Fried or Baked?


Bacon is one of the best things you can do with a pig. (Ham and sausage being the other best things you can do with them. Outside of this, you’re on your own.)

But there’s a raging debate in me about how to best prepare bacon. That’s right; there’s not a “right” way to do this.

I know what you’re thinking – What, you don’t just throw the crap in a pan and fry it? To which I respond, No, I don’t, and if you read this post, you’d understand all the reasons that’s a bad idea. Just sayin’.

So, one of the best things you can do to bacon is to bake it. Bakin’ bacon. That rules. No spatter (on you, at least); easy clean-up with a little oven cleaner later; and you get bacon done right. Like it crisp? No problem. Like it a little chewier? No sweat. It’s awesome.

It does, however, seem to take longer. I think preheating the oven will help, but it’s still going to take time to get that stuff done. Slapping it in a frying pan seems to make the process go faster somehow.

So now, which do you prefer? Fried, or baked? Or have you ever even considered doing bacon another way? And do you have an alternative method of cooking something which seems out of the ordinary somehow?

I’m feelin’ my inner Emeril, people. Sound off; I wanna hear from ya.

-JDT-

All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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19 thoughts on “Fried or Baked?

  1. My mom loves to bake hers… I don’t really eat bacon too much, but when or if I do, I put it on the Foreman grill.

    Y’know, I would’ve sworn that wouldn’t work. Excellent idea. Is it messy/hard to clean up?

    Thank you for stopping by!

  2. I’ve never thought about baking it, either. How do you get it crispy, turn up the heat? Tell me how you do it.

    Yeah, it can get crispy fine. Two ways to do this: Get an el-cheapo cookie cooling rack to sacrifice. Put that in a baking pan, glass or steel; preheat oven to 400 and lay the bacon across the cooling grate. The fat renders off into the pan and the bacon will crisp up. Usually cook it between 12-18 minutes, I think. Second way: Cook it on your broiling pan so the fat drains into the lower part of the pan. Same process otherwise, but cook times may vary. And no spatter to clean up — it’s all in the oven. 🙂

  3. I fry bacon but as I fry it, I constantly add water into the pan. This helps keep the bacon from sticking to the pan. Also, the excess water at the end, well, it’s basically bacon soup. Or I’ll use a countertop griddle (like a George Forman thing).

    Another vote for the Foreman grill as a bacon tool. Interesting.

    I’ve had baked bacon, but because ovens are often larger than pans, to make using the oven worthwhile, (especially in today’s hippy-centric energy conversation times) you have to bake a whole package of bacon at a time. Yes I know, we’ve all been tempted to eat an entire package of bacon, by ourselves, in one sitting; but that seems a bit more gluttonous, even for me.

    Pff. Please. I can eat a package of bacon in a sitting and start looking for another one. I LOVE bacon.

    But it’s not just how you prepare the bacon. It’s also what you eat with the bacon. Although bacon is awesome all by itself, it is also a great compliment to any sort of warm sandwich. I often eat fast food breakfast sandwichs and will only have the bacon, never the sausage sandwich. (Think of a bacon McMuffin.)

    I, frankly, disagree here. I don’t know about Toronto, but here in The Big Shitty and its surroundings I can’t GET crisp bacon from a fast food restaurant. I go sausage every time because, while I also like the exterior (only) of my sausage crisp, I can eat it without being crisp. Bacon from fast food places is basically bacon chewing gum, and I hate the texture. Jack-in-the-Box used to make the BEST breakfast sandwich croissant. Delicious!

    At home, when preparing a hamburger for myself, I will use my Cuisinart Griddler which is just the right size for a large hamburger and a couple strips of bacon. An awesome and relatively quick meal for one.

    By the way, at the local Wendys, I’m known as the “plain with bacon” guy. Every sandwich I order is ordered plain with bacon. Not just the hamburgers, even the chicken burgers. Spicy chicken, plain with bacon.

    Bacon makes most sandwiches taste better; salads too. No argument here.

    And by the way, ham and sausage are not good things to do with pigs. Sausage is frankly just a demeaning thing to do to any fleshy substance. And ham, I don’t like the texture of the meat or it’s inability to maintain warmth. It gets too cold too fast to be edible. Thus leaving bacon as the best thing to do with a pig. Well, other than riding them.

    Yeah, I know; lots of people don’t like ham. But I love salt-cured (real) hams, and I’m not talking about the water-pork product you get at grocery stores either. I mean a real, honest-to-goodness, hang-cured ham. Good stuff. And pork sausage rocks, period.

