While these days I often find myself in a supporting role in the kitchen to my wife’s cooking and baking as Sous Chef and Chief Dish and Bottle Washer, I do know my way around the kitchen very well from cooking over the course of my lifetime. So when it comes to preparing bacon bits for adding to a wide variety of meals like fried potatoes, soups and salads, I’m known in the kitchen as the ‘Baconator.’ 🙂 After all, someone has to fry the bacon rashers and clean up afterwards so it might as well be me, as I enjoy bringing order out of chaos and don’t mind tackling difficult jobs!
I normally like to stick with frying thick-cut bacon, because there’s more texture and substance to the finished result than thin-cut bacon rashers. Our technique is to freeze bacon bits in quart-sized freezer bags for quick access to add bacon bits to other meals, which works like a charm, but it’s a messy business being the Baconator ~ so here’s my technique if you’ve never fried bacon before.
I use a large, flat pan over medium heat to fry bacon, with the necessary splatter guard kept in place or held hovering over the pan at all times. I prepare a large glass plate covered in paper towels to absorb the grease once the bacon’s cooked, but keep it well away from the stove top while the bacon’s frying. The most difficult process in frying bacon ~ besides dealing with the bacon grease ~ is initially fitting the raw bacon into the pan because it eventually shrinks down so much in size. I use a regular fork to turn the bacon as it fries, catching the edges between the tines, all the while keeping the splatter guard hovering above the pan.
Once the bacon has color on both sides and looks like it’s cooked, turn the burner off and carefully lift and place each rasher of bacon on the plate with the paper towels, and let the pan begin to cool. With the bacon rashers on the paper towel, use fresh paper towels to press down and flatten the cooked bacon to absorb the grease from both sides once they’ve cooled enough to the touch, but not to the point of being cold. You want to absorb the grease while it’s still warm and liquid.
After finishing absorbing the extra grease in a few rounds of paper towel absorption, carefully set the greasy paper towels aside, and use your fingers to break the cooked bacon rashers into manageable sizes ~ remember that bacon fat is a great moisturizer for your skin as long as you don’t touch anything ~ or dice the bacon pieces into smaller bacon-bit-sized pieces on a glass cutting board for easy cleaning.
The most difficult part of frying bacon, besides guarding from grease splatters while cooking, is cleaning up the mess afterwards. I let the pan cool off the burner on the stove top with the burner off ~ to a point where it’s no longer hot, but before the grease has a chance to solidify. Use the set-aside paper towels to wipe out the pan carefully and drop them into a plastic bag lined trash can to dispose of later ~ never allow grease to go down the kitchen drain. Continue wiping the frying pan out with fresh paper towels until the pan is virtually clean of grease, and then use a scrub brush with a grease-cutting liquid dish detergent applied straight on the pan to clean the frying pan well away from your regular dishwater. Once it looks clean, then wash the frying pan again like normal, unless you’re using a cast iron skillet which requires different cleaning techniques.
For the photo gallery below, I began with frying normal thin-style bacon rashers, and in the process of taking the photos with my wife, the first batch of bacon turned out ‘extra crispy’ or well-done, which I happen to enjoy. My wife prefers her bacon bits ‘medium’ and still soft, so now we freeze two bags of bacon bits ~ regular and extra-crispy – while at the same time I try to shoot for the regular style bacon bits when frying bacon rashers. The second batch of bacon rashers this week used thick-cut rashers, so that’s where the difference comes from in the gallery below. Real ‘home-style’ bacon bits add flavor and texture to many different meals, so be safe when frying anything on the stove top, and enjoy adding a little flavor and texture to your next meal, too ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