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Turkey bacon is a low-fat alternative to typical pork bacon. As you can imagine, it is made entirely from turkey meat and skin being chopped and ground and then pressed into bacon-shaped strips, after being seasoned.
Many adore it for how healthy it is compared to traditional bacon and also despite its nutritional value, turkey bacon is also a great substitute for people who cannot eat pork due to religious reasons.
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How do you cook turkey bacon?
In essence, turkey bacon is no different from regular bacon. This includes how it is cooked and prepped for meals. There are many ways to cook it but the most common is frying. Similar to pork bacon, you can add some oil to a pan on a high-heat stove and fry it until you are left with crispy turkey bacon.
There are many ways to make sure you have the perfect turkey bacon as it all depends on how you personally like it to be cooked. Some people prefer to eat crispy bacon that snaps when you fold it, and other people prefer chewy bacon that has that meaty mouthfeel.
Frying turkey bacon
This is one of the most popular methods of cooking bacon and is loved for its simplicity and easy control over how your bacon turns out, some say this method also adds extra flavor to your bacon.
Thanks to its simplicity, all you will need is your turkey bacon, a frying pan or skillet big enough to accommodate it, and then your preferred cooking oil. Other than this, a plate and some paper towels are also handy as well as a spatula or some cooking tongs so that you don’t burn your hands.
Firstly you want to place your pan on your stove and set it to medium heat. Once that has heated up, it is time to throw a splash of your cooking oil in there, just enough to cover the bottom once it has heated up and become less viscous.
Secondly, it is now time to place your bacon in the pan. Make sure to lay them down flat and make sure no pieces overlap each other. If you can’t fit your desired amount in the pan without overlapping, then you can just cook those afterward as a second batch.
While your turkey bacon is cooking, it will start to brown and curl at the edges. You will know your turkey bacon is cooked once it has curled at all of the edges and appears shriveled with a deeply browned color.
Lastly, you want to remove your cooked turkey bacon from the pan with a pair of tongs or anything else that prevents you from being burned. Place your turkey bacon on a plate that has a paper towel on it and then place another paper towel over the top. Once you have your bacon in between two pieces of paper towel, push down on the top piece gently. This will help to remove excess fat and grease from your bacon which makes it healthier and will be slightly fewer calories.
Oven cooking turkey bacon
Cooking bacon in the oven takes more time than frying but it is also significantly easier. All you will need is your uncooked turkey bacon, some parchment paper, cooking oil, and an oven tray.
Firstly you want to line your oven tray with the baking parchment paper and drizzle it in vegetable oil or your preferred cooking oil. Once this is done, it is time to arrange bacon on your tray making sure nothing overlaps.
On your turkey bacon packaging, you will have cooking instructions. You need to look at these and preheat oven to the temperature it says. Once the oven has heated to the correct temperature you can place the tray in your oven.
The packaging will also mention a time that it will take the bacon to cook. This is not completely accurate so about five minutes before your bacon is supposedly cooked, you want to start periodically checking it.
When your turkey bacon is golden brown and slightly curled, it should be done. It is now time to extract it from the oven and transfer strips onto a paper towel-lined plate. This will help remove excess fat and grease as these are known to be the culprits of increased cancer risk.
Microwaving turkey bacon
Arguably the easiest and cleanest method of cooking bacon is in the microwave. The idea behind this is sandwiching your bacon in between sheets of paper towels creating a large stack of alternating layers. You will want a paper towel-lined plate as the base of your tower, making sure that the plate is microwave safe.
As said, place a few strips on this bottom layer and cover them in a couple of paper towels before placing a few more strips on top of this until you reach your desired amount.
The paper towels will absorb all fat as it renders and the meat will cook to be quite crispy. The cooking time is entirely dependent on your microwave so your best judgment should be used, but at high heat, it takes about a minute and a half before your bacon is fully cooked.
Is turkey bacon edible before cooking?
Lots of food substitutes have gone through a curing stage which has partially cooked them and they only need to be heated up for the enjoyment of the consumer. Typical bacon has not gone through this process and therefore needs to be cooked properly before consumption.
Turkey bacon is a low-fat alternative to bacon and is made of chopped and smoked turkey meat that has been shaped to resemble pork bacon. The majority of the time, this turkey meat has been cured way before it ever appeared in the store and will most likely be smoked as well.
That being said, there is a high chance that turkey bacon is edible without being cooked. In other words, you may be able to eat raw turkey bacon. However, it is highly recommended that you check the packaging first to see if this is true for that particular brand. If you consume it without checking this, you are prone to foodborne illnesses.
Why eat turkey bacon?
Turkey bacon is a healthier option compared to pork bacon, as it has a lower fat content and will produce less grease. That being said, its nutritional values may slightly differ, turkey bacon has slightly less protein than pork bacon.
If you are not bothered about the health concerns and actually enjoy the fat and grease of pork bacon, then turkey bacon may not satisfy your cravings due to its lack of those two things. Yet it does prove to be a brilliant alternative for those who cannot consume typical pork bacon.
Is turkey bacon fully cooked?
Before it is sold, it is common for turkey products to be fully cured and also smoked. There is a high chance that your turkey bacon is already cooked and just needs to be heated for consumption. Despite this, it is best to check the packaging to make sure so that you do not get ill because of undercooked food.
Is my turkey bacon undercooked?
As long as your turkey bacon is appearing a deep brown or golden brown color and has started to curl at the edges, there is a safe chance it is cooked.
Is turkey bacon supposed to be crispy?
Some people prefer crispy bacon whereas others prefer it to be chewy. As long as it is cooked, either way, is fine. Due to its low-fat content, there is a higher chance that your turkey bacon will crisp during cooking.