Nothing incendiary tonight, kids. No post telling you to do more with your life. Last time I did that, I pissed quite a few people off--to the point that I even got hate mail. And although it was slightly hilarious, it was bad for our sponsors, so I've been told to calm down.
So tonight, I'm taking it easy. Tonight, I'm helping you out in an entirely different way. With bacon.
Let me ask you a question. Don't bother answering out loud--that would be silly. Just think the answer in your head, and continue reading.
How do you prepare your bacon?
No, I said don't answer out loud. No, don't apologize, it's fine. Yes, I know your co-workers are looking at you weird (or your cat, if you're that lady who works from home and has the cat). Don't worry--in mere moments, you'll have knowledge that will make them completely forget that you're the type of person who answers internet questions out loud.
Most people, when asked how they prepare their bacon, answer that they fry it. One guy said he has sex with it, but his survey information was ruled out because that doesn't technically count as preparation. If he had answered that he lubed it up in preparation for making sweet bacony love, we would have considered his input legit, but he didn't. So there.
Side note: you don't have to lube up bacon to have sex with it--just warm it up enough and the fat will act as a natural lubricant. Not that I've ever tried that or anything, but I, uh…this, um guy I know, he does it. Like, a lot. He lives in Canada, you wouldn't know him.
We're talking about frying bacon, not making love to it. Do NOT make love to frying bacon! My, um, Canadian friend totally scarred up his junk because he was overcome by a moment of hot, greasy passion. He tells people it's something he got done to heighten the sexual experience, like a piercing or whatever, but the truth is, he can't feel anything down there, and ejaculating makes
me him weep. I bet.
Look, can we just get to the way to cook bacon!?
Okay, so if you're anything like me, you grew up around people who fried their bacon in a skillet, or microwaved it. And I'm not here to judge you for that, just like you're not here to judge me for whatever errors in judgment I've had when bacon is involved.
What I'm here to do is help you. I'm here to tell you something that changed my life. I'm here to tell you that the best way to prepare bacon is to bake it.
It seems obvious, right? It's phonetically called "bakin'." Seems natural you should bake it. But most people don't.
I am here to tell you that bakin' bacon is totally the way to go. As an experienced bacon-eater. And because you deserve more than just me telling you to bake bacon, I have taken pictures and will tell you exactly how I do it.
Read on, pork-munchers!
This is not a hard thing to do, but it does take the right equipment. You need a casserole dish, for one thing. I suppose you could use something other than that, but we're using my recipe here, and it calls for a casserole dish.
I recommend Pyrex, because I got some of that shit for my wedding shower, and it is absolutely the most awesome kitchen dish ever. I have not enjoyed the use of glass this much since the bourbon bottle was invented. Seriously, if you don't have a Pyrex cooking dish, you should buy one. Or three. I have a few bowls and two casserole dishes, and I love them.
But owning Pyrex is probably optional. Although cook time varies depending on whether you use glass or metal cooking dishes, so make sure to adjust.
I'm going to start showing you pictures now, but I feel the most awesome is that I got this folder:
Yes, I realized that I am easily amused. Some people like that about me. Others...well, others ridicule me for it, and I have no control over it, and that is why I cut. But that's an entirely different set of issues.
This is bacon:
You don't have to use this specific kind, but they had it 2 for $4 at the supermarket, so that's what I got. Don't get the super cheap stuff, though, unless your idea of tasty bacon is chewy fattiness--no matter how you cook your bacon, if there's too much fat, it'll just end up chewy or charred.
This is bacon next to my Pyrex dish:
There's no real need for this picture, but I had it, so I figured you should see it.
Okay, so get your dish, and line it with bacon. There's really no set rule here. I love bacon, so I just try to fit as much in there as I can fit. You don't want it overlapping too much, though. As wonderful as this preparation method is, you can still screw it up if you get too greedy. Layering the bacon keeps the underneath stuff from getting cooked properly. I've found that even if you manage to get the bottom cooked right, the top gets burned. Feel free to experiment on your own, if you really need that much bacon, but be warned, that's all I'm sayin'.
