Crispy Oven "Fried" Bacon

BACON!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE BACON!!

OK - I get that all caps and superlatives may be overbearing and annoying to some (especially vegans). But no apologies here because if we're going to be in this blogging relationship for the long haul this is one thing we need to get clear right from the start: I will never apologize for my love of bacon! There you go - small caps, but I couldn't resist the exclamation point :-)

Now I've gotten that out of the way, let's get down to business. This is the first recipe posting for Realistic FoodEs, and for reasons just stated (but won't bore you with again), I decided to focus on bacon. Obviously, one does not become a bacon worshipper of the first order without cooking lots and lots of this finely, divine, cut of heavenly swine.

And like most folks, I fried bacon in an open pan on the stove. Just something nostalgic about this scene, right? But a couple years ago I got tired of all the grease burns and sprays on my clothes and all over my kitchen. Also found it hard to multi-task because bacon sizzling in a pan of grease on top of a gas stove is a recipe for potential disaster - i.e., grease fire. So frying bacon required constant tending. There had to be a better way. . .

One morning I decided to try cooking bacon in the oven and Ta-Da!  This became my "go to" method and a better use for all that grease. I'll let you decide with this video, and afterwards, I offer some final thoughts and file this posting away in the "done" column.

"Cooking crispy bacon in the oven & collecting the fat for other culinary uses. Yes, Bacon! The gift that keeps on giving."

Did you notice that the bacon slices kept their shape? Very little shrinkage - Yet another great benefit to oven cooked bacon. All that delectable, crispy goodness without the grease burns and sprays and no trace of burned, smokey haze in the air.

Back in the day, ovens came with a broiler pan. Not so much anymore. So if you don't have one, here are 2 equipment alternatives:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lay the bacon directly on top. The bacon will not be as crispy, but no flipping required. And besides, you may risk tearing the foil, then fat collection and cleanup will be harder.
  2. Same idea, but lay the bacon on a baking sheet that fits within the rimmed, foil lined baking sheet. You'll enjoy perfectly crisp bacon in minutes!

I also recommend collecting fat only if you use bacon from organic, pasture-raised hogs. Please read about "Healthy Fats" in the Real Food Guidelines for more discussion about why this type of fat is better.

Bacon is ready! Dig in and remember to Eat, Enjoy, Embrace Real Food!

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