    • I find that Tim Horton’s (which I don’t think has come to your town, yet…) uses bacon just right in the breakfast sandwich. But the Timmy’s I go to most mornings, they know me there and treat me well and throw in an extra piece of bacon for me most times. Same goes for my usual Wendy’s lunch.

      No TH’s here yet. I’ll look for it soon; seems to be catching on pretty well here.

      And as for sausage, once I saw my aunt make sausage, I vowed to never eat it again. I’ve eaten a little bit of sausage once in a while since, but it’s just not very tasty. I mean, you know, with sausage, there can be a huge variation, because well, it’s just ground up whatever.

      Yeah, and knowing what’s in it might be a deal breaker for anyone; I don’t blame you. I, however, find well-made sausage is one of my favorite pig-based foods.

      And I just remembered something. When you have bacon with pancakes or french toast or something. Make sure to wipe the bacon in the excess maple syrup. Bacon + maple syrup = YUM!

      Yeah, same with sausage. Remember, I’m quite a bit older than you and have been around the food-block many, MANY times. My gut will attest. 😉

      And you may have to look for it, not every grocery store has it, but there is bacon with added maple syrup flavour. The pan stinks a bit after cooking, but it tastes awesome.

      Actually, I’m not a big fan of that; I prefer my bacon savory and touched with maple syrup separately, after cooking. Just me.

      And if you’re eating a whole package of bacon in one sitting, that’s wrong man. Dontcha have a family to feed too?

      Yeah, but I’ll buy a pack of bacon just for me. The kids get cereal just for them. The wife has things just for her. It’s like a treat. Haven’t done this since I’ve been broke/unemployed though; bacon’s just too expensive.

  4. And a couple other things in regards to the baked versus fried debate.

    If everybody fried their food, there would be no war. – Sergeant Guillaume “Bill” Fontaine De la Tour D’Haute Rive, United States Army

    Health food makes me sick. – Calvin Trillin

    I like children – fried. – W.C. Fields

    Good quotes. I like ’em.

  5. Most restaurants bake the bacon and since I’ve been in food service f.o.r.e.v.e.r. I’m not sure if there is another way to cook it.

    To speed up the baking process, slightly cook it in the frying pan before you put it in the oven. Ending the bacon in the microwave is good, too.

    Interesting! Does ending the bacon in the microwave crisp it? That’s my main complaint with microwaved bacon.

    • I HATE crispy bacon, so no, finishing the bacon in the microwave won’t crisp it unless you leave it there too long.

      Oh, okay. I don’t like bacon gum so I gotta crisp up.

      Best bacon though is 23 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Yum-mee!

      I do mine about that long, a little hotter oven (I LIKE crisp bacon), and yeah, it’s da bomb.

  6. My last name is Bacon! Seriously. We love bacon in this house.

    We do too … well, most of us. Not sure about my son but he’s finicky and stuff.

    (And how many times have I been asked if I’m related to Kevin? And how many people suggested we name our kid Eggasand? Oh, I’ve heard them all.)

    I can imagine.

    I don’t cook, and I wouldn’t fix bacon in any way whatsoever. My husband, however, bakes it–and it is awesome. And the crispier the better. I remember my grandmother at restaurants sending the bacon back to the kitchen if it wasn’t crispy enough.

    My mother is similar; she had to have it absolutely burned for the most part. If it wasn’t back it went. And NO ONE left bacon on the plate; leave the eggs, the ham, the sausage, anything — NOT the bacon.

    • I remember spending a weekend with someone else’s family. The only thing I clearly recall was that at the restaurant, everyone in the family, cut the fat out of the bacon before they would eat it. You know, those lines of fat? They sliced (as best they could) them out and ate what looked like bacon toothpicks and shards.

      Now, maybe real bacon toothpicks would be good, but I remember staring at their shredded bacon and thinking–there is nothing these grown ups can say to me that I’m going to believe.

      What a waste of time and bacon. IMHO. Jeez.

  7. Bacon is entirely my husband’s responsibility. He likes it fried, so we eat it fried. End. Of. Discussion.

    Tough to argue with the guy doing the cooking. ‘Nuff said, even if I think my way’s better.

  8. Thick cut pepper bacon fried up in the pan. That’s the way to go.

    LOVE thick-cut bacon, love it nice and crisp, and the pepper crust only makes it awesomer. 🙂 Nice call there Delaney. Try baking it though. You’ll be surprised. 😉

  9. I just wanted to add that I think cooking bacon in the microwave is the only way to go. Slap it between a couple of paper towels, set it to high (as if there is any other setting worth discussing), and let it go. No mess, no fuss, and perfectly straight and crispy.

