How To’s Archive

How To Use and Appreciate Bacon Fat

Now I am the first to admit that there is nothing better that a crispy, perfectly cooked slice of bacon. That is, to my mind, culinary perfection. But here at the Republic of Bacon, we also want to celebrate diversity in bacon dishes and bacon uses. For example, there may be times when you don’t want the crispy texture of bacon to upset the smoothness of a dish, but still want the flavour. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for something that has just been kissed by the essence of bacon, rather than having the taste of bacon take front-and-centre as it is often wont to do. For moments like these, there is nothing quite like cooking with bacon fat.

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The Better Bacon Book: Tech and E-Publishing

When you think about bacon, I am pretty sure that “high-tech” is not what immediately leaps to mind. While bacon has certainly become more of a pop-culture phenomenon before, gaining more fame and loyal fans than ever before thanks to the power of the internet, bacon itself still comes from very humble origins. People have been enjoying bacon in some form since ancient Rome, and our own culture has written lovingly about bacon since at least the Middle Ages. With such a long and storied history behind it, it’s not often that we think of bacon in the context of cutting edge technology.

That said, the as high-tech gadgets further saturate our daily lives more and more each day, bacon has proved itself to be one of those products that adapts to high-tech applications extremely well. A prime example of a new book that is taking the world by storm: The Better Bacon Book, just released from Open Air Publishing. What makes this excellent guide to all things bacon unique is not just the engaging text, lovely illustrations and photography, and easy-to-read step-by-step instructions. What has both the bacon and tech worlds abuzz is that this book does not exist as a physical object; it is available only as an electronic text, an e-book, and is available exclusively for the iPad. Continue reading this article…

How to Camp with Bacon

With the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about doing things outside: sitting out with friends on a patio, going to the beach and playing some outdoor sports. For us Canadians, summer also means that we can start thinking about taking advantage of the great outdoors that are on our doorstep, and going camping. But camping, while fun, can be a pain in the butt. After all, without a proper stove, how do you cook your bacon? Today, we’re going to come to your rescue with some helpful hints on how to prepare the best camping bacon.

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The Best of the Rest of the Instructables Bacon Challenge

As you might have remembered, the Instructables website recently issued a challenge to produce something for their website that featured bacon. The winning entry was bacon caviar – which was truly spectacular. But there were so many great entries, I think we should cover a few more today. So here, from bacon guitars to bacon lip balm, are my favourites. Read them all after the break!

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The Many Amazing Ways To Cook Bacon

We’ve covered a lot of different ways to cook bacon on this blog. We’ve even gotten into a few arguments about the best way to do it. But today, all of the arguing is over. Today, I thought I’d do a round-up of all the different methods I’ve covered, in a handy-dandy reference post for y’all. Set your bookmarks, and follow along on our super-duper bacon cooking roundup. (Okay, I need a better name than that.)

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How to Make a Bacon Maple Doughnut

Bacon and maple go together: that’s no surprise. Bacon goes well with pancakes and maple syrup. And there’s plenty of great maple-flavoured bacon products out there, like Maple Leaf’s Lazy Maple Bacon. But even so, there are still some maple foodstuff out there which haven’t yet been stuffed with bacon.

Maple has not yet reached maximum overload in bacon. Since part of our mission is to ensure that every part of the world has the benefit of becoming one with bacon, I’ve decided to devote today to a discussion of the union of bacon and that delicious and beautiful thing: the maple donut.

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The Infamous French Bacon Sandwich

The French are known for their high cuisine and carefully constructed delicacies. They are not usually associated with food that we can make with no recipe, and that requires the liberal use of a prepared condiment. But that is, I guess, the whole point of the Infamous French Bacon Sandwich. It is good because it is very, very, very wrong. Let me explain.

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How to Make Bacon Cupcakes the Ultimate Indulgence

Bacon and cupcakes are pretty much opposites in the food world. Bacon is salty, savoury and is often served with breakfast. Cupcakes are usually sweet and they are served as a dessert. But despite being opposites, both are delicious. And as we know, opposites often attract. Bacon and cupcakes are no exception. Today, I thought I’d explored the delicious and wonderful world of bacon cupcakes. I’d advise you not to watch the following videos unless you’ve eaten – they are pretty mouthwatering.

