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am i the only one that cooks bacon this way?

charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 04:45 PM

when i cook bacon, i put it straight from the fridge into a cold pan. then i turn the heat on as low as it will go. it takes, honestly, about 20-30 minutes. IMO, it yeilds the tastiest bacon. i have also been known to bake it, deep fry it, fry it slightly hotter than my normal method, and even microwave. i feel like this super slow fry helps you to render more fat (which of course i save) as well as produces a beautiful color, and a wonderful harmony of crispy lean bites and slightly chewy fattier bits. in my opinion, its that delicate interplay between crispness and slight toothesome-ness that makes bacon such a wonderful treat.

am i the only one to do this? what is everyone elses preferred method? any other ways i should try?

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  1. Veggo RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 04:57 PM

    Try your outdoor grill, also. Tend to it constantly and manage the flare-ups, a few short ones are a good thing. And somehow it doesn't curl up. Barbecued bacon - yum.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Veggo
      charles_sills RE: Veggo Oct 24, 2012 04:57 PM

      sounds delicious!!! heck, i often sprinkle my BBQ rub onto bacon, so why not grill it!! hahah

      right now i am riffing on something i shall call harvest tacos. basically a bacon and sweet potato taco with red cabbage/apple/hananero slaw.

      1. re: Veggo
        d
        drewpbalzac RE: Veggo Oct 24, 2012 05:04 PM

        I put my rub on sliced pork belly that I get from an Asian supermarket and then put it int a low- low oven comes out great.

        I do something similarly with cured bacon but I leave the salt out of my rub.

        I use the low pan method when I am prepping a lot (a pound our more) of bacon for recipes. I use a deep skillet so that as the fat renders the bacon essentially "confits" itself.

        1. re: drewpbalzac
          charles_sills RE: drewpbalzac Oct 24, 2012 05:09 PM

          i always leave salt out of my rubs, that way in case i decide to brine something, i dont end up oversalting.

          1. re: charles_sills
            d
            drewpbalzac RE: charles_sills Oct 27, 2012 07:20 AM

            I would never use salt in a rub for something that had been brined.

            However brining is a pain sand I rarely do it so I usually have to have salt in my rub.

      2. iL Divo RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 05:19 PM

        at our house we put it into the huge fry pan.
        at our DD's house, she puts it on a wire rack then bakes it on a cookie sheet.

        2 Replies
        1. re: iL Divo
          c
          cleobeach RE: iL Divo Oct 25, 2012 06:54 AM

          I am also a wire rack/baking sheet gal.

          I never thought about oven temp, I usually do it at 400. I might experiement next time.

          1. re: cleobeach
            eight_inch_pestle RE: cleobeach Oct 26, 2012 01:06 AM

            Give 325 a try. I find it cooks more nicely and doesn't splatter or smell as strongly.

        2. l
          Lady_Tenar RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 05:22 PM

          I add the bacon to a hot pan instead of letting it heat up in the pan. But I am a very firm believer in frying bacon at a relatively low temperature. Not only does it render more fat (for the jar in my fridge) but it also prevents it from getting above the smoke point and giving the bacon (and the whole kitchen...) an acrid smell. I find that most people make this mistake with bacon. When it first starts frying, it has that delicious bacon aroma but then they overheat the fat and yuck! Lower heat takes patience but gives you tastier bacon AND tastier drippings for other dishes.

          1. Will Owen RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 05:59 PM

            The cold-bacon/cold-pan method was widely advised by bacon producers back when I was first paying real attention to everyday cooking, along around the mid-1960s. I remember doing it that way when my mom and the first Mrs. O and I were sharing a rustic mountain cabin in Alaska, and the time it took to do it was making the women crazy. They were both firm believers in FAST and HOT. We were up there for three nights, and that was the only breakfast they let me cook. I still do it that way, though.

            1. Cynsa RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 06:15 PM

              I'm with you - low and slow. with a jar of bacon grease next to the stove.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cynsa
                m
                mandymoo RE: Cynsa Jan 31, 2013 11:21 AM

                +1

                Starting with a cold pan.

