Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baked Bacon

Mmm, Bacon! Want that crispy golden hue, that bit of crackly crunch that's not dried out, hard, dark brown and overdone at the corners, or grayish and limp from the microwave? Then you need to bake your bacon. Sure, you can get nicely cooked bacon on a griddle, but it's less hassle and less work in the oven.

8~12 oz. Bacon (I prefer the uncured thick cut hickory smoked kind, like Hempler's)

Take a rimmed baking sheet, such as a jelly roll pan, and line it with foil. Lay out the strips of bacon on the foil. It's okay if they overlap just a bit, as they will shrink when cooking. Set the oven to bake at 400 degrees and put the pan with the bacon on a rack in the middle. Preheating is not required, though it doesn't hurt. Set the timer for 15 minutes. The bacon will probably require another two to seven minutes beyond this, depending on thickness, but it's a good checkpoint for doneness. Bake until it looks like cooked bacon ought to look, and remove from the oven. Set the pan at a slight angle to drain the grease from the bacon for a minute. Press the strips of cooked bacon in paper towels to remove excess grease. Pour the bacon grease from the pan into a container - not down the sink, unless you like unclogging drains. At this point, you can enjoy some bacon! Leftover bacon freezes really well and will perk up nicely in the microwave after a few seconds.

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