Oven-Baked Bacon

Are you one of us who becomes energized by the aroma of sizzling bacon? The pop. The sizzle. The aroma. It’s no wonder that bacon — with all its wonderful sensory qualities – has found its way from the breakfast table and the BLT into a number of new and exciting dishes over the years.

It’s no surprise that Bacon butter, Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwiches, Bacon Guacamole, Warm Bacon Vinaigrette, and Bacon Banana Bread — to name a few — are featured in a Food Network story entitled 50 Things to Make with Bacon. Bacon in all its iterations is at once flavorful, rich, fattening, and ofttimes controversial.

There is no debate that bacon adds intense flavor to and balances out a dish; however, the debate lingers in the preparation of bacon.

Grill? Fry? Deep Fry? Oven?

Most of us are introduced to bacon in Mom or Grandma’s kitchen with a pop and a sizzle and an aroma that tantalizes and awakens our minds and senses.  Tom Waits says “If you record the sound of bacon in a frying pan, it sounds like the pops and cracks of an old 33 1/3 recording. Almost exactly like that. You could substitute it for its sound.” That sound. That wonderful nostalgic sound, but what if our tried and true familiar method in all it’s auditory wonder is not the best way to cook it? Not to knock mom or Grandma. I’d give an arm and a leg to be awakened by my Grandmother’s enticing fried bacon again, but I’ll still prepare it differently now that I have tuned-in to the joys of oven-baked bacon.  (Note, I did not discover this method.)

I set the oven at 400, per the instructions on the package, and rather than placing the bacon on a sheet pan, I placed four lovely slices (since I am only cooking for two) in a pyrex. I figured it was a risk as the instructions were very specific; however, the results were fantastic, and I was able to focus my time on the eggs and potatoes while the bacon baked. Even without the iconic pop and sizzle of the fry pan, the bacon was crisp, flat (I curled it afterward), flavorful, and beautiful — without the greasy and splattery mess that typically follows breakfast preparation and much easier to layer on a sandwich if the mood fits.

This method may not work for everyone, but it worked for me. My sweetie spent less time scrubbing the stove, and he spent more time relaxing with me after breakfast than he ordinarily would. For me, that’s the best way to spend a Sunday morning.