Bacon. How to cook it
Fact 1: Bacon. Food of the Gods. We all know that. spoiltpig bacon. Heavenly.
Fact 2: There are bazillions of ways to cook bacon. It’s versatile AND tasty. A dream and delight of an ingredient to get cooking with.
Bacon is often a personal experience. Do you like yours crispy or slightly ‘wet’? Do you like it in a tasty sandwich or as a topping to a salad? And of course, the age-old question of red vs brown sauce… This guide is just that, a list of the best options (unusual and obvious) you can employ to cook up that pack of spoiltpig streaky or back bacon.
Read, decide, cook, eat, repeat!
Fried (our personal favourite):
Use a griddle pan for optimum frying joy (but a standard frying pan will suffice if you’re not stocked up with a griddle pan). This way you tend not to lose too much of the fat which ultimately gives your bacon so much of its flavour. Pre-heat the griddle pan for 4-5mins first ensuring it’s nice and hot before you add the bacon (note: many cooks suggest placing bacon into a cold pan to stop it curling up too much, but our spoiltpig bacon is such that it won’t water and curl up anyway). Make sure each rasher has its own cosy spot in the pan to crisp up nicely. While it’s cooking, resist the temptation to move it around the pan, be patient and wait for the fat to turn a nice crisp golden colour before turning to cook the other side. Then cook to your liking.
Deep Fat Fry:
No doubt a favourite of our American cousins but definitely a method employed by many professionals. 5 or 6 strips of streaky bacon (works less well with back bacon) in a deep fat fryer for 5 minutes will give you curly and chewy bacon.
It’s not as straight forward as just cooking in the oven. There are 4 different ways you can cook up a bacon feast in the humble oven. Most require a temperature of Gas Mark 6 / 200oC unless otherwise stated. Ready? Here you go:
1. Cooling Rack: Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and place a cooling rack over the top of it. Lay the rashers of spoiltpig bacon on top of the rack and bake in the oven for 20-30mins until you’ve achieved your preferred crisp. Remove from oven and place on a plate with kitchen paper for a couple of minutes before serving.
2. Baking Paper: Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay your rashers of bacon directly onto the baking paper and cook for 15mins before checking for crisp-factor. This method makes the bacon cook quicker so check regularly to avoid over cooking/burning.
3. No mess, straight on baking tray: Preferred by the masses but requiring the most ‘cleaning up’. Lay the rashers of spoiltpig directly onto the baking tray, cook and check every 10mins until cooked to your liking.
4. Cold Oven: Lay the bacon onto a baking tray lined with aluminium foil and place into a cold oven. Wait for the temperature to reach 180oC/gas mark 4 and then turn the bacon over before cooking for precisely 4 more minutes.
When you say it, one can’t help but think ‘Waffle Maker? Are you mad?’ But when you actually think about it, it does kind of make sense. Preheat the waffle maker, cut the rashers of bacon in ½ and place 2 halves into each waffle square. Close the waffle maker and only open after 4mins to check on how well cooked it is. Drain it on kitchen paper when you take it out of the waffle maker. Et voila!
Wok ‘n’ Roll:
Yep, bacon can be cooked in wok too! No longer do you need to keep your wok for sole ‘stir fry’ use. Essentially this is the same as when using a frying pan, but this time you put the rashers of bacon into a cold wok over a medium heat. Be sure to arrange the rashers in a circular motion around the sides of the wok so that they all cook evenly (remember heat disperses differently in a wok!). Only start to manoeuvre the bacon around when the rashers in the centre of the wok start to cook. At this point swap the bacon from the centre of the wok to the sides and shift all round to ensure even cooking of rashers.
Blasphemous! Well, no not really. This is the best way to cook up your bacon when you’re in dire, urgent, crisis need of a bacon sandwich in less than 5 minutes. For the full method see our article dedicated to this unusual art, but trust us, bacon + kitchen paper + microwaveable bowl upside down + 3mins + full power + 800w microwave oven = crispy deliciousness.
And finally, the sun is shining (or not), it’s summertime, you’re determined to BBQ and so dagnamit BBQ you shall! But why limit yourself to chicken, sausages and burgers? Our spoiltpig bacon loves a bit of BBQ action. This method is really for back bacon as opposed to streaky though… Lay aluminium foil across the grill of the BBQ (obviously before the charcoal starts to heat up!) and fold the edges up to stop grease from spilling over to the coals. Place your rashers on the foil with a fair bit of space between each rasher and then just keep an eye on it. Roughly every 5mins you should turn the bacon (using tongs) until you’re happy with its cooked-ness. Essentially the bacon is ready when you achieve that glorious golden brown colouration on the fat.
With all those options open to you there really is no excuse not to get your spoiltpig bacon cooking. So go forth and cook bacon!