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-   -   How to cook bacon: need answer fast (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=883588)

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 11:53 AM

How to cook bacon: need answer fast
 
Yeah, I haven't cooked strips of bacon in years.

I'm making rumaki -- chicken liver wrapped in bacon, which I will broil until done. I know how to do that. But I find I have 3 leftover strips of bacon. Should I:

Make room on the broiler and cook it alongside the rumaki?
Put it in my cast iron frying pan, and heat (low? high? pre-heat the pan? start cold?)
Toss a baking pan below the boiler, and cook it in the oven with indirect heat?
Cover with a paper towel and put it in the microwave? That was trendy 30 years ago...

I realize this isn't a hugely consequential decision, and I'm sure it will come out tasty whatever I do. But I figured I may as well ask.

And... I prefer my bacon crispy, and somewhat evenly cooked.

Thanks in advance.

Johnny L.A. 10-13-2019 11:55 AM

I'm making bacon now.

I make a little 'pan' out of aluminum foil, and bake the bacon at 375F until it's done.

TriPolar 10-13-2019 12:08 PM

If you do it in a pan start cold. Johnny's method is a good way to get evenly cooked bacon done to just the point where you like it. Don't sweat the details, it's very difficult to ruin bacon.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 12:11 PM

I think I'll just make room on the broiler, and not dirty another dish.

Thanks.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 12:12 PM

Hmm, maybe I'll even save the run-off fat. Although, it will be flavored with chicken lover, so maybe that's not a good general-purpose cooking fat.

markn+ 10-13-2019 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by puzzlegal (Post 21913974)
Although, it will be flavored with chicken lover,

When a man loves a chicken ...

Beckdawrek 10-13-2019 12:29 PM

I make cat treats from chicken livers (lover,heh!). I bake them to make them real dry. The liquid that oozes out is not good for anything I've found.
Put the bacon in another small tray. Save the baon grease. Free flavoring. Win!

jz78817 10-13-2019 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by puzzlegal (Post 21913972)
I think I'll just make room on the broiler, and not dirty another dish.

Thanks.

yeah, that's what I would do. it'll cook up just fine; I know of a number of people who do bacon in the oven.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beckdawrek (Post 21914001)
I make cat treats from chicken livers (lover,heh!). I bake them to make them real dry. The liquid that oozes out is not good for anything I've found.
Put the bacon in another small tray. Save the baon grease. Free flavoring. Win!

You obviously don't enjoy chicken liver. :) I'm eating mine. And most of the bacon is wrapping the livers. (Each liver is cut in thirds, one piece for the small lobe, and the large lobe is cut in half.)

I think chicken liver wrapped in bacon was a popular canape in the 50s. I haven't seen it sold commercially since 1998, in Wausau Wisconsin. That spot in the "appetizers" menu seems to have been replaced with scallops wrapped in bacon, which is also good, but not what I have a hankering for.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 12:43 PM

Oh wow, plain bacon cooks a LOT faster than bacon wrapped around something wet, like a chunk of liver. I went to flip my rumaki, which were juuust barely ready to be flipped, and the three strips of bacon on the outside of the pan (farthest away from the heat) were completely done -- just barely beginning to burn, even. They taste great, though. So no harm done.

Sunny Daze 10-13-2019 12:49 PM

I am jealous. The rumaki sound great.

friedo 10-13-2019 12:49 PM

As a bacon fan, it may be sacrilege, but after experimenting with many different techniques, I've found that the best way is to just put it in the microwave sandwiched in paper towels. Fast, easy, and results in even, crispy bacon with no gross stringy/fatty bits. Of course the crispiness means it's not good for wrapping around stuff.

Dr_Paprika 10-13-2019 01:25 PM

Only way to ruin bacon is to burn it. Baking is best for a batch; much more forgiving. For 3 strips spray a non-stick frying pain with oil and cook it on a medium setting five minutes. If you prefer crispy to fatty flip it over until desired texture, checking every few minutes.

jasg 10-13-2019 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by puzzlegal (Post 21914020)
Oh wow, plain bacon cooks a LOT faster than bacon wrapped around something wet, like a chunk of liver. I went to flip my rumaki, which were juuust barely ready to be flipped, and the three strips of bacon on the outside of the pan (farthest away from the heat) were completely done -- just barely beginning to burn, even. They taste great, though. So no harm done.

One of the things I have noticed about sous vide bacon is that it is perfect for wrapping other items. Since it is already cooked, all it has to do is crisp up. It gives both perfect asparagus & bacon for example.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 01:33 PM

Well, the bacon does want to cook a little longer than the liver, but I'd rather have slightly un-crisped bacon with slightly overdone liver than add an extra step.

TriPolar 10-13-2019 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jasg (Post 21914075)
One of the things I have noticed about sous vide bacon is that it is perfect for wrapping other items. Since it is already cooked, all it has to do is crisp up. It gives both perfect asparagus & bacon for example.

That is a great idea. You can get a similar effect by baking in the oven at 325F, but you still have to get it out at the right time.

puzzlegal, I love chicken livers also. It is tricky to get the livers and the bacon just right but the sous vide approach may be the way to go for any pre-cooked bacon so you can still finish it to your satisfaction.

