“Bacon. That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” — The Doctor
The Eleventh Doctor had some weird food preferences that I most certainly don’t share! I love beans, and I love bacon. I have actually had Fish Fingers & Custard (yes, we already know I’m a nerd), though, and I do agree with him on that — it’s surprisingly tasty! Bacon is infamous for its high fat (mostly saturated). While not quite poison, it’s not the most heart-healthy food around. I love it though, my whole family does. Bear with me, I’ll get back to healthier — though still tasty — recipes with my next post.
I have to admit that the name of this post is a little misleading. I don’t know about your family, but in my family, a “crowd” needs a heck of a lot more than a single pound of bacon! Still, this is much easier, more dependable, and less labor-intensive than using a frying pan.
I spent most of my adult life cooking bacon in a frying pan. Why? I have no idea. The few times I remember my mom cooking bacon, she always did it in the oven. Believe me, when you’re making a couple of pounds at a time, doing it in a frying pan seems to take forever – even if you use two huge ones simultaneously. I rarely made bacon for breakfast just because it was such a chore. Well, that and the fact that I do try to serve healthy meals as much as possible. My husband comes from a long line of daily bacon eaters. You know how some families have high cholesterol no matter how well they eat? I think Gup (his grandfather) was the opposite of that. He usually had bacon, eggs, and toast with butter for breakfast. I think he went through a couple sticks of butter every week, just by himself. I remember one time, when he was in his mid-eighties, that he had bloodwork done a couple of hours after breakfast. His cholesterol was only 162! That’s really good for somebody over 60, especially right after that sort of meal. Lucky dog. My mom & dad both ended up with high cholesterol, even without the daily bacon.
The main bacon-cooking in our house is usually during tomato season. I just have a weakness for BLTs made with a fat slice of beefsteak tomato and lettuce from the garden. A couple of summers ago, I couldn’t stand the thought of a hot, smelly kitchen, but I really wanted BLTs. That’s when I discovered cooking bacon on the grill. Which of course reminded me of my mom cooking bacon in the oven. She used to put the slices in multiple layers, then have to turn and rearrange them partway through cooking. I much prefer using sheet pans lined with foil and a single layer of bacon strips. No interruptions or turning necessary! Some folks will tell you that you need to put the bacon on a rack. I don’t agree. I’ve tried it with and without, and really can’t tell the difference. Depending on how thinly your bacon is sliced, a half-sheet pan will accommodate a pound of bacon or somewhat less than that. Lining it with foil makes cleanup a breeze.
1 or 2 half-sheet pans
1 pound (454 g) of bacon
1.) Preheat the oven to 400º F (204º C). Line the pan with foil. Lay the bacon strips in a single layer.
2.) Put the pan in the lower third of the oven. If you’re using two pans, put one in the upper third. Your bacon will be more uniformly cooked if you swap the pans’ locations halfway through.
3.) Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bacon reaches the desired level of crispiness.
4.) Remove the bacon to a plate lined with several layers of paper towel to drain.