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Bakin' Bacon - An Experiment

BotchBotch Posts: 10,972
Sam the Cooking Guy, and many others, like to bake their bacon on a wire rack in the oven, as the bacon remains flat (and easier to cook for a crowd).  Recently he's been dredging his bacon in flour first, and it looked like it gave the bacon a crunchier exterior, thought I'd try that someday.  
That someday was today.  I laid down one slice with nothing on it, and a second slice dredged in flour.  Had two slices left, so in the interest of Science I dredged the third slice in cornstarch (popular around here for chicken) and the last slice in a 50-50 mixture of cornstarch and baking powder, which is what I now use for wings).  
 

 
Slid them into a 350º oven (Sam's reccomendation).  And waited.  I didn't note the time, but it took between 30 and 45 minutes for these things to look done.  
 

 
On Sam's video there was an obvious difference between the naked and the floured bacon, but my slices all looked kinda the same except for #4, it had obvious crunchy bubbles all over it, and probably why I like it on grilled chicken so much.  Some Notes:

Slice #1, Control (nekkid):  greasy on the surface, yet the meat tasted dry.  And it felt like there was a different taste as compared to fried bacon (guess I should've had two controls).
 
Slice #2, floured:  I liked the crunchiness the flour coating gave it, although I think it'd be lost in a sandwich.  The slice also stuck to the rack, and like the Control, tasted "dry".   
 
Slice #3, cornstarch:  Crunchy like #2.  Stuck to the rack even worse than #2.  And I felt like it had a bit of an off-flavor.  
 
Slice #4, cornstarch + baking powder:  Surprisingly, I couldn't detect an off-flavor here as with #3 (thought it'd be worse), and it didn't stick to the rack; odd.  It was the most crunchy of the four, but it looked funny (I wouldn't serve this by itself, or chopped in a salad).  
 
Some more Notes:  I can't believe what a fricking mess dredging just three slices of bacon was; I got white powder substance on my shirt, the countertop, my pants, the top of my shoe, and the floor.  Almost as messy as my Wok Deep-Frying Disaster of 1994 (which I'm still not ready to discuss).  It also takes me seconds to wash/dry my non-stick frypan, it will take a lot longer to scrub the wire rack, and the pan (plus I burned my thumb on the grease in the pan, sloshing it around when I removed it).  All four baked slices tasted dry to me, compared to frying, I think that was because of the much longer cooking time.  Finally, the house smells good, but different from frying bacon in a pan; I'll have to check how hot my skillet is, probably higher than 350º and gets more of the Maillard reaction happening.  
 
Glad I tried this, but I won't do it again; I'll stick to frying bacon in a skillet.  Thanks for looking.  
____________________________________________
Introvert Engineers - Social Distancing before it was cool.  
Ogden, Utard.  
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Comments

  • Buckwoody EggerBuckwoody Egger Posts: 223
    edited February 22
    I seem to recall sheet pans of bacon baked on paper in my college restaurant days. Paper probably slowed the slosh of grease. Before the days of cameras everywhere—  put a sheet of freshly crisped bacon in front of a college kid and guess how much bacon goes through quality control. There’s no way the target production yields are 100% in that production line. 
  • posterposter Posts: 799
    Ive been cooking bacon in an air fryer lately. Seems to come out perfect every time. Easy clean up and fast,  5-10 min depending on how you like it. I tried the oven first, but like you said it takes to long and is a hassle
  • ColbyLangColbyLang Posts: 1,053
    My buddy owns a breakfast spot. Every piece of bacon (60-80# daily) gets baked on parchment paper with a touch of tap water added to the pan. Comes out crispy and straight as an arrow
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,245
    Thank you for sharing your experiment.  I love bacon.

    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 7,718
    I almost always cook bacon in the oven. I only set the temp to about 250-ish. At that temp it does take a few hours but it doesn't spatter or make a mess, it is harder to overshoot the degree of done-ness I want, the fat renders very cleanly (important to me as I always save it), and the house smells great all afternoon.
    When I first started doing bacon in the oven I just used one of my usual sheet pans/rack. As you found, cleaning the rack is a real PITA.
    A few years ago I went looking for an alternative and saw this pan:
    I found a winner! It cleans up extremely easily. The only downside is that it is a slightly smaller pan than my usual half sheet pan so it is a little tricky to layout a whole pound of bacon. However, I have found that if you overlap a few slices a bit that those three slices actually tend to bond together and makes it a little easier when building a BLT.


    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ― Philip K. Dik
    "...For while we have our eyes on the future
    history has its eyes on us..." Amanda Gorman

    Camped out in the (757/948/804)




  • shtgunal3shtgunal3 Posts: 4,689
    I like to cook bacon on the Traeger @ 350.

