It still confuses me to some degree, but I’ve heard enough discussion about the best way to cook thick cut bacon to know it still up for debate, but for my money there is only one way!
For years, as I was growing up in a house with seven siblings, one of my parents would invariably try to cook bacon for the whole family, 10 of us, by cooking a few pieces at a time in a skillet on the stove. It sure smelled great, but made an absolute mess and we all ended up waiting (im)patiently as only four or five pieces were cooked at any given time.
Now that I am significantly older, and have been in charge of cooking at home for my own family for many years, I’m simply not interested in cooking bacon the same way my father did 30 years ago.
So it was probably when my kids were still in elementary school that I decided to figure out the best way to cook bacon. And not any kind of bacon. I’m not interested in eating the thin sliced bacon made from horribly treated animals that have been fed a steady diet of antibiotics and growth hormones. Instead, I was looking for thick sliced bacon from humanely raised pigs, preferably left to roam in a pasture and live the life a pig should live.
Once I sourced a bacon that I was comfortable with from a morality point of view, I moved on to actual cooking method. Seems to me that hands off is the best approach, so messing with a hot skillet on the stove didn’t seem like the best direction for me. But what about baking bacon in the oven? I had heard about that from a few other websites, and that it was ended up working best for me.
I preheat my oven to 400 degrees, and then line a baking sheet with some parchment paper to help with clean up. One package of thick sliced bacon from Niman Ranch, my favorite brand, fills a baking sheet just about perfectly. And then slide it into the oven and between 20-30 minutes later you should be rewarded with a tray of perfectly cooked bacon, just vary the time according to how crispy, or not, you like your bacon!