Science Explains Why We Love Bacon

Science Explains Why We Love Bacon

Why Do We Love Bacon?

You’d think that due to its longstanding appeal, scientists would have long ago figured out why we like it so much. But it was only recently that we found a convincing – and sciency! – reason for why bacon is so delicious.

Elin Roberts, a “science communication manager,” (I’m not quite sure what that is) spoke to the Daily Telegraph about bacon’s enduring appeal. As Ms Roberts says, “The smell of sizzling bacon in a pan is enough to tempt even the staunchest of vegetarians. There’s something deeper going on inside. It’s not just the idea of a tasty snack. There is some complex chemistry going on.”

Science Explains Why We Love Bacon

Apparently it all has to do with the Maillard reaction, which is when reduced sugars react with amino acids under heat. As they do, they produce a wide range of molecules that vary in flavour and smell. It is one of the reactions that produces the flavour of toasted bread, roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel. In fact, this reaction is at the basis of the flavour industry.

I’ll let Ms Roberts take over: “Meat is made of mostly protein and water. Inside the protein, it’s made up of building blocks we call amino acids. But also, you need some fat. Anyone who’s been on a diet knows if you take all the fat from the meat, it just doesn’t taste the same. We need some of the fat to give it the flavour. Fats mean that there are some reducing sugars in there as well. When it’s really hot – that’s when the Maillard reaction starts.

With all of those various molecules being created, the air above your frying pan or around your stove is soon filled with various smells. These form that complex scent that is difficult to describe, but that most people find so appealing. This also explains why adding sugar to your bacon can make it taste better: you are improving the chances that the Maillard reaction will occur between some sugar and the proteins in the meat.

The next time you are cooking up your bacon, remember to thank the Maillard reaction. Without it, we wouldn’t have that bacon-y flavour to enjoy

Bacon, Science and Protein = Our Love for Bacon

Here at the Republic of Bacon, we love to offer you proof that your love of bacon is not just in your head. It’s a scientific fact that bacon is delicious. We’ve already talked a little about why the cooking of bacon makes it delicious. But what about before the cooking – does bacon start out delicious? The answer, of course, is yes. And the reason is because of the special way that bacon is prepared: its curing.

Meat, if you didn’t know, is largely made up of animal protein and the associated fat. Strangely enough, though, protein, on its own, does not have a lot of flavour. As we mentioned before, what gives meat its flavour are the by-products of protein – those thousands of flavourful amino acids – when it is broken down. Although there is always some natural breakdown of proteins before any cooking begins, the process is accelerated by cooking. Hence, the deliciousness of browned meat.

But bacon’s secret weapon – what makes it potentially even more delicious than other meats – is the curing that is used in bacon’s preparation. Curing is done in many ways, but the most common are dry and wet curing. Most of the bacon we eat today is wet cured, which means it has been prepared in a brine (salt water) solution. Although this was originally meant to help make bacon last longer, it is now largely done to make bacon taste better.

The reason it improves bacon’s flavour is because curing helps start bacon’s protein breakdown sooner. In particular, the brine solutions helps increase the concentration of the amino acid glutamic acid. And glutamic acid has been associated with that delicious, meaty flavour that we all love.

As well, the fats in bacon also break down in the curing process into thousands of different chemicals. Some of these natural chemicals are what give other foods their particular flavours: apple, melon, citrus and butter. These are combined with the caramel flavours that are naturally produced when meats are browned. The overall result is the complex, endlessly captivating scent and flavour of bacon.

And with so many different flavour notes, it is no wonder that bacon works so well with so many different foods. Pairing bacon with the sweetness of apples and melons, for instance, brings those flavour notes in bacon out.

So, there you have it: further proof that bacon is delicious. But you didn’t need that, you can tell already! But if you have any bacon-doubters in your life, be sure to tell them why they need to give bacon a second chance.

Why is it that other foods need to be wrapped, stuffed or injected with bacon to make it better? Curious little bit to think about. What else do you think bacon would be fantastic with?

The Many Amazing Ways To Cook Bacon

best way to cook bacon

We’ve covered a lot of different ways to cook bacon on this blog. We’ve even gotten into a few arguments about the best way to do it. But today, all of the arguing is over. Today, I thought I’d do a round-up of all the different methods I’ve covered, in a handy-dandy reference post for y’all. Set your bookmarks, and follow along on our super-duper bacon cooking roundup. (Okay, I need a better name than that.)

Frying Bacon

Frying bacon is the most common way to cook up some bacon. CHOW provides this handy video to give you the basics of what you need to know. But what if you want to fry in winter? Baconology will help you out with that. And some people are so committed to frying, they use their bacon alarm clock to do it. But mostly, I just like to watch it fry.

Deep Fried Bacon

If you love something enough, you just have to deep fry it. (Well, please don’t deep fry your pets!) Chef Rob has given us a great recipe for deep fried bacon, but there are so many out there. For example, the ever-dependable Instructables has one. As this site will tell you, Sodolak’s Original Country Inn is the place to go for Deep Fried Bacon, but if you can’t make your way to Texas, you could try this version of his recipe.

Baking Bacon

Possibly the most popular form of cooking bacon? Maybe I won’t open that can of worms again. If you didn’t think there is a fight between frying bacon fans and baking bacon fans, chowhound brings you up to speed. Taste-the-bacon runs down the basics of baking and so does Bacon Goddess. In fact, pretty much everyone can tell you how to bake bacon. It’s not a favoured bacon cooking method for nothing! But I will show you the best way you should do below

Best Way to Bake Bacon

Best Way to Bake Bacon

When you first cooked bacon, you probably fried it in a pan. Heck, that’s how it’s shown in the movies. And frying pans can make cooking bacon quick and easy: put in some cooking oil, drop in the bacon, turn on the burner and away you go.

