Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that has found its way onto menus across the restaurant industry. But cooking bacon in a commercial kitchen can be a challenge, from the time it takes to cook to the grease disposal and cleaning up the griddles.
So, what are the best ways to cook bacon in a commercial kitchen? In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular methods used by restaurants and foodservice operators to cook bacon, as well as a new product that promises to simplify the process without sacrificing flavor or quality.
Whether you’re a professional chef or just a bacon lover, read on to learn more about how bacon is cooked in a commercial kitchen.
How Is Bacon Cooked In A Commercial Kitchen?
There are several ways to cook bacon in a commercial kitchen, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. One popular method is to cook bacon on a flat-top grill. This is a common way for restaurants to cook bacon, especially if they use this grill frequently for cooking all of their other foods. They will take the strips of bacon and lay them on a flat top grill once it has heated up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another popular method is to cook bacon in the oven. This is a great option for restaurants that need to cook large quantities of bacon at once. To do this, simply line a sheet pan with parchment paper, add the bacon on top, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 18-20 minutes, or until it reaches the desired crispiness. Halfway through, rotate the pan to ensure even cooking.
Some restaurants prefer to fry their bacon in a pan on the stovetop. This method can be tricky and requires some skill to get the perfect crispiness without burning the bacon. However, it can be a great option for smaller quantities of bacon.
While these methods are tried and true, they can be time-consuming and messy. That’s where new products like HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon come in. This product promises to simplify the process of cooking bacon without sacrificing flavor or quality.
Using a proprietary cooking process, HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon delivers fully cooked bacon that looks, tastes, and performs like bacon cooked from raw, but only requires a small fraction of the effort to prepare. It cooks in half the time, produces 90% less grease, and uses 50% less sheet pans compared to cooking raw bacon with the same finished slice thickness.
This product is perfect for foodservice operators who want to serve great bacon without spending hours on prep work. By using easy-to-execute ingredients like HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon, kitchen staff can focus their time on other tasks to create delicious menu items all day long.
The Traditional Method: Cooking Bacon On A Griddle
Another method for cooking bacon in a commercial kitchen is on a griddle. This method is especially popular in breakfast restaurants, where bacon is a staple item on the menu. To cook bacon on a griddle, there are several steps to follow.
First, preheat the griddle to medium-high heat, around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the griddle is hot, place the bacon strips directly on it, making sure they are not touching each other. Cook the bacon for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the bacon and how crispy you prefer it.
It’s important to only flip the bacon once during this process, using tongs to avoid burning your hands. You will know when the bacon is ready because the white fat on the bacon will become translucent, and the pink parts of the bacon will turn a reddish-brown color.
Once the bacon is cooked to your liking, move it to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any extra grease. Let it cool slightly before serving and enjoying.
An electric griddle can also be used to cook a large batch of bacon quickly and efficiently. Simply lay the strips flat on the cold griddle, making sure not to overlap them. Turn the griddle to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for around 15 minutes or until crispy, flipping once during cooking.
When cooking bacon on a griddle, it’s important to choose a griddle with a larger cooking surface area. This will allow you to cook more bacon at once and save time. Additionally, avoid overcrowding the griddle as this can cause uneven cooking and result in some overcooked or undercooked pieces.
Oven-Baked Bacon: A Time-Saving Alternative
One of the best ways to cook bacon in a commercial kitchen is by baking it in the oven. This method is especially useful for restaurants that need to cook large quantities of bacon at once, as it allows for hands-off cooking and even heating. Plus, it eliminates the need for constant tending and reduces the risk of grease splatters and mess.
To bake bacon in the oven, start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper. Then, lay the bacon strips on top of the parchment paper and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until it reaches the desired crispiness. Halfway through, rotate the pan to ensure even cooking.
Oven-baked bacon is a great time-saving alternative to other methods, as it requires minimal effort and allows for cooking large quantities at once. Plus, it results in perfectly crispy bacon every time without any flipping or fussing. For even more convenience, products like HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon offer a no-mess and hassle-free solution for busy commercial kitchens.
Deep-Fried Bacon: A Crispy And Delicious Option
If you’re looking for a way to take your bacon to the next level, deep-frying is a great option. Not only does it add an extra layer of crispy goodness, but it also gives the bacon a unique texture and flavor that is hard to resist.
To deep-fry bacon, start by whisking together flour, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl. Remove the bacon from the egg mixture and toss it with the flour to coat. Then, heat vegetable oil in a medium-sized saucepan until it reaches about 360°F.
Next, dip the bacon into the batter and place it directly into the hot oil. Allow it to fry for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the bacon over and continue to fry the other side for 3-4 minutes. Once done, remove from the oil and place on a paper towel to drain some of the oil. Serve immediately while hot!
While this recipe suggests cooking the bacon first and then battering and deep-frying it, you can choose to skip the first step and simply batter and deep-fry. However, cooking the bacon first will give it an extra crunchy center.
