A few years ago I admitted to my lifelong love affair with Bacon. It’s delicious, makes almost anything tastier and I could cheerfully eat it with every meal. I particularly enjoy the decadence of bacon while camping. Unfortunately it also makes a HUGE mess when I cook it. Since I refuse to spend my precious family time cleaning our RV or even my home more than necessary I had to come up with some alternatives. The thought of giving up bacon was absurd and immediately discarded. I don’t mind an occasional wipe down and since we are a family of three boys I seriously wipe down our RV’s bathroom area regularly (read around and behind the toilet…. Cause yeah boys). I want to share some things I’ve learned through the years about cooking bacon and how to make it easier.
Let’s start with camping: Hubs and I were backpackers before kids… now we glamp in our fantastic RV. Until we are done with diapers we will be in the RV… cause if I’m sharing a campground with a bunch of people… I’m gonna be comfy. I plan our meals when we camp. It makes life easier for me and enables me to actually spend time playing with the three hoodlums rather than running to the store because I forgot some critical item. To fully enjoy your bacon while camping think precooked bacon. I’m not talking that weird uber thin precooked bacon-like stuff you can get at Costco or your grocery store… I’m saying you precook your bacon at home and then freeze that stuff. Yep it’s totally worth it.
If you don’t have the time or the energy to dedicate to tasty bacon here are some less messy options.
- get some metal skewers and thread your bacon onto the skewer. Now grill that stuff or even better cook it over a fire. You are now properly attuned to your ancestors. Cooking meat over a fire. If you cook it over a fire you don’t have to clean the grill either. The bacon greaser will drip into the fire. If you do grill it be prepared to do a little grill cleaning.
- If you like asparagus try this option. Even if you don’t like asparagus try it. Because we shall now wrap asparagus IN BACON. Yeah I just took a perfectly healthy veggie and added bacon to it and I regret this decision not at all. We love our asparagus this way and hopefully you will too. Grab a couple of spears of asparagus, wrap it in the tasty deliciousness known as bacon and spear that stuff onto a .. yep a metal skewer. Now cook it over a fire. You’ll have to turn them or things will burn but it’s so good. The bacon grease and flavor permeate the asparagus and it’s really a lovely combination.
- If you must cook it in a pan try cooking it at a lower heat and chop your bacon into small pieces. It will cook faster and with the low heat it will splatter less. You’ll still be able to have the tasty delicious crunchy bacon but less to scrub.
To precook your bacon:
Jelly roll pan
Metal racks for pan
Preheat your oven to 350. You can cook at a higher temperature BUT I’ve found that if I cook the bacon at 350 the fatty parts of the bacon turn into melt in your mouth crunch. It makes the bacon easier to eat because it keeps the meat more tender as well. I’m sure that there is science to explain this… I don’t know what the science is… but it works so there you go. Line your pan with aluminum foil and put one of the racks on it. Now load up that smoked oink onto the rack. If you overlap the bacon pieces a teeny bit it’s ok but don’t overlap too much or the bacon won’t cook properly. The bacon will shrink a bit as it cooks but you want air flow for proper crispy awesomeness. Now take the second rack and put it on top of the bacon. Here’s what the second rack does. First it cooks your bacon flat so that your bacon is perfectly prepped for making sandwiches. Second, it decreases splattering so you have to clean your oven less. WIN! Now if you’ve preheated your oven put the bacon in until it’s just a bit less cooked than your preference. In my house that’s about 30 min. If you forgot to preheat your oven… it ain’t no thing! Seriously, it’s not a big deal. I forget to preheat about half the time I cook bacon. Just put your bacon in the cold oven and know that it’ll take longer to cook.
Now to prepare the bacon for camping. We have a vacuum packer and I love it. I’m looking into ways to use reusable silicone bags with my sealer but till then I’ll use the plastic. I put a family size serving of bacon in the bag and seal ‘er up. If possible I try really hard to make the bacon lay flat. I do this for two reasons: 1) flat bacon defrosts easier and 2) stores easier. I then freeze my deliciousness for future use. It’s also pretty easy to do this with a ziplock bag it’s just harder to get all the air out. I can’t tell you how long that bacon will last in the fridge because it never makes it past a month. To use it… open the bag and reheat bacon in a pan. Now have happy belly num num num.