The Fried Bacon Hack
This is probably one of the shortest — and easiest — recipes around.
And definitely one of the most delectable.
If you are a bacon fan, this method will blow your mind, as it results in the crunchiest bacon that will decidedly up your morning breakfast or BLT game.
“Joe’s Famous ‘Fried’ Bacon” is a recipe from “Food52 Simply Genius” (Ten Speed Press, 2022), of which I received a review copy.
This handy-dandy cookbook is by Kristen Miglore, a founding editor of Food52, the online portal for recipes and culinary content.
Food52 cookbooks are usually thematic, and this one is no different, centering on genius tricks, tips or methods to make cooking easier, quicker or more scrumptious.
With “Cocoa Almond Oatmeal,” you’ll learn that using a nonstick skillet to cook your oatmeal will shave time, make clean-up easier and result in a creamier porridge. With “Skillet Lasagna,” you’ll discover how to make sausage lasagna in one skillet, from making the sauce to cooking the noodles to finishing with a cheesy top — all on the stovetop, too.
With “Pad Thai,” you’ll learn how to make a more accessible version in which white sugar and white vinegar stand in for the traditional palm sugar and tamarind, which is the way the mother of Kris Yenbamroong of acclaimed Night + Market in Los Angeles always made it for convenience. And with “Flourless Fudgy Brownies,” you’ll learn how this version by New York Times’ food columnist Genevieve Ko swaps out the usual gluten-free flour for simply more unsweetened cocoa powder instead.
Making this fried bacon doesn’t really require any deep-frying at all. Simply dust thick-cut bacon slices with all-purpose flour and refrigerate in a single layer overnight.
The next day, bake the bacon in a hot oven, turning once so both sides get evenly browned. The oil that renders from the bacon as it cooks will create a shallow pool in the baking pan that the bacon actually fries in, creating its own crisp batter. With the bacon dredged in flour, it’s almost like making flour-dusted, fried chicken — with far less work and mess.
The method comes from Joe’s Bakery in Austin. As noted in the cookbook, third-generation owner Regina Estrada states that her grandfather discovered that bacon cooked this way stayed crispier longer and held its shape better. At the bakery, the bacon is cooked on a griddle, but here, it’s done in the oven for ease. It makes cooking a lot of bacon all at once for a family or party a lot more efficient, too.
I used thick-cut bacon from Chico’s Rancho Llano Seco, one of my favorite pork producers. The recipe worked like a charm, though I did find that cooking time took 10 minutes longer. But then again, my thick-cut bacon was pretty thick.
The substantial slices end up very crunchy — and stay that way long after cooling.
Call this bacon absolutely, positively finger-licking good.
Joe’s Famous “Fried” Bacon
(As many servings as you like)
Thick-cut bacon (2 to 3 strips per bacon eater)
All-purpose flour (about 1 tablespoons per bacon strip)
The night before you want bacon, dip the bacon strips in a medium bowl of flour to coat completely. Shake off any loose flour and lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan in a single layer (if you need to stack the bacon, lay parchment between each layer), cover with pan with beeswax wrap or a final layer of parchment, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the bacon uncovered in a single layer (not stacked) right on the parchment-lined sheet pan(s). When the bacon is starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, use tongs to flip the slices over, and continue cooking until the bacon is evenly browned and crispy, about 10-18 minutes more in total. With the tongs, move the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain briefly. Serve warm.
Adapted from “Food52 Simply Genius” by Kristen Miglore
Enjoy With: Crispy Potato Waffles