14 Ways To Cook Bacon! Including My Favorite – In The Waffle Maker

waffle maker bacon

Vegetarians beware….I am talking bacon today. Nothing but bacon. I promise I will do a post about nothing but veggies SOON!  Pinkie swear!

But today I’m all about bacon.  Because my 17 year old son Kell has celiacs, we tend to eat a lot of protein around here. One of our favorite “dinners” is BREAKFAST….and breakfast to us always means BACON.

Over the years I’ve tried out a couple of different ways to cook bacon. Obviously pan-frying is one of them, but I get so tired of the grease splatter mess (not to mention the painful grease splatters on your hands!) Even with a splatter guard, grease seems to get everywhere! Then I saw Ina Garten from the Food Network cook bacon in the oven and I was SOLD! No more grease splatters! Unfortunately, my family was NOT sold, because it takes a LOT longer and they are an impatient bunch when they are hungry!

So when I saw another Food Network celebrity, Alton Brown, making bacon in a waffle maker I was intrigued! Could this be the best of both worlds?? No splatter? Fast cooking? I decided to give it a try because I was really craving a good BLT Sandwich!

 

waffle maker bacon

First, drag out the ol’ waffle maker. This one is ancient and very basic, but it’s all you need to get the job done. Preheat your waffle iron.

 

waffle maker bacon

Cut the strips of bacon in half, and put two 1/2 strips on each square of your waffle iron. Close the waffle maker and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes then check on their doneness.

 

waffle maker bacon

This is what they looked like about halfway through. If they aren’t done, close the waffle maker and check again in another 2 to 3 minutes.

 

waffle maker bacon

When the bacon is the color your like it, drain it on a towel.

The thing I really liked about cooking the bacon this way was how the grease drained right down into the waffle iron nooks and crannies and the bacon was pressed nice and flat so it all cooked very evenly.  Oh yeah…and no grease splatters!

 

Personally I think this is the perfect way to cook bacon! I mean look at that sandwich…only perfectly cooked bacon could make a sandwich that good lookin’! :-)

waffle maker bacon

My sandwich

waffle maker bacon

My son’s sandwich.

 

waffle maker bacon  

If you’re still unconvinced, or you just don’t like the idea of waffle-pressed bacon…here are some more ways I found people cooking their bacon:

In The Oven – Method #1

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a jelly roll sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Evenly space 6 slices of bacon in it.
Place an upside-down cooling rack over the bacon to keep them flat (as long as the cooling rack is slightly smaller than the sheet pan).
Roast for 6 minutes, turn pan 180 degrees, roast for another 6 minutes.
The result: flat, and evenly cooked bacon!

In The Oven – Method #2 

Same as above but put the bacon on TOP of the cooling rack, rather than under it. The fat will drip off, making your bacon super-crispy and lean.

In The Microwave

Flip a bowl upside down on a plate. Lay the bacon over the bowl. Cook for approximately 1 minute per piece of bacon. The plate catches the grease that drips down the bowl. Since the grease runs away from the bacon, it results in crispy, slightly “drier” bacon.

On The BBQ Grill

If you are making bacon burgers…cook your bacon right on the cooler part of the grill for about 5-7 minutes.

In The Smoker

Smoke bacon slowly (30 minutes plus) over hickory in a smoker or grill using rib racks to drape the bacon strips over.

In The Oven – Method #3

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with crinkled aluminum, lay the strips of bacon over that and cook for about 15-20 minutes. This makes clean up easy, and by crinkling the foil you allow the grease to pool away from the bacon.

In The Deep Fryer

One of the ways the pros do it….use a deep fryer. You can cook 5 or 6 strips of bacon in about 5 minutes without a big mess. Great if you like curly, chewy bacon.

In Bacon Fat

Every time you cook bacon, save the fat in a plastic container in the freezer. When you want to cook bacon, take the fat out of the container and melt in a cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Once the fat is liquid, add your bacon strips. Cook to desired degree of crispness. Blot with paper towels and eat! Once the bacon grease has cooled slightly, pour it back into its container, and freeze for next time. The bacon fat does not add any more grease to the finished bacon, but does add flavor, especially after several uses.

In The Oven – Method #4

Put bacon in a cold oven. Once it gets to 350 degrees, turn the bacon over. Set the timer for 4 minutes exactly and once it beeps it’s done.

In A Cast Iron Skillet, In The Oven

Put about 10 pieces of bacon in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and place it into a cold oven set to 425 degrees. Once the oven is hot, it will take about 7 minutes to cook. No need to flip, just cook to desired doneness and remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Total time from fridge to eating, about 25 minutes.