But as anyone who has cooked bacon knows, the bubbling of the cooking oil can sometimes pop onto your exposed skin. Frying also requires a lot of watching to make sure you the bacon doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. One of the ways to avoid these problems is to bake your bacon.

There are many ways to bake bacon. And although I’ll provide a description of how to do it, you’ll have to test drive it the first time to see if it cooks the way you want it to. After all, we all like our bacon cooked differently – embrace your personal preference!

The Best Way to Bake Bacon – Steps by Steps

1. Preheat the oven to a fairly hot temperature: about 400-425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Get out a cookie sheet with a raised rim (you don’t want the excess bacon fat to drip into your oven). I’d also cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil for ease of cleaning. There are some special pans to help you bake bacon, but you don’t need to invest money into special pans to enjoy the baked flavour (Although it doesn’t hurt to invest in something that’ll make your life easier!).

3. Put the bacon on the sheet. Make sure the bacon pieces don’t overlap each other.

4. Put the sheet in the oven and bake for five minutes. After the five minutes are finished, turn the tray around to ensure that the bacon cooks evenly.

5. Bake for a few minutes longer. You’ll have to keep an eye on it. Ovens always vary in their cooking temperatures, and the baking time depends on how crispy you like your bacon.

6. Take your bacon out. Dab it with a paper towel to remove any excess bacon fat.

7. Enjoy!

The benefits to this method are that you get a consistent level of cooked bacon. Your bacon is also unlikely to get overcooked, or to stick to the pan. Baking bacon is particularly good if you like your bacon crispy and evenly cooked. If you’ve never tried baking bacon, consider it the next time you are enjoying your favourite treat.

Microwaving Bacon

Microwaving bacon is the poor man’s way of cooking bacon: it probably should only be used in last resort situations when all other options fail you. But if you are in that situation, it can still present you with some unexpected issues. Start cooking steers us in the right direction. A Michelin reviewer has his own opinions about how to make the perfect microwaved bacon sandwich. If you need a good reason to microwave bacon, Livestrong gives you the deets on why it might be a smart choice. But if you just want to laugh, you can snicker along to Rachel Ray’s ridiculous “Late Night Bacon” recipe.

Other Ways

There are other ways to cook bacon. For example, you can cook it on a BBQ in an explosion. Or, after you’ve hollowed out an orange, you can just cook some slices inside. For the militarists out there, you can use your leftover guns to cook some bacon. And it’s never a bad idea to just stab it with some metal tongs and hold it over a campfire.

1. Use a Machine Gun to Cook Your Bacon

There’s plenty of ways to cook bacon: you can fry, microwave or bake it. In fact, do whatever you like! It’s a pretty chilled out food item. It doesn’t mind. In fact, people seem to be coming up with new ways of cooking bacon every day. This one I’ve heard of recently really takes the cake for originality: someone has found a way to cook bacon with a machine gun.

Cooking Bacon the Way Real Men Do It

I’ve already told you about the BAK-47 (the AK-47 made out of bacon). But that’s not what I’m talking about today. Making a gun out of bacon is child’s play compared to this (literally). It’s so crazy I’m going to say it again: some dude on reddit has actually cooked bacon with his handy-dandy 7.62mm machine gun. (You know, the one he just happened to have lying around.) And the cooking did not involve shooting the bacon in any way. This is how he did it.

How To Cook the Bacon

First of all, our brave chef exposed the barrel of his machine gun and wrapped tin foil around it. Then, he tied the foil down on either end of the barrel with string to ensure it didn’t come off. After this, he wrapped the bacon around the foil, and wrapped some more foil around the bacon. This step is very important. The fired bullets give off searing hot gases. This is what cooks the bacon through the foil. But exposing the bacon to the gases can and will burn it (putting it in the foil lowers the heat a bit). And cause there are strange, kinda metallic-y gases being produced, it’s unlikely that you’d want to eat bacon that has come into contact with them.

After the bacon is all nice and snug, you can fire away. Our reddit chef fired 200 rounds, but he figured the bacon was pretty much done after 150 rounds: the smell of cooked bacon was making him hungry. The final product looks surprisingly well-cooked and delicious. I don’t have any weapons of mass-destruction lying around, but I wouldn’t be against trying some machine gun cooked bacon someday. A guy can dream, can’t he?

A Long, Proud History of Misusing Weapons to Make Breakfast

Cooking bacon with machine guns isn’t entirely new. In fact, the reddit guy got the idea from a historic practice. Back in WWI, British troops used the Vickers Machine Gun in the trenches. Part of its firing system used water: the sleeve around the barrel was filled with water to cool it down. When the barrel heated up, the water would turn to steam. It would then move through to another part of the gun and condense back into water. But in the mornings, the British troops would sometimes use this aspect of the machine gun to perk up their breakfast. They would fire off a few rounds into no-man’s-land, take out the boiling water from the gun before it condensed and use the boiling water to make tea. That’s a manly cup of tea!

2. Can Bacon Be Cooked On The Sidewalk?

We’ve all heard about that rumour: on hot days you can fry an egg on the pavement. But if you are going to fry an egg, shouldn’t you have some bacon to go along with it? It makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s certainly been redonkulously hot in Canada lately.

