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How To Cook Bacon In The Oven?

Author: Chef George Krumov

 

When I first started working on a cruise ship, every morning I had to cook 120 pounds of bacon. I had six ovens, each one with five racks, and about 1 1/2 hours to do it. That was many years ago, and I still can't stop being surprised when I see how many professional cooks are not even sure how to cook bacon, let alone cook it properly. I have seen people cook bacon on the flat top, in a pan, in the deep-fryer, and so on atrocities. Even those who cooked it in the oven, didn't seem to be careful enough to cook it evenly, or not to burn it.

So, here is how I cook bacon in the oven, which I think is the best method to do it. There are a few different variations, depending of what kind of oven you are using, and whether you use an underliner, or not.

1. Take a cookie sheet or an aluminum tray, and cover it with aluminum foil.

2. Arrange the bacon slices in the tray without overlapping them.

3. Cook the bacon at 400 F for about 20 minutes, or until the desired doneness is achieved. Halfway through the cooking, turn the tray at 180*, so the door side goes in the back, because the bacon closer to the door tend to cook faster.

4. Five minutes before the bacon is done, turn the slices upside-down, in order to give some color to the bottom side too. Unless you turn the bacon, the bottom side tends to stay pinky.

5. When the bacon is done, remove it immediately from the tray and place it over some tissue paper to drain the excess fat.

6. Now, I am sure that you now this, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it. Don't throw the bacon fat in you sink. It will clog your pipes. Instead, pour it in an empty can and dispose it in the garbage.

There are a few differences if you are using a convection oven. When cooking bacon in convection oven, you can put parchment paper under the bacon, and cook it at 375 F. Everything else is basically the same.

When cooking bacon in the oven it is a good idea to use a timer, and set it on five minutes intervals to remind you.

Sometimes people use a rack, also called underliner, under the bacon to separate it from the tray, but I don't see any sense in doing that. However, the underliner rack has another very good use for bacon. Caterers use it when they have to keep bacon warm in a hotel tray. When you put the rack under the bacon, it is separated from the bottom of the tray and keeps it crispy away from the fat drippings.

Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last decade he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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