~Crispy Oven-Roasted Bacon (No Spatter or Mess!)~
"Good mornin', good mornin', good mornin', good mornin' to you!" Song sung to the lyrics of 'Good Morning', from the 1952 Oscar nominated movie-musical Singing in the Rain. Sung by cast members Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, this is my favorite morning song (and that is saying something since everyone and anyone who knows Mel, knows she is not a morning person). "Oh how I hate to get up on the morning", is a better theme song for me!
When I think of morning/breakfast food in general, bacon immediately comes to mind, and as my son Jess says, "everything tastes better with bacon!" My oven-roasting method produces perfectly cooked bacon strips without any of the pan-frying method's spattering or mess. My method also frees your hands to do other tasks, like frying eggs and making toast, while the bacon cooks itself!
This method is also quite versatile: #1) You can prepare it ahead of time (up to one week ahead if kept stored in the refrigerator) and reheat or recrisp it in a non-stick skillet, a few slices at a time, whenever you want to serve or use it; #2) You can roast several pans of it at one time, to have on hand for a large get-together (I always make it ahead of time when I'm getting guests for the weekend); and, #3) Since bacon even comes "flavored" (apple, hickory, maple, pepper, etc.), you can prepare it to please any palate or complement any recipe you are making!
I've taught a lot of cooking classes and I always try to work this simple technique for cooking perfect bacon every time into the class agenda. I've lost count of the number of return students who come back and say to me, "I'll never cook bacon any other way again!", or, when I run into a student a month or two later who says, "I'm still cooking bacon the way you taught me to!".
Wait until you see how easy this is:
Place on center rack of preheated 375 degree oven, 20-25 minutes, or until bacon is golden brown, crispy and desired degree of doneness is reached. There is no reason to turn bacon over. I think bacon to be the best after 22 minutes in the oven!
~ Step 2. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool just slightly or to room temperature. It is easy to drain and reserve bacon fat from the pan to use in specific recipes (or just discard it). I like to keep a small, 1-cup size container of bacon fat in my freezer at all times for those special occasions when "nothing will do but a tablespoon or two" of bacon fat! How easy and simple was that!!!
Special Equipment List: 11 3/4" x 8 1/2" x 1 1/4" disposable aluminum broiler pan w/corrugated bottom; paper towels
Cook's Note: I always keep 2-4 of these disposable aluminum broiler pans in my cabinet, set aside exclusively for oven-roasting bacon. I rinse any excess fat out of them, run them through the dishwasher or wash them in hot, soapy water. I like to reuse them at least 3-4 times before discarding them. That being said: Any pan with even the slightest, smallest cut or prick in it, even as small as a pinhole, must be discarded immediately. The fat from the bacon will drip through even the smallest hole onto the bottom of your oven... what a mess!
Extra Cook's Note: Occasionally, I use or one of my recipes directs to use: partially-cooked bacon. This picture illustrates partially-cooked bacon which has been cooked at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes. It is very lightly browned, yet still very soft and pliable.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)