Apparently there is a dome of hot air just hovering over our country, slowly cooking us. If that’s the case, why not conduct an experiment in street bacon frying, to see if it will work? Please click on the link to see our answer to the question: can bacon be cooked on the sidewalk?


Before we begin, I should probably warn you that all of this is for entertainment purposes. Although I’m crazy enough to cook bacon on the street, I don’t recommend you doing it. That being said, my first step was in gathering some much needed bacon. I got out a pack of Maple Leaf bacon and put three slices on some tin foil. I figured that if I wanted to eat the bacon later, I’d probably prefer something dirtless.

But oh man, was it melting almost immediately. Before the project could get much underway I had to scoot back into my house to put away the rest of the bacon. Don’t want to use all of my bacon for just an experiment!

In the next photo, you’ll notice the bacon splayed out on the aluminum foil like a trio of bathing beauties. If you look carefully, you can see the temperature outside (the top number) is thirty-three degrees. Pretty durn hot! I definitely felt like I was starting to cook, so I ran to some shade and began timing.

After Five Minutes

After five minutes, there’s not much noticeable change to the bacon. The temperature gauge has gone up to 39 degrees. Both the bacon and I are sweating like crazy, but I can’t see any difference aside from that. The flies certainly don’t seem to mind, as I spend most of my time running from the shade to shoo them away from my bacon. I’m also becoming deeply self-conscious. I hope none of my neighbours can see this. But no matter! This is for the betterment of science and mankind and bacon!

After Ten Minutes

No change in the bacon, but I think I need a drink. The temperature has gone up to forty degrees and has briefly flirted with forty-one. Wasps and ants have joined the flies in a fight for my bacon. I spend a good portion of my time fighting them away. I’m starting to lose hope. When I touched the bacon, it actually still feels kinda cool – as if all the sweating is making it cool down. Which, you know, is what sweating does. I decide to give it an hour and retreat to my home to huddle by my AC.

After An Hour

No apparent change in the bacon aside from the fact that it looks a little drier. If anything, I guess I’m heading in the direction of beef jerky rather than fried bacon. Reluctantly, I pack up my bacon and trudge into my house. I declare the experiment officially over.

After some searching on the Internet, I find out that the substantially similar egg-frying-on-the-sidewalk requires temperatures of over 150 degrees F or about 66 degrees Celsius. So, we were off by about thirty degrees today. In retrospect, I guess it makes sense that it doesn’t get bacon-fryingly hot, or else we might get more than just sun burned – we could get cooked!

But you’ll never know about these things until you try. And try, I did. In honour of my efforts, I cooked up a huge mess of bacon the old-fashioned way, and enjoyed it. After all, if we’ve got bacon-frying, who needs anything else?

3. Can the George Foreman Grill Cook the Perfect Bacon?

I forgot to mention a popular one that actually has many advantages to it: making bacon on the George Foreman Grill (or similar home grilling machines). Why is cooking on this kinda awesome? Are there any drawbacks? Today, we’ll talk about how this underrated cooking method could actually save your bacon.

Can the George Foreman Grill Cook the Perfect Bacon

From Zero to One Hundred Million in Fifteen Years

The George Foreman Grill (for those people who do not have a television and are unaware of it), is an indoor grilling machine. It features two grilling plates in a clamshell that you jam (or place) food between. The plates are non-stick. As well, the whole design is shaped so that any excess grease drips down into a tray – making it allegedly healthier since the food doesn’t cook in the grease. It’s been super-popular. Since its introduction, the official George Foreman grill has sold over 100 million units. There are also a whole bunch of imitations, and they’ve sold a whack, as well.

The Ultimate Bacon-Cooking Device?

The benefits to cooking bacon are pretty apparent. Like baking bacon on a broiler tray, bacon grease can easily sluice off the bacon and be collected (for later use in your baking!). The bacon also stays flat, and doesn’t curl or stick. You can basically get every piece of bacon looking the same every time you cook it. Like baking, there is also less chance of you getting hit by splatter (except, of course, when you are opening the grill.) Finally, a chance to cook some bacon nekkid! Trying to be hip, obviously it isn’t working out to well.

Cooking on the grill is also incredibly easy. The bacon doesn’t really need you to pay attention to it. You’ll have to occasionally check to see if the bacon has achieved the amount of doneness you prefer. But a quick way to tell that your bacon is getting close is to watch the fat dripping into the tray. When you start, it will be white and thick. As you get closer to the right amount of doneness, the bacon grease will become thinner and more transparent. And it’s a snap for cleaning up. The grill is non-stick, so wiping down the plates when they are a bit warm will ensure there is no scraping.

Slow Bacon Can Be Good Bacon

The one major drawback to the grill is time: the grills do take a bit of time to cook on. The grilled slices may not also get the doneness you prefer – some people say that their bacon is not as crispy as they would like it to be when they use the grill. But overall, these are minor concerns when the benefits are so obvious.

George Foreman Grill in Action

This video shows you what bacon looks like when it’s cooked on the George Foreman Grill. After cooking for a few minutes, the bacon does pretty much look like the perfect ideal of bacon. Added bonus: I’m also totally enjoying the shots of the bacon bubbling away on the grill. Mmmmmmm. I can smell the deliciousness.

George Foreman Grill cooks bacon

What do you think is the best way to cook your bacon?

Cooking Bacon in a Pan: You’re Doing it Wrong, Says CHOW

Cooking Bacon In A Pan

When it comes to cooking bacon either in a pan, in the oven or a microwave (or any other way you can think of!), I think it pays to be pretty laid back about the whole thing. Whatever works for you is my rule of thumb. After all, the Republic of Bacon is a pretty big and accepting place – the only rule is that you have to like bacon! But ever so often, someone comes along who tells us that the way we are cooking our bacon is wrong. Today, I’ll look at what CHOW says is the wrong and right way to cook bacon.

