1. Place a metal skillet over medium-low heat. Keep the bacon strips whole, or cut them into 1/2-inch pieces. Once the skillet is warm, place the bacon into the pan. If cooking strips, cook until they begin to shrivel and brown, then flip to cook the other sides. If cooking smaller pieces, be sure to break them up and move them around periodically to ensure the pieces cook evenly. 01:28
2. When the fat has rendered out a bit, turn the heat up to medium. As the bacon continues to brown, prepare a tray by lining it with several layers of paper towels. Keep an eye on the bacon, as it will cook faster the closer it is to being done. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the desired doneness. Use tongs to transfer the bacon to the paper towels. 02:34
3. Pour the remaining grease into a sealable glass jar. Allow the rendered fat to cool at room temperature, then store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 04:47
What You'll Need
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Metal tongs
- Metal tray
- Paper towels
- Glass jar
Bacon typically comes from the belly of the pig. Bacon from other areas of the pig is also available, although it is less commonly used. Bacon is usually cured and then smoked, and sold in either slabs or pre-sliced strips.
Rendering is the process of cooking the fat out of the meat. Heating bacon over low heat allows the gummy solid fat to melt into liquid grease without burning.
Bacon fat contains a strong smoky, meaty favor, and can be used in many different cooking applications. Chef Josh recommends using the rendered fat to sauté ingredients, to make vinaigrettes, to confit other meat, to cook vegetables, or to add additional flavor to a sauce.
Putting bacon into a hot pan, not a cold one, will sear the meat, preventing it from sticking and sealing in some of the meat's moisture.
Cooking bacon does not require additional oil because of the high fat content in the bacon itself.
Take the bacon out of the pan just before you think it is done cooking, as it will continue to crisp off of the heat. Cooking bacon until complete doneness may lead to overcooking.