Bacon is almost everyone’s favorite meal. Bacon with eggs in breakfast or bacon on pizza toppings in evening snacks is one of the most appreciated items. When cooking a dish using bacon, a question arises to mind. Do you need oil to cook bacon? You should have deep knowledge of this topic to make a delicious meal.
The straight answer to the question is- NO. there is no need to ad extra oil to cook bacon. If bacon is cooked in low heat, the bacon fat starts to render slowly, preventing the bacon from being stuck into the pan.
This article provides an in-detail explanation of this fact. You will know whether it is right to cook bacon using oil or not. You will also learn to cook bacon correctly and get the best taste. So, explore all the essential phenomena on bacon and make your bacon dish tastier.
What Is Bacon?
Bacon is generally pork meat that is cured with salt. Only the pork belly meat and the pork back meat are used to make bacon. The manufacturer cures the meat in thin slices to turn it into bacon.
Bacon can be available in different forms. American-style bacon, Italian bacon, Canadian bacon, and various Asian bacon. Though bacon is originally pork meat, some bacon is manufactured from turkey, lamb, beef, etc. As the origination is other, meats are also various.
Is It Right To Eat Bacon Raw?
It is a most-asked question if you need to cook bacon or not. The answer is – it is not right to eat bacon without cooking. You may know that cured meat is safe to eat raw. But there is no surety about the raw bacon. Before eating bacon raw, you have to check the packaging. If it recommends or provides notes on raw bacon’s safety, you can have it raw.
Though the curing process can remove most of the moisture from the bacon meat, it cannot ensure complete safety from bacteria. The curing process using salt takes only 3 to 10 days. It can be maximum 3 weeks. This curing time is not enough to make it safe to eat raw. If you take more time to cure bacon like other meat items, bacon can be saltier.
There is another way to cure bacon, and that is smoking. Smoked bacon reaches a specific temperature that is high enough to keep it safe from bacteria. But the smoking process does not take enough time. That’s why you should be careful and check if the smoking process is only to create the smoked aroma or to make it free of risk.
Another process of curing involves brine. Bacon is kept submerged into brine and gets rid of harmful bacteria. It also extends the shelf life of bacon. But it is not confirmed that all the harmful bacteria are removed.
So, no process can confirm the safety of ear bacon raw. That’s why it is not right to eat bacon raw like other cured meat items. In fact, undercooked or raw bacon can create food-borne illnesses and grow bacteria.
Besides, the raw bacon is not tasty to eat; instead, it is chewy and salty. It is delicious and yummy to have fried bacon in the breakfast or evening snacks or crumble on salads, soup, or pasta.
Do You Need Oil To Cook Bacon?
No, we do not need any additional oil to cook bacon. The fat from bacon is enough to cook it thoroughly. The white streaks in bacon are the fat. It quickly melts in heat. Bacon melts enough fat to cook the meat perfectly.
You can cook bacon in different ways. You can bake bacon or fry as you like. Bacon comes in different thicknesses. The thicker the bacon, it needs more time to cook. But no need for any additional oil.
Instead, special care is needed in choosing the pan to cook bacon. It is because rendered oil or fat from bacon can spill over the pan. So, the pan should have enough space to hold bacon melted oil. You can use this extra oil to fry the eggs or veggies. It will get bacon flavor and create a unique aroma.
There are different types of bacon. Some bacon can be thicker or some thin. Thin bacon can produce less quantity of fat or melted oil. But it will be enough to fry it. Though the American bacon and British bacon have lots of fat in them, some identified lean bacon is processed to have less fat comparingly.
There is always a minimal quantity of far in the streak how lean the bacon is. As the bacon is lean, it is thin too. So it requires less oil to cook, and the rendered fat is enough. If you feel the need for oil, you can use a few drops of oil. Using a bit of oil is not a big deal. The demand prevents the bacon from sticking into the pan and frying. Frying bacon needs a minimal amount of fat.
Some lean fat is processed to keep less fat in it. These bacon pieces are cut from the center of the chest or close to the bone. Some fat is removed while processing. In these cases, you may need oil but in significantly little quantity. But if you want or need to add oil, avoid olive oil. Try to use the oil with a natural flavor. It will keep the unique flavor in bacon fat.
Steps To Cook Bacon Without Oil
There are some facts or steps to cook bacon perfectly without oil. If you follow these steps, you will not be tense about the bacon stuck into the pan or cooking pot. Let’s know the steps.
- Step-1: You have to select the correct cooking pan to cook the bacon at the first step. Take a cold-frying pan. A non-stick pan is preferable. Pan should not be shallow; instead, it should have enough space to stir bacon and hold its fat.