Cooking Bacon In A Pan

You’re Doing It All Wrong

Here’s the video where they show us how to cook bacon.

First of all, I have no idea why Scott Vermeire – the host of this particular segment – describes the bacon in a kinda sexual way. “Flaccid” bacon is bad; “lubricated” is good, apparently. A subtle advertisement for bacon, or just the way his brain works?

Vermeire: Bacon Needs Twenty Minutes

As for the actual cooking instructions, Vermeire does throw down some big gauntlets. The one I think is the most arguable is that he says bacon should take more than twenty minutes to cook. Really? Twenty minutes? I agree that it’s always a good idea to keep your temperature pretty low at the beginning, but twenty minutes seems like an overly cautious amount of time to me. Not all of us can be that patient with bacon! I favour starting out low and then turning up the heat a bit, and I’ve never noticed my bacon suffering in quality.

Bacon Likes to Cuddle with Other Bacon

He also suggests that you need to cover the bottom of the pan with bacon to make sure there is enough fat rendering off. Vermeire says that you need to do this because otherwise the bacon will burn. Once again, really? What if you don’t want to eat that much bacon: are you supposed to throw out the rest? And if you are cooking the bacon slowly, shouldn’t you be able to cook only a few slices? I don’t find a lack of bacon grease rendering off my bacon to be much of a problem. In fact, I would think that jamming a lot of bacon into your pan is more likely to cause the overlapping problem he describes.

What About Variety?

Finally, what about those of us who like our bacon to be a little bit variable in consistency and texture? After all, getting some uniform bacon from a fry pan seems like a waste of time and effort: why not just bake it?

In contrast, frying bacon to me often seems to be about the joy of somewhat curled up bacon that have bits of undercooked pink goodness. I often like imperfectly done bacon, cause it’s so imperfect. Frying is also about the fun of watching it sizzle and kinda letting it do its own thing. Getting those robotically perfect strips of bacon after frying may be good for some perfectionist chef, but what normal person really wants to live like that?

How about you – do you fry your bacon really slowly and perfectly, or are you a devil-may-care, fly by the seat of your pants type?

Non-Stick or Stainless Steel Pots and Pans – The Deadly Truth

When you are frying bacon, what are the best cooking utensils to use? There are a lot of options, so today we thought we’d cover the general advantages of two major types of cookwarenon-stick and stainless steel frying pans. Depending on how you cook, one of these two types might be for you.

Non-Stick Frying Pans – Advantages

Non-stick pans make cooking easy. Non-stick pans, being non-stick, are much easier to cook in than stainless steel. You don’t have to worry about your bacon sticking to the pan and getting burnt.

Use less cooking oil. Since it is easier to cook bacon in a non-stick pan, you don’t need to use a lot of oil to prevent sticking.

Non-stick is easier to clean. Since food is designed to slip right off, cleaning non-stick pans tends to be easier. Sometimes, with stainless steel, you have to soak and scour. Non-stick – except in rare cases – just needs soapy water and a soft sponge.

Stainless Steel – Advantages

Stainless steel pans are very durable. Unlike Teflon, which cannot be scratched, you can use whatever cooking instruments you want. You can also put stainless steel in the dishwasher. In fact, the more you use a stainless steel pan, the more it feels lived in. You don’t need to replace it as often as non-stick.

You can heat it stainless steel to a high temperature. Non-stick coatings tend to break down at higher temperatures. This is not only a problem for your pan’s coating – it can affect the quality of your food.

You can’t use cooking sprays on non-stick pans. The cooking sprays bond to the surface of the cookware, and gradually build up.

Stainless steel products allow for more browning. Since you can’t cook in high temperatures with non-stick, you can’t brown your bacon very well. Those people who love their bacon crispy should definitely stick to stainless steel.

Unlike some non-stick pans, stainless steel probably won’t hurt your pets. Teflon and similar non-stick surfaces are generally considered to be fine from a health standpoint. However, if you burn your non-stick, the off-gassing it produces has been known to harm some pets, particularly birds.

Overall, non-stick pans are much easier to use for cooking bacon than stainless steel, and they are probably better for people who are new to frying bacon. However, if you are fairly experienced in the kitchen, and you like bringing out the gourmet side of your dishes, a stainless steel pan might be better for you. But whatever you choose, happy cooking, and enjoy your bacon!

Crazy Ways to Microwave Bacon

microwave bacon

Microwaving bacon is always an option of last resort. I mean, when you could go for the traditional flavour of a good fry up or easily add some brown sugar to some baked bacon, cooking bacon in the microwave is what we do when our laziness quotient is through the roof and we need to stuff bacony goodness in our gobs ASAP.

Since I’m an occasional bacon microwaver – especially late at night – I’ve always wondered if those bacon microwaving thingamajigs are worth it. One thing’s for sure: they are weird. After the break, join me as we run down some of the most popular (strangest?).

Advantages and Disadvantages to Microwaving Bacon

We’ve already discussed the benefits of using stainless steel or non-stick pans when cooking your bacon, or whether baking or frying bacon is better. But what about cooking bacon in other ways? For example, what about cooking bacon in your microwave?

Now, before you go nuts – hear me out. Microwaving food may not be the most gourmet form of cooking, but it does have a few benefits. Here are a few off the top of my head.


