Here's how to enjoy bacon with fewer calories and easier clean-up. Bonus: How to make turkey bacon that doesn't suck.
No Spattering Skillet Required
Buy some uncured bacon – no artificial nitrates and nitrites – from a health food store. Now bake it in the oven. This cooking method allows for even cooking (no half-burned, half-floppy slices), it reduces the mess and clean-up, and it drains off a few calories... so you can eat more.
This works great with pork and turkey bacon. Yes, yes, I know that turkey bacon is just turkey bits formed into the general shape of real bacon. But if you're craving that bacon-y flavor when you're reducing calories, it's not too shabby. Good protein source too.
Baked Pork Bacon
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean-up.
- Place a wire cooling rack onto the baking sheet and arrange the bacon. This elevates the bacon, allowing for even cooking. It also allows the excess fat and water to drip off. Now add black pepper if desired.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cook time will vary depending on your oven, elevation, and the thickness of your sheet pan. Check it at 15 minutes or so. Cook for longer if you like it crispy.
- Place cooked bacon on paper towels to suck out a few more calories and crisp it up a little more.
Baked Turkey Bacon
There are two popular baking methods here. The first is to pre-heat your oven to 385 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then follow the steps below.
The second is to follow the steps below first, place your bacon into a cold oven, THEN set it to 385 or 400 degrees. The bacon cooks as the oven reaches temp. This supposedly helps make it crispier, which is harder to do with turkey bacon. Both methods work for me, so play around with each.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. No need for the wire rack because turkey bacon is already low in fat so there won't be much in the way of drippings.
- Place your bacon on the pan. Make sure the slices don't touch or they'll stick together as they cook.
- Now either place your bacon into the pre-heated oven or, if using the second method, into a cold oven and set the temp. Depending on the method you use, it'll take around 15-20 minutes. Just keep an eye on it and yank it out when it reaches the crispiness level you prefer. You'll figure out the exact temp and time after you make it once or twice.
Note: Turkey bacon is a little tricky. If you take a peek at it and it looks almost ready, well, it probably is ready. Take it out and the residual heat (and evaporation) will continue to crisp it up.