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My husband hates the smell of bacon frying...ideas for a substitute?

I am new to the meat world, having been vegetarian for a few decades. I've fallen back in love with bacon, but the smell of it sticks around for a loooong time. Any substitutes, that won't leave a lingering odor? Would any non-smoked meat work? Should I stick to less fatty meats?

Looking for advice -- I'd love to substitute another animal product for for breakfast.


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  1. Bacon is bacon is bacon. There really is no substitute that will taste anything like it.

    I would find a new husband.

    13 Replies
    1. re: nmprisons

      Sadly, I agree that this is the only solution.

      1. re: pikawicca

        plus two. Bob and I used to say that we could probably eat a whole pound of bacon at one time. One Christmas morning we did that. Just kept cooking and eating and cooking and eating.

        I have, on rare occasion, taken very thinly sliced deli ham and fried it up in a little butter til kinda/sorta crispy. Easier to get another husband.

        1. re: c oliver

          We do eat a whole pound of bacon. Thanks to my two boys I don't bother to cook less than the whole package.

        2. re: pikawicca

          I completely agree; keep the bacon ditch the spouse.

        3. re: nmprisons

          Luckily most guys I know love the smell of bacon, it should be an easy substitution.

          1. re: joonjoon

            Funny! Thanks for a quick lift of my bad mood!

            Was going to ask if husband is an alien?

          2. re: nmprisons

            +1 Thanks for the laugh, nmprisons - Ha!

            No offense intended, but I just can't fathom not loving the smell. We fry up about 2 lbs every weekend. It's a must. Heads would roll if my SO didn't do it.

            How about cooking a couple of pieces in the microwave or even in the oven? Plus you can buy cured or fresh bacon that has not been smoked.

            1. re: nmprisons

              A new husband would be my only suggestion, too.

              1. re: katybz

                Agreed. Life is too short to ever compromise when it comes to bacon.

              2. re: nmprisons

                That was my exact first reaction. Hilarious that it was the first reply.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Alas, all of these posters above are correct. The only solution is a substitute husband.


                  1. re: Davwud

                    No-brainer in my book. My greasy, smoky, salty bacon book :-D

                2. re: nmprisons

                  You took the words right out of my mouth. I was coming on here to suggest a new husband. Bacon is bacon and men are what they are.

                3. Sausage, ham, Canadian bacon...

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: monavano

                    Actually Canadian bacon is a very good substitute. Sausage not so much. When I was pg ALL meat products and I mean ALL made me sick. I never even ate them, all I had to do was smell them cooking and it grossed me out. So, enough about me. Canadian bacon is a good substitute as well as the turkey bacon made in the oven.

                    If the OP lives w/ a back yard and BBQ - make it on the grill. Fer sure.

                    1. re: JerryMe

                      Bacon cooked on a gas grill is my preferred way of cooking it. And when I fry fish, I'll often use an electric skillet on the patio to keep the smell out of the house.

                      1. re: mr99203

                        What temp setting do you use and for how long?

                        1. re: Philly Ray

                          Medium High indirect heat, I turn on the front flame and place the bacon in the back to prevent flare ups. Then turn it a few times while it grills. It takes about the same time as frying it in a pan.

                      2. re: JerryMe

                        Unfortunetely, I live in a New York City apartment -- not many possibilities for opening windows and sliding doors ;(
                        Like most people responding, I love the smell of pork fat, despite 2 decades-plus of former vegetarianism. That might be because I grew up eating it, whereas my husband grew up in the Middle East, where pork isn't eaten. He isn't against it on religious grounds--I think it's like a "pregnant lady" reaction, like JerryMe. ;)

                        1. re: Aucoin

                          That actually says a lot Aucoin. I know how hard it is to cook certain things in a NYC apartment, and frankly, I don't know how they do it, but they seem to manage ; ).

                          Also, that's just like my Dad, born & raised in Egypt. To this day, he doesn't eat bacon. He's never complained of the smell, and is not a devout Muslim so he will eat pork, (unlike my aunts, uncles & cousins!) but he's just not into it.

