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How do you make bacon better?

Scrapironchef Aug 21, 2009 03:04 PM

Wrap it in fried chicken ---


A cardiopocalypse.

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  1. k
    ktb615 RE: Scrapironchef Aug 21, 2009 08:31 PM

    I like to saute bacon in butter.

    1. j
      Janet RE: Scrapironchef Aug 21, 2009 11:35 PM

      How can the perfect food be made better? Just fry up more.

      1. s
        Smileelisa RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 03:38 AM

        bake in the oven drizzled with maple syrup....yum

        6 Replies
        1. re: Smileelisa
          RShea78 RE: Smileelisa Aug 22, 2009 12:06 PM


          Do you bake or actually broil your bacon? I broil mine, but keep the pan roughly 8 inches (2nd rack adjustment from the top) and babysit the bacon till it looks right to me. (Not exactly limp or crunchy, somewhere in between)

          In general bacon cannot be made better (IMHO) unless you pick the right brand of bacon. Whenever possible I try to purchase Wright brand (See link below) of bacon, but unfortunately it has to be on special.


          1. re: RShea78
            nvcook RE: RShea78 Aug 22, 2009 07:59 PM

            A couple of times I've seen Ina Garten bake bacon in the oven. Once she placed it on a rack (like for cooling cookies) on a jelly roll pan and another time, no rack. I think it was 400 for like 20 min. I plan on trying that soon myself.

            1. re: nvcook
              RShea78 RE: nvcook Aug 23, 2009 06:57 AM

              >>I think it was 400 for like 20 min. I plan on trying that soon myself.

              Geez! After about the first 7 minutes I would be pulling some bacon early to munch on. (Bacon ranks second place too my comfort food, and thy shall not wait.

              My broiling method is rather quick, so around the 7 minute mark, it should be done to my likings.

              1. re: nvcook
                modthyrth RE: nvcook Aug 26, 2009 09:23 PM

                In the oven is the only way I make bacon. The times I've tried it in a skillet, I pull it off when it looks right and somehow it's way overdone. I like crispy, I like VERY crispy, and yet I can't gauge it on the stovetop.

                In the oven, I can do a whole pound of bacon at a time for a crowd, I can cook it to the perfect crisp-but-not-burnt, and all the excess fat neatly drips down from the grate into the pan below. It's perfect every time.

              2. re: RShea78
                mmalmad RE: RShea78 Aug 23, 2009 08:45 AM

                I put the bacon in a cold oven, then turn it on to 400.. takes about 10-15 minutes if you put it on a rack there is no need to turn, if not flip over if not flip about 1/2 way through, comes out crisp with less shrinkage

                1. re: RShea78
                  Smileelisa RE: RShea78 Aug 28, 2009 02:02 PM

                  I actually bake it. Nothing beats the sweet and salty taste of bacon with maple syrup over it! I have never seen Wrightbrand bacon up here in the northeast. I have used many different brands but since I love bacon so much I have yet to meet a bacon I didn't like!

              3. 1
                1stmakearoux RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 10:27 AM

                Don't overcook it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: 1stmakearoux
                  RShea78 RE: 1stmakearoux Aug 22, 2009 12:07 PM

                  Or burn the bacon!

                2. Uncle Bob RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 12:07 PM

                  Slice it thick....sprinkle on fresh course ground black pepper...fry


                  1. k
                    KiltedCook RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 02:32 PM

                    Dip in chocolate fondue.

                    1. m
                      Muskrat RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 02:36 PM

                      Dredge it in brown sugar; bake until crisp.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Muskrat
                        baldwinwood RE: Muskrat Aug 27, 2009 05:40 AM


                        1. re: Muskrat
                          kattyeyes RE: Muskrat Aug 31, 2009 03:02 PM

                          I'd say it's Muskrat Love!!! Tried your method this weekend and it was out of this world! Candied bacon is a taste sensation!!! I even took a photo of it in all its shiny goodness, but I am too lazy to download it.

                          I thank you and will add a real NO KIDDING statement: don't forget NOT to drain the bacon on paper towels. I figured it out quickly enough NOT to have totally botched the bacon bounty (or, more appropriately, saved the bacon from becoming one with the Bounty!!!). HA HA HA! So many possibilities for bacon this way. I will be experimenting again very soon. +1 indeed!

                          1. re: kattyeyes
                            kattyeyes RE: kattyeyes Sep 6, 2009 08:18 AM

                            Too pretty not to post...candied bacon in all its shiny glory! Thanks again!

                            1. re: kattyeyes
                              kattyeyes RE: kattyeyes Sep 22, 2009 04:22 PM

                              I learned a new candied bacon tip while out shopping this past weekend. I'm told a little white pepper over the brown sugar makes it extra tasty. HOOOO-AHHHH!

