You Had Me at Cooking Bacon

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Bacon Cooking Image

With the approach of Baconfest this weekend, I wanted to share what I consider the best way to cook this treat!  Back in my culinary school days making bacon strips for several of the dining venues, the bacon strips always had to be perfect. No burnt edges, no pockets of flabby undercooked fat, and of course, no curls, bubbles, or unevenness!  The answer to these problems is baking. We would take big sheet pans and place a baking rack on top. This elevates the bacon strips and takes away the flipping during the cooking process. All strips would come out evenly cooked and uniform. Here at DLM, our kitchens use the same process. It amazes me how much bacon we cook in our three kitchens on a daily basis!

So to translate to the home kitchen, find yourself a good baking rack that nestles inside your largest jelly roll pan. Lay out strips of DLM Bacon without overlapping. Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 20 minutes, or until desired doneness. Blot if necessary.

If you are lucky to have a convection oven, this is a good place to use it. I start out in a cold oven and then turn on convection at 350. It takes about 15 minutes until it is perfect for my taste. Some chefs think that by starting out in a cold oven (or cold pan for that matter) you will get less shrink and a less rippled strip.

I like to cook up the entire package of bacon whether I am going to eat all of it or not. That way I have a couple cooked strips in my fridge to add to Brussels sprouts  or a pasta sauce. Sometimes I’ll pack up a BLT for my son’s lunch or crumble whatever is left over on top of a crisp salad.

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Chef Carrie Walters
DLM Culinary Director