Bacon is a breakfast staple that many of us can’t live without. But what happens when you forget to thaw it before cooking? Can you cook bacon from frozen?
The internet seems to have mixed opinions on this topic, with some claiming it’s a quick and easy method, while others argue that it’s not the best way to achieve the desired crispiness.
In this article, we’ll explore the different methods for cooking bacon from frozen and help you decide which one is right for you. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Can You Cook Bacon From Frozen?
The short answer is yes, you can cook bacon from frozen. However, the process may take longer than cooking thawed bacon and may not result in the same level of crispiness.
One method for cooking frozen bacon is to place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 30 seconds on each side in the microwave. This will partially thaw the bacon and make it easier to separate the strips before cooking. Once separated, you can cook the bacon in a skillet or in the oven as you would with thawed bacon.
Another method is to cook the bacon directly from frozen in a skillet or on a baking sheet in the oven. If using a skillet, cover it with a lid or foil to help speed up the thawing process. As the bacon thaws, use tongs to separate the strips and flip them over to thaw from both sides. It may take a few extra minutes to achieve the desired crispiness.
If cooking bacon in the oven, preheat it to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the frozen strips on the sheet, spacing them apart, and bake for 17-20 minutes. This method will prevent you from being hit by melting ice crystals as they interact with hot grease.
Why Cook Bacon From Frozen?
Cooking bacon from frozen can be a convenient option for those who forget to thaw their bacon ahead of time or want to save time in the kitchen. It also allows you to purchase bacon in bulk and store it in the freezer for later use. Additionally, cooking bacon from frozen can result in less shrinkage and a more even cook, as the bacon slowly thaws and cooks at the same time.
However, it’s important to note that cooking bacon from frozen may not result in the same level of crispiness as thawed bacon. It may take a few extra minutes to achieve the desired texture, and you may need to adjust your cooking method accordingly. It’s also important to handle frozen bacon carefully, as ice crystals can cause hot grease to splatter and potentially burn you.
Method 1: Oven Cooking
One of the most popular methods for cooking bacon from frozen is using the oven. Here’s how to do it:
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of it. This will help the bacon cook evenly and prevent it from getting too greasy.
3. Take your frozen bacon out of the freezer and unwrap it. If the strips are stuck together, you can use the microwave method mentioned above to partially thaw them.
4. Once the bacon is separated, place the individual strips on the wire rack, making sure they are spaced apart.
5. Bake the bacon in the oven for 17-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like it and how thick your slices are.
6. Use tongs to remove the bacon from the oven and transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.
It’s important to note that cooking bacon from frozen in the oven may take a bit longer than cooking thawed bacon, so be patient and keep an eye on it as it cooks. You may also want to flip each strip over halfway through cooking to ensure that both sides get crispy.
Method 2: Stovetop Cooking
Stovetop cooking is another great option for cooking bacon from frozen. It’s a tried and true method that works just as well with frozen bacon as it does with thawed bacon. To start, lay out the strips of frozen bacon into a nonstick, stainless steel, or cast iron frying pan. Make sure none of the strips are overlapping to ensure even cooking. Turn the burner on to medium heat and cook the strips for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping them over midway through cooking.
One of the benefits of this method is that it provides you with crispy bacon strips while also allowing you to save the bacon grease to use later. This is perfect if you want to top a salad with bacon or add it to a bake, casserole, or quiche. Another great tip is to keep a block of bacon in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Whenever you want to add some bacon to a dish, take out the block and cut off a couple of slices before putting the rest back in the freezer.
It’s important to note that when cooking frozen bacon on the stovetop, you should start with a cold pan so that the bacon has a chance to defrost and render some of its fat before it starts crisping up. This will help prevent overcooked edges and ensure that your bacon is cooked evenly. Additionally, be sure to check for doneness often, as the cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you like it.
Method 3: Microwave Cooking
Microwaving frozen bacon is another quick and easy method for cooking bacon from frozen. However, it’s important to note that microwaving may not result in the same level of crispiness as other cooking methods.
To microwave frozen bacon, start by removing it from the packaging and placing it on a microwave-safe plate. Heat the bacon on the defrost setting for 30 seconds on each side. This will partially thaw the bacon and make it easier to separate the strips before cooking.
Once separated, you can continue cooking the bacon in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes per strip, depending on your microwave’s power. It’s important to keep an eye on the bacon as microwaves vary in power, and overcooking can result in tough, chewy bacon.
Alternatively, you can finish cooking the bacon in a skillet or in the oven for added crispiness. Simply transfer the partially cooked bacon to a skillet or baking sheet and cook until desired crispiness is achieved.
Tips And Tricks For Cooking Frozen Bacon
Cooking frozen bacon may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tips and tricks, it can be just as easy as cooking thawed bacon. Here are some helpful suggestions to ensure your frozen bacon turns out perfectly:
1. Partially thaw the bacon: One way to make cooking frozen bacon easier is to partially thaw it first. You can do this by microwaving the bacon for 30 seconds on each side. This will make it easier to separate the strips and cook them evenly.
2. Use a skillet with a lid: If you’re cooking frozen bacon in a skillet, cover it with a lid or foil to help speed up the thawing process. This will also prevent the bacon from splattering as it cooks.
3. Flip the bacon frequently: As the bacon thaws and cooks, use tongs to flip the strips over frequently. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from sticking together.
4. Adjust cooking time: Cooking frozen bacon may take a few extra minutes compared to cooking thawed bacon. Be sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly and check on the bacon frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
5. Freeze bacon in individual slices: To make cooking frozen bacon even easier, freeze individual slices between layers of wax paper. This way, you can grab just a few slices when you need them without having to thaw an entire package.
By following these tips and tricks, cooking frozen bacon can be a breeze. Whether you’re adding it to a salad, topping a burger, or enjoying it on its own, frozen bacon can be just as delicious as its thawed counterpart.