I always forget to pre-heat my oven, but I suppose if you can remember that kind of thing, it might speed up the baking process. I put the pan on the bottom shelf, and bake at 475 for about 13 minutes. If you want to live on the edge, you can crank it up to 500 and cook it for 10 minutes, but your window of bacony perfection is a little smaller that way.
Depending on how you like your bacon, cooking time will vary. At 475, I generally recommend checking in on your bacon at about 10 minutes, just to see how it's doing.
After that, I'd say check it about every minute or so. I'm always amazed at how quickly it can go from almost-done to burned. Mostly, though, that's because I do goofy stuff like take pictures instead of actually paying attention to what's going on in the oven.
If you're doing stuff like that, there's a pretty good chance you'll end up with slightly charred bacon:
I happen to like my bacon extra crispy, though, so my lack of attention span actually works out for me, bacon-wise. Regarding pets or defecating, however, the complete inability to pay attention to anything for more than ten seconds can be disastrous.
Let's move on.
How it generally works out when I'm making bacon is that I'll check it at 13 minutes, then set the timer for another minute and a half. When the timer goes off, my bacon is perfectly cooked. In theory, I suppose you could say that you just need to cook it for 14 and a half minutes, but I've never trusted logic or science, so I'm pretty convinced that you need to check it at the 13-minute-mark, or the Bacon Gods become unhappy and smite your delicious pig-strip into charcoal.
Once your bacon is done, remove the bacon. You can use a fork, but sometimes the bacon will slip off and fall back into the dish that is now partially filled with scalding grease. Being splashed with molten-hot pig fat is not a pleasant experience. Even if you're one of those people who like a little candle wax on your nipples or whatever, I don't recommend this. Because the thing about bacon grease is that it gets almost unholy hot. I used to work as a cook at a Kettle restaurant, where I had to fry up 90 pounds of bacon pretty much every night. So I have a little experience with getting the ever-loving fuck burned out of myself with bacon fat.
Point being, I recommend taking the bacon out of the pan with tongs.
I generally put a doubled-over paper towel down on the plate first, to absorb the grease. When I was preparing this particular batch of bacon, I had a pizza box in the way of everything, so I just used that.
Once you have all your bacon laid out, blot the top with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Then you're ready to eat!
One thing I've always hated about frying bacon is that if you want more, you have to drain the grease somewhere before adding more raw bacon. With this method, you don't have to do that.
You need to let the grease cool a bit--usually only as long as it takes to take out the bacon and blot it dry--and then you're good to add more bacon. Beware: if you add the bacon before the grease has cooled enough, it will start cooking immediately, which means grease will pop out and bite you on the hands and arms.
Two pans is usually enough to cook an entire pack of bacon. If you need more than that, I would recommend dumping out the grease or using a new pan--otherwise, it starts getting too hot and smokes up the entire house. I would also recommend you slow down on the bacon consumption--yeah, I know it's wonderful, but your heart just isn't meant to handle the mass quantities of love that is cholesterol.
Once you have all the bacon you want, allow the pan to sit until the grease congeals:
I know, it's tempting to just shovel it into your mouth, but apparently, that kind of thing is no good for your arteries. Once the grease has congealed enough, or once it's cool enough that it doesn't melt the hell out of whatever you dump it into, you either scoop it out or dump it out.
My mom used to make gravy out of excess grease, but once you see this shit all solidified, it kinda turns you off of that whole idea.
Also, don't dump it down your sink. I used to work as a plumber, too, and a good 75% of the time we had to go unclog a kitchen sink, it was because people dumped grease down their drains. The other 25% was because they had a Disposal and they were dumping food down there, or because they had a dumbass kid who dropped toys down there. So avoid that stuff, too.
Anyway, I still had that pizza box, so I just scraped my grease out on that. I don't recommend this, because you see this huge lump of grease and you start feeling bad about what you've just put into your body. Like that time you were in Mexico, but not nearly as illegal.
So there you have it. A post about bacon. I think we all knew it was bound to happen eventually, and I think we all know that it probably won't be the last.
Recipe For The Attention-Impaired
Line Pyrex with bacon
Cook at 475 for 10-15 minutes, checking every minute after the 10-minute mark
Remove bacon, blot off excess grease
Kick a blind puppy while you enjoy bacony goodness (puppy-kicking optional)