Introduction: Frying Bacon (Not for the Faint of Heart)

First and foremost, I do want to apologies for the pictures. Despite trying to clean my camera lens they generally came out half blurry.

Bacon. Element number one on the Periodic Table of Awesome. It is a quintessential and delicious food that improves almost everything you eat it with. There is only one method of cooking that could make bacon taste better than it already does. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about the deep fry.

Step 1: The Path of Bacon

I did not arrive at this revelation immediately, there was a process. The original idea, involved bacon wrapped cheese sticks. However there were issues regarding the relative cooking times, and the results would not have been satisfactory, or safe to eat. When salvaging the two separate snacking delicacies, some of the breading stuck to the bacon, and the light bulb went on.

There have been two attempts to fry bacon. The first one while delicious, will always be remembered as "probably worth it". The second one featured a lighter, tempura batter.

Step 2: Step One: Cook the Bacon

In light of frying the bacon we do want to make sure it is fully cooked. Otherwise it is difficult the fully enjoy the goodness that is bacon. First I took a pair of kitchen shears, although any knife would do, and cut the bacon in half. It can be quite a bit for ones stomach to handle all at once, so portion control is key. Afterwards, break out your trusty frying pan and cook up the bacon. Now for those of you out there that like your bacon crunchy, this is the hard part. You will need to stop at chewy, if not slightly undercooked. Just know that you do not want the bacon raw, or fully cooked at this stage, there will be more cooking, but not enough.

Step 3: Step Two: Batter Up

Next is the batter. Tempura batter is deceptively easy to create, and deviously tricky to execute. If you were just reading along this is the step where you want to read ahead, and lay all the prep work before you try to continue. 

Tempura Batter:
1 egg
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup water

Regarding the water. It needs to be cold. Leave it in the fridge or the freezer for a bit. I even went a step further and used carbonated water, the aeration making the batter a bit lighter still.

To assemble the batter, mix the egg and the water and stir in the flour but try not to over mix it. You want it to be loose and light, the more you mess with it, and the more you beat it, the tougher its going to be.

Step 4: Step Three: Out of the Frying Pan

There are a few things to be said about the oil. First of all do not use an olive or vegetable oil. Both have relatively low smoke point and don't take the harsh heat well. Peanut oil is preferred for frying due to its resilience in both matters. I did not have peanut oil, or a thermometer. I would recommend investing in both. Here is how I did it though, for those of you in a similar position.

(As a side note, for those of you with thermometers, 340-360 degrees Farenheit, or about 170-180 degrees Celsius is said to be a good temperature range for tempura frying)

I used canola oil. It can withstand higher temperatures without giving off as much smoke. I had the stove set to about a medium-high temperature, and to test the oil I dropped in some of the batter. It sank, but immediately started bubbling and floated to the surface shortly after. In my experience, this is good. It allows for more even cooking through, and doesn't leave the food in the oil overlong to become greasy and unappetizing.

Step 5: Into the Fryer

Now comes the actual frying. Have your station set up. I like a Bacon, Dredge, Batter, Oil configuration. As far as execution of this step I would recommend having potentially a partner, or possibly gloves. If not, have one hand designated to handling the raw bacon and the flour, and the other for retrieving the bacon, battering it, and setting it in the oil. This just makes it easier and cleaner to handle.

So to fry, we have our precooked bacon. Dredge it in a shallow pan of flour to give the batter something to adhere to. Coverage does not need to be perfect, but even is best.

Then using your other hand, take the bacon out of the flour and dip it in the batter. Its okay to submerge it and get some on your fingers, we want total coverage of the bacon at this point for the frying. After you have it coated, take it out, let some of the excess drip off, and set it in the oil. There are two reasons its okay to do this with your bare hands. One is control. If you let the bacon almost lay into the oil, have it almost just in contact and gently release it there will be no risk of splashing the oil or having pieces stick together. The other, is if you get some of the batter on your fingers while coating the bacon, it will give you protection from the heat, should you be a little clumsy.

The next part is where I tended to run out of clean hands. The bacon should start floating almost immediately after you set it in the oil. Let it for a time, and then using a slotted spoon, preferably a heat tolerant plastic or silicon, turn them over to cook on the other side. Each side should not take more than even a few minutes, watch them closely! When they are golden brown and delicious on both sides, remove them and place them on paper towels so as they don't absorb the extra grease from frying.

Step 6: A Touch of Irony

A very important lesson learned from the first time I fried bacon, is that you can't have too much of a good thing. A friend of mine did, she ended up giving it back. Wasn't pretty. So the next question was what to enjoy your deep fried bacon with so your stomach can handle that much sheer awesome. Since we've already done something that challenges the very being of health food, the logical step was to go green. A very simple and tasty salad known as the lettuce wedge. 

Easy. Take your head of lettuce, rinse it off. Then cut off the stem. After that cut it in half, and then into quarters. While I had it apart I did pull out the piece of the stem. You will instantly have four portions of salad, that is fresh and crisp all through as well as visually appealing.

