Can You Cook Bacon in a Gas Oven: Everything You Need to Know
Few things can beat the seductive aroma of bacon wafting through a kitchen. There are many different ways to cook this beloved breakfast food, but have you ever considered cooking it in a gas oven? It’s actually a popular method because it offers several advantages over other methods. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cooking bacon in a gas oven, from the advantages and disadvantages to troubleshooting common issues.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cooking Bacon in a Gas Oven
Before you decide whether to cook bacon in your gas oven, you should be aware of its pros and cons.
- More even cooking: when you cook bacon on the stovetop, it can easily burn or curl up. With a gas oven, though, the temperature is more consistent throughout the process because you’re cooking it dry heat.
- Reduced mess: when you fry bacon on the stove, grease splatters all over the place. By contrast, cooking it in an oven allows the grease to drip down into your oven’s drip pan. Of course, that does mean that cleaning up your grease tray can be an unpleasant task.
- Convenience: cooking bacon in an oven is perfect if you need to make large amounts at once; for example, if you’re hosting a brunch.
- Possibility of smoke and grease spatters: even though using an oven means less splattering and mess, it can still be an issue. Bacon is a greasy food, after all, and that grease can smoke in the oven if you don’t line your drip pan properly. Similarly, you can experience spattering if you don’t cover your bacon.
- Potential for uneven cooking: if you’re not careful about monitoring your bacon regularly in an oven, some strips might cook faster or slower than others. This could lead to some pieces being burnt or undercooked.
Preparing Your Bacon for Cooking in the Gas Oven
Before you even think about putting your bacon in the oven, it’s critical to prepare it correctly.
- Choosing the right type: not all bacon is created equal; not only do cuts differ from brand to brand, but how the bacon is smoked also affects how it tastes. The key when choosing bacon for cooking in the oven is making sure that it’s thick enough. Otherwise, your bacon might end up burnt or shriveled. Check labels on packaging for guidance.
- Lining your baking sheet: using parchment paper or aluminum foil is one trick to keep grease from sticking to the bottom of your baking sheet and to make cleaning up easier afterward.
- Avoiding curling: nothing’s worse than serving curly strips of bacon? To prevent this from happening, try positioning your bacon so that neither side “dips” too low and taking them out of the oven as soon as they start looking crisply cooked-looking.
Steps for Cooking Bacon in a Gas Oven
If you’ve prepared your bacon correctly and are ready to start cooking, here’s what you need to know:
- Step 1: Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature range (usually 375°F-400°F). While the oven is heating up, you can prepare your bacon.
- Step 2: Lay out your bacon strips on your lined baking sheet so that they’re never touching each other and strive for an even placement.
- Step 3: Place the baking sheet into the middle of the oven, and set a timer for around 12 to 15 minutes. However, it depends on how thick your bacon is, so keep monitoring it after that. Start checking to see if it’s done at around 12 minutes in case it cooks faster than you expect.
- Step 4: Remove your bacon from the oven once each strip has crisped up and no longer looks soft or undercooked. If necessary, this may mean taking out a few strips before others to avoid uneven cooking. Transfer them onto a paper towel-lined plate or serving platter to absorb any residual grease, and they’re ready to be served!
Tips and Tricks for Cooking Perfect Bacon Every Time
If you want to go beyond just basic bacon cooking methods, try some of these tips or tricks:
- Add spices or glazes: spice things up with chili flakes on top of your bacon before cooking. Similarly, adding a glaze creates an irresistible sweet-and-savory flavor.
- Wrap with pork belly or prosciutto: Take bacon wrapping to the next level by using different types of cured meat.
- Add water: Parboiling your bacon in water before putting it in the oven might help keep the bacon from shrinking and curling up.
- Cook sous vide: If you have a sous vide machine, this is one of the best ways to cook bacon slowly and evenly while retaining its juices.
Troubleshooting Common Issues When Cooking Bacon in a Gas Oven
If you run into issues with your bacon when it’s cooking on a gas oven, here are some solutions to common problems:
- Curling or shriveling of bacon strips: To ensure your bacon doesn’t curl or shrivel up in the oven, try pressing down each strip slightly on both ends before baking to anchor them to your cooking sheet better.
