I know very few people who could read the words "Bacon Weave" and not want some of that for themselves.
I admit that my idea is in no way original. In fact I was inspired by the words "Bacon Weave" that I saw in some web search results. There is probably a great set of instructions on how to do this in the 1950s version of the Betty Crocker Cook Book that I have. I decided to experiment and come up with my own recipe that is probably not unique. I figured it out myself through determined experimentation.
I decided that my bacon weave would have to be the size of a sandwich to be of the greatest utility. I also want to minimize clean up and the more uses I get out of something the better. That is the purpose of the aluminum foil. I harvest the bacon grease/drippings and use them whenever shortening is called for in a recipe. Waste not want not.
One regulation size cookie sheet with a raised lip all the way around.
One cooling rack that fits inside the cookie sheet.
Cooking Spray (I have used olive oil and a brush, that works too)
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Step 1: Preparing to Bake the Bacon
I realize I had three basic choices for cooking bacon. Bacon can be fried, microwaved, or baked. I chose baked because I feel like I am in greater control and it allows for the collection of the drippings. Also it doesn't splatter grease everywhere like frying. I have never had luck with microwaving bacon.
I began by lining the cookie sheet with foil. I guess you could skip the foil, but a bare cookie sheet makes clean up much worse. Then I placed the cooling rack on top of the foil. I sprayed a light coating of cooking spray on the cooling rack. This pays off when it is time to remove the bacon weaves. Now the pan is ready.
To prepare the bacon I removed it from the package and cut it in half as shown. This makes it the proper size for a sandwich sized weave.
Sometime around this point you might want to preheat the oven to 400F. This is a bit cooler than many bacon baking recipes call for, but I have found that the drippings do not boil and thus do not splatter all over the inside of my oven.
Step 2: The Weave!
Start by placing three half strips of bacon vertically side by side in one corner of your prepared pan. I have had the best luck by starting with the center horizontal strip. Then weave the top and bottom horizontal strips. Your first weave is complete! Then fill up the rest of the surface. Be sure not to overlap any of the weaves or they will stick together.
At the end, there will be a few pieces of bacon but not enough to make a complete weave. I do what I can with them. If there are four pieces I cross two strips and then weave the last two into the "X" as best as I can.
Can you tell I earned the Basket Weaving Merit Badge at Scout Camp?
Now we bake!
Step 3: Baking!
Place the pan on a shelf in the center of the preheated oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes.
A side note: Yes, I did the backsplash tile work. I am very proud of myself. Thanks for asking.
This next part is critical. The small improvised weave we discussed in the last step is smaller and cooks faster than the full weaves. If the smaller weave is left in the oven until the full weaves are crisp, the smaller weave will burn. Burnt bacon is one of the saddest things in the universe. It makes Angels cry.
To prevent this tragedy set the timer for the a fore mentioned 20 minutes. Check the smaller weave. It will probably be done or nearly so. When it is done, remove it and place it on a plate with paper towels lining it so it can cool and drain. Then place the not quite crisp full weaves back in the oven. See the photo of the full weaves that are not done. They will need about 15 more minutes to be full cooked, crisp, and not tragically burnt.
Step 4: Finishing
Remove full weaves from the oven once they are cooked and crisp. Place them on the cooling plate with the partial weave.
When cooled they can be applied to the sandwich of your choice or stored in the refrigerator until desired.
A Bacon and Tomato Sandwich with a bacon weave is luscious. A Bacon Cheeseburger is also ever so much better with a bacon weave. I can even say that a bacon weave straight from the refrigerator by itself is a wonderful experience. However you decide to employ them, they are a life changing experience. Enjoy!
This is an entry in the
Kitchen Skills Challenge