How To Precook and Store Bacon
An extravagance I indulge in is buying precooked bacon. Besides feeling guilty about the price, one of my sons doesn’t like it and says he prefers REAL bacon. Surely, some of you understand that once you’ve started using precooked bacon, you never want to go back to that greasy mess or the time it consumes – no matter the extra cost.
This summer, Bob and Judy McMaster, friends who have been interested in and supportive of our adventure, visited us on the farm. It was fun showing them around, and Bob helped Larry an hour or so each of the two days they stayed. We enjoyed them immensely and thought we were quite compatible.
Judy & Bob McMaster
For breakfast one morning, I sort of apologized for the bacon. That’s when I learned that they precook their own! I knew I would have to try it.
I thought it would be easy, but as I stood in front of the many kinds of bacon in the meat department, I realized it was next to impossible to compare apples with apples, or in this case, bacon with bacon. How can you compare thick and thin slices and how many strips in a pound of uncooked to precooked with different weights and prices on several brands. It boggled my mind, and I ended up buying my favorite Black Label precooked bacon again. More than once! You see, it was BLT time with all our wonderful homegrown tomatoes that lasted until December 1!
This week, I finally decided to just do it for the fun of it (and a new blog of course), and so I purchased a 3-pound package of Farmland bacon. After reading a few instructions on the web, I chose to bake it in the oven, although some prefer using a cast iron skillet or on the grill. I baked it at 400 F for 10 minutes, turned the strips and baked it again for about 15 minutes watching carefully.
I tried two pans. The broiler pan worked just fine, but it required cleaning afterwards.
I recommend lining a jelly roll pan with foil, and laying the strips right on the foil. After baking, let the grease congeal, fold the sides of the foil in and dispose, or scrape the grease off and save it. I’m not going to get into the benefits or harmfulness of bacon grease!
Now for the bacon: Notice in the above photo how it turned out in nice, long flat strips. That is when I realized the precooked strips weren’t nearly as long, so there was no comparing there. I was careful not to over bake, thinking when I warmed it up later, it would be perfect. Um! The house smelled wonderful!
After it cooled on paper towels, I folded four strips in wax paper.
I managed to get all the stacks of bacon wrapped in wax paper into a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, and put them in my kitchen freezer for easy usage. All except the ones we sampled! They were SOOOOO good! I think I’m won over!
In doing my research, I learned this is how bacon is prepared ahead of time for large crowds and can be refrigerated for up to a week. None of the articles mentioned how long it can be kept in the freezer. My guess is until it’s gone! I’m thinking I’ll be precooking mine from now on!
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