How I Cook Bacon

Bacon seems to be turning up in everything these days, from muffins to ice cream. It’s delicious. It’s got that trifecta of salt, sugar and fat. But, I care too much about pigs, farmers, health and the environment to eat bacon unless I purchase and cook it myself. I won’t go into a lecture here, but of all of the meats, I believe that where you get your pork from matters the most. I’m fortunate to be able to purchase bacon from pigs that graze in pastures and root through nearby woods. It’s expensive. It’s worth it, and I know how to make a little go a long way.

This is how the bacon is packaged when I purchase it from the farmer at her farm stand.

bacon package

This is what bacon looks like when it comes from content pigs that had a good life and then are processed at a small slaughterhouse.


I don’t like frying bacon on the cooktop. It splatters grease everywhere. It smokes. It’s dangerous. Instead, I bake it in the oven. Here I’ve laid it out on my favorite rimmed baking sheet, which is sturdy and blackened with use. I put the bacon into a preheated 400 degree F oven for ten minutes until it’s about halfway cooked. It’s swimming in grease.

partly cooked

I carefully pour the fat into a grease can. The perforated top traps the bits which I discard. The grease is so useful, and having spent a lot on the bacon, it’s worth setting aside. I save it in the refrigerator in the can and use it for such tasks as browning potatoes. I’ll also sauté vegetables in bacon fat before adding them to soup, which gives me the smokey flavor without the ham hock.

drain fat

Once the baking sheet is (imperfectly) drained of grease, I put the bacon back into the oven and bake for 5 more minutes, which is all it takes to crisp up until almost perfect. Almost.

almost done

I turn off the oven and leave the door open to let the oven cool off a moment. I put the bacon onto an oven-proof plate or baking sheet lined with a paper towel and return it to the oven, where it stays warm and dries a tad and its texture becomes absolutely perfect: crunchy and yet not overcooked. This transformation happens in five or ten minutes (depending on the oven and thickness of the bacon) but you can leave it in there for longer as long as the oven isn’t too hot. Check to make sure it’s not browning the bacon further.


This batch of bacon became dinner for three. We had fried egg, bacon and lettuce sandwiches. There was fresh asparagus from the garden on the side, and blueberry smoothies to drink. In the end, that costly bacon became part of an inexpensive meal.


And I still have that bacon grease to cook with.


  1. How great to have a source of bacon that you can feel good about! I will have to try this recipe!

  2. OMG! Delicious Terry! We had scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes last night. It was good, but yours looks better

  3. We are definitely soul sisters,Terry!
    Not only do I love small farming like you do, but you know how to eat, as well!!!!
    Bacon MUST be crispy!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks Terry for saving us money in the most delicious way! Eggs for dinner, why not? I’ve made your Quishe three times since your post a few weeks ago. Family loves it, and it’s inexpensive. Win,win. I must admit that I’ve always had blt’s for dinner with soup, but not bacon and egg sandwiches. Looking at this pic, I know my family will love this too. Keep the recipes coming, your helping us in a great way. Still watching for your new cookbook to be released. I will buy as soon as it is posted……..

  5. That perforated bacon grease container brought back memories of childhood camping and our summer cabin! Is yours by chance newly purchased? Probably you found it at a second-hand shop. I wonder if they are still available — they are sensational. I’ve been storing my bacon grease in a glass canning jar, but that has no personality and obviously no bit-catcher. Must look for one!

    • The one in the photo I did buy new. I didn’t wan’t to mess around with someone else’s ancient grease in a used one :) There’s a link in the post to a nice one that I found on Amazon.

  6. I also cook my bacon in the oven! Glad to see I am not alone, nothing better than CRISP bacon in a sandwich.

  7. This is going to come in very handy when the tomatoes start ripening at the farm stand! Thank you.

  8. Thanks for the info. I too am looking forward to your cookbook!!

  9. Yup. That bacon is fabulous and worth every penny. I keep my bacon fat (with the brown bits) in the freezer until I have enough to make the original chex mix recipe. Let’s say it would not qualify for your low fat cookbook. It takes me a year or so to collect enough so I only feel moderately guilty when I indulge my addiction to it.

  10. Everything’s better with bacon :)
    On a side note, watching the HenCam I see that Edwina and TwinkyDink have taken a new liking to the outside roost. The youngin’s must have made it look good.

  11. Mmmm, looks delicious!

    -Yeah, bacon has been turning up in odd places. Anybody try that bacon beer? I refuse to…

  12. Funny how when it’s the “normal” you don’t think much about it. That’s how ours looks normally. However, when I do need a fast purchase of bacon at the store (YUCKY!) I am again reminded how lucky I am. Great tip! I’ll be trying it soon! Thanks!

  13. I too always cook my bacon in the oven and like it crisp. I also tell myself it’s healthier as there is less fat. Bacon and egg combination is the best!

  14. Off the subject Terry, I noticed your Americauna’s cheek feathers and beards are coming in nicely. Sooo pretty!:o)