We have a well-known weakness for crispy bacon and its ever-versatile consequence, bacon grease. Naturally we’re not alone. Jessica Merchant, blogger behind How Sweet Eats and author of the newly released Seriously Delish, is also a proud mainstay on team bacon.
In her debut cookbook, Merchant offers up all sorts of creative recipes along with sage cooking advice for a variety of ingredients—including, you guessed it, bacon. Here are those top bacon tips and tricks paired with some of our favorite bacon-flecked recipes from her book.
Jessica’s Bacon Advice
Bake Your Bacon…
I am a huge believer in frying your pork in a cast-iron skillet, then pouring the grease out into a mason jar and storing it in your fridge. Judge not.
BUT in the case that you are making some sort of feast … bake it, baby,
Preheat your oven to 375F. If you choose to place aluminum foil or parchment paper on your baking sheet, make sure it covers all four edges and rides up a bit. Place the bacon slices on the sheet about ½ inch apart and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of your pork, but you get the gist. Check it after 20 minutes and determine its finish time just like you would if you were frying it on the stovetop. Once it’s finished, remove each piece using kitchen tongs and allow to drain and slightly cool on a paper towel.
Save the Grease…
I grew up with a jar of bacon grease in the fridge, and while its appearance frightened the hell out of me, once I learned about its many uses, I was sold. You can do this regardless of how you cook your bacon. Allow the bacon grease to slightly cool (but not solidify), then pour it into a jar, seal it, and store it in the fridge.
Recommendations for Using Bacon Grease:
- Throw it in a skillet when pan-frying chicken or burgers.
- Add it to a skillet when cooking eggs (scrambled or omelets) or vegetables.
- Pop popcorn in bacon grease.
- Use it in salad dressing for a hot bacon dressing.
- Bacon grease cinnamon rolls! Enough said.
- Simply spread it on toast, and it’s ridiculous.
Make the Following…
Take this simple brussels sprouts side, swap the coconut oil for bacon grease and toss with larger bits of crispy bacon.
Slices of bacon coated in cinnamon and sugar dresses up a fine manhattan cocktail.
Okay, so this milkshake recipe featuring bourbon, ice cream and brownies doesn’t call for added bacon—but sprinkle some on top for something even more decadent.