1. Microwaving bacon is convenient. There is no pre-heating of ovens and no messy frying. If you are using a specialized bacon tray, you can just slot the bacon in, microwave it for several minutes, and it’ll be cooked. The only thing you’ll need to clean afterward is the tray.

2. Microwaving bacon cooks it more evenly. Frying – unless you are careful – can make some parts of the bacon cook more quickly than others. Baking can leave one side more cooked than the other. Microwaving, since it cooks from the inside out, tends to cook the bacon more evenly.

3. Like baking, you don’t need to use cooking oil. If you are looking to reduce the amount of cooking oil in your life, this is a cooking options you could try. This also means that you’ll generally have less bacon grease left over. (This could be a negative, depending on your point of view!)


Of course, there are a few disadvantages to this cooking method, as well.

1. Flavour. I don’t think anyone would argue that microwaved bacon tastes better than baked or fried bacon. If they do argue this, they aren’t cooking their bacon right or maybe they tapped into the holy grail of knowledge non of us know!

2. You can’t get crispy bacon. Microwaves just don’t brown bacon, and even though your bacon will be cooked, it won’t be cooked very thoroughly. This helps explain its generally less than amazing flavour.

3. Adding flavouring is harder to do. You can still marinade the bacon before you microwave it, but the microwave will not create the mixture of flavours that baking or frying will do when you add sugar or pepper.

For our money, we’d stick with baking and frying – after all, anything that makes bacon taste not as delicious as it could taste is not our favourite. But if you are looking for a quick, simple meal, and you don’t want to mess around with pans and oils, microwaving bacon can always be useful in a pinch.

It’s also particularly good if you need to pre-cook your bacon for inclusion in some other recipe, and you want to make sure your bacon is as grease-less as possible. But whatever way you cook it, make sure to enjoy your bacon!

Crazy Ways To Microwave Bacon

1. The Bacon Genie

The Bacon Genie basically looks like a circular drying rack for your microwaved bacon. I suppose the idea is that while your bacon is just chilling out on the upper rack, they’ll be cooked to a nice level of doneness. And any and all bacon grease will be wicked away and left in the tray. But what if you want crispy bacon that is not bent in the middle, though? Does the Bacon Genie grant that particular wish? Or is it only folded bacon for your BLT from now on?

2. The Pesto PowerCrisp

The Pesto PowerCrisp operates on a similar idea to the Bacon Genie. But while the Genie looks like a casual affair of bacon chatting in a circle, the PowerCrisp demands regularity and order. This probably makes it easier to cookify the maximum number of bacon slices. It also, I suppose, will be helpful for moulding bacon when you are making a bacon model of a ski chalet.

3. The Wow Bacon

The Wow Bacon turns bacon microwaving into coffee-making! Or, that’s what it looks like. Unlike the Bacon Genie, the bacon in the Wow Bacon do not look at all happy to be hung on those crossbeams. The Wow Bacon does remind me that both the PowerCrisp and Bacon Genie are a little over-optimistic about grease splatter (the Wow Bacon has a lid). But I’m also thinking – why would I bother cleaning a complicated Wow Bacon when I could just compost some paper towels?

4. The Bacon Wave

Although it looks absurdly complicated – you have to carefully slide the bacon into the slots and then impale it with prongs – apparently, it does work. I’m a little sceptical about the bacon grease splatter containment, though. And if I’m going to go through all the work of carefully slotting bacon into grooves on a microwave tray, why wouldn’t I just use the oven? Isn’t the whole point of microwaved bacon the fact it can be done by anyone?

Making Bacon: Oven Vs. Skillet

If I asked you to close your eyes right now and picture someone preparing bacon, what would you imagine? For the vast majority of you, I bet that you are seeing in your mind’s eye someone heating a skillet and laying the streaky bacon strips in the pan, the fat bubbling and the sweet fat crisping up while you watch. I’m sorry, was that your stomach growling or mine?

Making Bacon: Oven Vs. Skillet

Though this might be the most common conception of hoe bacon is made, there is another, equally delicious method for making bacon: baking it in the oven. While less popular, and less deeply ingrained on the average bacon-lover’s consciousness, this method is just as effective as sizzling bacon up in a pan.

(Yes, we know you can also microwave bacon. We here at the republic of bacon, however, think that this is a complete travesty).

While cooking bacon in a pan and baking it off in the oven both produce delicious results, there has been some measure of debate about exactly which is more effective. While even we hesitate to wade in to such hotly contested waters, we thought we would put together a quick list of the pros and cons of each preparation method, so that you can choose the one that suits your needs best.

Bacon In The Pan


  • You can more easily control the amount of bacon your prepare, and is suitable for smaller or single servings
  • More control over the exact crispiness of the bacon, as you are actively involved in the cooking process
  • The sheer pleasure of working with your hands and making delicious bacon the traditional way


  • Hot bacon grease might splatter out of the pan, and can be painful if it hits your skin
  • You have to keep a careful watch over the pan to make sure the bacon doesn’t stick or burn
  • Your hair, clothes and everything nearby are going to become covered in tiny fleck of bacon grease

Bacon In The Oven


  • Better for larger cooking projects, enabling you to cook many rashers at once
  • A more even cooking process is possible int he oven, especially with convection heat, ensuring each piece is crisped perfectly


  • Because it is in the oven and out of site, it can be easier to forget about and therefore burn
  • Because you are working with a rimmed baking sheet lined with tinfoil, there is quite a bit more prep and cleanup to this process

What is your favourite way of making bacon?