Voyager 10-13-2019 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friedo (Post 21914034)
As a bacon fan, it may be sacrilege, but after experimenting with many different techniques, I've found that the best way is to just put it in the microwave sandwiched in paper towels. Fast, easy, and results in even, crispy bacon with no gross stringy/fatty bits. Of course the crispiness means it's not good for wrapping around stuff.

I do this out of laziness, and the bacon for my BLTs is great, but bacon done in a ridged pan just tastes a bit better when I want to make the effort.

BobLibDem 10-13-2019 04:35 PM

If you want to stop bacon from curling in the pan, take away their little brooms.

puzzlegal 10-13-2019 04:43 PM

Cooking it on the broiling pan worked very well, by the way.

friedo 10-13-2019 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21914384)
If you want to stop bacon from curling in the pan, take away their little brooms.

You must be thinking of Canadian bacon.

Ike Witt 10-13-2019 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobLibDem (Post 21914384)
If you want to stop bacon from curling in the pan, take away their little brooms.

:D

Quote:

Originally Posted by friedo (Post 21914447)
You must be thinking of Canadian bacon.

:D :D

Or, if it is a serious issue for you, get a bacon press.

kaylasdad99 10-13-2019 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ike Witt (Post 21914462)
:D



:D :D

Or, if it is a serious issue for you, get a bacon press.

Kaylasmom and I got one as a wedding gift back in 1983. I recall that I used it exactly once. After cleaning it, I decided that it could best serve as a quaint ornament for our kitchen.

Voyager 10-13-2019 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ike Witt (Post 21914462)
:D



:D :D

Or, if it is a serious issue for you, get a bacon press.

I made one recipe that needed flat bacon, and instructed you to put the bacon between two plates and microwave it. Worked fine.

Icarus 10-14-2019 11:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr_Paprika (Post 21914073)
Only way to ruin bacon is to burn it. Baking is best for a batch; much more forgiving. For 3 strips spray a non-stick frying pain with oil and cook it on a medium setting five minutes. If you prefer crispy to fatty flip it over until desired texture, checking every few minutes.

I must say I'm confused by the 5 minutes. Even if I'm frying regular sliced bacon, instead of thick sliced, I find it takes closer to 15 minutes just to get to an edible cooked level, longer for crispy?

QuickSilver 10-14-2019 12:06 PM

I recently watched Cook's Illustrated Test Kitchen make bacon by putting it a pan and adding enough water to cover. Then cook on med-high until water has evaporated and bacon is browned. I've not tried it yet. Seems a novel way to go about it.

TriPolar 10-14-2019 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Icarus (Post 21915421)
I must say I'm confused by the 5 minutes. Even if I'm frying regular sliced bacon, instead of thick sliced, I find it takes closer to 15 minutes just to get to an edible cooked level, longer for crispy?

Don't know what he's talking about. Since he starts with non-stick pan and some oil maybe he's pre-heating the pan. To pan fry bacon I've started the bacon in a cold pan with no problems with the bacon sticking to the pan. I guess is you start with a hot enough pan you can get the bacon cooked in 5 minutes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSilver (Post 21915441)
I recently watched Cook's Illustrated Test Kitchen make bacon by putting it a pan and adding enough water to cover. Then cook on med-high until water has evaporated and bacon is browned. I've not tried it yet. Seems a novel way to go about it.

Recently heard of this. It's supposed to stop splattering but I don't see how mixing water and hot grease would do that. I guess it cooks the bacon slowly at first until the water is mostly gone. This is supposed to work in a baking pan in the oven too. Maybe I'll try it some day.

jz78817 10-14-2019 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 21915458)

Recently heard of this. It's supposed to stop splattering but I don't see how mixing water and hot grease would do that. I guess it cooks the bacon slowly at first until the water is mostly gone. This is supposed to work in a baking pan in the oven too. Maybe I'll try it some day.

splatter is caused by the water in the meat portion flash boiling when heated by the 250-300 fat. so yep, starting it in a pan with a little water brings the bacon up to done temp gradually and cooks the water out uniformly so there's little left to flash boil at the end.

BobLibDem 10-14-2019 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friedo (Post 21914447)
You must be thinking of Canadian bacon.

Well done!

enipla 10-14-2019 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friedo (Post 21914034)
As a bacon fan, it may be sacrilege, but after experimenting with many different techniques, I've found that the best way is to just put it in the microwave sandwiched in paper towels. Fast, easy, and results in even, crispy bacon with no gross stringy/fatty bits. Of course the crispiness means it's not good for wrapping around stuff.

I do this too. Out of circumstance, we ended up with two microwave ovens. So while I'm working breakfast on the stove, I can pop bacon in a microwave and zap it. Paper towels on plate, cover it with paper towels and turn it a few times. Much, much less mess in the end. And you can cook it just right. Give it another 20 seconds before serving and you have very nice hot bacon.

It's the only thing I cook in a MW.

puddleglum 10-15-2019 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuickSilver (Post 21915441)
I recently watched Cook's Illustrated Test Kitchen make bacon by putting it a pan and adding enough water to cover. Then cook on med-high until water has evaporated and bacon is browned. I've not tried it yet. Seems a novel way to go about it.

I've done this. It makes the bacon cook evenly and reduces splatter. The downside is that it takes alot longer than just in the pan.


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