                        2. g
                          Gigi007 RE: Scrapironchef Aug 22, 2009 02:40 PM

                          Wrap bacon around dates stuffed with goat cheese. I haven't made this myself, but have had had it as an appetizer at various restaurants. Trust me, it's delicious.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Gigi007
                            PurpleTeeth RE: Gigi007 Aug 28, 2009 02:17 PM

                            even better if it's blue cheese!

                            1. re: Gigi007
                              SporkChop RE: Gigi007 Sep 13, 2009 03:54 PM

                              add a slivered almond to the cheese filling and sprinkle on a touch of crushed red pepper. nirvana!

                              1. re: SporkChop
                                shanagain RE: SporkChop Sep 14, 2009 06:47 AM

                                Or no cheese, fresh jalapeno. Yum.

                              2. re: Gigi007
                                wekick RE: Gigi007 Oct 3, 2010 03:00 PM

                                Just the date and bacon is great too. I precook the bacon a little or the sugar in the date can cook to hard crack stage before the bacon gets done.

                              3. Passadumkeg RE: Scrapironchef Aug 23, 2009 11:47 AM

                                Make it yourself from a pig that you have raised. True appreciation.
                                Sorry Charlotte & Wilbur

                                1. tracylee RE: Scrapironchef Aug 23, 2009 11:50 AM

                                  I saw Paula Deen toss it with brown sugar and dijon mustard before baking. She seemed to think it was fabulous, LOL.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: tracylee
                                    Smileelisa RE: tracylee Aug 28, 2009 02:04 PM

                                    She didn't roll it in butter???????????? Oh my

                                    1. re: tracylee
                                      MartinDC RE: tracylee Sep 2, 2009 05:35 AM

                                      I got this same recipe from a food article in the New York Times magazine by Patricia Marx. The recipe instructions were a hoot. For example, she wrote, and I'm paraphrasing, "Go to your favorite market and buy the best bacon you can afford." She proceeded to instruct the cook to use a whole box of brown sugar and a little water to bind it together into thick paste, then slather it all over the bacon. I don't remember the dijon, but it might have been there. Then bake on parchment on a sheet pan, turning the bacon half way. She likes hers a little chewy. Then cut into triangles and serve with cocktails.

                                      I put it out as hors d'oevres while making grits and shrimp for friends.

                                    2. p
                                      pacheeseguy RE: Scrapironchef Aug 24, 2009 10:22 AM

                                      I love dark bacon (almost burnt) in a sandwich of burnt toast with butter.
                                      Absolutely fabulous.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: pacheeseguy
                                        Claudette RE: pacheeseguy Aug 25, 2009 01:08 PM

                                        LOL!!! I'm coming over to your house!

                                      2. d
                                        dmjordan RE: Scrapironchef Aug 25, 2009 01:32 PM

                                        What's better than bacon?
                                        What's better than a massage?
                                        A massage while eating bacon!

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: dmjordan
                                          Scargod RE: dmjordan Aug 28, 2009 08:41 AM

                                          Better: Eating bacon while getting a "massage" by three pigs using bacon grease.

                                          Other idea: add hickory smoke seasoning to the bacon or cook it slowly over wood smoke on the grill.

                                        2. fresnohotspot RE: Scrapironchef Aug 26, 2009 07:08 AM

                                          Serve it on Kauai's north shore.

                                          1. p
                                            pacheeseguy RE: Scrapironchef Aug 26, 2009 07:23 AM

                                            I only eat one brand of bacon, Neuskes from Wisconsin. (apple wood smoked)
                                            Best bacon I've ever eaten. Makes an incredible BLT wrap!

                                            1. h
                                              Harters RE: Scrapironchef Aug 27, 2009 03:03 PM

                                              Green back bacon cooked under the grill till it's cooked through but not at all crispy, then onto cheap white sliced supermarket bread, dollop of ketchup - the perfect bacon butty.

                                              1. Veggo RE: Scrapironchef Aug 27, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                I grill it on my Weber. Manage your flare ups -you want a few short ones that add a nice smokiness. And it doesn't curl up.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Veggo
                                                  c oliver RE: Veggo Aug 28, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                  Could I get more details please? Gas or charcoal? Direct or indirect? Do you put it directly on the grill? About how long does it take? Thanks, Veg.

                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                    Bat Guano RE: Veggo Aug 31, 2009 02:12 PM

                                                    Holy crap. When I tried this I had flames shooting 8 feet high out of the grill. Manage the flareups indeed!

