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Bacon is one of those delicious foods that can be served in a meal as a key ingredient or can also be served on their own as a tasty snack. The only issue is, cooking bacon can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Not everyone has the time or energy to pan-fry their bacon each time they fancy it. Thankfully, there are much quicker and easier ways to cook your bacon and still have it end up being perfectly crisp.
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Why Is Pan-Frying Bacon So Bad?
While it is not necessarily bad, pan-frying bacon is a lot of hassle. You have to deal with setting the stove alight and waiting for your frying pan to heat up, greasing the pan, and then constantly watching it until your bacon is done. Not only this, but you will have hot grease pop up and burn you spontaneously, and your kitchen will somehow have bacon grease and bacon fat plastered all over it. No one knows how it happens, but even the areas of your kitchen that you avoided will inevitably be tainted by the ever-so elusive bacon fat. After your bacon is fully cooked, you also have to deal with the cleanup of your stovetop and your frying pan. Both of which are very tedious to clean and can also end up ruining any washcloths you use.
Aside from the hassle involved, pan-frying is still not the best option as all of the excess fat and grease you introduce to help lubricate the pan will end up on your bacon making it slightly more unhealthy. This might not be an issue for everyone, but some people like to ensure that their food is as healthy as it can be, which is why they might be searching for a better alternative.
Cooking Bacon In A Toaster Oven
Cooking in a toaster oven is arguably one of the easier ways of quickly cooking. That and an air fryer are probably the two best helps in a kitchen for anyone who wants to save time and energy while still cooking their own food. Cooking bacon is straightforward enough, yet there are still some tips and hints that can make it so much easier for you and also ensure you are doing it properly.
Choosing an oven-safe pan to cook your bacon in is very important. A lot of toaster ovens will come with baking trays that can have a mesh layer placed above them, which are great for this very situation. If you do not have one of these, then choosing a plate that fits in your toaster oven is also a good idea.
The baking tray in your toaster oven can be lined with aluminum foil to help make the cleanup process a lot easier. The excess fat and liquids from the bacon will be caught in the foil and can be simply discarded instead of you having to clean the entire tray. For the sake of being clean, it is still best that you clean the tray regularly.
When you are laying your bacon in the oven, make sure none of the pieces overlap as this will change how evenly they cook thanks to moisture getting trapped between the pieces. If you need to trim your cuts of bacon then go ahead, try and find another use for them though as no one wants to waste bacon.
Because of their compact size. toaster ovens heat up incredibly quickly which removes the time it takes for you to preheat anything. Set your toaster oven to 400 degrees F and cook your bacon until it reaches your preferred level of crispiness. Some people like it very crispy whereas others want a bit of chew to their bacon. This will take between 8-15 minutes so check in accordingly and keep an eye on it until they are perfect.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, you can take it out of the toaster oven. As bacon has a lot of curves and is not perfectly smooth, excess fat will be found on your slices. To reduce this, you can line a plate with a paper towel and let your bacon drain. Alternatively, you can actively pat your bacon with paper towels to speed this process up.
While aluminum foil is easy to use as you can scrunch it up and throw it away, not everyone enjoys the idea of consuming that much foil or being wasteful of anything. As an alternative method, you can collect the bacon fat and use it for cooking. This can be done by letting the fat drip into your baking tray and then pouring it into a container after your bacon is cooked. You can use a filter such as a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any lumps or impurities if you choose to. This bacon fat can be left in the fridge or freezer for ages and can be used as a fat replacement or lubricant in cooking. It will also impart the flavor of bacon onto anything it is used with, which can be really nice.
Other Ways To Cook Bacon
If you do not have a toaster oven and are looking for other ways to cook your bacon, then do not worry as there are plenty of options. There are a lot of ways to cook bacon, and chances are that you will have the right equipment for a fair few of these methods.
If you want to cook bacon using a conventional oven, then the steps are pretty much the same. The only things that will change are the heat used, the time it takes to cook, and the time it takes to preheat your oven. As mentioned, toaster ovens are so small that they do not take long to heat at all. A regular-sized oven will take a while to preheat before it is at an even temperature all around and ready for cooking in.