In The George Foreman Grill

A slight variation on the waffle maker. Use a George Foreman grill. No splattering, perfectly cooked on both sides and all the grease drains aways.

Stir-Fry Bacon

Same rules for pan frying apply. Put your bacon (12-18) slices in a cold saute pan set to medium heat.
As the pan heats up, the fact that you have so much bacon means that it renders more fat.
Using tongs, turn the bacon over until you can see it cooking through and evenly browning the strip.
Place the bacon on a wire rack over paper towels to drain and straighten the strips to get the nice even shape you want. (NEVER place directly on the paper towels)

Bacon In A Hurry

Put bacon on a cookie sheet and put it on the top oven rack for about 10 minutes under the broiler. Flip once!

 

waffle maker bacon

And as if that weren’t enough information about BACON….just a little more.  Here are some additional tips and tricks to get you to your bacon “happy place”:

 

  • To keep the bacon flat in the pan, run it under cold water first.
  • Par-cook a large batch of bacon when you have some extra time. Once the bacon has cooled, toss it in the freezer inside a plastic container. Then when you have a hankering for bacon but are short on time, a perfectly cooked strip of bacon is only 20 – 30 seconds away in the microwave. Finishing the last bit of cooking in a toaster oven on some foil works well too.
  • Add some fresh ground black pepper to your bacon while it’s cooking.

bacon fat

 

  • And last but not least……..DON’T THROW AWAY THE BACON FAT!

 

Some things to use your bacon fat for:

1) Seasoning your cast iron skillet.
2) Making cornbread.
3) Making collard greens.
4) Any recipe that calls for butter or oil to grease a pan.
5) Seasoning your grill.
There you go…..more than you ever wanted to know about cooking the perfect piece of bacon!

You can thank me by inviting me over for breakfast!


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Comments

  1. Laura McLaughlin says

    I love bacon and pecans in my waffles. You just gave me a short cut. Cook the bacon in the waffle maker and no need to grease it again, just add batter and pecans and cook. Yum!

  2. Kristi Tarnowski says

    I love the George Forman grill idea (I don’t have a waffle maker) -I usually make it in the oven but that is still messy and we love bacon! Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Andrea says

    http://img0.etsystatic.com/013/0/7223935/il_fullxfull.424640280_3van.jpg

    I bought my sister something similar to the link (if it worked) in a pottery shop in Asheville and she uses it every day. She is a bacon fiend and requires and she loves the piece I dubbed the baconater. You drape the bacon over the sides of the “mug” and it cooks up crisp. Meanwhile the grease drips down to the “saucer portion”. And the the”gravy boat” style end makes forceasypouring into your grease container.

  4. Kelsey says

    My father-in-law uses the bacon grease to fry breakfast potatoes. It is wonderful!! They come out with intense flavor and a crisp that is unmatchable. I highly recommend trying it out next time you cut up potatoes for breakfast.

  5. Terri S says

    oh, this is SO NOT FAIR—no bacon in the house, and now i’m craving it!!
    bacon is one of THE MOST delicious foods—i think i could eat it every day.
    i’m going to try the oven method next. i’ve read that to cook more at once, you can put bacon on two cookie sheets, top each with foil to catch grease splatter, and stack one sheet on top of the other—i can’t wait to try it!

  6. Margaret says

    My brother found himself share-parenting 4 growing boys who love bacon. For some reason his share of the kitchen gear included a large Dutch oven pot, but no frying pan. Being the resourceful guy that he is, he dumped the pound of bacon into the Dutch oven and turned on the heat.

    The high sides of the Dutch oven contained all the grease spatters and he ended up with perfectly cooked bacon.

    Our whole family has been using this method ever since.

  7. Karen says

    I’ve been using a George Forman for quite some time now and just love how it cooks the bacon. Now I’m going to share another way to cook bacon that my mother and grandmother used that gives it a whole new taste. Two ways to do this: 1st. is dip bacon strips in beaten egg, drain, then into seasoned flour then fry in a skillet. 2nd. just dip in cold water then the seasoned flour and fry. This is a good way to use some of your reserved bacon grease as it needs a “glob” in the skillet to fry as the bacon just doesn’t give up the grease cooked this way. Either way the bacon doesn’t shrink, it stays flat so it’s easier to eat or use on a sandwich. This sure stretches the bacon by not shrinking and we love the flavor the seasoned flour gives.

  8. Sandy says

    I am going to have to try this method. I have been baking it in the oven but it does take longer. Saw something on Pinterest for making BLT sandwiches that I used last time I cooked bacon in the oven – you kind of weave 4 pieces of bacon together and cook it that way. Fits perfectly on the bread.

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