                                                    1. re: Bat Guano
                                                      Veggo RE: Bat Guano Aug 31, 2009 02:40 PM

                                                      Practice, practice.

                                                  2. c
                                                    Claudette RE: Scrapironchef Aug 28, 2009 09:20 AM

                                                    Go to Saveur's website to get Bill McDaniel's Bacon Tempura recipe. Sounds worthy of a heart attack!

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Claudette
                                                      kattyeyes RE: Claudette Aug 28, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                      Wow...what a magical combo...everything is better with bacon (just about!) and I have yet to find ANYTHING that didn't taste good tempura-battered 'n fried. Yummmmmy! This thread has totally made me want to try another twist on bacon cookies. Sounds like a fun project for a rainy weekend, perhaps.

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                        Scargod RE: kattyeyes Sep 2, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                        Today I used Boars Head bacon and soaked it in dissolved brown sugar, with hickory flavor added, for about three hours. I then microwaved it for four minutes on a low setting. This went on the pork roast sandwiches from pork I cooked to 160 on the smoker last night. It was yummy.

                                                        1. re: Scargod
                                                          kattyeyes RE: Scargod Sep 2, 2009 06:09 PM

                                                          I usually buy Boar's Head, too...but this time used Nature's Promise (Stop & Shop's organic line). We just had it "straight" this a.m., you know...I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan...I should do a side-by-side comparison (a bacon-off!), but was pleasantly surprised with Nature's Promise. Bet those sandwiches were tasty.

                                                    2. mattwarner RE: Scrapironchef Aug 28, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                      I can't remember if I saw Ina Garten or Alex Guarnaschelli doing it on Food Network, but now I like to place my bacon on the baking sheet and toss some brown sugar and crushed red pepper flakes over it, then bake until finished. Sweet, salty, slightly spicy. Very tasty. I can't do it very often, though, because then my dog can't have the rendered fat over his kibble, and he's crazy for the "Bacon Food."

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: mattwarner
                                                        EWSflash RE: mattwarner Aug 28, 2009 08:41 PM

                                                        Pasta carbonara- cream & eggs whisked up with salt and a lot of pepper, cook your pasta drain, then put it in the big old skillet where you've cooked your bacon and drained off most of the fat, heat it up, and pour in the cream mixture and toss gently but thoroughly, add a lot of fresh grated parmesan. Devour. Take an aspirin and an Alli or two. Just kidding about the meds, sort of.

                                                        That was taught to me by a guy who thought he was hot stuff,because he lived in Italy and slept with an Italian woman who made the carbonara like that. I have no Idea whether she used the Italian bacon or not. It is the ultimate gutbomb comfort food, though

                                                        1. re: EWSflash
                                                          mojoeater RE: EWSflash Aug 29, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                          I like carbonara when it is served with a runny egg on top!

                                                        2. re: mattwarner
                                                          bushwickgirl RE: mattwarner Sep 7, 2009 12:33 PM

                                                          There was an episode of Chopped where bacon was a dessert ingredient and it was coated with brown sugar and dusted with cayenne (I think or maybe red pepper flakes) and baked. The other guy dipped it in chocolate, which he didn't temper properly. He lost but the judges really like both bacon concoctions.
                                                          My nephew cooks his on a panini grill, it's the flatest, crispiest bacon I've ever had, without being a midge burnt.

                                                        3. p
                                                          pacheeseguy RE: Scrapironchef Aug 29, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                          Another of my wicked pleasures is grilling
                                                          slabs of Wild Boar bacon. I also like to add
                                                          small fried cubes of it to my chili.
                                                          Great sliced up and fried for breakfast too.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: pacheeseguy
                                                            Scargod RE: pacheeseguy Aug 30, 2009 04:15 AM

                                                            Gives chili a neat textural difference, too. I have fried bacon, almost crisp, and chopped it somewhat fine. Those flavor nuggets are a cool taste change when you hit them.
                                                            I'd imagine your cubes are even more powerful when hit in the chili.

                                                          2. j
                                                            justaddwater RE: Scrapironchef Aug 29, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                            Baking is key. Also using the right bacon. Niman Ranch works for me. A great summer treat for the jalapenos from the garden is to stuff them with pre cooked mild italian sausage, pre cook the bacon some, wrap the peppers in the bacon, stab with a toothpick to hold it all together, and grill until there's black marks on the skin. The next step, of course, is to eat yourself sick.

