Tuesday, June 16, 2009
There have been a number of posts on Kitchen Tip Tuesday lately on baking bacon. It is my preferred way of preparing it - I line two jelly roll pans (cookie sheets with sides) with foil and spread out a pound of bacon that has been cut in half. I bake it at 350 for usually around 25 minutes, rotating the pans every 10 minutes or so. I turn them 180 degrees and switch the top and bottom racks both.
Once the bacon is done, I use a fork to move it to two plates lined with paper towels. If you no longer use paper towels, I think I saw a kitchen tip once where they used a cooling rack over newspaper.
TIP: To use the grease, fold either side of one corner up and make a little spout with it. Pour it into a clean, empty jar. You can put a lid on it if you like, I leave mine open. I store it in the refrigerator, although my mother kept hers in a pot in a cupboard for years and never had any difficulty.
To use, my mom left a pastry brush in hers and would use that to grease her pans or for pan frying. I've seen people leave a small plastic bag tucked in the jar; they stick their hand in it, scoop up a bit of grease, and use that to grease pans, then just spoon out a bit for frying. I found I ended up with grease inside the bag more often than not!
My method of use is to tear off a small piece of paper towel and fold it over, swipe that through the grease, and use it to grease my pan - then throw it away.
Note that the if you let your grease sit and cool too long, it will "harden" (it doesn't get very hard) on the pan and you won't get as much to pour off.
Regardless, the bonus is that bacon grease doesn't turn into the nasty, sticky mess that non-stick spray does. Once my jar gets full - like it is now - I pour the grease over hard end slices of bread and feed them to our farm dog and barn cats. They enjoy the treat!
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