Step 7: Finished

I added a bit of spinach on the plate for a tender and bitter element, plus the plate seemed a bit bare. After, I leaned the bacon against the lettuce, almost in place of a crouton, and as a personal preference I put a bit of bleu cheese dressing over it, and dug in.

Comments

author
NijelaM made it!(author)2017-04-06

Bacon is famous all over the world. It smoked pork belly and cured it. There are two standard pork belly bacon types: pancetta from Italy and streaky bacon from England. Bacon is prepared from pork loins, pork sides, and even jowls. Furhter more- http://www.fryerly.com/best-deep-frying-bacon/

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grannyjones made it!(author)2015-02-10

Scientists do not blame bacon for heart attacks nearly as much as vegans do. Bacon is, essentially, organic CRACK!

author
jmartin8 made it!(author)2011-05-10

Sounds very good, only I think I would add a suggestion or two. I agree with the cutting the bacon in half. I do that now for anyway I use bacon. Secondly, I believe I would use a thicker cut bacon and would par boil it a bit to make sure it cooks to a doneness I would prefer. Thirdly, instead of using my hands to bread, I would use a chopstick to bread these almost flat pieces of meat. With some practice I do believe it would be easier to use than even tongs. MMMMMM I wonder if there is a way to combine some brown sugar in with the flour so you could create a caramelized bacon piece? Worth looking in to, eh?

author
jtobara1 made it!(author)2011-05-14

I used a fork and it was fairly easy. I just got done making it, and it was so good!

author
Rioexxo made it!(author)2011-05-09

LOL everyone! I just HAD to add.....EGG WHITES only! And beer
Nice thread. ®

author
burnerjack01 made it!(author)2011-05-08

As I read this I can feel my left arm going numb....
Do you have a Cardiologist in the family? Surely, you have one on speed dial.
No doubt yummy though. I may have to try this anyway.

author
nax made it!(author)2011-05-08

Not to be overly serious, but there is not really much evidence to support the hypothesis that dietary fat leads to heart disease.

A long, complicated story involving lots of well-meaning people and incomplete research and the politics of large numbers.

But the bottom line: Science doesn't actually say bacon will kill you.

Personally, if I eat a bunch of donuts, I feel icky. If I eat a lot of bacon, I feel good. And not in the mood to eat a bunch of junk food all day. So my own guess is that bacon is good for me.

author
Monsterguy made it!(author)2011-05-08

Eating saturated fat increases your LDL cholesterol levels. I've never seen any research that hasn't confirmed the fact that high LDL is bad for your health.

I think we can safely assume as always, that moderation is the best policy.

author
KittyF made it!(author)2011-05-08

eating saturated fat doesn't raise the levels of LDL's in your blood, eating carbs raises it and changes the cholesterol that your body makes on it's own into a smaller particle which clings to the interior of your arteries. Read some of the research behind low carb eating.

author
Monsterguy made it!(author)2011-05-08

There is a significant amount of research stating that saturated fats do increase LDL levels.

Either way fat is massively more calorific than carbohydrates so the chances are if you are on a high fat diet you will have significant body fat, which is the easiest way to increase your LDL levels and hurt your health as a whole.

author
KittyF made it!(author)2011-05-09

LOL I do have significant' body fat. I got that way by eating a low fat high carb diet.

I also have diabetes, thanks to the high carb diet. there is significant research in the last three or four years that says that a low carb, higher fat diet is the best way for diabetics to control their blood sugar and hopefully lose weight.
every time I eat carbs, I get hungry for MORE.

and for those who are interested, Many or most low carbers find their LDL levels falling, and their HDL rising to healthy levels.

author
artist.mom made it!(author)2011-05-08

I taste copper. Does anyone else think they taste coppery?

I'm a litte short of breath too, but that must be because deep fried bacon sounds so very delicious.

author
sharper2 made it!(author)2011-05-08

It would depend on how the bacon is processed and smoked. Try a different brand of bacon or use a naturally smoked product from a local butcher.

author
artist.mom made it!(author)2011-05-08

Sorry, I was making an ineffective heart attack joke. Perhaps I've just stroked out the humor section of my brain.

author
The+Ice+Man made it!(author)2011-05-09

For all those worried about your LDL and pain on your left side, thanks. More fried bacon for those of us that want to stroke out with a smile and a chunk of thick slice bacon clamped between our teeth.

author
kwoodham made it!(author)2011-05-09

Sounds absolutely to-die-for... maybe literally =) I loves me some bacon!

author
LittleMonkeyMojo made it!(author)2011-05-09

Bacon is safe to eat straight from the package. It's smoked and safe to eat. Not particularly appealing to most, but your could have prepared it as you had with the cheese sticks and it would have been safe.

author
angelhut made it!(author)2011-05-09

that is really a sure shot HEART STOPPER..... ha ha ha

Need to get a stroke in a hurry?
Need to get a heart attack?
Need to gain weight after that tough overseas trip to africa?

EAT THIS!!

author
greggle made it!(author)2011-05-08

Pork. Yummy.

