We get a lot of responses on our Facebook page to the baked bacon post. One of my favourites was Sarah Bakker, who bakes her bacon with a special addition: “Baked for sure! And the brown sugar makes it that much better!” (Karen Sinclair also bakes with brown sugar.)
That’s one of the benefits of baking bacon that I neglected to mention (I know I am not perfect, my father reminds me everyday) – the fact that if you bake, you can either sprinkle something onto your bacon before you bake it, or that you can marinade it. This can be more difficult if you are frying. And as Sarah points out, adding something sweet, like brown sugar, can really compliment the salty flavour of the bacon.
But what else can you add to bacon when you are cooking? Here’s a list of some of our favourites:
1. Black pepper
Readers Aaron Tucker and Jen Phillips suggest black pepper. Like the sweetness of the brown sugar, the black pepper adds an additional flavour note that compliments the other two, and it can be easily added in whatever amount you’d like. Think of the resulting flavour of bacon, brown sugar and black pepper as tasting like a homemade BBQ sauce.
2. Cayenne pepper
Substitute the black pepper with some cayenne for a spicier flavour.
Cook the bacon with some brown sugar and pecans, and you’ll get a lovely mild nutty flavour. The slightly bitter flavour of the pecans is neutralized by the saltiness of the bacon, and their sweetness comes through. Once the flavours collide, the heavens open and from the heavens a wonderful scene of bacon pours from the sky. If you like this flavour (and the collision), try making your next pecan baked goods with bacon grease instead of butter – you’ll be surprised by how delicious it is.
4. Maple syrup
For a more Canadian flavour, marinade your bacon in maple syrup before cooking. This will create that deep, complex flavour that you expect from a particularly rich BBQ sauce. Plus, if you are Canadian you have some of that real maple syrup in your house. Every Canadian needs to try bacon with some maple syrup (crazy at first but very delicious).
These are some of our favourites, but once again, the possibilities are endless. Adding honey and mustard could give you a more tangy flavour. Or maybe you’d prefer to substitute some molasses for the brown sugar. Why not experiment with a few?
And if you already know what you like, why not let everyone else know – we’d all like to get ideas for how to make our bacon even tastier! If you take a picture we will post it on the blog, just leave a comment below with the ingredients and tell us you have a picture (we will email you with the email you provide below).
What do you add to bacon to make it taste better?