                            1. re: Aucoin

                              I am sure that is nice, but I am not fluent in Arabic (assuming that is Arabic) and it's too late to call my Dad or aunties & ask them what it means?? And stupid MS translator seems to be clueless??

                              Can you be so kind as to translate it for me?? I swear, after Italian and Japanese, I am planning to learn Arabic. Okay, maybe before Japanese, since I don't have any Japanese family, LOL!!

                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                  Thanks for the translation, below. I barely speak a few phrases, myself-- just a few expressions I learned from my husband and Egyptian neighbors (the Astoria part of Queens has a delightful little Egypt -- with great food and people!). So you pick up a few words, here and there.

                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                    Very close to "Shalom Aleichem," which is the Hebrew for G-d's Peace Be With You, and it can also mean a Hello or a Goodbye.

                        2. I say find a substitute for the husband. :-)

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                            Too late...I promised him I'd make the switch. Oy! I fear bacon is uniquely delicious, and will make do with weekend visits to Fette Sau in Williamsburg.

                              1. re: Aucoin

                                Compromise. My wife hates the smell of bacon but I love the stuff, so we've agreed that I won't cook it too often (usually no more than twice a month) and she puts up with it because she wants me to be happy. And I don't make it as often as I'd like because I want her to be happy.

                                1. re: BobB

                                  Good point -- I hate the smell and taste of salmon, but tolerate it bec. I know he loves it and it's good for him.

                                  1. re: Aucoin

                                    Wait till he's going to be out for the day and put a couple of pounds of bacon into the oven and cook it all at once. Then put the cooked bacon into the freezer and you can heat it up a few slices at a time without making any extra smell. There's no way to avoid the 'bacon' smell at least once...or else you could spend a fortune and start buying the pre-cooked ready-to-eat bacon from the supermarket. But if you tell him how much it costs compared to the fresh stuff, your DH might be willing to put up with the smell for one day every three months!

                                2. re: Aucoin

                                  OK, so normally I would just consider this heresy, but I have seen cooked bacon in my supermarket. No frying -- just a quick spin through the microwave to warm up.

                                3. Try baking it on the oven. 450 for about 15 minutes does the trick.

                                  If that doesn't work, get him a clothespin.

                                  9 Replies
                                  1. re: Philly Ray

                                    I ONLY bake my thick sliced bacon in the oven on parchment, so much easier than frying and no mess. But it still makes the house smell like bacon for a while.

                                    OP, you can always make the bacon, with the windows wide open, a slider door or two open and your stove vent on. It might help clear out the smell faster. That's what I do when I fry fish, since I can't stand the lingering odor, it literally keeps me awake at night.

                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                      I bake the bacon on an unlined sheet pan because I want to save the magic potion that is bacon grease for use in other cooking. One pan isn't quite enough to hold an entire pound, so you need either a second pan or two batches. However, once it's cooked it keeps in the refrigerator for a month or more. Reheating it in the microwave or a saute pan takes just a few seconds and doesn't perfume the room. So I suggest you cook a whole package at a time, when hubby is away for the day and you can open windows.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        Excellent advice, grey. Yes, it does keep quite awhile, and when I have any leftover, I wrap it in paper towels and put it in a ziploc. And you can par cook it this way, wrap it this way, and finish crisping in the microwave as grey suggests.

                                        Reason I use parchment is that I have so much bacon grease to use, I have no where to put any new stuff!! The parchment makes it so that the half sheet barely needs to be washed afterward.

                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                          Last paragraph, great idea. I use a small soup can to store the bacon drippings. Unfortunately I throw out more than I use.

                                        2. re: greygarious

                                          <The magic potion that is bacon grease>, Love it, greygarious!! Back in the day when it was about the only low-priced shortening available to the masses (besides v. expensive butter, that is) Southern ladies of a certain class referred to it as "Bacon Liquor" because the word "grease" was considered gauche and inappropriate. Wonder what they'd make of true Bacon-infused liquor?