    One of my other commenters says it DOESN’T get crispy in the microwave. How long do you zap yours for? Would LOVE to know; also, how do you deal with the fat rendered off?

    I found your page by way of Linda’s page. This was a fun topic and I’m glad I stopped by. 🙂

    I am too! Thank you!

    • Two and a half minutes for two pcs of bacon. Put a good layer of paper towels under the bacon and a thin layer on top. The paper towels soak up all the fat and you can toss them in the can when your done! Very simple clean up. I call it lazy (wo)man’s bacon. The only time I fry bacon in the pan is if I need to fat for potato soup, or greens.

      Nice! How long for a full package, do you suppose? I’ve done this before with a special plastic device for frying bacon, but by the time I get the bacon crisp and finish cooking the whole package (1lb), the plastic literally melts. *Sigh* So, baking is okay, but time consuming. Any help you’ve got is welcome!

  10. So… I had to buy bacon today when I picked up my groceries.

    Wasn’t planning on it. I blame you for this!
    I adore bacon. It’s so wonderful and yummy, and makes the kitchen smell just heavenly.

    The ULTIMATE meat. Well, aside from Filet Mignon. 🙂

    I once guilted Matt into running to get bacon at midnight because we both had the following day off together, and this way we could have some for breakfast. He insisted it wasn’t necessary and we could have breakfast without, but I assured him that if by some strange chance I died in my sleep, he would go the rest of his life knowing I died because he didn’t get bacon for me. After some nagging, and prodding, and an exasperated “fiiiiiine”, I had my bacon. 🙂

    As for cookin’ my bacon… fried is the only way for me. I’ve tried microwaving, and baking, but I just prefer to be able to keep a steady eye over my pan so I know when it is just perfect (and for the rare occasion we say “to hell with the diet!” frying the egg in the pan after taking the bacon out is quite nice – horrible for you, and only once in a blue moon we indulge in this – but oh so yummy)

    Oh, I disagree! Eggs in bacon fat aren’t any worse for health than eggs in any other fat, I’d wager. That’s MHO, though, and nothing tastes better.

    The other issue, I love bacon on ANYTHING. Sometimes I’ll cook it up, and make extra so I can throw it in everything afterward… assuming I can keep my fingers out of the plate long enough for that to happen, I too could eat a whole package and wish for more before realizing “holy shit I just ate a whole package of bacon!”. My absolute favourite thing to do with bacon though – toast with homemade strawberry jam, cheddar cheese (real cheese, NOT cheese slices), and bacon. Very yummy.

    JELLY?! Uh … not sure about that. The rest? Sounds AWESOME.

    Pigs are magical creatures, and I always feel the need to point this out, too. I love chicken, and I do love a nice prime rib steak once in awhile, but for me, it’s all about the pig. Magical animal bearing wonderful meats!

    I keep telling Matt I am going to have a pet pig someday, a mini one, not an eatin’ one.

    No point to a pig you can’t eat. And I have to differ here — cows are man’s best friend, followed closely by the pig, then the chicken. And if FRIED, the chicken is a close, close competitor. 😉

    • Well the only fat I’ve ever cooked my eggs in is bacon… otherwise, the grill gets a spray of Pam, and it’s done.

      Bacon fat or bust … I love it! 😀

      Oh yes, with jam 🙂 It’s scrumptious… you have to give it a shot some night. Makes a lovely snack. It’s the Mom-in-Law’s favourite treat, and it took her a couple years to finally get me to take a bite (sounded rather repulsive in all honesty at the time), but it’s lovely. It’s warm, and sweet, and salty, and the cheese just rounds it all together.

      Yeah, I don’t know if I can man up enough to try that. Maybe someday, but … I dunno. Don’t hold your breath. 😉 (You were brave to try it.)

      There most certainly is a point to a pig you don’t eat! They’re cute, and cuddly, and they would make for such an interesting pet! All the kids on the play ground would be like “yeah, well I have a dog, and I have a cat”, then you pull the “yeah? Well I have a pet pig – yeah, that’s right, a pig, he lives in the house, not a barn pig”… and you’d be the coolest kid on the playground in about 30 seconds followed by a chorus of “no way! that’s so cool!”

      Pff, puh-LEEZE, woman. That’s what pet TIGERS are for, not pigs. 😉

  11. Matt asked what I was doing as I finished commenting on this… I said “I’m commenting on a blog that discussed bacon, and how great it is, and what’s the best way to cook it.”

    “My God that is awesome – and fried is the only way.”

    🙂

    Heh.

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