I’ll probably be sticking to my tried and true method of putting some bacon between paper towel and microwaving everything. The clean-up is a snap, and the prep is even quicker. Sure, I’ll never win any Bacon Cooking Olympics with my microwaved bacon. But sometimes, even I have to admit that it’s great taste probably has a lot to do with how little thought I had to put into it.

What Kind of Smoker Should I Buy?

what kind of smoker should i buy

Are you considering purchasing a smoker? Then, you might have realized that it might be harder than you thought. There are many different smokers that you can purchase. And, you need to know what type of smoker is going to be best for you.

With this guide, you will get to know different smokers. Getting all the information about the different smokers, so that you can know what kind of smoker you should purchase. This is everything you need to know so that you can know what kind of smoker you should consider buying. 

Different Types of Smokers You Can Purchase

what kind of meat smoker should i buy

The first thing that you need to know is that there is more than one type of smoker. To know what kind of smoker to purchase, you will need to know the different types of smokers. These are the smokers that you can choose from. 

  • Charcoal and wood smokers. The original smokers that most people prefer. 
  • Electric smokers are the most convenient, but will not have the best smoking flavor.
  • Pellet smokers. These are electric smokers, but burn wood pellets for better smoking taste.
  • Propane smokers. This is gas smokers and portable. Something that heats fast but still without the smoking flavor.

How Do You Know What Smoker You Should Consider?

There are a couple of things that you need to consider before you can know what type of smoker you should consider. This is the only and best way to ensure that you are buying something that you will be using. These are the things about smokers that you need to know to ensure that you purchase the right one for you.

The size of the smoker is essential. Do you want to use the smoker indoors or outdoors? Or, are you looking for a smoker that you can take with you when you are going? You should also consider if you are looking for a smoker that is giving you the right smoking flavor or if you are looking for a smoker that is easy to use. These are things that you need to know before you can choose a smoker. 

Features You Need to Look for When Purchasing a Smoker

what kind of smoker should i get

These are all features that you need to look at before you can make your final decision about the type of smoker you are going to purchase. Some smokers have these features, while others don’t. This is why you need to make sure about the features before you decide on the type of smoker you want to purchase.

  • The size of the smoker. There are different size smokers available, from all types of smokers. You just need to make sure that you know how large or small your smoker needs to be.
  • Versatility. Some smokers can grill and smoke. Is this something that you want to consider, or are you only looking for a smoker?
  • Easiness of usage. Are you familiar with using a smoker, or are you looking for a smoker that is easy to use? Some smokers are really easy to use, while others need a bit of practice before you can get it right. 

Buying Guide for Buying Your First Smoker

When it comes to buying your first smoker, there are a couple of things that you need to consider. This is to make sure that you are going to purchase the best smoker for you. These are a couple of things that you need to make sure about before you can consider buying your smoker.

  • Your available budget for smokers. Some smokers are a lot more expensive than other smokers
  • Indoor smoker or outdoor smoker? Something important to consider as well
  • The type of result you want from the smoker. Do you want a real smoking taste or just a normal smoker that doesn’t provide real smoke?

Some of the Best Smokers You Can Purchase

what type of smoker should i buy

The different kinds of smokers aren’t the only thing that you need to make sure about. There are other things you should consider as well. And, this can make it hard to choose some of the different types of smokers. These are some of the different smokers that you can purchase. 

  1. Traeger Renegade Pro Wood Pellet Grill
  2. Masterbuilt 30 Inch Digital Electric Meat Smoker
  3. Cuisinart Vertical 36-inch Propane Smoker
  4. Nexgrill 29-inch Barrel Charcoal Grill with Smoker

With this guide, you will not have to worry about what type of smoker you should purchase. You will get to know the different types of smokers, the features, and what you need to look for when buying your first smoker.

This will make it easier to choose the smoker you need and to ensure that you are going to enjoy your choice. When you know more about the different types of smokers. You will not regret paying a huge sum of money for something that you don’t use.

How to Use a Vertical Charcoal Smoker

how to use a vertical charcoal smoker

If you are new to using vertical charcoal smokers, you might be wondering how to use one correctly. Or, you have tried to use one, but your meat didn’t come out smoked. 

How are you going to use a vertical charcoal smoker correctly? This is the big question that so many people are asking. With this guide, you will know exactly how to use the smoker and to get the best-smoked food at the end of the day. You just need to consider all these and make sure that you are remembering that practice makes perfect. 

Prepare the Meat or Food First

how to use a masterbuilt vertical charcoal smoker

The first step that you need to do, is to prepare the meat or food that you want to smoke first. This can take a bit long, and it might result in your charcoal smoker becoming cold. 

You need to prepare your meat, by adding the right spices, and leave it overnight if it is necessary. You will need to follow your recipe because different meats and foods need different preparation for getting smoked. And, different people like to add different ingredients to their smoked food. 

Start Up the Fire, and Adding the Wood Chips

With the food prepared, you can now start up the fire or charcoal. And, you should add the wood chips as well. Some smokers have their compartment for the chips, while others have the same compartment for both the charcoal and the chips. 

You should make sure that you are going to wait until you reach the right temperature before you are opening the smoker up. If you have temperature control on the smoker, then it will be a lot easier to see when the temperature is reached. 

When the Right Temperature Has Been Reached

how to use a brinkmann vertical charcoal smoker

By following your recipe, you will know when the right temperature has been reached. This is when you need to open the smoker, and add the meat to the smoker. You should just be careful not to burn and need to space out the food and meat so that they aren’t too close to each other.