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            I have a jar of bacon liquor on my counter. As well, I have a jar of BBQ liqour.


                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              LOL That is great! Bacon liquor...I found my new name for it. Sounds sooo much better than bacon fat.

                                            2. re: mamachef

                                              Wouldn't that be "bacon likker", a la "pot likker", the term used for the liquid left after braising greens?

                                              As for all the suggestions to fry or bake bologna or salami, I wouldn't expect Mr. Aucoin to object any less. If he didn't like the smell of cod cooking, your solution would not be to use perch instead.....

                                              Wiping down the interior of the microwave with diluted ammonia will get rid of most of the lingering aromas. Even if it doesn't look like anything has spattered.

                                        3. re: Philly Ray

                                          First, I love all the "substitute husband" comments -- that was my first reaction as well.

                                          But after reading the baking suggestion, I was thinking microwaving might help as well.

                                        4. You can try Pastrami or salami. Fry or bake on a sheetpan.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: phantomdoc

                                            Good ideas...I bought some salami, which I don't even have to cook. I might try to bake the bacon (from Dickman's...divine)in the oven. Something tells me he just doesn't want me to eat that much cholesterol...He has yet to understand the health benefits of fatty pork ;)

                                            1. re: phantomdoc

                                              Hard salami chips made in the oven are a delicious addition to salads.
                                              Fried bologna can sub for bacon.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                We think alike, love anything salami. I had just thought of fried bologna, also, YUM!!

                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                  Yeah -- salami and balogna sound great -- ready for my trip to the butcher.

                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                that sounds delicious -- what my Mum used to make back in the 80's.

                                                1. re: Aucoin

                                                  Yes, we love the canned version, it's really yummy. My husband introduced me to sliding it out of the can whole, slicing it into 4 equal slices, then pan fry them. Served over toasted english muffins and top with a poached egg. I think we ate this every Sunday while we were still kidless ; )

                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                    I make my own Hash but nothing compares to the canned version the way you describe it.. I love the Broadcast canned version so much more than the "real thing"..

                                                    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

                                                      I know, I've tried all kinds of homemade. And only the Four Seasons in NYC room service was the winner. (the atmosphere probably played a role!!) But I seriously can not find a homemade version I like better than the canned. It just isn't the same.

                                              2. In my opinion, bacon doesn't have to be hot to be good. Cook when Mr. Nose is not home. Cook in micro with exhaust fan on and Mr. Nose outside.

                                                >>> I'd love to substitute another animal product for for breakfast.<<
                                                Perhaps another human male animal at your breakfast table...
                                                Sorry, just couldn't resist.

                                                1. why not buy the stuff that's already cooked (Armor? Hormel? Can't remember) - then you could nuke a strip or two -- how much smell can that possibly make?

                                                  (sorry, but baloney, salami, and sausage just don't register as bacon substitutes to my inner being screaming BACON)

                                                  Canadian bacon or cured pork loin would be my first choice.

                                                  1. Just yesterday i fried Spam for breakfast! Cut in slices, pepper heavily, fry in butter til some crunchies appear. Another legacy from Sam :)

                                                    1. Your husband and my husband are the same. DH hates the smell of bacon although he does enjoy a BLT and likes bacon flavoring as the base of soups.

                                                      So, what to do?

                                                      When I fry bacon, I have the stove fan on full blast. The AC blower is switched on. The kitchen doors are tightly shut.

                                                      Once the bacon is cooked, immediately remove the rashers onto a plate and immediately put the pan into the sink and douse with water and soap. This will kill 90% of the lingering smell.

                                                      Wipe down the stovetop and any surrounding countertops. This kills the remaining 10% of the lingering smell.

                                                      Any lingering smell in the air soon disappears.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                                        Roland -- good ideas. It's fun to see how many other people love bacon -- and the lengths we'll go to, to save our marriages

                                                        1. re: Aucoin

                                                          More like the lengths some of us will go to in order to save our bacon.

                                                      2. We used to get a Cobb salad at a place and they fried slices of pancetti til crispy and placed on the side of the salad as the bacon substitute. A rather expensive sub but cheaper than the damn divorce.