              2. todao RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 07:22 PM

                I used to fry it fast and furious. My wife taught me to do it your way and you're right. The slow approach is, IMO, the best of all methods.

                4 Replies
                1. re: todao
                  Veggo RE: todao Oct 24, 2012 07:32 PM

                  Sort of like....oh, nevermind.

                  1. re: Veggo
                    charles_sills RE: Veggo Oct 24, 2012 10:06 PM

                    haha! zing!

                  2. re: todao
                    j
                    jaykayen RE: todao Oct 24, 2012 10:29 PM

                    all this time, i thought you were a woman.

                    1. re: jaykayen
                      charles_sills RE: jaykayen Oct 24, 2012 10:38 PM

                      another zing? haha.

                  3. eight_inch_pestle RE: charles_sills Oct 24, 2012 10:43 PM

                    I'm in the baking camp, but I do believe in baking it at a much lower temp than most others suggest. Takes me more like half-an-hour than 10 to 12 minutes.

                    1. k
                      Kontxesi RE: charles_sills Oct 25, 2012 07:54 AM

                      I fried up a mess of bacon in my cast iron wok one day on a whim. My BF thought I was crazy to get that heavy thing out just for bacon, but afterwards he said it was the best he'd ever had. It was delightfully crispy without crumbling to pieces when you took a bite. It left plenty of fat in the pan, but somehow there was still enough on the bacon to keep me happy.

                      I'm guessing using a cast iron skillet would be no different, but alas, I do not own one. So the wok it is, for now!

                      1. e
                        eliz553 RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 03:38 AM

                        I also slow-fry my bacon - cooks more evenly, makes less of a mess.

                        1. jmcarthur8 RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 03:49 AM

                          Hubby and I both fry ours in the skillet. I do it low and slow, but DH tends to try and speed it up with a too hot pan. I can tell by the sound and/or smell that it's too hot, and when I tell him from the other room to turn down the heat on the stove, it puts him in a bit of a dither.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jmcarthur8
                            tcamp RE: jmcarthur8 Oct 26, 2012 09:18 AM

                            Same situation here, exactly. To the "dither."

                          2. RealMenJulienne RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 09:01 AM

                            I have a small George Foreman grill that isn't good for much, but it's perfect for bacon. The lid closes to keep grease from spattering, and the fat drains into a tray for easy collection. Bacon comes out perfectly crisp and limp, every time.

                            If I don't feel like cleaning the Foreman then yes, I do it your way with low heat.

                            1. m
                              mwhitmore RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 02:51 PM

                              Sort of, except I use a ridged grill skillet, then put it in a low oven with a press on top.

                              1. j
                                jbsiegel RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 05:51 PM

                                I just toss mine into a dutch oven (cold), turn on the heat, stir as needed. This saves the splattering all over my stove and makes nice curly bacon (which is how I like it). Save the grease for something else later on.

                                1. emglow101 RE: charles_sills Oct 26, 2012 09:13 PM

                                  Yea,My favorite is, Saturday morning cooking bacon low and slow.Coffee,reading emails,and Chow.
                                  Honestly at least 40 min.

                                  1. m
                                    melinna RE: charles_sills Nov 6, 2012 03:20 PM

                                    I bake mine in the oven at about 350 until it's done. I usually put it on a rack on a pan so the fat drips off.....I turn it a time or two as well. So good.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: melinna
                                      l
                                      lilmomma RE: melinna Nov 6, 2012 04:11 PM

                                      I bought a huge pack of bacon when it was on sale. I think it is about 5 pounds. maybe 10. Anyway, I put it in the freezer and I am not sure how to cook it. I should have packed it in individual 1 pound bags before I froze it. What now?

                                      1. re: lilmomma
                                        greygarious RE: lilmomma Nov 9, 2012 06:47 AM

                                        You'll need to let it partially thaw in the refrigerator in order to be able to divvy it up, then wrap in smaller amounts and refreeze. Are you committed to using it in standard slices? If not, you could slice it up crosswise into roughly inch-wide "slices". Thaw one of those and cook your little bacon squares as needed. An electric carving knife would probably be easier than a chef's knife or cleaver. If you want it in long slices. try partially thawing it incrementally
                                        by standing the wrapped block-o-bacon in cold water or on a metal surface like a baking pan or frying pan. Either will wick the cold out pretty quickly. Begin to check at 10 minutes because your goal is not to thaw thoroughly, just enough to allow you to pry off a bunch of still-largely-frozen. Don't do this again....but you know that already!
                                        slices which you will then re-wrap and re-freeze.

