I like bacon. I do not like the mess bacon makes when I tried to cook it at home. Yes I said tried, as in, was not able to cook bacon the way it is usually served in restaurants; my bacon at home would end up part burned, and part raw.
I tried using a lid, but then I could not see what was going on, and the water off the lid would splatter when it dripped into the hot bacon grease. Next I tried using a screen –lid contraption, that did not work out much better, other than it was better at letting the grease puddle when I put it on the counter while checking the bacon. Having given up on the lid and screens, one day, out of frustration I threw my Panini press on top of the bacon in an attempt to slow down the splatters……and ended up with an amazing batch of bacon. Since then I have worked to duplicate and/or perfect this method.
First, start with a nice heavy pan that will hold heat better when the bacon is placed into the pan, I prefer a nice Cast Iron pan, usually my trusty 12 inch. Next heat the pan BEFORE placing the bacon in the pan, a nice gentle heat, around 4; this is important to do for those people who think their stove has only two setting-HIGH and OFF-your stove has more settings, explore them. Every stove is different, you will have to experiment with your stove to find out what lower temperatures work best.
Now with the pan heated on around 4, lightly grease with a little butter, or rub the first piece around in the pan. Both butter or the first piece of bacon should glide around the pan, not sit like a lump, nor stick, and the if you are using butter it should defiantly not bubble extremely rapidly and turn black, that is an indication your pan is too hot. Place the first layer side by side across the bottom of the pan; place the second layer 90° from the first layer. I do not cook more than one pound at a time in my 12 inch pan, and less in smaller pans. Once all of your bacon is layered in the pan, place a press or a second pan on top of the bacon to hold it flat and in contact with the heat. Note-most houses have a stack of frying pans that stack inside each other, simply take the next smaller pan and use it as your bacon press.
Now be patient; good cooking takes time.
You want the bottom layer to get slightly brown before flipping the whole pile in one movement. I typically putter around the kitchen at this time fighting my urge to turn the bacon too soon, yet not far enough away that I forget that I am cooking something. While waiting you will start to see the bacon grease building up in the pan, and the press (or second pan) holding the bacon right where it needs to be. It is OK to peak under the bacon every now and then to see if it is ready to flip. Once flipped, repeat the same process. After the second side is slightly browned, then it is time to break up the bacon into individual (as possible) pieces and get any undercooked pieces to the bottom of the pan and place the press on top again. Now it is a matter of personal preference how much further you cook you bacon until YOU get it to exactly where YOU want it.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove it with tongs or a fork, placing it on layered paper towels to dry a little, and then enjoy.
If you are cooking more than one batch, you will end up having to drain some of the bacon grease out as you go, but not completely, a certain amount will speed up the cooking. Please drain the grease carefully and into a DRY metal container, the grease will be hot enough to burn you, and it sticks to skin really well. Use a dry container because the hot grease will react violently to any water, even one or two drops. You might also have to remove some of the bacon crumples from the bottom of the pan, use a wooden or quality plastic scraper or spatula; metal ones will scratch the cookware.
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