Friday, August 12, 2016

Baking Bacon for the Perfect BLT

If I had a dollar for every request I've received for a BLT video, I'd have enough money to buy a lot of bacon. I’ve never gotten around to doing one, mostly because do you really need a video to make a BLT? 

However, I have wanted to show this little trick for making bacon by baking; and it gave me the perfect opportunity to show off my vision of what the perfect bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich looks like.

I recommend using heavy-duty foil for this, as it’s a little easier to work with, but regular foil will do the job. Like I said in the video, as long as you create some kind of valleys for the fat to flow into, the technique will work as shown. The result is perfectly flat, perfectly crisp, yet still succulent strips.

Your cooking time is going to vary depending on how thick the bacon is, so I’d start peeking at about 15-20 minutes, and go from there. You can crowd the bacon more that I did, and it’s okay if it’s very slightly overlapping, since it will shrink as it cooks. Just check after about 10-15 minutes, and re-space the pieces if needed. I really hope you give this great bacon technique a try soon. Enjoy!


Bake bacon at 375 F. for 25-30 minutes, or until you reach your desired level of doneness.

31 comments:

akaase said...

Chef John: I must taunt you with the fact you say "taunt" when you mean "taut". But I will always tout everything you taught.

Andrew Buhl said...

Chef John, have you ever used the method where you put a small layer of water in the pan with your bacon and then frying it after the water boils off? I've tried it and found it quite superior to just plain frying bacon with maybe a bit of oil.

And now i'm curious if your method will take my bacon prep to the even nexter next level.

Jeff said...

I've been baking bacon in the oven for years, but this foil trick is BRILLIANT! Thanks!

Unknown said...

America has much nicer bacon than we do. Sadness.

Divtal said...

Impeccable timing, Chef John. We're planning BLT's for dinner tomorrow.

I've heard people recommend bakin' bacon ... tomorrow, I try it!


b stiney said...

genius

Laura Harmon said...

Perfect! I have many ripe tomatoes and I do bake my bacon. Making the ridges in the foil looks like the way to get crispy bacon on both sides. Thanks for that tip! Time go to buy some bacon!

Benny Attar said...

Any sensible reason why this (and seemingly every other) sandwich starts with mayo? Full of unhealthy fat, easy to spoil (or packed with salmonella retarding chemicals), and turning the bread all soggy and sad, I always thought the mayo in pre-packaged commercial sandwiches served only as glue to keep the veggies from falling out.

John Marquardt said...

I thought you were opposed to baking. LMAO

Actually it works very well for a large amount of bacon. For smaller amounts the microwave is perfect. Put 2 or 3 strips between a couple of paper towels and bacon comes out perfect.

Chris K. said...

This is a great Food Wishes post because we've been waiting for a BLT video forever.

I take issue with your BLT layering. Here's my ideal build of a BLT:

- 2 pieces of toast, slathered with mayonnaise (Duke's FTW!).
- Cold, dry, crispy lettuce on each slice of toast
- A generous layer of bacon on each slice of toast, on top of the lettuce
- Sliced tomatoes in the middle, seasoned with salt and pepper

This way you get to appreciate the best of each ingredient, without the sandwich getting soggy and falling apart halfway through.

I admire your foil-baking technique simply because I share your derision for cleaning up kitchen vessels. By the way - do you buy new sheet pans for every video you need one? They always look so good! My sheet pans look like blackened garbage, because I can't be bothered to scrape them down every two weeks.

Unknown said...

Hey chief John I appreciate every tip and demo you given because some of us are dunces when comes to cooking. I had a boyfriend who once served me garlic and blueberry on a cracker and thought this was appetizing. Nothing worst than someone who does not understand bitter and tart favors does work well together raw. Anyway you really are saving thousands of bad cooking every day. Thank you so much for innovative fun way you present cooking to the masses.

Scott Draper said...

Regarding your bacon rack, I've used cooling racks in the past for a similar purpose, but the ends of the bacon burn before the bacon is done. Laying them flat directly on the pan prevents this. Seems like your foil solution would encounter the same problem.

Food Junkie said...

This is a good method for bacon but since I don't eat bacon or meat or veggie strips can I substitute something else? (just kidding, I love bacon but you know SOMEBODY was going to ask about substitution so I figured we might as well get it out of the way.) Thanks for for your blog.

Monica said...

My all time favorite sandwich. It is easier to cook bacon in the microwave on a special microwave pan(bought many years ago); cover with 2 pieces of paper towel . and cook at 50 to 60 secs per piece.

Stephen Haitch said...

I need to justify more reasons to make this much bacon all at once so I can use this method.

Also; This user has re-uploaded a chunk of your videos.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzHNV-BkxrjWY7ZgidtUmng/search?query=food+wishes

Georgia Dabinett said...

Perfect for breakfast this morning. Thanks for the tinfoil trick....saved my husband much washing time. Always looking for a way to consume a fresh garden to tomato this time of year.

Alicia said...

That's a great tip Chef John! I've tried baking it with the mesh rack and you are right, it's a hassle to clean. I'm going to go bake some bacon right now! Happy Sunday!

Jim Soliski said...

You meant taut, not taunt. It's never a good idea to insult your aluminum foil.

Michele Cryan said...

There IS a secret to perfect BLTs neglected by these instructions! Never butter your toast and Let your toast cool to room temp before adding mayo. Just like potato salad. :)

Richard Carey said...

I always start my baked bacon in a cold oven. It seems to render a little more of the fat and ensure even cooking. Thanks as always for the great videos.

qwerty3729 said...

I'm a bit uninspired, Chef. Need more interesting recipes.

Deb Ludwig said...

Thanks for the grear idea to use foil instead of a rack! Love your videos. BTW, It's taut, not taunt.

White on Rice Couple said...

Such a fantastic technique by one of our kitchen heroes. Great job John! Will definitely give this a try as we're always looking for ways to make big batches of bacon for a crowd without sacrificing texture and flavor. Thanks for the wonderful technique!

Frank said...

Apparently several of your followers subscribe to the grammar blog, also.

Dave said...

I'll definitely be trying that foil "rack" trick in the future, but I've always done oven bacon by putting it in a cold oven, and then turning it to 400 for 18-20 minutes. I'm not sure why, but I find that slowly adding heat tends to make for nicer bacon.

Bill said...

Chef John,
You are awesome. Which is why I can't let you say tauntess. There is no "n". It is taut.
Keep being awesome.
Bill

Chef John said...

White on Rice Couple,

Thank you! I'm guessing you grow some amazing tomatoes to go with that perfect bacon. :)

Laura Harmon said...

Just so you know, Chef John, when I watch your youtube videos, the link to Food Wishes always goes to your most current post instead of the recipe for the related video from youtube.

As Always, love your recipes! I have cooked many of them with great satisfaction.

Laura

Terry Pogue said...

I bought some Duroc Heritage thick cut bacon just recently and this morning I baked it in my toaster oven following your directions. It was fantastic. Great method and if you can find it Duroc is worth the price.

Bergenator said...

Hey Chef John,
What are your preferred methods for both using up excess bacon fat and disposing of excess bacon fat?

XisDshizL said...

I use this technique with one modification: I line the bottom tray with flat foil first.

I have foil in a wider roll that covers the entire metal baking tray. Then I add the pinch and pull corrugated foil on top from my narrow roll of foil which fits between the pan sides.

After cooking, I can wrap up the drippings in which are contained in the pan liner and toss the whole mess in the garbage. NO clean up of the metal pan. And no grease clogging my pipes.