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May 9, 2011 04:50 PM

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.