You will want to lay your bacon on a baking tray similar to how you do for the toaster oven, ensuring there is no overlapping. The bacon grease can still be collected with aluminum foil or parchment paper if you choose to. The size of a normal oven is a lot larger than a toaster oven so you can cook more bacon at once, meaning you can bake bacon to your heart’s content.
After your oven has preheated to 375 degrees F, you will want to let it cook for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you like it. Once it is as crispy as you want it to be, using oven gloves or something similar you can remove the tray from your oven and allow your bacon to drain on a mesh sheet or on a paper towel.
While this might sound outlandish, cooking bacon in the microwave is so quick and easy that it is worth it. While it is best for bacon strips, you can use cuts of any thickness however it will take a bit longer for them to cook. To start off, you will want to line a plate with paper towels. four sheets should be enough as they are being used to absorb all of the excess bacon grease and fat.
Place a single layer of your bacon on the plate. Again, it is essential to stop them from overlapping as this will cause the pieces to stick together and potentially not cook properly. Once they are placed on your plate, you can cover them with a top layer of a couple more paper towels. This not only helps absorb excess liquids but will also prevent the grease from popping and making a mess in your microwave. Therefore, it is important to be thorough and make sure all of the bacon is covered in paper towels.
If you want to cook even more bacon at once, you can do so. As long as you repeat the pattern, you can make a layered tower of bacon and paper towels. We aren’t trying to make a skyscraper so don’t make too many layers. Once you have a satisfactory amount of bacon ready to cook, ensure you have covered the top in paper towels and shut your microwave door.
Microwave your bacon on high power for one minute. If the bacon is not cooked enough for you or is not evenly cooked, start cooking it in 30-second bursts until you are happy with it. If you like really crispy bacon and are trying to microwave thick cuts, then you might not be able to perfect the crisp. This method is for quick and easy bacon, not culinary perfection.
If left to cool as they are, the bacon will start to stick to the paper towels. It is best to transfer the bacon to a separate dish as soon as it is done cooking. After this, you are done and can enjoy your cooked bacon.
Cooking bacon in an air fryer is so easy and hassle-free, not to mention how quick it is too. While it may not be as fast as a microwave, the results are a lot better. You will want to initially layer your bacon in the cooking part of your air fryer. While the capacity may be limited, you can still fill it as best as you can without any of the slices overlapping.
Turn your air fryer to 375 degrees F and allow it to cook for 9 minutes. Depending on how you like your bacon cooked, you may want to allow it to cook for a little longer. Once the timer is done, if you are not satisfied you can cook the bacon again for another couple of minutes. It is best to move the bacon around with some tongs before cooking it for a second time as this will help it cook evenly.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, you can remove it with your tongs and allow it to drain on a mesh sheet or a paper towel-lined plate. This will get rid of excess oils and liquids. Once this is done, it is time to enjoy your crispy bacon.
What Is The Best Method For Cooking Bacon?
All cooking methods have their merits, so it would be unfair to label one as the best. It all depends on what you are wanting or what you are prioritizing. Using a frying pan will let you control how crispy your bacon is, more than the other methods will. Although, cooking bacon in the microwave is by far the fastest method out of all of them. If you are looking for a compromise between quality and efficiency, then using a toaster oven or a conventional oven is arguably your best bet.
FAQs On Cooking Bacon
How do you cook bacon in a toaster oven?
When you have placed your bacon properly in the toaster oven, you can cook it at 400 degrees F for between 8-15 minutes depending on how crispy you like it.
What temperature do you cook bacon in a toaster oven?
The temperature can be changed to suit you, although the cooking time will also change. 400 degrees F is a good point and will take on average 12 minutes to cook your bacon.
Can you cook bacon in a convection toaster oven?
Yes, you can. It is the same as cooking in a normal oven, although as they are a lot smaller, toaster ovens will take less time to heat up and can sometimes run hotter than what they display. As long as you take this into account, you will be fine.
Can you really cook bacon in a toaster?
You can cook bacon in a toaster oven, but not a normal toaster. It is very important to know the difference between the two as cooking bacon in a toaster can lead to a fire or other issues.