Introduction: Cooking Bacon in a Camping Pot
I went camping this past weekend but forgot the frying pan, so I ended up having to cut up the bacon and to cook it in several batches in a small camping pot. On the long drive back home I thought about better ways to cook a full pack of bacon in that small pot...
Step 1: Materials
Package of Bacon
Knife or Scissors
Camping Stove (and matches)
Tongs (optional, but recommended)
Oil or Butter (optional)
Step 2: Prepare a Bacon "Pack"
I used parchment paper to create 2 different bacon packs:
1) Stack Pack: Fanfold the parchment paper and load the bacon into the peaks and valleys.
2) Roll Pack: Use strips of parchment paper and roll the bacon (Note: Don't roll the center too tightly).
Step 3: Load the Bacon Pack Into the Pot
Use a pot slightly bigger than the bacon pack. If one side of the pack appears to have more fat, place it facing down into the pot. As the fat renders, the oil level will rise and cook the bacon pack, so you don't want a pot that is too large.
Note: If available, add some oil or butter to the bottom of the pot and coat the sides of the bacon pack. This will help keep the paper from scorching until fat begins to render.
Step 4: Begin to Render Fat
Place on stove, cover with a lid, and cook on LOW to MEDIUM heat. You want to see steam after about 5 minutes.
Note: If the stove is too hot and the paper begins to scorch, add some water to create steam to help render the fat.
Step 5: Continue to Cook
Additional steam will form as fat and moisture are drawn out of the bacon. Tilt the lid to allow steam to vent and to reduce splattering.
Safety Note: For the fanfolded pack, steam can get trapped in the folds and cause the whole pack to rise. Use scissors to make small cuts in each fold to allow the steam to vent.
Step 6: Flip and Continue to Cook
Tongs allowed me to firmly grasp the pack, turn it over, and push it back down. Not enough fat was rendered from the first side, so I turned the pack over several times in order to cook the bacon evenly.
It took about 45 minutes to cook each pack, but I didn't need multiple batches to cook a pound of bacon.
Safety Note: If you have a small stove like the one here, move the pot to a stable surface before handling the bacon pack.
Step 7: Remove Bacon Pack and Serve
For the rolled pack, the outer slices cooked faster, so I removed the slices and paper as I went along - this explains why a few slices are missing from the 3rd photo :)
1. Fanfolding (1st and 2nd photos) the paper took longer than rolling, but it was easier to grasp and turn. Adding small cuts to each fold will allow steam to vent during cooking.
2. The rolled pack (3rd photo) tended to fall apart when turned, but allowed slices to be served sooner (to hungry kids, for example). Removing the outer slices also allowed the tighter core of the pack to be unrolled and browned. Cutting the paper strips into shorter lengths would make it easier to remove.
3. I did not try a bacon pack without parchment paper. I suspect that the bacon slices would tend to curl up and stick together, but you may still be able to pick up and turn the whole mass of bacon - more bacon research...
4. I lined the bottom of the pot with parchment paper (see my Instructable, "Frying Bacon with Parchment Paper"), but in this case the oil gets under the paper, so it did not help with cleanup.