down below - where it can be collected for frying up stuff like home-fries - and the bacon lays straight and gets cooked. I like mine particularly crisp, so I let it cook for about 20 minutes at 350.

I have a smaller microwave, too - and my experience is that messing with paper towels and whatnot is a pain. Baking is just as fast as "slow frying," but without all the popping and splattering!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found a new way to make bacon, the "makin bacon" dish. I dont like to cook but love doing this.

All of the fat drips off durring cooking, an amazin amount of fat actually.

http://www.makinbacon.com/cooking_with_the_dish.htm
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curling of bacon strip while frying/broiling can be minimized by making a series of little cuts along the meaty edge of the bacon. M.E. in DSM, IA
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Chuck Sydlo
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not cook bacon at any temperature above 300 degrees. The sodium nitrate used to cure and preserve bacon converts at high temperature into (potentially) cancer causing compounds. This is information was put out by the FDA in the 70s (and in many current cookbooks) and you can confirm it yourself. Take some pieces of bacon from the same package, so it should taste exactly the same, and fry some fast and hot in a frying pan. The remainder put in the oven on bake at about 250. It will take approximately 6 hr to crisp bacon in the oven this way. The pan fried bacon will have a bitter taste where the oven baked will taste much better. The drawback is the cooking time. On weekends I put my bacon in our electric oven set as low as it will go and leave it on overnight. I also use a pan with a rack to drain the grease away. Sodium nitrate is also used to cure hams, sausage, and jerky but has not been shown to produce the same cancer related compounds in those products no matter at what temperature they were cooked. A great referance still in print is "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas
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Earthlyng
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an alternative, buy uncured and/or perhaps organic bacon at a natural food store if you can. It may cost more now, but compare to the price of your health and health cost later. Plus, no worries over antibiotics or meat fed other animal parts with mad cow yuk-yuk.
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