Sizzling hot bacon. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Because. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

Is this being mean?

Happy Tuesday.

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© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.



28 Wonderful responses to “Bacon”

  • Dervin

    You know I’ve lost about 30 lbs in the last three months with weight watchers. During that time, I’m averaging 2 pieces of bacon a day.

  • Richard Scholtz

    I’ve gone from cooking bacon in a skillet to cooking it sandwiched between two sheet pans in a 400 degree oven. It cooks more evenly, stays flat as a board, and the fat gets this crackling-like texture.

  • Mark G.

    Since you brought it up, I have a question about bacon!

    Lately I have been preparing bacon the way you suggest in Ruhlman’s 20: boiled and then sauteed. But to be honest, I can’t tell the difference between cooking it this way and just sauteeing it with out boiling first.

    Am I missing something, or maybe doing something wrong?

    (I lost 20 pounds this summer eating a pound of bacon a week. It’s health food!)

    • ruhlman

      There is no difference in flavor. I like it because I can leave it alone and do other things while it’s beginning to cook. The water begins tenderizing it and begins rendering the fat. I feel that it gives me more control over the bacon. And it is critical to control your bacon.

  • Mantonat

    My wife and I both came home with a pound of bacon on our separate drives home from work on Friday. We must have been receiving bacon transmissions from opposite sided of the city. It was a bacony weekend.

    • Bill R.

      Austin Ruse
      So everyone will know. The finest store-bought bacon I know is from a Pennsylvania company that sadly only distributes on the East Coast.

      Saying “finest store-bought bacon” is like saying “best McDonald’s hamburger”. It’s still store-bought and a (very) distant second to home made bacon — and likely not worth buying.

      Since I’ve been making my own bacon I haven’t been able to eat the stuff from the store. That’s not me being a food snob. It just that it tastes like chemicals and I don’t know where the pigs came from. My butcher sells me bellies from farm-raised pigs that were allowed to run around and (quite literally) not shit all over the environment where they live. Then I get to add exactly what I want to them.

      • Mantonat

        There’s varying quality in store-bought bacon just like there’s varying quality in restaurant hamburgers. Check these guys out:
        You can buy this bacon in a few stores around Denver, which makes it store-bought bacon. I’ve made bacon at home – theirs is better.

      • Harimad

        I think there’s strong differences between various store-bought bacons. After a few years of eating better stuff I no longer consider mass-market bacon (Oscar Mayer and its brethren) worth eating. I like the bacon I make myself but I also like Whole Foods’ bacon.

        I think the difference between mass-market on one hand and fancy on the other hand, is larger than the difference between fancy supermarket bacon (such as Whole Foods) and uber-fancy/homemade.

  • Matt

    What do you think of wet equilibrium brining (like they cover on chefsteps)? Do you cover that in your book?

  • Ryan

    What’s in the new revised Charcuterie? Is it worth upgrading from the old edition?

  • Mitch

    This time of year, I cook it outdoors in a disposable pan on the gas grill. I put it in a cold grill, crank it up to high, and its done in no time. Just don’t answer the phone and be sure all the pets and kids are accounted for before you start. It can burn in no time. But if you are careful its fast and the ease of clean up can’t be beat. Plus the rendered fat is easily strained and saved for future use.

  • Matt

    Pork belly is so cheap here in Colombia but I’ve had trouble locating pink salt so far and apartment living isn’t conducive to a smoker. But heaven help me if I ever get it figured out. First batch bombed on bacon but turned into great cracklings (I.e. gourmet chincharone) but I’m no quitter.

    • ruhlman

      mail order pink salt from smoke on stove top, grill or simply hang to dry for a week as pancetta

  • Jared

    Berkshire is the only way to go. It is worth the cost since I can’t find it cheaply even from the farmers.

  • Eric

    I just did this using pig cheeks from a local farm. The cure ended this morning and I finished with indirect heat (and hickory smoke) on my 26″ Weber grill. It is very tasty.


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