In a YouTube video titled ‘The best ways to cook bacon (and the worst)’, Frank was “going over the typical [method of] frying bacon, as well as some unconventional techniques” like oven baking and using the microwave.
Also known as the “traditional, tried and true method that most people use” to cook bacon, “takes less time than turning on the oven, and it’s probably the best method for five, to six slices of bacon”, Frank said.
He explained the choice of bacon is key for this method of cooking: “Whenever I choose to pan-fry bacon, I’m looking for thick-cut bacon. I think it holds better, the slices are a little sturdier, and I find regular bacon is a little too flimsy.
“I like to use a cast iron pan, if you don’t have a cast iron pan, that’s fine. I let it heat up on medium heat for three to five minutes.
“This might seem counter-intuitive, but I like to start with a little bit of fat – I don’t like putting things into a dry pan, I think it’s a bad habit to get into. I just coat the bottom of my pan with a little bit of oil.”
Frank suggests laying the bacon rashers “flat” in the pan and to begin with the bacon will “touch the sides of the pan, but you’ll notice it’ll start to shrink up and fit inside the pan”.
Now, you want to “leave it alone”. The chef explained: “Most people start fussing with it, don’t fuss, leave it to brown.”
He said it will take “five to ten minutes at least”, and then he flipped the rashers to get them to cook evenly.
There are a couple of “disadvantages of using a pan”. Firstly, “it doesn’t fit a lot of bacon”, secondly, any bacon “not directly over the heat” doesn’t brown as well so you need to “shuffle” the rashers around.
Once the bacon was brown and crispy, he removed the rashers and placed them onto a baking tray which was lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
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“The baking sheet method is by far my favourite method,” Frank remarked. “You can cook bulk amounts of bacon, with less space, there’s no tending to the bacon, it also cooks the bacon more evenly without splatters in your kitchen, and the results are superior in every way.”
For this method, you need a sheet or baking tray and line it with a sheet of parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, use a wire rack, but Frank doesn’t like using a rack because he’s “lazy and doesn’t want to clean it”.
He also said cooking bacon on parchment paper means the bacon “cooks in its own fat”. He notes he does “drain all the fat off” after cooking, so don’t worry about there being too much fat.
First, take the rashers of bacon, and lie them “side by side”. The chef said the “yield on the bacon is better” when baking in the oven as you “don’t get as much shrinkage”.
Once all the bacon is lined up, put it into the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.
After the time is up, drain the bacon on a baking tray lined with a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
“For me, this is the perfect texture,” Frank admitted. “A little crunchy, a little chewy. The bacon is evenly baked, a little crispy on the outside.”
“As a chef, I have zero problems with the microwave, it’s a great tool,” Frank said. “If you need to get your bacon cooked in minutes, and you only need two-three slices, the microwave is the way to go.”
The chef also said this method requires minimal clean-up. All you need is a few paper towels and a microwave-safe plate.
Take the bacon rashers and place them on the paper towel on the plate. Cover it with two or three more sheets of paper towel to “soak up the excess fat” and “helps steam” the bacon.
Put the plate in the microwave on high for four to six minutes. After five minutes, Frank checked the bacon and it was “super crispy” and “delicious”.
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