                                                            1. greygarious RE: Scrapironchef Aug 29, 2009 05:16 PM

                                                              The merits of microwaving bacon have been discussed on another thread. I used to bake it in the oven but after hearing Jacques Pepin's firm assertion that the microwave makes the best bacon, I converted. There are gadgets for this, but I just fit as many pieces as possible onto the round, revolving microwave tray (halving them helps) then cover with a round of parchment and keep an eye on it while it cooks on full power. Remove when done. Most people do it between paper towels but I want to be able to collect the rendered fat for use in frying potatoes and eggs. As usual, Jacques is right!

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: greygarious
                                                                mattwarner RE: greygarious Aug 29, 2009 07:51 PM

                                                                I tried this recently, after seeing another of the posts on microwaving bacon. I was underwhelmed. I arranged about eight slices parallel to one another on paper towels on a plate and covered them with another paper towel. I initially microwaved it for eight minutes (one minute per slice) then at one minute intervals for about four more minutes, trying to get the rashers to crisp. It ended up sort of chewey, but not like when bacon is lightly cooked. It was almost papery - hard to break apart with the teeth during chewing. Am I missing something in how I'm microwaving them? I'll admit that I didn't buy my preferred brand, and I wasn't entirely pleased with how this brand baked, either, but I feel like I really am missing something in how I'm microwaving the bacon.

                                                                1. re: mattwarner
                                                                  greygarious RE: mattwarner Aug 29, 2009 07:55 PM

                                                                  I haven't used towels so I can't comment on the resulting texture. The way I do it means that the bacon is sitting in the fat it renders, and that makes it crisp nicely.

                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                    mattwarner RE: greygarious Aug 29, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                    It sounded like you arranged them in a circle pattern around the plate, is that right? I'll try it with the towels and see if that makes the difference.

                                                                    1. re: mattwarner
                                                                      greygarious RE: mattwarner Aug 29, 2009 09:53 PM

                                                                      No, I halve them crosswise and then just make as many rows as I can without overlapping. However you lay out the bacon, try just covering it, not putting towels under the bacon.

                                                                      1. re: greygarious
                                                                        Nii RE: greygarious Aug 31, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                                        Is back bacon big in the states? In all my time going to the States I've never had good bacon, it's always been fatty and streaky.

                                                                        There must be independent butchers who sell the stuff?

                                                                    2. re: greygarious
                                                                      SweetPhyl RE: greygarious Sep 2, 2009 01:00 PM

                                                                      I, too, prefer to microwave my bacon. I put it on the bare plate with a single papertowel on top. After about 4 minutes, I drain the bacon and put a fresh towel on top. It seems to help the bacon crisp up better and I can sart frying my eggs in the drippings. =)

                                                                      1. re: SweetPhyl
                                                                        mattwarner RE: SweetPhyl Sep 2, 2009 06:26 PM

                                                                        How many pieces are you microwaving at once? Or, how do you determine the time to cook the plate's worth?

                                                                        1. re: mattwarner
                                                                          greygarious RE: mattwarner Sep 6, 2009 11:55 AM

                                                                          Since the thickness and fattiness of bacon strips varies according to brand and package, not to mention the wattage of microwave ovens, you have to try a couple of slices, keeping an eye on them. Start with 2-3 minutes, then stop and look. Make a mental note of your results, and remember that residual heat in the rendered fat will still continue cooking the strips in the time it takes for the plate to cool enough to handle.

                                                                2. Fritter RE: Scrapironchef Sep 1, 2009 03:34 AM

                                                                  Have a Rastafarian smoke it and then bake it into brownies!
                                                                  If you don't have any Rastafarians in your hood then soak it in bourbon and brown sugar for a few days and then smoke it on a BGE.

                                                                  1. Passadumkeg RE: Scrapironchef Sep 1, 2009 03:36 AM

                                                                    Wrap bacon around a big fat, fresh sea scallop and grill or broil.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                      c oliver RE: Passadumkeg Sep 1, 2009 08:14 AM

                                                                      Over on a shrimp thread, there's a suggestion to cook the bacon a couple minutes a side (no crispness) prior to wrapping the shrimp. That way the shrimp/scallop won't overcook. I thought that was quite a good idea. FWIW.

                                                                    2. missclaudy RE: Scrapironchef Sep 2, 2009 08:31 AM

                                                                      Make candy, (BACON BRITTLE) out of it.

                                                                      1. Davwud RE: Scrapironchef Sep 2, 2009 08:39 AM

                                                                        Bacon covered bacon.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          kattyeyes RE: Davwud Sep 2, 2009 06:10 PM

                                                                          I went to a new chocolate shop in town tonight and there was a "Porky Porcini" truffle. So I thought, aha, a kindred spirit. But no...it was a porcini truffle without a hint of pig. So, though I'm sure it was interesting, it was less so to me after that. HA!

