A bacon lover's guide to cooking with bacon

Anyone can serve bacon for breakfast but we've made a list of other incredible ways to use bacon for any meal of the day, including dessert!

Most people would agree that bacon is pretty incredible but they usually serve it for breakfast, forcing it to play second fiddle to overcooked eggs. We feel pretty strongly against the idea that bacon is only a breakfast food. Nobody puts bacon in the corner. Bacon can be enjoyed anytime of day and deserves to be treated as the incredible culinary tool that it is. It can be used to improve recipes that desperately need a kick of flavour or dishes too lean to be great on their own. In this bacon lover's guide, we will show you how to use bacon in many different ways and for different reasons. We encourage you to go beyond bacon bits on a salad and try new ways to use bacon to flavour your meals, pushing them from great to incredible. So how can you use bacon as a culinary tool?

Keep the rendered fat

Next time you cook up some bacon, pour the rendered fat into a clean jar and use it to add flavour to a recipe calling for oil. Bacon fat can be used when sauteing veggies, cooking eggs, or even as a gravy base. It’s fantastic on popcorn with a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese - yum. Using bacon fat will still give you all the benefits from using oil but will add more flavour. Be aware that bacon fat will only last a few days on the counter but lasts much longer when kept in an air-tight container in the fridge or the freezer. 

Epic wrap battle

Most people know that you can wrap bacon around foods like scallops, filet mignons, water chestnuts, or asparagus but most people don't think about why they do it. Yes, bacon brings flavour to any party which is great for helping out bland foods or balancing foods with less-than-favourable flavours (looking at you, asparagus) but the other reason is for the fat content that bacon can offer. An example is bacon-wrapped filet mignons which are cut from a very lean muscle meaning that there is a very fine line between a perfectly cooked, juicy steak and an overcooked, dry piece of leather. Bacon adds a buffer of fat that keeps the steak juicy even if you prefer your steak cooked beyond medium rare. Lots of food can benefit from bacon's flavour and/or fat! Try wrapping bacon around Brussels sprouts to mellow their flavour, wrap it around corn on the cob before grilling, or wrap bacon around dill pickle spears and bake 'em. It doesn’t have to be wrapped around a vegetable - try wrapping pure flavour around lean meat or fish like our great recipe for bacon-wrapped cod to transform the flavour, texture, and protect lean foods from drying out during cooking.

Heat weave

You can apply the same idea of wrapping food with bacon but on a bigger scale by making a bacon weave. A weave is made by laying strips of bacon over food in one direction, adding a second layer perpendicular to the first layer, then lifting and weaving alternating strips to create a delicious bacon net over foods like meatloaf, turkey breast, or other large but bacon-friendly dishes. Be adventurous and use a bacon weave to replace the doughy crust of a pizza, the flour tortilla of a quesadilla, or even as a top to an apple pie. The bacon weave cooks to a crispy texture which improves any meal and its a great keto-friendly way to reduce carbs while still bringing the flavour.

Desserted island

Sweet and salty is an amazing combination so it makes sense that bacon and desserts would be amazing together. The smoky saltiness of bacon perfectly pairs with many common desserts, satisfying your cravings for sweet and bacon flavours. Check out our maple bacon donut or candied bacon French toast recipes to see for yourself how you can improve desserts by adding bacon or make up your own new bacon dessert hybrids. News some inspiration? Imagine how great bacon would be on ice cream topped with maple syrup, added to a salty peanut brittle, or mixed into banana bread. Remember, it’s bacon so it would actually be fairly difficult to go wrong so be adventurous and try something new. Take a picture and show us your bakin’ with bacon creations on our instagram page.

Rather than adding bacon to the desert as a topping, why not add the sweetness to the bacon itself by making delicious candied bacon? It’s easy - just add a mixture of maple syrup and brown sugar to slices of bacon and cook them on a wire rack in a 375℉ oven for about 20 minutes. You can crank up the spiciness level by adding some cayenne or black pepper before cooking it.

We hope that we have proven that bacon is incredibly versatile and deserves to be seen as a way to save all those meals that, well, suck on their own. Add bacon’s strengths of flavour, texture, and fat to enhance meals that really need it. You won’t be disappointed -it's bacon... y'know, the thing that people say makes everything better. Oh man, all this talk about bacon is bacon me hungry. If you need more bacon to experiment with, don’t forget that truLOCAL has lots of different types of bacon to choose from and they get it delivered right to your door. Satisfying your bacon cravings has never been easier.

Article by: Steven Tippin (a bacon lover)

Posted on August 12th, 2021