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 15,003
    I usually do bacon at 375F x 11-15 mins. A 1/4 sheet pan + wire rack holds enough bacon for one breakfast sitting, and fits in the Breville oven. . Rack and pan both go in the dishwasher afterwards. 

    Would you be game to repeat your experiment? I *think* it’ll turn out less dry, and mo’ crispy. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,410
    I do bacon on a wire rack at 400 for 20 minutes. I wrap the tray in foil and just soak the rack after. Comes out great. 
    NOLA
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 3,507
    For “large” number of slices, I bake on a pan “sandwiched” between 2 wire racks fir perfectly flat slices.

    For just a couple of extra crispy slices (for BLT), bake 6 slices in the microwave for 6 minutes on a plate sandwiched in paper towels.

    For just a couple of slices served with breakfast, fry in a pan but start with some water!  I know this is counterintuitive but it works.  I can’t remember who it was that posted this (must have been here) but this works really well.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • rekameohsrekameohs Posts: 188
    caliking said:
    I usually do bacon at 375F x 11-15 mins. A 1/4 sheet pan + wire rack holds enough bacon for one breakfast sitting, and fits in the Breville oven. . Rack and pan both go in the dishwasher afterwards. 

    I use a foil lined cookie sheet, with no rack.  It holds a full pack of bacon, with a bit of initial overlap.   I saw somewhere to start with a cold oven, but I forget why.  I usually turn after 15 minutes, then maybe a couple more times until it is done.  I have no splatter, and if I do the foil right in the cookie sheet, there is almost no clean up.  The bacon usually comes out pretty flat.  Works well with Costco bacon.
    Raleigh, NC
  • butt_juicebutt_juice Posts: 122
    I bake bacon in the oven alot. 375 in a baking sheet, lined with foil. Turn the back slices over once about halfway through. I don't time it, just when the topside looks mostly where I want it, I flip them. It much more convenient than pan frying. Less mess or not is debatable...it is less to wipe up, but I don't wipe the interior of my oven down, I'm sure there is grease build up there....maybe it all burns off eventually with higher temp baking?
    South Central Kansas
    Instagram: @midwest_voyager
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 2,680
    I bake my bacon at 375F in a double-foiled wrapped baking sheet. I don't use a resting rack b/c I want the bacon to render and crisp in its own fat.  Zero mess. Cleanup is a matter of tossing the toil. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 8,100
    SonVolt said:
    I bake my bacon at 375F in a double-foiled wrapped baking sheet. I don't use a resting rack b/c I want the bacon to render and crisp in its own fat.  Zero mess. Cleanup is a matter of tossing the toil. 
    You toss the oil? I put a paper towel in a sieve and strain the oil into a mason jar and use that to cook things with in place of butter or oil. Keep the mason jar in the fridge. That stuff is like liquid gold. Now if I could just convince my wife to do it when I'm not home...

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 2,680
    Griffin said:
    SonVolt said:
    I bake my bacon at 375F in a double-foiled wrapped baking sheet. I don't use a resting rack b/c I want the bacon to render and crisp in its own fat.  Zero mess. Cleanup is a matter of tossing the toil. 
    You toss the oil? I put a paper towel in a sieve and strain the oil into a mason jar and use that to cook things with in place of butter or oil. Keep the mason jar in the fridge. That stuff is like liquid gold. Now if I could just convince my wife to do it when I'm not home...


    No, I do the same. I pour off the bacon fat into a mason jar and keep it in the fridge. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • CorvCorv Posts: 74
    edited February 22
    For me, 20 minutes at 400 F convection in a bare pan. No rack, no water, no parchment. After cooking, I pour off the fat and save it. The pan gets filled with hot soapy water and I let it soak overnight. In the morning, it only needs wiping out.
    Some of the bacon and some fat gets used in bacon bread. That stuff is great.
    Somewhere on the Colorado Front Range
  • rekameohsrekameohs Posts: 188
    Griffin said:
    You toss the oil? I put a paper towel in a sieve and strain the oil into a mason jar and use that to cook things with in place of butter or oil. Keep the mason jar in the fridge. That stuff is like liquid gold. Now if I could just convince my wife to do it when I'm not home...
    I have one of these
    https://www.amazon.com/Container-Strainer-Bacon-Strainer-Silicone-Collector/dp/B08K8RJC98
    It is an over priced, not-needed accessory, but fun to use.  I put it in the freezer after using, then pop out the frozen bacon grease discs to wrap in foil for later use.
    Raleigh, NC
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 35,805
    Cook on a baking sheet either sprayed with oil or on parchment paper.  You will need to flip the bacon half way through. 

    Temp - If you have time, slower (lower temp) gives you a some gooey and some crunchy texture.  Depends on how long you cook, how you like it, etc.