                                                                        2. Scargod RE: Passadumkeg Sep 6, 2009 10:40 AM

                                                                          Jonesing for a bacon and do'g. How about jellyroll and bacon?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Scargod
                                                                            Scargod RE: Scargod Sep 6, 2009 03:30 PM

                                                                            Perhaps she has the right idea? Cool T-shirt. May have to get one.

                                                                          2. c
                                                                            Cinnamon RE: Scrapironchef Sep 6, 2009 11:11 AM

                                                                            In the book "Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, With Recipes, the author suggests making bacon-fat mayonnaise to go on BLTs."

                                                                            I think that deserves at least an honorable mention.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Cinnamon
                                                                              shanagain RE: Cinnamon Sep 14, 2009 06:52 AM

                                                                              I think you just blew my mind, in a good way.

                                                                              1. re: Cinnamon
                                                                                Davwud RE: Cinnamon Sep 14, 2009 07:36 AM

                                                                                Mmmmmm baconnaise........


                                                                                1. re: Davwud
                                                                                  CHEFINTHECLOSET RE: Davwud Sep 22, 2009 08:37 AM

                                                                                  sugar-peppered brunch bacon is the best. Put your bacon in a baking pan in a 400 F oven. Sprinkle your bacon with brown sugar and coarse cracked black pepper. Bake for about 10-20 minutes, Serve piping hot, Yummy;)

                                                                                  1. re: CHEFINTHECLOSET
                                                                                    kattyeyes RE: CHEFINTHECLOSET Sep 22, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                    That is too funny. I came back to add what I learned about white pepper and here you are suggesting black. Black, white, it's all ultra good, I am sure! ;)

                                                                              2. p
                                                                                pacheeseguy RE: Scrapironchef Sep 23, 2009 09:07 AM

                                                                                Just read a book review of "Zingerman's Guide to Better Bacon".in Gourmet Retailer magazine.
                                                                                Written by Ari Zingerman, owner of Z's deli in Ann Arbor.
                                                                                The reviewer raves about the great history he tells about bacon,
                                                                                and also the 42 bacon recipes, including desserts.
                                                                                I'm going to get it and check it out!

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: pacheeseguy
                                                                                  kattyeyes RE: pacheeseguy Sep 23, 2009 03:18 PM

                                                                                  That sounds wonderful! Please report back if you find recipes worth sharing. ;)

                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                    modthyrth RE: kattyeyes Sep 23, 2009 08:39 PM

                                                                                    All food from Zingerman's is worth selfishly hoarding, so I expect the recipes will be worth sharing. ;-) Looking forward to the review!

                                                                                2. kattyeyes RE: Scrapironchef Oct 3, 2010 04:50 AM

                                                                                  I went to look for this thread this morning since I hadn't candied bacon in a while...rediscovered chef chicklet's tip to add a sprinkle of white pepper and thought, YEAH, LET'S TRY THAT. As I sprinkled it, I thought to myself, isn't it funny how much white pepper smells like chai spices??? Umm, right, that's because I made my own chai spices earlier this year and put it in a white pepper container...nice goin', Kat. :) But tell you what, IT SMELLS GOOD! And it tastes GREAT...YOU'VE GOTTA TRY THIS--CHAI CANDIED BACON...who knew? NOM, NOM, NOM!!!

                                                                                  350 degrees F, 10 mins per side does it for me...and do yourself a favor, line the pan with foil for easier cleanup. :)

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                    bushwickgirl RE: kattyeyes Oct 3, 2010 05:18 AM

                                                                                    Oooh, gotta try that, sounds bacony-delightful! A happy mistake. Can you post your chai spice mix for me? I have just about everything except cardamom right now.

                                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                                      kattyeyes RE: bushwickgirl Oct 3, 2010 06:38 AM

                                                                                      You bet, ladybug...enjoy! :)

                                                                                      CHAI SPICE BLEND
                                                                                      2 teaspoons ground cardamom
                                                                                      2 teaspoons cinnamon (I used Penzey’s Chinese Cassia)
                                                                                      2 teaspoons ground cloves
                                                                                      1 teaspoon ground black and white peppercorns
                                                                                      1 teaspoon ground ginger
                                                                                      ½ a star anise

                                                                                      Buzz these spices up in a mini-food processor et voilà: chai spice blend and an incredibly fragrant kitchen!

                                                                                      I used it to make chai snickerdoodles, though clearly, the possibilities are endless!


                                                                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                        bushwickgirl RE: kattyeyes Oct 4, 2010 11:46 AM

                                                                                        Great, thanks, sounds excellent!

                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                    aynrandgirl RE: Scrapironchef Oct 3, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                                                    Cover it in a spice rub, the hotter the better.

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