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Opinions of packaged PRE-COOKED bacon?

Normally I bake a pound of ordinary bacon at a time, and it keeps for many weeks in the refrigerator. I have tried microwaving bacon to cook it but prefer the crispness of oven-baked. Not timing well, I am out of pre-cooked and a heat wave has begun. I'd like to rely on BLT's for several hot-weather meals, to avoid the stove.

I have never bought the pre-cooked bacon supermarkets sell. (Is it the same as bacon on fast food chain burgers? I find that too jerky-like and salty.) How does the taste and salt level compare to bacon cooked at home? I would be reheating it in the microwave, as I do my own baked bacon when using it for a sandwich. If you like it, what brands do you recommend? I live in the Boston area, if that matters. Thanks.

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  1. I've probably tried every brand in town (not Boston though). It's all remarkably similar - I find it too thin to be satisfying - you need about 6-7 pieces for a BLT, and even then you can barely taste it. Store-brand (Kroger) is paper-thin. Hormel has good flavor, but again it's awfully skinny. The best I've tried is the Oscar Meyer thick-cut. It's not like making it yourself, but it's not bad. You have to be careful nuking it - 2 seconds too long and it burns and turns to salty crunch. But if you blot with paper towels it takes some of the saltiness away.

    1. Don't buy the precooked. You will just be mad about the expense and quality. Bake it from scratch at midnight if that's what it takes to dodge the heat, it will be worth it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Samalicious

        i'm with samalicious. another alternative is the toaster oven. you'd probably have to do a pound in 2 batches, but your kitchen would remain cool.

      2. The sound and smell of bacon in a skillet is part of what makes a house a home.

        1. Some friends we visit often buy the microwaveable bacon (I think Jimmy Dean brand). It comes in packages that you just toss in the MW. It's okay. Better than the pre-cooked stuff, which I think is just nasty.

          I just cook up a whole pack in my big cast iron skillet (it usually takes two batches) early on a weekend morning.

          1. We like the Hormel that we get from Costco.

            1. I buy the Wellshire Farms and it is mediocre and expensive. But it's precooked and my lazy son can manage it.

              It's not smoky enough (that's what makes bacon worth the calories) and it is a bit too salty (this is saying a lot, because I love salt).

              While I appreciate the convenience, there is no reason to buy this stuff unless convenience is vital to you. If you do buy it, all the other brands are dreadful, so stick with Wellshire.

              1. This makes me clamp my ears and scream like Edvard Munch.

                1. I bought Boar's Head brand on a whim when it was buy one, get one free at Stop & Shop. I put it on paper towels and zap it in the microwave. Have used it so far crumbled into a spinach salad, and as a garnish on clam chowder. Very tasty. The real test will be when the big juicy slicing tomatoes start coming in from the garden.

                  1. I wouldn't sweat it, pun intended, but I checked your weather forecast and if you can hold out 'til Thursday, high 77, you'll be ok. Here in SE Texas we're having a heat wave until the first of October, minimum, unless we can get a gentle tropical storm or small hurricane. Try a grocer or butcher shop where you can buy it by the slice and fry up a few in the skillet until it cools down. That should hold you over.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: James Cristinian

                      I probably should have cooked about 5# in May..... for most folks, 77F would be balmy. I may be balmy myself, but I have no tolerance for temps above 65, a bad combo in a house whose design precludes air conditioning. I'll have to resort to my usual summer protocol, which is to cook only after midnight when overnight temps will be under 65. My oven sees little use between Memorial Day and Halloween.
                      Early June was unseasonably and blessedly chilly and I got spoiled. Didn't cook and freeze nearly as many meals as I normally do.

                    2. Please, gregarious, don't go there. Pre-cooked bacon is about as functional as pre-chewed prime rib. The olfactory reward, alone, should be enough to throw the idea out. . . . not to mention the loss of all that wonderful bacon grease that is not recovered. Bacon only takes a couple minutes to cook and really shouldn't heat the kitchen that much. Please, friend, repent.

                      1. Arguing about pre-cooked bacon is kind of like arguing about pre-cooked chicken mcnuggets.

                        I don't mind pre cooked bacon, but I just wish it wasn't sliced so paper thin.

                        1. have never bought it and probably never will. I don't use bacon much, and would have trouble paying $5 for a quarter-pound when I can get a pound on special for 2.99 and freeze it.