You’ll be blown away how much easier it is to BAKE your bacon.
I may be stating the obvious but frying bacon is a real hassle. Everyone loves the taste, hardly anyone complains about the smell of bacon cooking BUT, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know a single home cook (myself included) or chef who actually likes to watch bacon fry.
Here’s the scenario: you’ve invited everyone for brunch and decided that your menu will include bacon – which, to be fair, is an integral part of most brunches. You need to make bacon for a group of 8-10 people but the last thing you want to do is stand over a spitting frying pan cooking enough bacon for the crowd all while watching your stovetop go from shiny and clean to a total greasy mess. And, the bacon curls – won’t stay nice and flat and some parts cook quicker than others leaving you with some pieces crispier than others.
So, that’s your dilemma – you need crispy bacon for your guests, you don’t want to have to watch the frying pan and create a serious mess that will take a bit of time to clean up. What can you do?
Here’s a fun trick that has been passed down through my family since—hold your breath—World War II!
My grandfather was an Army field cook who apparently had no problem standing over a hot griddle for hours on end. He was both the proverbial and literal Army cook. The normal “GI” bacon was to drop as much of the meat into a hot pan as you could manage and keep flipping. But my grandfather couldn’t waste time with frying.
Who knows who actually came up with this idea—there are hints that the GI field cooks picked this technique up from a French cook. Anyway, the big revelation was that baking bacon was not only more efficient, but cleaner, easier, and you can cook up a whole lot of bacon all at one time with virtually no mess, no watching and perfectly flat strips every time.
It’s so easy to do:
- First, place your oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven, then preheat your oven to 400 degrees. My grandfather used 375, which makes the bacon a little softer but also greasier. I use 400 which makes it a bit crispier.
- Place baking racks inside rimmed baking sheets (very important for catching the grease). Line the baking sheets with tin foil—makes cleanup that much easier.
- Lay bacon on the racks. One pound of bacon usually has between 16 to 20 slices (depending on how thinly cut). Half-size baking sheets (13×18) ought to hold about 8-10 slices. Space the slices out. They can touch, but don’t overlap the slices, unless you want to end up with one big slab of baked bacon.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices. It’s very important to move the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom racks ½ way through until they are brown and crisp. Start checking it for the crispness you want at about 18 minutes.
- Be very careful about the grease that pools up in the baking sheet (that’s why I recommend 1” rimmed baking sheets). It doesn’t take much to make that grease slosh around, so move the sheets slowly.
- When your bacon gets to the crispness you desire, remove it from the oven and transfer the slices to paper towels to drain the rest of the grease. Just about any spatula will remove the bacon from the baking rack
Now, you DON’T have to watch your bacon frying! Watch my video to really see how easy this is. No more bacon grease splatter on you and your utensils, no stove top to clean up, evenly crisp perfectly flat strips and the best bacon you will ever eat!
The mystery of poaching eggs is lifted.
I love poached eggs. My mom and dad used to have them with toast just about every Sunday morning. It’s a fond food memory for me.
I think more people would eat them at home were it not for all the mystery of how to actually make a perfect poached egg (and that most people think it’s almost impossible!). Ask a dozen people and you will get a dozen answers. The problem is a lot of people are just guessing and the reality is, there’s no real “recipe” for the perfect poached egg. It’s like boiling potatoes – you either do it this way or that.
I found this idea from Epicurious.com. They call it their “foolproof” method, and I have to agree. It’s so simple and works every time. Check my video to see how easy this is.
- First step, pour water into a large wide pan. Add salt to the water. I use Kosher salt because it’s not as salty tasting as table salt and it helps the white of the egg set a bit firmer.
- Heat up the pan of water—bring it to the point where there are small bubbles on the bottom of the pan. You want it not quite simmering – definitely not with any water movement. If the water is moving, the turbulence in the pan will throw wispy whites everywhere and, I don’t know about you but, I don’t want that.
- Hold a fine mesh spider (sieve) over a bowl and crack an egg into the spider. Tip- the fresher the egg the better it will hold together. Let the looser part of the whites drain off. This will remove most of those unwanted wispy whites that you can get when you poach the other way (e.g., drop the egg into a pan of near boiling water). Scrape the bottom of the spider on the edge of the bowl to remove as much of the loose whites as possible.
- Gently lower the spider into the pan of water until the entire egg is submerged, but keep the egg on the spider.
- Set your timer to 3 ½ minutes. This will give you a perfectly runny yolk with whites that are tender soft, but firmly set. A little tip: as the whites start to set, gently scrape the white toward the yolk with a spoon to keep the egg loose so that it doesn’t stick to the spider.
- At about the 1 minute mark when you can really see that the white is setting up, GENTLY slide the egg off the spider so that it is fully immersed into your hot but not bubbling water. Gently move the egg around a couple of times with a slotted spoon as it cooks so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If the water is hot enough, it shouldn’t stick, but sometimes it does.
- When the timer goes off, lift your poached egg out of the pan with your slotted spoon and let the water drain away. If you want your egg to be free of water, carefully and briefly place it on a paper towel before serving. You’ll want it fairly dry it if you plan to serve your poached egg over toast.
A few serving tips. For one or two servings, take your dried/drained egg and place it on a SLIGHTLY oiled plate and hold it there to wait for another egg before moving it to a serving plate or toast. Cooking for a crowd? Take your cooked egg straight from the pan and place immediately into a bowl with iced water (an ice bath) to hold until you’ve cooked all the eggs you need. You can keep cooked poached eggs in the ice water in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat your refrigerated eggs later, simply put hot tap water (as hot as your tap gets) into a bowl, transfer the eggs from the ice water into the hot tap water and let them sit for about 2 minutes. They won’t cook more and will be warm for serving.
And now, you can enjoy perfectly poached eggs any time!