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More Uses for Bacon Grease

Folks seemed to like it the last time we talked about uses for bacon grease, so I thought I’d provide some more ideas. But before I give you some of my suggestions, I thought I’d show you a neat find: here’s a list of uses for bacon grease that is apparently from a 1943 edition of Modern Woman Magazine.

Click for Larger Image. Image is also provided by Modern Women Magazine

You gotta love the “when hardened in your ICE Refrigerator” – “freezer” was apparently not a household word in 1943. I also like the focus on meat pies, hominy and white sauces. Nevertheless, most of them are kind of good! Using bacon grease for cornbread is sort of a Southern standard, and we’ve already discussed how delicious it can make vegetables. There’s dozens of uses for bacon grease. Here’s just a few more of our suggestions:

Salad Dressing and Bacon Grease

This is one that several of our readers suggested. Putting bacon grease in salad dressing is pretty simple. You can just use it in place of an oil with some balsamic vinegar. Or you can go in a little more of a ranch dressing direction by mixing it with mayo. The only thing you have to remember is that if you do mix it with vinegar, you have to use it hot – putting cold bacon grease on your salad will not make it happy. But if you are making your salad with a bitter leafy vegetable like chard or spinach, you can use the hot bacon grease to wilt the greens.

Potatoes with Bacon Grease

Some people like to substitute bacon grease for butter or milk when they are making mashed potatoes. But you can also use bacon grease for cooking whole or sliced potatoes. Just shake some boiled potatoes around in the bacon grease and then cook them in the oven. The bacon grease helps them get browned and crispy – sort of like bacon.

Frying toast

In a traditional English Breakfast, you would not only cook all of the meat and eggs for the breakfast in a frying pan, you’d also cook the toast you’d serve along with it, too. Like French Toast, making toast in bacon grease is usually best done with stale bread so that it doesn’t get too soggy. The Brits actually fill the pan with grease before they cook their bread, but you can just put grease on either side of your toast, like you would with butter on a grilled cheese. The result is as delicious as you’d imagine.

Seasoning a cast iron skillet

If you have just bought a new cast iron frying pan, you’ll need to season it. A properly seasoned pan can last for decades, and the seasoning will also ensure it has a non-stick surface. Bacon grease is a very effective seasoning agent. Seasoning guidelines vary, but most suggest that you should rub the grease all over a dry cast iron pan and then cook it upside in an oven.

Sauces and gravies with Bacon Grease

If you’ve just made your holiday dinner (with a bacon-wrapped turkey!), you’ve probably already used bacon fat for the base for your gravy on that day. But bacon grease can be used in almost any savoury flavoured sauce. Just take whatever sauce recipe you can think of and change the fat or oil to bacon grease. The sauce will gain a dark, smoky, flavourful note.

Do you have any more suggestions for how to use your bacon grease? What do you like to do with your bacon grease?

Leftover Turkey? Make Turkey and Bacon Sandwiches!

Now that many of us are recovering from a big holiday feast, we are probably discovering that there is a lot of leftover turkey lying around. And since you probably have some bacon – I mean, you should always have bacon! – the best thing to do is to combine these divine ingredients into something amazing. The easiest way to do that is to make some bacon and turkey sandwiches. Mmmmm. Here’s a few that I’ve discovered.

Grilled Turkey, Bacon, Radicchio and Blue Cheese Sandwich

Photo by Brian Leatart

This baby gets me salivating just on the first step – mashing blue cheese and mayo in a bowl. After adding pepper, you put this mixture on some bread slices and top with bacon, turkey and the radicchio leaves. For the final touch, you pop it in a skillet for a few minutes like you would any regular grilled cheese. I can just smell that stinky cheese melting on the beautifully fragrant bacon. Oh my Lord. I think I’m in love. Continue reading this article…