Jim Gaffigan, the bard of Bacon, said that there aren’t many ways to prepare bacon: “You can fry it, or you can get trichinosis.” This is one of many reasons bacon is such a suitable food for non-chefs. As it turns out, however, there are other options out there if your frying pan is in the repair shop.

The Joy of Cooking says that the longer you cook bacon the more fat is rendered out of it, but then again it also says that 2-3 slices per person is a good estimate, so we have to take its wisdom with a grain of J&D’s Foods’s bacon salt. If you are frying bacon and want to prevent curling (you don’t want your bacon going to the Olympics, after all), start with a cold frying pan. You can wait til the bacon warms up before separating it if it is thinly sliced and at risk of tearing; use a spatula, or your long 1920’s style cigarette holder if you’re that kind of femme fatale.

Alternative to frying #1: The broiler. That’s the hot thing under your over where the heat radiates from above. Again, a cold broiler pan means the bacon won’t curl. I like it when bacon curls, I feel it matches the snarl in Elvis’s lip and he was a consummate bacon consumer, but different strokes for different folks. Why you’d want to deviate from the fine example the King set is beyond me- although, come to think of it, he did die ignominious and obese on the toilet, so mileage may vary. In other words, broiling bacon for 10 to 15 minutes about 4 to 6 inches under the heat should deliver browned, crisp slices. Two to three per person indeed!

Alternative to frying #2: The microwave. Yes, non-chefs, rejoice: your best friend the microwave can help you prepare bacon! It’s less messy, requires less tending, and you can play roulette with your health by standing with your face really close to the microwave, peeking in through the window to watch the bacon’s progress and maybe, just maybe, exposing your brain to harmful rays! Plus, breakfast! No instructions for operating a microwave are ever accurate (see: every bag of popcorn ever), but cooking for high on 3 minutes, in most instances, will get the job done. If it isn’t crisp, keep going at 30 second intervals until bacon achieves perfection or you lose patience and eat it rubbery and raw. Blot with paper towel.

So throw away your stove and skillets, because the secret to bacon is bacon, not how you cook it!

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