- Step-2: Next, take a bacon piece and then rub it on the surface of the pan. You can create a layer of bacon fat inside the pan’s surface by doing it. As the bacon fat takes time to melt, this fat layer on the pan will grease the bacon initially. Getting heat at the beginning, this layer melts. It will prevent the bacon from sticking.
- Step-3: Now, do not put the heat into the pan. First, put all the bacon pieces in it and then the fire on. After the pan heating, the bacon will get heated slowly. So, before reaching heat to bacon pieces, the fat layer will melt. Then the bacon fat will melt too, and enough oil is there to cook bacon.
- Step-4: At the beginning, keep the flame in medium till all the bacon fat is rendered. Then lower the flame and keep it in low status. Low heat is required to cook bacon thoroughly.
The time required depends on the thickness of the bacon. It is 2 minutes to 10 minutes, not more than that. Overcooking can make it chewy or rubbery. If the bacon is thicker, you should cook it f0r 8 to 10 minutes. If you want crispy bacon and the bacon is thick pieces, take 10 minutes. For a thinner cut, 2 to 3 minutes are enough.
The time needed also depends on the process of cooking. If you want soft bacon with a bit-crispy edge, cook thin bacon only for 2 minutes. For crispier, fry bacon more. Decide time requirement with a balance of thickness and cooking need. So, perfect bacon can be ready without oil.
Other Cooking Process
Though cooking in the pan is the most popular, and there are other methods too, you can cook the bacon in an air-dryer or in an oven too. Oven cooking is time-consuming, but cooking bacon in the microwave is time-saving.
The microwave is the perfect solution if you need to warm up the bacon strips for a sandwich. You can also make it crispy by cooking it for 3 to 5 minutes in the microwave. You can have crispy bacon by cooking it on the grill too. It creates a Smokey flavor to bacon.
Does Oil-Use Create Problems?
Not at all. You can use oil as much as you want. But you must know the possible quantity of rendered fat and then add additional oil. As the rendered oil arises in a pretty high amount, it is recommended to cook bacon without oil, but it is good to add oil if you cook thinner or lean bacon that does not have enough rendered fat.
What can happen after adding extra oil to bacon?
- If you like to deep fry the bacon pieces, you can add additional oil. Deep frying is good with bacon strips or marinated or batter-applied bacon.
- Additional oil adds extra calories to the meal. It may not be a regular calorie intake for you.
- Adding oil, you can make it faster to render the bacon fat. Yes, with the extra oil heat, the bacon fat melts fast.
- Extra oil ensures the prevention of burning.
So, if you like to add oil to your bacon, you do not need to hesitate. Go with your own innovative recipe.
Healthiest Process of Cooking Bacon
- The healthiest way to cook bacon is using an air-fryer. Cooking bacon in an air-fryer helps reduce the consumption of extra bacon fat. When air-fry the bacon strips, the rendered oil falls to the bottom. So, you can cut the consumption of extra calories.
- The following healthy process for cooking bacon is the use of an oven. It also separates the rendered oil of the bacon. How to use the oven? It is simple. Place the bacon strips or pieces on the oven rack and place the rack at the right place inside the oven. Now place a baking tray underneath the rack. This tray will hold the rendered oil that falls from the baked bacon. So, you can have bacon cutting the extra calories.
But keep in mind that the oven cooking process takes more time to cook bacon than other processes. You have to cook bacon for 20 minutes in the oven. Oven cooking is perfect for cooking in large batches. If you need to cook bacon for a big party, you can follow this process.
Though the bacon cooking process is quite time-consuming and looks simple, it can be messy if not handled with caution. Bacon melts and creates lots of greases which can spill over the cooking pot.
- Do not take a shallow cooking pan.
- Be careful and gently handle it while frying bacon or stirring.
- Be prepared to clean the extra mess produced for the puttering grease out of the pan on the stovetop. Keep it safe as it can create a fire hazard. So, try to clean the stovetop immediately.
- If any fire is caught around the stovetop, immediately turn the burner or stove off.
- Try not to cook bacon in open fire like a campfire. An open fire can create a terrible fire attack.
- Never throw water on the cooking pot. If you throw water, the fire will spread over. Instead, you can put a lid on the pan. It will calm the oil.
Do you need oil to cook bacon? We already have the answer in detail. The facts mentioned above are necessary to have the perfect fried bacon or bacon in different forms. We may have to take extra cautions to cook bacon, but we cannot deny these tasty bacon strips. Besides, what can we cook without any oil? Only bacon is the item that is ready to cook consistently.
Since extra oil can produce messy situations or spill over the pan, it is wise not to use extra oil. Bacon takes very time to cook too. So, fantastic taste and health benefits from delicious bacon strips.