The parts that are touching each other will not get smoked correctly, and it will leave the meat raw. You should also make sure that you are going to make sure that the temperature stays correct. Even, if this means that you need to adjust the amount of charcoal throughout the process.

Some people are adding meat to the smoker before they start the fire. They are doing this so that they don’t need to open the smoker to insert the meat once it reaches the right temperature.

Rotating the Meat Halfway Through

When you are about halfway through the smoking process, you will need to rotate the meat. You don’t want to leave the meat on just one side in the smoker. It is important that you are rotating it to the other side once.

Don’t do this more than once. You don’t want to open the smoker too much, because the smoke and heat will escape. This is why we are saying that you should wait until your meat is halfway through the smoking process before you turn the meat around.

For a first-timer, it might be hard to know when you can turn the meat around, but at the end of the day, with experience, you will learn how long it takes. A tip to remember is that the larger the piece of meat, the longer it will take to get smoked all the way through. 

Ensure That Temperature Stays Constant

how to use a vertical offset charcoal smoker

The last thing that you want, is to not watch the temperature of your smoker. If the smoker cools down, you are going to have some problems. Then, you will need to heat the smoker again, adding the wood chips and starting all over again. This will let the food and meat take a lot longer to be smoked than normal.

You must be constantly checking the temperature and adding charcoal if needed. This is the same as the wood chips. It might be needed to add some of the chips during the smoking process. If the chips are finished, there will not be enough smoke for smoking the meat. This is why with a charcoal smoker, you need to stay with the smoker, enjoying time with friends and family. You can’t just start the smoking process and forget about it.

These are some tips on how you use a vertical smoker. It is essential that you are going to use the smoker correctly if you want to have the best tasting smoked meat. It is also a great idea to make sure that you are going to find a great smoking recipe, in the beginning, to be able to learn how to smoke different food. 

Best Things to Smoke in a Smoker

best things to smoke in a smoker

You have purchased your new smoker. Now, you are wondering what you can put in your smoker. Is this only some meat that you can smoke, or are there different things that you can smoke in your smoker? This is a question that many people are asking. 

The good news is that there are many things that you can smoke in your smoker. Most food that you can think off can be smoked. However, there are some tips and guides that you need to follow.

With this, you don’t need to wonder anymore about what things you can smoke in a smoker. You will know what is the best thing you can smoke, to make the most out of your smoker. 

Is a Smoker Only for Smoking Meat?

best things to smoke in a electric smoker

Is a smoker only for smoking meat? A question that many new smoker owners are asking. The good news is that you can smoke more than only meat. And, it doesn’t really matter what type of smoker you have. 

Every smoker allows you to smoke a variety of different food. Making it versatile and great to use. The secret is that you need to know what the best food for your smoker is, and how to smoke it correctly. Then, you will become a pro in smoking a variety of meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. 

Any Meat and Poultry Can Be Smoked

When it comes to meat and poultry, you can basically smoke anything you want. Fish is also a really popular dish to smoke. There is just a couple of basic information that you need to know.

With poultry, you need to make sure that the meat is reaching a certain temperature. You will need to make sure that you are going to reach the right temperatures to kill all bacteria in the meat. This is one thing about poultry.

It can be dangerous to consume when the meat isn’t cooked all the way through. Any poultry needs to be at a certain temperature before you can declare it safe to consume. 

Fruit and Vegetables

best things to smoke in a bradley smoker

If you never have tried smoked fruit and vegetables, then this is the time to start. There is a huge selection of fruit and vegetables that you can actually smoke. And, it tastes great.

The only problem is that some of the smokers don’t have a solid smoking platform, and the fruit can be too small to put on the smoking rack. This can cause some problems. Especially if the fruit decreases in size as it is getting smoked.

You need to make sure that this is something that you are considering when you are looking for fruit and vegetables to smoke. It is also a great idea to try different flavor smoking chips when vegetables are getting smoked. 

Some Other Food That Can Be Smoked

Now, you might wonder if there is any other food that you can use to smoke your food. Food that you can try that will let you use your smoker a lot more. There are many everyday foods that you can consider smoking if you are in the mood for something different.

Things like your polonies, your eggs, Oysters and even hard cheese are all samples of things that can be smoked. Making it easier for you to try different flavors and to change the taste of your favorite food.

Again, you just need to make sure that you are aware of the food that might need a solid plate for smoking, and that might give you problems when you are smoking it on a rack where the food might fall through. 

Tips When You Want to Smoke Different Foods

best things to smoke in a gas smoker

There are a couple of things that you need to consider and think about when you want to smoke a variety of food. Each food type needs to have a different heat temperature. Some food might taste better with flavored smoking chips. And, then there is the food that will taste bitter if you are smoking it too long.

It can be great to smoke different food when you have your smoker. Trying different food is fun, but it can have its own problems as well. You should just remember that different food needs different smoking times and heat temperatures.

And, that some food should never be smoked. You will be surprised about how a normal dish can change, just because you have smoked it.There is a variety of food that you can smoke in your smoker. And, it doesn’t matter what type of smoker you actually have. One thing is for sure.

You will have fun experimenting with the different foods that you can smoke, and how it can change the taste of the food. You just might want to do a bit more research in order for you to know what food should not be smoked at all.

How to Use a Smoker Box

how to use a smoker box

The first thing that you might think, is that the smoker box is another type of smoker that you can use to smoke your meat or other food options. Even, if this is something that you can add for smoking, this isn’t a smoker. There are many reasons why a person would want to purchase the smoker box.

