Monday, April 6, 2009

Bakin' Bacon

I like to have crumbled bacon in the fridge to put on salad, but I can only fit about 5 pieces of bacon in my largest frying pan. I also lack the skill of draining the fat without the bacon tumbling out of the pan. Fortunately, in working my way through a stack of magazines last week, I found instructions for cooking lots of bacon en masse in the oven. Forgive me if this is already the conventional way to do it.

You'll need a wire cooling rack, a cookie sheet with sides*, a can of tomato soup (optional) and bacon. First, preheat the oven to 400 and eat the tomato soup so you can use the can for drippings. (Ha!) Put the cooling rack in/over the cookie sheet and cover it with raw bacon strips (I squeezed on 11 of 'em). Bake for ~15 minutes or until brown and crispy. The instructions said 13-15 minutes, but I was using regular (not thick) bacon and still thought it needed another minute.

The instructions also said if you want to make wavy strips you can form the raw bacon Loch Ness Monster-style and it will stay that way when baked. It also allows you to fit more strips on the sheet.

*My home-ec teacher's voice is in my head saying, "It's a jelly roll pan," but who makes jelly rolls any more? I also have a mental image of Amelia Bedelia "making jelly roll."

Baking bacon made my house smell like bacon, which gave me a Million Dollar Idea à la Melissa Talbert: a bacon-scented air freshener. Mmmm.... Just kidding, I think that would be sort of gross. I like the smell of cooking bacon, but I also like when it dissipates.

I'm curious how difficult/effective it would be to deep fry bacon. I can't imagine it being any more greasy, and then I wouldn't have to wash all the little surfaces of the cooling rack. Feel free to comment, Internet.

---Update 4/8---

My friend Mary-full-of-wisdom emailed me that she lines the baking sheet with foil and puts the bacon directly on that, then after the fat solidifies she rolls up the foil for easy cleanup. Tried that this morning and it worked great, just needed a couple additional minutes to crisp up. Thanks, Mary!

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