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BLT sandwiches for lunch on the weekend. What could be easier or more delicious? After all, who doesn’t love a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, on the freshest of fresh seed bread?
But how many times have you been burned by the fat that splatters and splashes on you, while frying up that bacon in your skillet on the stovetop? Once you know how to cook bacon in a toaster oven, this will never happen to you again.
Bacon is considered a staple food in so many households. Readily available, relatively inexpensive, and so versatile, it is one of those meats that can literally be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or supper. Or even just for a light snack when you are feeling a little peckish.
Bacon and eggs have to be one of the most iconic breakfast dishes around. No self-respecting restaurant has a breakfast menu that does not feature bacon and eggs in some form or another.
Crispy bacon bits make the most tantalizing addition to a fresh garden salad. And what about a few rashers of sizzling bacon on top of your burger patty, to make the most delectable hamburger ever? The list of ideas is simply endless.
Bacon, by the very nature of the cut of meat, has a high-fat content. Of course, this is partly what makes it so utterly scrumptious. The fat is what makes bacon turn golden brown and crispy, and the fat is also full of flavor.
How To Cook Bacon In A Toaster Oven
My toaster oven is one of my favorite appliances. I use it for so much more than just making toast. In fact, the name toaster oven is really a bit of a misnomer, because I do not know too many people who actually make toast in their toaster oven. Naturally, we have a toaster for making toast!
It is not at all difficult to master the art of using your toaster oven to its full advantage. Once you have learned how to cook bacon in the toaster oven, you will never want to cook it any other way.
I’d like to say that I will share my recipe with you for cooking bacon in a toaster oven, but the whole process is so straightforward that I can hardly even call it a recipe. It would be more accurate to just call it a method.
HINT: I prefer to buy my bacon from a reputable butcher, where I can ask for thicker slices. I find that the thicker the bacon strips, the better the end result when cooking bacon in a toaster oven. I also believe that sometimes it is worth paying a little more in order to get the very best quality.
Follow these simple steps for the best bacon ever.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Place the strips of bacon on the paper, making sure that they do not overlap each other. If you want a healthier option, ( more about this a little later), place them on a wire rack and place this on the paper-lined tray.
- Place the tray in the toaster oven.
- Turn the oven on to 400° Fahrenheit. It is not necessary to preheat the toaster oven. Your bacon strips will cook more evenly if you put them into a cold oven and let them heat gradually before they actually get hot enough to start cooking.
- Cook for about 12-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.
- If you do not use a wire rack, when you have put the bacon strips directly on the tray, turning once, halfway through the cooking time. If you have put the strips on a wire rack, you can skip this step. It is not necessary to turn them, as air can circulate around them and they will crisp up on both sides at once.
- Remove the bacon strips from the toaster oven and place them on a piece of paper towel for a minute, to allow the last few drops of fat to drain off.
You are now ready to start assembling that fabulous BLT sandwich.
An Interesting Twist
By experimenting and having fun with my toaster oven, I invented a lovely twist to traditional bacon strips. In my house, we call them Bacon Roll-Ups. These look a little fancier and are fabulous for cocktail snacks.
Loosely roll each slice of bacon, and push a sharp toothpick through the center, securing the roll. Place these rolls on the baking tray or wire rack, and cook as above. Cooking time may take a little longer.
If you want something that is a little more substantial than a quick cocktail snack, you can use a kebab skewer instead of a toothpick, and put 3 or 4 rolls of bacon on each skewer.
Be sure to leave a little bit of space between each rolled-up piece of bacon, to allow them to crisp up in the oven. If the pieces are touching each other, or if they are rolled up too tightly, then they will take a long time to cook, and won’t get crispy.
Benefits Of Cooking Bacon In A Toaster Oven
If you thought that it was easy to cook bacon, when you used to do it in a skillet on the stove, you will not believe how much easier it can be to do it in the toaster oven. But ease and simplicity are not the only advantages.
- Health Benefits
Bacon is a cut of meat that naturally has a very high-fat content. When you cook it in a pan or a skillet, it sits and sizzles away in the fat. Now, yes, I know that that is partially what makes it so yummy, but all that fat is not good for you.
The kind of fat that you ingest when eating fatty meats like bacon can clog your arteries, contributing to heart disease. It is also very high in calories, often resulting in weight gain.
When you cook bacon in a toaster oven, you can place it on a wire rack, so that most of the fat drips off during the cooking process. The bacon will still be deliciously crispy but without all the health risks of the fat.
We all know how precious our time is, and every minute saved can make a difference in a hectically busy day.
If you cook your bacon in a skillet on the stove, you have to stand close by and watch it, turning it frequently to ensure that it doesn’t burn. This means that you can’t really get on with anything else until that bacon is cooked. Who has the time to stand over the stove, frying bacon?
By using your toaster oven to cook your bacon, you will free yourself up to complete other tasks, while the bacon looks after itself and cooks itself.
Simply put the bacon into the toaster oven, set the timer (to ensure that you don’t forget about it, and ruin it by overcooking it), and off you go to do whatever else needs to be done.
- No More Burns From Splattering Fat
Frying bacon in a skillet heats the fat to an extremely high temperature. This makes it sizzle and splatter. It is very difficult to avoid these fat droplets from landing on you, no matter how much you dance around and try to dodge them.
Anyone who has suffered burns from splashing fat knows just how painful it can be. It can also leave nasty scars on your hands or face.
While your bacon is sizzling away safely in your toaster oven, you are in no danger of being splashed by hot grease, and suffering the burning consequences.
- Quick and Easy Clean Up
I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys standing bent over the kitchen sink, scrubbing a greasy pan, and trying to get it clean. This almost feels like a punishment to me.
Cleaning up after cooking bacon in a toaster oven is so much easier, especially if you follow this little cleaning hack. The secret is to line your baking tray, either with aluminum foil or with parchment paper.
I personally prefer using parchment paper. Foil can sometimes tear, allowing the grease to ooze through. Parchment paper is so easy to roll up and throw away.
All you then need to do is give your baking tray a quick rinse with hot water and a few drops of dishwashing soap, and clean-up is done.
If you prefer to place your bacon on a wire rack so that the fat can drip off, it is a good idea to give the wire rack a light spray with a non-stick cooking spray.
This will make it very easy to clean the wire rack. Simply give it a quick wipe with a soapy cloth, then rinse it under hot running water. It really couldn’t be any easier.