Tony Chor over at his blog Tonynet Explorer opines that "much of the unrest in the world is because too many people don't know the joy of bacon. Almost no one who has tasted bacon would willingly blow themselves up or start shooting at someone else. Bacon is worth living for."
I love bacon. I even love makin' bacon. But being an obsessive-compulsive type of person I like my bacon evenly brown, evenly crisp, evenly flat and all of the strips evenly perfect. For that to happen, get rid of the skillet. The secret: I use the oven.
No splatter on kitchen walls or stove-top; no frying pans to clean, no greasy mess, no unevenly cooked bacon strips, no blistering hot splatter on your hands and face, faster, and no worrying over every single piece every minute. I am sure some of my Muslim readers do not care if bacon is haraam, they enjoy it anyway, so for their edification, here is the best way to make perfect bacon:
If you have a few wives and a couple dozen kids, it can be a chore frying up enough bacon for everyone. But a large rimmed baking sheet can do a pound or more of bacon at a time.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- While waiting for the oven to reach the proper temperature, cover an appropriately sized cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Use a foil size large enough to cover the entire cookie sheet - this will make disposal of the grease easier and avoid the necessity of cleaning afterward.
- Array the bacon on the sheet - taking care that the strips do not overlap. I like to have them snuggled next to each other.
- I have a convection oven and so 10 minutes is the right amount of time for me. If this is new for you, you may want to experiment with the time. If you do not have a convection oven you may need to rotate the cookie sheet halfway through the baking process in order to get more even cooking.
- Some of you may want to flip the strips. If so do it only once - 70% of the way through the cooking process. Multiple flipping is a waste of time.
- Bake until the appropriate texture and crispiness is reached for your palate and note the number of minutes it took for the next time.
- I use a large fork to remove the bacon from the sheet but some of you may be more agile with tongs.
- Set on a plate covered in paper towels or on a drip rack.
- Let the baking pans cool, lift off the aluminum foil and throw away.
Bake only one pan at a time if you do not have a convection oven as one pan may overcook while the other undercooks. Ovens vary, so I suggest that first-timers watch carefully that you do not burn the bacon. Adjust the temperature and cooking times for your specific oven and taste and log them into your recipe book.
Baking at 350 Degrees F may take as long as 25 to 30 minutes to cook.
For speed (3 to 4 minutes), one can use the oven broiler but it takes more care not to burn the bacon.
Perfect bacon is bacon cooked the way I like it. Cooking in the oven is the best and most consistent way that avoids the mess and makes cleanup easy. If you like it soft and soggy or getting splatter all over your kitchen then that's fine too - it's not wrong, but it's not the best way.
And yes, I've cooked bacon on a George Foreman grill and it came out fine, but it's very time consuming and inconvenient when you have to cook for 9 people in my household.
For my Muslim readers who do not own ovens, I suggest heating dried camel dung to a blistering red hot and placing the bacon strips directly on the chips. This will also impart that extra flavor you all are used to.