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The Single Best Way to Cook Bacon You’ve Never Tried

Eat This, Not That! logo Eat This, Not That! 11/2/2019 April Benshosan
a close up of a slice of pizza: Bacon © Provided by ETNT, LLC Bacon

Mmm, bacon. It complements your egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich, makes for a mean mashed potato add-in, skyrockets the flavor profile of your burger—basically, it’s never a bad idea to add bacon to just about anything. But let’s be real here: The success of beefing up your meal with some bacon is mainly dependent on how you cook the meaty strips. It’s no secret that undercooked, pinkish bacon often gets the boot, while perfectly crisp strips are a one-way ticket to a pork lover’s heart. So how do you cook bacon in a way that ensures it’ll turn out perfectly crisp every time? Well, for starters, it’s time to drop the frying pan.

That’s right, you don’t need to fry the meat on a sizzling skillet after all. You might have been doing the basic skillet routine for years, but just because it makes that satisfying sizzle on the stovetop, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to get perfectly crisped bacon. Plus, if you’ve been doing the microwave way of cooking bacon, you’ll want to hit pause on that method, too. Out the window goes everything you’ve ever known, right?

Instead, it’s time to get baking. You probably haven’t thought about using your oven as the secret to perfectly crisp bacon, but it’s the single best way to cook this breakfast meat that you probably haven’t tried. We promise, it’s actually your oven that holds the power to making bacon pack that extra crunch. Because there’s no point of wasting your time on lackluster meat and we want you to be a total bacon master, we’ve enlisted the help of Pete Balistreri, Tender Greens Chef and VP of Stores, to shed his expertise on how to cook bacon the right way. Below, you’ll find his go-to advice that is all about popping those meat strips in the oven. Say sayonara to the skillet and the turning plate, and say hello to the oven. Plus, learn these other Genius Chef Tricks and Tips.

Why should you cook bacon in the oven as opposed to using other methods?

You may be used to using a pre-heated skillet to crisp your breakfast protein or zapping it in the microwave, but Balistreri tells us that baking is the absolute best way to go. “Your kitchen will be saved from bacon grease splattered around your stove. Also, you can set it and forget it using a 20-minute oven timer as you focus on the rest of your meal,” he says. “The perfectly roasted bacon slices can be used in a BLT, burger, or with your classic breakfast.” Yum—we can’t wait to try this foolproof method!

How to cook bacon in the oven

a wooden cutting board © Shutterstock

Before pre-heating your oven, you must pick the perfect package. Balistreri recommends opting for pre-sliced center-cut bacon that’s preferably thick-cut. Nitrate-free bacon is the way to go, he adds. (We like Applegate Naturals’ uncured bacon.) Now that you know which pack to choose at the store, here’s how to cook it to perfection.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover the top surface of a half-sheet tray with foil.
  2. Place the sliced bacon on the foiled sheet tray. Do not overlap the bacon. There should be a bit of space between the pieces.
  3. Roast the bacon for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the sheet tray from the oven. Be very careful when pulling the tray out of the oven, as it will have rendered bacon fat into hot oil. Do not pull the tray out quickly and splash the bacon grease.
  5. Remove the bacon with tongs into your desired dish. Once the bacon is removed, pour the grease into a ceramic coffee mug to cool. Once cooled, the bacon grease can be poured into a trash bag.

Related Video: 4 Expert-Approved Kitchen Trends to Try in 2019 (Provided by Real Simple)

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