Deep-fried bacon is a great option for restaurants that want to offer a unique twist on this classic breakfast food. It can be served as a standalone dish or added to other menu items like burgers, sandwiches, or salads for an extra burst of flavor and crunchiness.
The Challenges Of Cooking Bacon In A Commercial Kitchen
Despite bacon being a perennial customer favorite, cooking it in a commercial kitchen can present serious challenges. For starters, cooking bacon from raw is undeniably labor-intensive. It can take a lot of time to cook, and the grease disposal and cleaning up the griddles can be a hassle. Additionally, loads of bacon must be cooked daily in restaurant kitchens, and for operations that prepare it by the case load, a single cook may spend hours panning, baking, draining grease, and piling up bacon. Dedicating such time and valuable resources to just one task is costly and inefficient long before the pandemic hit. Now, as dining restrictions are loosening nationwide and a restaurant hiring bonanza is underway, operators are struggling more than ever to find good help.
Using traditional cooking methods like frying on a flat-top grill or stovetop or baking in the oven can be time-consuming and messy. Cooking bacon on a flat-top grill is popular but requires the grill to be heated up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before laying the strips of bacon on it. Baking bacon in the oven is great for cooking large quantities of bacon at once but requires lining a sheet pan with parchment paper and rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. Frying bacon in a pan on the stovetop can be tricky and requires some skill to get the perfect crispiness without burning the bacon.
However, new products like HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon promise to simplify the process of cooking bacon without sacrificing flavor or quality. It is perfect for foodservice operators who want to serve great bacon without spending hours on prep work. Using a proprietary cooking process, HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon delivers fully cooked bacon that looks, tastes, and performs like bacon cooked from raw but only requires a small fraction of the effort to prepare. It cooks in half the time, produces 90% less grease, and uses 50% fewer sheet pans compared to cooking raw bacon with the same finished slice thickness. This product provides a solution for restaurants that want to serve delicious bacon without sacrificing valuable resources or labor.
A New Solution: Pre-Cooked Bacon Strips For Busy Kitchens
One of the latest solutions for busy kitchens is pre-cooked bacon strips. This product is a versatile and reliable ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes, from breakfast items to salads and sandwiches. Pre-cooked bacon strips are a great choice for foodservice operators who want to save time and labor in the kitchen without sacrificing quality or taste.
One of the main benefits of pre-cooked bacon strips is that they are labor-saving. Unlike raw bacon, pre-cooked bacon strips don’t need to be trayed or cooked from scratch. This means that kitchen staff can focus their time on other high-ticket items, which can increase efficiency and productivity in the kitchen.
Another advantage of pre-cooked bacon strips is that they are easy to handle. Some brands, like Maple Leaf Foods, have enhanced their technology to make their pre-cooked bacon easier to handle without ripping the product. The strips are laid out flat for handling and counting, which makes inventory control easier and more accurate.
Pre-cooked bacon strips are also great for increasing profits by adding them as an upsell. They can be opened and used immediately, which saves time and effort in the kitchen. Additionally, they are easy to reheat using a variety of methods, such as pan fry, flat-top, microwave, deep-fry, Panini press, hot tables, or chafing dish.
Another benefit of pre-cooked bacon strips is that they increase food safety by eliminating the need to handle raw product. This reduces the risk of cross-contamination and ensures that the product is safe for consumption.
Finally, pre-cooked bacon strips offer consistency in terms of slice count per case. This makes inventory control easier and more accurate, which can save time and reduce waste.
Tips For Properly Storing And Disposing Of Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is a valuable ingredient that can add flavor to many dishes. However, it’s important to store and dispose of it properly to avoid clogging pipes or causing unpleasant odors. Here are some tips for properly storing and disposing of bacon grease:
1. Strain the bacon grease: Before storing the bacon grease, make sure to strain it to remove any leftover bits of bacon or other debris. This will help keep the grease fresh for longer.
2. Store in an airtight container: Once you’ve strained the bacon grease, store it in an airtight container like a plastic Tupperware or a recycled glass jar. This will help prevent odors from escaping and keep the grease fresh for longer.
3. Freeze the bacon grease: To extend the shelf life of bacon grease, store it in the freezer. Bacon grease can last up to a month in the freezer, and this will also make it easier to cook with.
4. Dispose of bacon grease properly: Never pour bacon grease down the drain, as it can clog pipes and cause unpleasant odors. Instead, let the grease cool and then dispose of it in the trash. You can also recycle bacon grease by using it to make homemade soap or candles.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your bacon grease stays fresh and doesn’t cause any plumbing disasters. And by using HORMEL® BACON 1TM Perfectly Cooked Bacon in your commercial kitchen, you can simplify the process of cooking bacon while still delivering great taste and quality to your customers.