- Smoke or grease splatters: Smoke generally happens when the grease from your bacon has nowhere else to go. Make sure that your drip pan is well-covered with either parchment paper or aluminum foil. And if you’re dealing with long sections of side bacon, loosely cover them by tenting sheets of aluminum foil over top than tightly covering it.
- Overcooked or burnt bacon: As soon as your bacon starts getting dark around the edges, it’s ready. Aleartness can help prevent it from burning.
- Undercooked or soggy bacon: If you feel like your bacon isn’t getting crispy enough, increase the temperature of your oven but keep monitoring your bacon to avoid overcooking it.
Cleaning Your Gas Oven After Cooking Bacon
The last thing you want is for grease to build up in your gas oven. Follow these steps for easy cleanup:
- Step 1:To start, turn off your oven and give it time to cool down before you start cleaning.
- Step 2: Lift the drip pan out of the oven and remove any aluminum foil or parchment paper that it’s sitting on. If there are any solid chunks of fat or grease left behind use a paper towel to wipe them away.
- Step 3: Drop your drip pan into hot soapy water and leave it to soak for a few minutes.
- Step 4: When you’re ready to clean, put on your rubber gloves and use a sponge or brush to scrub at the greasy mess that’s left over.
Comparison with Other Bacon Cooking Methods
Of course, cooking bacon in a gas oven isn’t the only way to cook this delicious food. Here’s how it compares to other popular methods:
|Frying on the stovetop
|Cooks bacon fast and allows you to control its crispiness easily while focusing on one strip at a time.
|Bacon grease can splatter all over the place, making quite a mess; uneven cooking if not taken care of properly.
|This method is super fast, minimalistic, and ideal for busy people who want perfectly crispy bacon with minimal effort.
|Bacon ends up strewn across several paper towels, with no opportunity for flavorful crispy dairy meat fats. Not suitable for preparing bulk bacon for big functions.
|Cooking bacon on the grill means that you won’t have to worry about anything getting splattered, and you’ll get that smoky flavor.
|Not very practical or efficient as the bacon can quickly fall through the grill and be consumed by flames. Ensure to properly keep an eye on it because thin strips of bacon can quickly become overcooked or burned.
Recipe Ideas That Incorporate Bacon Cooked in a Gas Oven
Bacon is a staple in many recipes, and it can make an excellent addition to other dishes. Here are some inspiration how:
- Salads: chop up your cooked bacon and toss it into a salad for added crunch, saltiness, and some protein.
- Entrees: Use your oven-cooked bacon for sandwiches like BLTs, burgers topped with bacon strips or wrap around meat like chicken, beef, deer or hot dogs; the possiblities are endless.
- Soups/Stews/Casseroles: Chop or break up your baked bacon pieces and add them to hearty meals for extra flavour and depth.
- Snacks: candied bacon is delicious on its own, but you can also dip them in chocolate ganache for something unexpected and surefire hit.
You should have a clear idea of how to cook delicious bacon in your gas oven with this complete guide to help you avoid easy mistakes along the way. Whether you’re craving classic bacon-and-eggs breakfasts or looking to add some savory crunch to salads or sandwiches, cooking bacon in the gas oven is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
1. Is it safe to cook bacon in a gas oven?
Yes, cooking bacon in a gas oven is safe as long as you follow the necessary precautions. Ensure that there’s proper ventilation in the room, use an oven-safe pan, and take care while removing the hot pan from the oven.
2. What is the best temperature setting for cooking bacon in a gas oven?
Preheat your gas oven at 400°F and place the bacon on an oven-safe pan or baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until crispy depending on your desired crispiness.
3. Do I need to flip bacon when cooking it in a gas oven?
No, flipping bacon is not necessary when cooking it in the gas oven. Although if you think one side of the bacon is browning faster than the other, you can use tongs to rotate them once.
4. How do I clean up after cooking bacon in a gas oven?
Let the leftover grease cool down before discarding it using a proper container, plastic bag, or newspaper wrap. Clean and scrub the pan immediately with warm water and dish soap or simply place it in the dishwasher if it’s dishwasher safe. You may want to be cautious and avoid using abrasive cleaners or metal scouring pads as they can damage your pan’s non-stick coating or enamel surface.