Bacon is most commonly cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. If you’re opting for the former, start with a cold pan with the bacon strips touching, but not overlapping. Set the burner on low and allow the bacon to slowly release its fat. As it begins to cook, use tongs to flip the strips and fry them on their opposite sides. Continue to flip and turn until the bacon is browned evenly. Let the cooked bacon drain by carefully placing them on paper towels or a newspaper.
To cook bacon in the oven, simply line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the bacon strips on its surface. If your baking sheet does not have grooved edges, be sure to fold the aluminum corners upwards to catch excess grease. Bake at 400°F for ten to 20 minutes (depending on your texture preference), remove, and place bacon strips on paper towels or a newspaper. The bacon will crisp as it cools.
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Pre-packaged bacon has an impressive shelf life, but not once it’s opened. While it’s best to freeze uncooked bacon, the slices can be tightly wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a ziploc bag for up to a week. The same storage technique should also be applied to fresh bacon purchased directly from the butcher.
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Next: How to Freeze Bacon
Bacon actually holds up quite well in the freezer, though its peak flavor quality will only last one to two months. To freeze, you may keep the bacon in its original packaging, but wrap around it with another layer of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or freezer paper. Just be sure to keep your freezer at a consistent zero degrees for optimal freezing results.
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These eminently satisfying pinto beans from Smitten Kitchen‘s new cookbook are baked with bacon, onions, garlic, tomato paste, and plenty of spices for a rich and satisfying side dish or dinner. Truly, once they’re topped with creamy avocado, tangy sour cream, a piquant onion-jalapeño-cilantro relish, and whatever else you like (cheese, tomatoes), all you need are fresh-baked tortilla chips to make it an easy, filling meal everyone will love. And feel free to leave out the bacon if you don’t eat meat; there are so many other flavors, it’s not at all necessary for a delicious feast.
For more perfect pinto beans, get our Chipotle, Beef, and Bean Chili recipe, and our Warm Cheesy Bean Dip recipe.