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Cooking Tests: Bacon (Part I)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: organic / nitrite free bacon Reply with quote

I just wanted to mention as someone spoke of buying organic or nitrite-free bacon (aka "naturally cured," etc etc) that when I researched this, it turns out the natural curing process, which utilizes celery seed, ultimately actually creates the very same sodium nitrite that the regularly cured bacon does. Therefore, it stated in whatever I was reading that there was no real health benefit from the naturally cured vs the normally cured, because they both contained the potential cancer-causing nitrites either way.

Just throwing that out there, and wondering if this is true / known. Why does something as good as bacon have to be so bad for you? Harumph.

ps Thanks for the experiments!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:07 pm    Post subject: Oven bacon Reply with quote

I wouldn't broil it, personally. I usually lay the bacon directly on an oven rack in the highest position, and then place a drip pan under the bacon on the next rack down, and bake rather than broil. This causes the bacon to render properly and prevents scorching, although it takes a while.

Around 400 degrees should be enough. Probably 7-10 minutes a side.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to watch for is the amount of water in your strips of bacon. Companies will add water weight to your pork to make your pieces of bacon seem meatier. When purchasing bacon, look for packages with as little water/juice. Though don't go out of your way to pick bacon that is bone dry either.

You may want to check out a butcher's for the choicest cuts of bacon (yummy, but more expensive). This way you will know the qualities of the premium bacon, and can look for the same qualities in the store-bought stuff. This applies to all meats in general though...I highly recommend becoming friends with a man/woman who can teach you about meat.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 6:54 pm    Post subject: The Pan has a lot to do with it Reply with quote

I use Cast Iron for pretty much anything, and the bacon comes out great. Like one of the posters said though; when it's done you gotta remove it or else it will suck the oil back and become soggy. But bacon on teflon vs bacon on Cast Iron.. there's no comparison.

Also, as a fan of cooking and of good health, I highly advice people NOT to microwave anything. I've not used a microwave in over 7 years. Microwaved food is bad for your health. A quick google will confirm it. It's called "Microwave sickness" and happens when you nuke food, the protein strands get so big your kidney and liver have a difficult filtering it. If you love your kidneys and liver, don't nuke your food.

The only thing I use a microwave for are to nuke my sponges at the end of the day. Damp sponges 2 minutes on high. That's ALL a microwave should be used for.

Beware of "Teflon Flu" as they call it.

I only use 3 cooking items:

Cast Iron
Earthernware ~ unglazed, or if glazed, nothing with bright colors as it might contain mercury and other funky stuff you don't want.
Stainless Steel
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a small George Foreman grill that is great to use for bacon as the fat drips away and I can shut the lid and cook my eggs and not worry abut having to turn the bacon and the fat splatter. I do cut my bacon in half though.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Bacon cooking Reply with quote

I love bacon but eat it only occasionally. The best for taste and for getting rid of the most fat is to cook in the oven at 375 degrees. Line the bottom piece of a broiling pan w foil for easy clean-up. Place bacon in a single layer over the slotted top part of the pan. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until crispness desired. No need to turn. Cool on plate covered with a paper towel. Tastes crisper and better than microwave bacon and is less fatty than skillet cooking because as much as possible simply drains into the foil below.
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm surprised that no one is mentioning the real differences between good and not so good and just plain sick bacon. If you have good bacon, cured properly, from a good porker before you start frying, grilling, baking, microwaving, waffle're going to end up with good bacon. I don't really consider "turkey bacon" to be bacon. It could be called a "bacon flavoured turkey product" however, and if you're into products as opposed to produce, it is nice and lean. The best bacon I have ever had was from a range fed gilt about 250 pounds lean and dry cured at a local abattoir. It was also the cheapest as we raised her ourselves.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:48 pm    Post subject: Bacon at its best (Crispy not Crunchy) Reply with quote

The absolute best way to cook bacon:

Aluminum Sheet pan
Parchment Paper
13-17 cut Bacon (meaning 13-17 slices of bacon per pound)

1. Lay your bacon out with 1/2 inch between each piece, without stretching the meat and causing tearing. (Make sure your bacon is ice cold and not overly handled this will cause it to tear easily)

2. Refridgerate uncovered for 1 night to dehydrate the surface of the bacon, water being the naturally enemy of maillard reaction.

3. Cook the Bacon with low fan at 325 degree farenheit for 18-22 minutes depending on the quality of your oven.

4. When the bacon just starts to show caramel colors on the meat pull and allow to rest in a temperature controlled environment where it will not get cold.

If you have done this correctly the fat portions of the bacon should have a literal "melt in your mouth" quality, instead of stringy and nasty. The meat should be slightly crispy but not crunchy, Low moisture qualities in bacon can cause it to quickly turn into jerky if cooked at too high a temperature.
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Jim Cooley

Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 377
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2. Refridgerate uncovered for 1 night to dehydrate the surface of the bacon, water being the naturally enemy of maillard reaction.

That is a fine observation!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: The best bacon Reply with quote

I have discovered the absolutely best way to cook bacon. Since I only eat bacon about once every 2-3 months I don't feel bad about this method.

I save the grease from the last time I cooked, (actually, several times) and melt it in a frying pan, enough grease to completely submerge the curled up bacon, and cook it to my liking. The bacon cooks evenly because it is totally submerged in the bacon grease. It is the best bacon ever, bar none.

To those that worry about how the bacon looks, seriously? THAT is what matters to you? Curled up, flat, looking like Michael Jordans collar? None of that really matters as long as the bacon tastes good.

On a side note, today as I was cooking my bacon I decided to speed the meal up by deep frying the breakfast sausage i was preparing to cook. Ummmmm, wow!!! The best ever.

Try it before you knock it!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:29 pm    Post subject: Baking parchment Reply with quote Delete this post

If you use parchment paper (for baking) instead of paper towels, you get super crispy bacon without all the mess of stuck paper. Smile
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