    The wire racks suck to clean, I don't use them for bacon.
    ______________________________________________
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, big effin' pellet smoker, gas grill, fire pit, FireDisk, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 
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  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 14,749
    I have always enjoyed cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet. I do this for the joy of smelling, flipping and movement based on doneness. Baking in my world would only be for large quantity needs, which i would use a food service pack that has bacon already laid out on parchment paper. Basically, i love cooking bacon but when i need a lot, I apply a lazy approach. 
    Johns Creek GA with a Large & a 17" Blackstone........Medium & MiniMax in storage

    Well, I married me a wife, she's been trouble all my life,
    Run me out in the cold rain and snow
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 2,680
    I enjoy cooking bacon too but I don't enjoy the mess. 
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • CtTOPGUNCtTOPGUN Posts: 588
    Blackstone griddle keeps mess outside. 36" surface means I can cook a lot. and it is great seasoning for the griddle surface!


       
    LBGE/Weber Kettle/Blackstone 36" Griddle/Turkey Fryer/Induction Burner/28" Blackstone Griddle/Cuisinart Twin Oaks

     BBQ from the State of Connecticut!

       Jim
  • BotchBotch Posts: 10,972
    I very badly mis-titled this thread.  "Bakin' Bacon" was a cute play on words, so I went with it, but not a single response above is about the whole damn reason for this thread in the first place, DREDGING bacon in different coatings, to see what happens.  I've now seen another video where Sam dredged, then fried the bacon in a pan, I might try that, but again based on the mess, I probably won't.
     
    I realize now, after 38 or 40 years, I have a terrible inability to communicate.  It is what it is.   :|  
    ____________________________________________
    Introvert Engineers - Social Distancing before it was cool.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Botch this needs to be a topic on the zoom. Not dredging of course, the avoidance of dredging. Additionally, why you didn’t start attempting to communicate until reaching your 30s. Not the success or failure of communication approaches, just the late start. Happy to help!
  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 11,245
    edited February 26
    I just read your entire post.  Very well written.  I have never had floured bacon, but I have had bacon dredged in chocolate (after cooking). It was amazing.  I have had bacon in a maple donut, also very good.

    Here os a recipie I have had, but never made.  It was awesome.  Wouldn't a want it everyday, but as a treat I like it.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thekitchn.com/millionaires-candied-bacon-265023?amp=1
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    XL, Medium, Minimax, Mini, Blackstone, WSM
  • rekameohsrekameohs Posts: 188
    Botch said:
    I very badly mis-titled this thread.  "Bakin' Bacon" was a cute play on words, so I went with it, but not a single response above is about the whole damn reason for this thread in the first place, DREDGING bacon in different coatings, to see what happens. 
    I thought you did well.  To me, it means continuing to do it on a cookie sheet without the need to dredge in anything.

    On a slightly different angle, I got a gift subscription to the bacon club at Zingermans.  So far, the two I have tried have been delicious.  Hardly any water, compared to grocery store stuff.  Not sure it is worth the price, but they do make nice gifts.  I still have the jowl bacon to try.

    Raleigh, NC
  • TideEggHeadTideEggHead Posts: 1,037
    edited February 26
    I am random on cooking bacon, it just depends on how I feel that day but It is usually either in the oven or stove top with the CI skillet. SWMBO cooked some in the air fryer last night for BLTs and they turned out good ( I like crispy). A quick rinse with hot water and the clean up was done.

    I Agree on @SonVolt with wrapping the pan with foil when cooking in the oven, it is a very easy clean up! Either way thanks for sharing!
    LBGE
    SC AL
  • buzd504buzd504 Posts: 3,410
    Although I do prefer to bake it, it is also a good way to keep your cast iron seasoned.
    NOLA
  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 1,022
    I use the baking method periodically. It's a good way to make bacon that is well cooked yet tender for sandwiches.

    When I cooked in the restaurant we had two kinds of bacon: Breakfast bacon that was thick sliced and sandwich bacon that was thin sliced. The thinner slice allowed a crispy feel but was tender enough that you could bite through. Pile it high for massive bacon flavor.

    I hate getting burgers or sandwiches with tough thick cut bacon that pulls out of the bun/bread when you take a bite.
    Michiana, South of the border.
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 16,208
    My Beautiful Wife cooks the bacon. It comes out perfect every time.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • WoodersonWooderson Posts: 197
    edited February 27
    YukonRon said:
    My Beautiful Wife cooks the bacon. It comes out perfect every time.
    Same.  My lady just cooked some this morning.  I did however clean a fresh pickle jar and strained the oil and saved for future use!!!
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,457
    Thanks for sharing this.
    I regularly cook bacon in the oven, particularly for a crowd.  I don't get fancy, I lay it out on an aluminum lined pan and flip it once.  If it's thick bacon I bump it to 375.  Cooks faster.

    I've never thought of coating it in any powder.  Very interesting!
    LBGE/Maryland
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