Welcome to Advice for Impatient Foodies, R29's new cooking column. Each week, our executive food editor and Impatient Foodie founder, Elettra Wiedemann, will tackle any and all questions you might have about food. Seriously, no query is too big or too small. Don't be embarrassed! We've all had moments in the kitchen when we had no idea WTF was going on and wished we could ask someone other than Google for some pointers. So, whether you need help frying an egg, knowing when your chicken is done, or deciding what to make for dinner, we've got your back.
What's the deal with baking bacon in the oven instead of in the pan? Is it really better that way?
I recently decided to go vegetarian, but I’ll admit that I miss my Sunday morning bacon. I always used to cook bacon in the pan and endure the scorching splatters of grease, because I knew crispy deliciousness would be the payoff. Turns out you can have it all. Cooking bacon in the oven yields the same crispy bacon with no monitoring or flipping of the strips, grease splatters, or first-degree burns. Oh, and oven baking makes for a way easier clean-up. Here’s how it works: Set the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the bacon strips flat. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, checking at the 12-minute mark to make sure you’re getting the desired crispiness level. Having a BLT? Here is a genius bacon-baking hack to get a mouthful in every single bite. Once the bacon is done cooking in the oven, drain the grease into a mason jar or an old coffee tin and allow to cool. You can either discard the grease in your garbage once it is cooled (NEVER put it down the sink) or save it! Bacon grease has a lot of great culinary uses, for example as a base for a soup (instead of olive oil), flavoring beans, or making crispy potatoes.