                                                        1. i'd say pancetta? It leaves a different lingering odor.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: jscarbor

                                                            Second this...and second the new husband idea. :)

                                                            I can't think of a better weekend wake up than the smell of bacon...heavenly.

                                                          2. Just run to Target or Walmart and get yourself a cheap electric griddle.
                                                            Take that griddle and go out on the back porch/garage/backyard with a pound of bacon, and HAVE AT IT!

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                              On the 5th floor in a NYC apt -- maybe I could get creative and grill on the fire escape? JK -- maybe moving to the suburbs (for easier dispersion of bacon-smell) isn't such a bad idea.

                                                              1. re: Aucoin

                                                                Well, if it was me...yes!

                                                                I'd be out on the fire escape, balancing the griddle on my lap! LOL

                                                            2. If your gas grill has a side-burner, use it - that's what we do when frying chiles to soften them for mole or enchilada sauce (since the oil spatters and the smell lingers). Or use a broiler pan you're willing to have get a bit blackened on the bottom and use it on the grill (keep the temp to about 400 degrees).

                                                              There is no substitute for bacon. Ham, Canuck bacon or back bacon, salami - all are tasty, but if you want bacon they're not going to scratch the itch.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: monopod

                                                                grill side burner! that's the answer.

                                                                maybe proscuitto as a substitute, depending on the utilization. I could see a nice PLT and I wouldn't mind some pancakes with a proscuitto side.

                                                              2. Have you tried the microwave? Fast cooking and you can pitch paper towels that it's cooked on.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: berkleybabe

                                                                  It still smells like bacon, though, and everything you nuke for the next three days will bring that bacon aroma back. I don't mind it, but someone who objects to bacon will hate it.

                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                    Not if you keep your microwave clean. Coverage with paper towels does the trick, and no lingering smell, wah lah!

                                                                2. You can buy precooked bacon from Trader Joe's. No, it is not that good. It's very salty and not smoky/sweet enough, but it IS bacon. It won't leave a lingering smell in your microwave (this is where you have to heat it, sorry), and you will still feel as if you've had bacon.

                                                                  1. I cook bacon in the oven when I am worried about the smell lingering. Seems to work for me. Trick is to clean up right away, don't leave the bacon grease hanging around.

                                                                    1. OK, so new hubby is not going to be the answer. I get the concept; have loved one who hates certain cooking smells. btw, LOL when someone said replace; but realize not an option.

                                                                      Maybe you could cook bacon any way you want when sig other is gone and do a scent boil of cloves, cinnamon, star anise and orange rind for a cleanse about an hour before he gets home?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: MartiniGenie

                                                                        Honestly, I might try anything...It's interesting that so many sympathize with my plight (if you could call it that...)

                                                                      2. Hey...new here too. You can buy already fully cooked bacon!
                                                                        But seriously.......keep the Bacon, loose the Husband!

                                                                        1. Perhaps that gel stuff coroners use on their upper lip before performing an autopsy on a decaying body.


                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                            Thanks, DT! Given that association, I just might never eat bacon again! : )

                                                                          2. You could try substituting Guy Fieri for your current hubby. I hear he really digs bacon.
                                                                            Seriously, though - v. thinly sliced salami baked on a sheet pan until crispy makes a wonderful bed for egg dishes, and you can also tuck them into muffin cups and bake until crisp for little salami cups; great for holding scrambles, etc.

                                                                            1. Well, I clicked on this thread to suggest a substitute for the husband instead, but since EVERYONE has already done that, may I suggest fried pastrami, (as Phantomdoc also suggests above).

                                                                              Thin slices from the deli and just a little oil. Fries up crisp and very satisfying.

                                                                              1. Offer to fry it in the nude. I know that's a dangerous situtation, but it would definitely keep his mind off of the smell..

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. Try frying up some bologna. It's delicious, doesn't take very much time and doesn't smell up the place like bacon does. Cut the bologna in half before you fry it. I love this for breakfast!