                                    2. l
                                      Lakelady10 RE: charles_sills Nov 9, 2012 04:37 AM

                                      I learned this method in Home Ec, so many years ago that they still called it that, and it does yield the besst bacon and the BEST bacon grease to use for other wonderful things. I thought everyone did it this way, lol.

                                      1. f
                                        FriedClamFanatic RE: charles_sills Nov 9, 2012 05:16 AM

                                        Low, slow in a cold pan with lots of turning. Ubless I've got a crowd, then it goes into a roasting pan in a cold oven..set the oven for 425. Just about the time the oven goes off, the bacon is done.........thicker slices may require turning and a few more minutes. Of course, oven heat times vary...but it works for me..almost fool-proof.

                                        1. fldhkybnva RE: charles_sills Jan 31, 2013 11:15 AM

                                          I have refused to fry bacon for years because I just hate it but needed some bacon grease the other night and had to take on the task. I think perhaps I did the high temp method as it was a bit more crispy than I like and went from not cooked to very crispy pretty quickly. Now that I have a thing for bacon fat I imagine I'll be pan frying a lot more bacon. How often d you flip with the low and slow method?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                                            f
                                            FriedClamFanatic RE: fldhkybnva Jan 31, 2013 08:21 PM

                                            about every 2 mins after an initial 3-5 min warm-up. i just keep flipping and watching near the end

                                          2. jmcarthur8 RE: charles_sills Feb 1, 2013 02:26 AM

                                            I must change my answer now. Ever since we got our Breville Smart Oven a few weeks ago, we've been baking the bacon in it instead of frying it. Super easy, and it turns out evenly browned.

                                            1. m
                                              mussy RE: charles_sills Feb 1, 2013 07:33 AM

                                              I've used the cookie sheet covered in foil in the oven or BBQ for about 6 years now. I do 1kg. pkg. (2 1/4 lbs.) at a time because I only use thick sliced. I drain slices on paper toweling, I then roll out about 2 1/2 feet of parchmant paper, lay the slices on it and start rolling from one end. You get this nice rolled bundle of cooked bacon. I slip it into a large freezer bag and keep it in the freezer. When I need 1 slice or more just take what you need, warm if required in a pan or microwave and use. So handy.

                                              1. fldhkybnva RE: charles_sills Feb 4, 2013 05:10 PM

                                                I started using this method instead of the microwave and the results are fantastic! however, for some reason I seem to always end up with really crispy areas with other areas which are still flabby and need to cook longer. I feel like my heat is fairly low but do I need to lower it more and perhaps flip more often and move the pieces around the pan? Last night, I flipped every 3 or 4 minutes or so (estimate as I was fiddling around the kitchen prepping other things too but trying to pay close attention) and the flame from the burner was just barely visible though it is a power burner so not sure if that matters.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                  m
                                                  mussy RE: fldhkybnva Feb 4, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                  I do my bacon at 350 and only turn once. I also take the outside ones and switch with the middle 2. Usualluy takes 30 to 40 minutes to get to the state I like but I also use thick cut so regular may take a shorter time.

                                                2. l
                                                  Lakelady10 RE: charles_sills Feb 4, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                  Get a bacon press (a flat piece of cast iron with a wooden handle) and you won't have that problem. Heat the press, and then put it on top of the bacon when you start it. You will get flat bacon and no flabby bits (that happens when the bacon curls up and part doesn't get into the bacon fat). They aren't expensive, and can also double to toast sandwiches.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Lakelady10
                                                    fldhkybnva RE: Lakelady10 Feb 5, 2013 06:46 AM

                                                    Great, thanks I'll look into it.

                                                  2. h
                                                    Harters RE: charles_sills Feb 5, 2013 05:29 AM

                                                    I always cook bacon under the grill. And not for very long - any hint of crispness means its overdone.

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