Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that many of us can’t live without. But have you ever tried cooking uncured bacon?
It may not be as readily available as its cured counterpart, but it’s definitely worth seeking out. Uncured bacon is free from the preservatives and nitrates found in traditional bacon, making it a healthier option for those looking to cut back on processed foods. Plus, it tastes amazing!
In this article, we’ll explore different methods for cooking uncured bacon and share some tips and tricks to help you get the perfect crispy, flavorful slices every time.
So grab a pack of uncured bacon and let’s get cooking!
How Do You Cook Uncured Bacon?
There are a few different ways to cook uncured bacon, depending on your preferences and available equipment. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Why Choose Uncured Bacon?
If you’re looking for a healthier and more natural option when it comes to bacon, then uncured bacon is the way to go. Unlike cured bacon, which is treated with synthetic nitrates and nitrites that can potentially be harmful to your health, uncured bacon is cured with natural nitrates found in celery and other vegetables. This means that you can enjoy the delicious taste of bacon without worrying about consuming artificial chemicals.
Another benefit of choosing uncured bacon is that it tends to be more flavorful than its cured counterpart. The natural curing process used in making uncured bacon allows for the flavors of the sea salt and other seasonings to shine through, resulting in a more complex and satisfying taste.
It’s also worth noting that while uncured bacon is still considered a processed meat, it’s a healthier option than cured bacon. Studies have shown that consuming large amounts of processed meats, such as cured bacon, can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer and other health issues. By choosing uncured bacon, you can still enjoy the taste and convenience of bacon while reducing your exposure to potentially harmful additives.
Preparing Uncured Bacon For Cooking
Before cooking uncured bacon, it’s important to prepare it properly. Since uncured bacon has not been preserved with nitrates or nitrites, it needs to be handled and stored carefully to prevent spoilage. Here’s how to prepare uncured bacon for cooking:
1. Remove the bacon from its packaging and separate the slices if they are stuck together.
2. If desired, season the bacon with salt, pepper, or other spices. You can also brush it with maple syrup or honey for a sweet and savory flavor.
3. If you’re cooking the bacon in the oven, preheat it to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top of the baking sheet and arrange the bacon slices on the rack, making sure they don’t overlap.
4. If you’re cooking the bacon on the stovetop, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a small amount of oil or butter. When the pan is hot, add the bacon slices in a single layer.
5. Cook the bacon until it reaches your desired level of crispiness. In the oven, this will take about 15-20 minutes; on the stovetop, it will vary depending on the thickness of the bacon and how crispy you like it.
6. Remove the bacon from the pan or oven and place it on paper towels to drain off any excess grease.
7. Serve hot and enjoy!
By following these simple steps, you can cook delicious uncured bacon that is free from preservatives and other harmful chemicals. Whether you prefer it crispy or chewy, seasoned or plain, uncured bacon is a tasty and healthy alternative to conventional store-bought bacon.
Oven-Baked Uncured Bacon
Oven-baked uncured bacon is an easy and convenient way to cook bacon for a crowd or for meal prep. To start, preheat your oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up. You can also use an oven-safe wire rack to elevate the bacon and allow excess grease to drip off.
Next, lay the uncured bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet or wire rack, making sure they are not overlapping as much as possible. It’s okay if they touch slightly since they will shrink as they cook. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your bacon slices and how you like your bacon cooked, but it typically takes between 12 and 20 minutes.
For thin-cut uncured bacon, bake for about 12 minutes at 400°F or until it reaches your desired crispness. For thicker cuts, it may take 14 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the bacon towards the end of the cooking time to avoid burning it.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven and place it between a few paper towels on a plate to absorb any excess grease. Oven-baked uncured bacon is a healthier option compared to pan-frying since it allows excess fat to drip off and results in crispy, evenly cooked bacon every time.
Stovetop Method For Cooking Uncured Bacon
The stovetop method for cooking uncured bacon is a classic and simple way to prepare this delicious meat. First, start by laying the bacon strips flat in a cold frying pan. It’s important not to overcrowd the pan, as this will cause the bacon to steam instead of fry. Make sure the bacon strips don’t overlap, allowing them to cook more consistently.
Next, place the pan on the stovetop on low heat. It’s best to start with a cold pan, as this allows the fat to render first as the pan heats up. This will help ensure that the bacon cooks evenly and doesn’t burn.
Flip the bacon frequently for even browning. Cooking time will depend on your desired level of crispiness. For a perfectly cooked piece of bacon that’s not too rubbery or too crispy, cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. If you prefer rubbery bacon, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. For crispy bacon, cook for 5-6 minutes on each side.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, remove it from the pan and drain it on a wire rack or kitchen paper. If you’re cooking a large batch of bacon, you may need to wipe out the skillet in between batches to avoid burning bits.
Stovetop cooking is a great way to enjoy uncured bacon without any added preservatives or nitrates. The natural flavor of the fat in uncured bacon is delicious and free of toxins found in conventionally raised pork fat. So next time you’re craving a tasty breakfast treat, try cooking up some uncured bacon on your stovetop using this simple method.
Grilling Uncured Bacon
Grilling uncured bacon is a great way to achieve a smoky and crispy texture that will leave your taste buds wanting more. To get started, heat up your grill (gas or charcoal) to about 400 degrees. While the grill is heating up, prepare your bacon by slicing it into thick-cut pieces.
Once the grill is hot, place the bacon directly on the grates and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the bacon to prevent it from burning or becoming too crispy. If you prefer your bacon to be extra crispy, you can leave it on the grill for a bit longer.
While the bacon is cooking, you can prepare a sweet and savory barbecue sauce to smother on top of the bacon. This will give it an extra burst of flavor and a sticky glaze that will be hard to resist. Once the bacon is done cooking, remove it from the grill and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Grilled uncured bacon is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a summer barbecue or a cozy winter meal. It’s a delicious and easy way to add some variety to your bacon cooking repertoire. So fire up the grill and get ready to enjoy some smoky and crispy goodness!
Tips For Perfectly Cooked Uncured Bacon
Cooking uncured bacon can be a bit different than cooking traditional cured bacon, but with a few tips, you can still achieve perfectly crispy and flavorful results.
Firstly, it’s important to note that uncured bacon tends to have less fat than its cured counterpart, which means it can dry out more easily. To combat this, try cooking uncured bacon on a lower heat than you would with cured bacon. This will allow the fat to render slowly and evenly, resulting in a more tender and juicy finished product.
Another important tip is to avoid overcrowding the pan. Just like with traditional bacon, uncured bacon needs space to cook properly. Make sure the slices are not overlapping or touching each other in the pan. If you need to cook a large batch, consider cooking it in batches or using a larger pan to ensure even cooking.
Starting with a cold pan is also recommended when cooking uncured bacon. This allows the bacon to slowly heat up and release its fat, resulting in a more evenly cooked and flavorful final product.
Lastly, keep an eye on the cooking time. Uncured bacon tends to cook faster than cured bacon due to its lower fat content. Check it frequently to ensure it doesn’t overcook or burn.
By following these tips, you can cook uncured bacon to perfection every time. Whether you prefer to fry it up in a skillet, bake it in the oven, or even grill it outdoors, these tips will help you achieve delicious and juicy results.