It kind of reminded me of this recipe, which features pork belly, which of course is the precursor to bacon.

http://burntlumpia.typepad.com/burnt_lumpia/2009/02/lechon-kawali.html

author
Rowen27 made it!(author)2011-05-08

When I saw this project in the newsletter, I thought it might be similar my own preparation of simply dropping (carefully!) the whole frozen brick into the deep fryer, which brings it from that icy state to crisp and delicious in about 5 min. but it's so much more than that... *gapes in awe* I do believe this is an even more hell worthy project than my own feeble attempts, I can't wait to try it. Bravo!

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KittyF made it!(author)2011-05-08

Coconut oil has a higher smoking point.

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holzmanj9 made it!(author)2011-05-08

I'd used some sauteed cabbage and scallions. But I totally want to come by and have breakfast at your house!

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bbartholomew made it!(author)2011-05-08

Use cold beer instead of water. Makes for a very light batter.

author
holzmanj9 made it!(author)2011-05-08

Beer-battered bacon! I'm coming to your house! You are my new best friend.

author
firefly68 made it!(author)2011-05-08

Ooooooo, blue cheese too? I am definitely going to try this in the summer with fresh tomatoes from the garden. Tempura BLT--yummmm!! Add some chicken or turkey for a tempura club...the possibilities are endless! Great 'ible.

BTW, most oil is absorbed at the beginning of frying and is caused by the oil not being hot enough. You want that tester blob to really sizzle so that the batter is quick-sealed and no oil can get in.

author
sharper2 made it!(author)2011-05-08

YEAH! a nice chunk of Blue Cheese, wrapped 4 ways around in a batter or double breaded... OMG!!! Literally to die for. LOL!

author
chikid68 made it!(author)2011-05-08

looks tasty and I can feel my arteries hardening just reading this lol

author
slayerofgoliath made it!(author)2011-05-08

Bacon. Element number one on the Periodic Table of Awesome.
AKA: King of Meats, the cure for vegetarianism, Tastiest substance in our known universe, edible sex, the food of the Gods, Meat. Candy,

author
Ram270 made it!(author)2011-05-08

Sodolak's Steak House in Snook, Texas has been serving fried bacon as an appetizer for many years......they serve it with a bowl of cream gravy for dipping. Very tasty !

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phugedaboudet made it!(author)2011-05-08

sould the bacon be slightly greasy or damp to get the flour to stick in the "dredge" step?

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danny6114 made it!(author)2011-05-08

If you hold the head of lettuce with the stem side up and strike the core with the heel of your hand and drive the core deeper into the head, it will release the entire core in one piece. Just reach in and pull it out!

author
CtrlAltDrew made it!(author)2011-05-08

Why in the world hadn't I ever thought of that? I was taught at a very early age to put the core side down and *THUMP* the core up into the head of lettuce against a solid surface. Either way works, and both have their advantages at times. A sincere thanks for your perfectly obvious alternative!

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danny6114 made it!(author)2011-05-08

You're most welcome. It's my pleasure!

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dfabian made it!(author)2011-05-08

Ah ha! joe.esq1 makes an important point about drinking a beer to make this a truly healthy food item. The alcohol in the beer breaks down the grease in the bacon, so that it can't be absorbed by your body; it just passes right through. Beer has a lot of calories, which are immediately used up in the process of breaking down the grease! Perfect!

author
tooday11 made it!(author)2011-05-08

WoW now thats a heart KILLER will have to try this

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mooseo made it!(author)2011-05-06

"Despite trying to clean my camera lens they generally came out half blurry" 'cause, for some weird reason, I seem to have bacon grease all over my fingers! Yum.

author
Chicken+Spit made it!(author)2011-05-04

OH MAN! I've got a project in Living Skills due where I need to make something from a recipe, I think I'll use this!

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joe.esq1 made it!(author)2011-05-04

if you wash it all down with a nice cold beer you stomach should be able to handle the sheer awesomeness of this triumph of human inventiveness...

author
Aprositus made it!(author)2011-05-04

The only thing that improves batter-fried bacon is gravy on it. Manna from heaven.

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maclinfuehr made it!(author)2011-05-03

fried bacon, mother of god (in super trooper cop voice)

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servantofelyon made it!(author)2011-05-03

Nice 'ible! I tried it (with turkey bacon so I'm sure that changed the taste) and found that if you stuff it with shredded cheese after it is deep fried it tastes even better! But I mean come on, what bacon and cheese combo doesn't taste good?

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mrmerino made it!(author)2011-05-03

irony: it's delicious as hell.

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darknessfalls made it!(author)2011-05-03

i love and have eaten bacon in hundreds of ways, but even im afraid to try this lol...

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pfdanielson made it!(author)2011-05-03

I lol'd when I saw this was posted in salad... It's a salad but only by the loosest definition! jk Nice 'ible

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wobbler made it!(author)2011-05-03

My aorta started screaming just looking at this!

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kelseymh made it!(author)2011-05-02

Deep fried bacon. The Universe is now in perfect balance :-)

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