The Questions

Mmmmm… Bacon – Getting it Crispy all the Time

Crispy Bacon is one of the world’s best enjoyments.

Some people will argue and want limp, disgusting, almost raw pieces of bacon, but most men want it to snap!

I looked over some of the answers and agree with a lot of them, but you need to understand there are several types of this breakfast favorite and each involve different ways of cooking. For the most part, consumers get fast cured crap from big meat processors like Sniders and such. This package is usually in a 350 – 400 gram with slices so thin you can see through them. Years ago the packages contained 500 grams of our beloved food and the pieces were thicker. This is what happens with corporate greed.

My meat candy comes from Costco, and it is usually the business centre one close to my business where I go. There you can get the quick, but thick cut, cured bacon (usually done in brine) or you can get the naturally smoked kind. Always go for a thick cut. The more meat on the bacon the closer to the edges of the belly they come from. A good slice of bacon will contain over 50% fat, but you need that to make it really good.

For the best results, placing the meat candy on a wire tray and in the oven will give you crispy slices. Keep the oven around 350 F for best results. Since each oven is different, you’ll need to play with it in order to find out what works best with yours. Make sure you put a drip tray under the rack and capture all the love that falls off them, it comes in handy for other recipes.

Using a skillet or flat top.

Thick slices need time to cook. You can’t make them dance on 400 F + without burning or playing with them too much. If you need to use a cast-iron press you’re forcing juice out of the meat instead of cooking out the moisture. This will remove flavour and is usually done with thin slices for they curl. Thick slices don’t need to be pressed, let them cook at their own speed, the flavour will be more intense. This trick is best with bacon that’s been cured using smoke (the best bacon you will ever taste, Maple Smoked Bacon).

First trick would be to get a good even heat across the skillet. That means letting it heat up for a couple of minutes before putting the meat on it. Make sure you use your old bacon grease to season the frying surface so your bacon does not stick. If you don’t have any bacon grease handy, then wipe the top with a paper towel and olive oil. Lay the bacon down and cook. Flip once when you see a little curl on the edge and the colour turns light brown. Repeat on the other side.

My second trick is to get corn meal (fine ground). I use this when cooking the cheap stuff (thin cut) bacon. Get a container and pour corn meal into it. Add spices to the corn meal (to taste so be careful). My with and I love to add Peri Peri with All Spice, but that’s just us. Pepper is a good thing to add and maybe a dash of sweet with white sugar, but do not use wet in the corn meal. Lay each slice of meat candy into your corn meal mixture and cover it.

The mix will adhere to the slices easily. Cook on the skillet. Be careful, for the corn meal will burn if you have the heat too high. First think you’ll notice is a shorter cooking time. This is due to the corn meal absorbing moisture. The pieces will not shrink as much and will turn out crispy due to the coating but still be amazing. It is like they were dehydrated on the flat top.

Bacon Pie.

Yes, it is such a thing. You’ll need a cast iron frying pan, onions, cheese, potatoes, and of course, your favorite meat candy (use the cheap stuff if you must but thick cut makes the best). Oven at 350 F. Slice the potatoes thin (the thinner the better). Onion same thing. Grate the cheese. Lay the bacon out in the pan from the centre. It will lay over the sides but we want that. Layer potato, onion, cheese. Be mindful of how much stuffing you put in the pie for it will take a while to cook. For a more intense flavour, add garlic in the mix and ground pepper. Don’t add salt, it’s not needed. Once you have several layers of stuffing, fold the rest of the bacon over the top. Should look like this:

Bacon pie

Your oven should be pre-heated.

Note for those who noticed – yes, bell peppers in the mix make for another wonderful taste.

Bake until the pie is ready. You need to drain the grease a couple of times. Don’t worry, the grease will come to the outside and not fill up the pie if you’ve wrapped it correctly. Just make sure you use enough bacon to do this and by all means, thick cut will make the best results. Thin will only curl up and expose the inside of the pie spoiling the effect. Do not use bacon in the middle of the pie. The bacon is the crust and covering, just like in an apple pie. This is important, for putting bacon in the middle of the centre will only make a crappy bacon pie and grease up the inside.

Once baked, the pie should look something like this:

Bacon pieIf you did your job right, do one more drain of grease and let sit for 10-15 minutes covered. Setting it aside will help insure the potatoes are cooked throughout. The whole prep time is about 10-15 minutes and the cook time is about an hour pending on your oven.

Slice this heavenly meal and enjoy! Wife loves me for making it and hates me for serving it. She will devour it, even though bacon will upset her stomach.

Why do I know all this? I cook bacon every weekend. My last fishing trip I cooked up a box of bacon. On my family reunions they have me cook breakfast because I love bacon. My family knows a good thing when they see it.

Any questions? Go ahead and ask.

Credit goes to chef Michael Smith for the bacon pie. Saw him make it once and fell in love with it.

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