Everybody else is doing it, so I may as well.
Post something about the Bacon Explosion recipe sweeping the Internet, I mean.
There are few more decadent foods than bacon. But there are even fewer foods more decadent than this recipe. It’s 4 pounds of pork and an estimated 5,000 calories, but it looks delicious.
From the New York Times: The Bacon Explosion posting has since been viewed about 390,000 times. It first found a following among barbecue fans, but quickly spread to sites run by outdoor enthusiasts, off-roaders and hunters. (Several proposed venison-sausage versions.) It also got mentions on the Web site of Air America, the liberal radio network, and National Review, the conservative magazine. Jonah Goldberg at NationalReview.com wrote, “There must be a reason one reader after another sends me this every couple hours.” Conservatives4palin.com linked, too.
Responding to customer demand, the creators have now come up with an indoor method of cooking their log-o-pork concoction. The recipe was originally developed for outdoor cooking.
The response to the recipe got me thinking about other things bacon fanatics have come up with in recent years.
To GP founder Dan Philips, “It’s a bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon world.” And I agree.
As delicious as it is, cooking bacon can be difficult — requiring you to stand over a hot pan, frying small batches over and over again and likely setting off all the smoke alarms in the house. This is particularly taxing if you’re trying to cook for a crowd.
But there is a way to cook a whole pound (or two) of bacon at one time with minimal smoke and fuss.
Try this technique I learned more than 20 years ago working in a down home restaurant.
You’ll need a large, heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet, also known as a “jelly roll pan” or a “half sheet pan,” available at Wal-Mart and other department stores for about $10.
And, you’ll need a large cooling rack like the kind used by bakers.
If you’re new to cooking, think of these purchases as investments because you will use them again and again for all kinds of recipes. In fact, you may want to go ahead and buy two of each. Trust me.
Back to bacon, here’s what you do: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the cooling rack into the sheet pan. Then lay the raw bacon strips onto the rack one at a time.
You can put them pretty close together. The edges can even overlap a little bit, maybe a quarter of an inch or less. You should be able to fit an entire pound of bacon on one rack.
Place the rack in the oven and cook for at least 10 minutes, more if you like crispy bacon.
Of course, if you buy two pans and two racks, you can cook two pounds of bacon at a time. That might set back your weight loss program, but it sure is efficient when you’re cooking Sunday brunch for your in-laws.
This technique accomplishes several things.
Cooking on a rack allows air and heat to circulate around the meat, speeding up the cooking and eliminating the need to flip the bacon as you do in a frying pan.
The air circulation also cooks the bacon more evenly, so you don’t undercook one side and overcook another.
I haven’t asked a dietician, but I’m guessing this method results in lower-calorie bacon as it allows the rendered fat to drain away from the meat.
Of course, those bacon drippings make excellent gravy that tastes great on homemade biscuits. So, you might want to save it, arteries and waistline be damned.