This might be the understatement of the year, but Chef Ray really loves bacon. He doesn’t just love bacon, he luuuuvs bacon. Here are a few of Chef Ray’s tips on how to cook bacon that will make your next “makin’ bacon” experience better than ever!
Use a Cast Iron Skillet and Olive Oil
For the perfect crispiness, Chef Ray recommends using a cast iron skillet. Not only will it give your bacon the perfect consistency, it will also give your cast iron skillet a great seasoning.
1) Make sure that your pan is not too hot. If you start with a hot pan, you could risk burning the bacon.
2) Before putting in the bacon, pour a little Olive Oil in the pan. This will help the bacon lay flat. “It won’t stick and it will cook more evenly.“ And don’t worry about the bacon taking on any of the oil’s flavor. “Bacon has such a strong flavor, you won’t taste any of the additional oil.” Also, the bacon is rendering its fat, so it’s not going to absorb any of the fat from the additional oil.
Upgrade Your Bacon
Chef Ray prefers to use none other than Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, which he features on his Spinach Salad with Curry Vinaigrette. Nueske’s may be a little pricier than the packaged kind you can get at the supermarket, but the extra few dollars is so worth it! Nueske’s tastes like real, old-fashioned bacon. Bob Nueske himself says, “We refuse to use any binders, fillers or extenders. We don’t “hide” fat by emulsifying it. “No water added” means just tender, moist meat, leaving texture and flavor as they’re meant to be.” This is the real thing.
Save the “Good” Fat
After the bacon is done cooking, most people pour the bacon fat into a jar. Chef Ray suggests only saving the bacon fat from the “good bacon,” or Nueske’s. Then, if you are ever stuck using lesser quality bacon, you can use some of the Nueske’s fat instead of oil. “It will really help the flavor of the ‘cheap’ bacon.”
Look for the Foam and Take a Sample!
When your bacon starts to foam and that yummy bacon smell is permeating throughout the house, that means the bacon’s almost done and it’s time for someone to sample. Chef Ray says, “It’s a rule, whoever is cooking the bacon, gets to sample it first.” So make sure YOU are the one doing the cooking!