Before you are now going to run to the store and purchase a smoker box, you need to make sure that you know what a smoker box is, and that you have the right grill or smoker to use a smoker box with. Too many people are purchasing the box, just to find that they can’t use it correctly. These are the things that you should make sure about the smoker box. 

What is a Smoker Box?

how to use a smoker box on a gas grill

It is essential to know that a smoker box isn’t a smoker that works independently to get smoking meat and other food options. This is a tool that you can use with a normally closed lid grill or a smoker for added smoke, and to turn a griller into a smoker.

You will need to make sure that there is available space for a smoker box, or you can add the box inside the grill on the rack if there isn’t available space for the box on the outside. In the smoker box, you can add the chips or wood that will turn your grill into a smoker. In your smoker, you can add smoking chips or wood. Both will work perfectly with the smoker box. 

Preparing Your Smoker Box Before You Start Smoking Your Meat

The first step in using your smoker box is that you need to prepare the smoker box before you start smoking your meat. There are a couple of things that you need to do, for you to be able to use the smoker box.

You will need to fill it up with high-quality smoking chunks or smoking chips. It isn’t recommended that you are using regular wood inside the smoker box. You can use flavored smoking chips without any problems. Using normal wood isn’t recommended because you will not get the right results.  

Adding the Smoker Box to Your Grill or Smoker

how to use a smoker box on a gas bbq

Now, that your smoker box is full of smoker chips, you should add it to your smoker or your grill. If there isn’t much space for adding it to the grill, you can always put it directly on the charcoal.  It will still work correctly, you will just have a difficult time to refill the box if the chips are burned through. The box will be warm and you will need to be careful not to burn yourself.

It is most recommended that you should add the box in the food compartment next to the food. This will give you the most benefits. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t put it directly on the charcoal. 

Refill Box as Needed

Depending on the type of meat that you are grilling, you might need to refill the box regularly. This is essential to do if you want to have your meat smoked correctly.

But, as we said before, you need to be careful with refilling the box. The box will be hot and you need to be careful not to burn yourself in the process. This is the one thing that many people hate about the smoker box. They don’t like the risk of getting burned. 

Enjoy Smoked Meat, Even on a Grill

how to use a smoker box on charcoal grill

This is a great thing about the smoker box. You can have smoked meat or any other food, even if you don’t have a smoker. All that you will need is your smoker box, smoker chips, and a grill that closes. 

Then, you will have the best and easiest way to grill and smoke your meat and meals without any problem. And, with practice, you will be able to enjoy a variety of different meats and food that is perfectly smoked. 

Tips to Remember With a Smoker Box

People are worried that if they are placing the smoker box directly onto the charcoal, it will start to burn and become a fire. This isn’t going to happen. The smoke needs oxygen to turn into a fire. And, with the closed grill, this isn’t something that is going to happen. So, there aren’t any worries about the smoker box catching flames. 

If you have a grill, but you are looking for a smoker as well, then you don’t need to purchase the most expensive smoker as well. You can just make use of a smoker box that you are adding to your closed griller. And, with the right wood chips, and some practice you will have some of the best-smoked meals you ever tasted.

Bacon Cooking 101: How to Cook Bacon?

How To Cook Bacon

So you love eating bacon but haven’t the slightest clue about how to properly cook it, or perhaps cook it all for that matter? Be not afraid anymore! In this article, I’ll show you some of the basic steps to cooking that perfect piece of bacon every time.

Remember, as with anything you learn to do, this is not an exhaustive list – feel free to incorporate your own style and own ideas when making your bacon. I personally love to add a bit of personality into my bacon and you’ll see how later in this article.

5 Easy Steps/tricks to Follow When Cook Bacon

how to cook bacon in the oven

Here are 5 easy steps/tricks to follow to ensure you’re well on the way to cooking bacon properly and ensuring the best results.

1. If the bacon is still refrigerated, be sure to take it out and allow it to thaw for at least 30 minutes before cooking it. This will ensure that the bacon can be separated easily without breaking.

2. Keep a close watch on your bacon! Bacon can burn very, very quickly – especially older bacon! The fresher the bacon, the longer it’ll take to burn, and vice-versa.

3. The fat extrapolated from the cooked bacon is actually extremely useful! Many chefs and cooks like to use it as a cooking oil because of its rich flavor. For this reason, when finished cooking you can allow the oil to cool to room temperature and store it in a glass container in the fridge for later use.

4. Thinner pieces = crispier bacon. Keep this in my mind if you like your bacon crispy as I do!

5. Bacon has a tendency to “splatter” while being cooked. Don’t rush the cooking! Use a low heat, and turn the bacon often to avoid splatter!

What Are the Rules You Should Remember When Cooking Bacon?

how to cook bacon in the microwave

These rules generally apply to cook bacon on a stove or oven, however, many people also prefer to grill their bacon. I definitely endorse this as it usually results in a crispier end result, which I absolutely love! When grilling bacon:

  1. In keeping with the same rule of thumb when cooking bacon on the stove or oven, preheat the grill to a relatively cool temperature. (around 300-350F should suffice)
  2. Place the thawed bacon horizontally across the grill.
  3. Flip the bacon every five to twenty minutes.

Another nice facet of cooking bacon on a grill is that there is little cleanup as compared to cooking on a stove or oven – all the grease/fat simply drips to the base of the grill!

Conclusion: Practice is the Most Important

That’s pretty well it! The nice thing about bacon is that it’s a relatively quick and easy food to cook, and it tastes delicious!

There are a lot of different techniques to roughly alter the taste so that everyone’s bacon tastes a little different. For example, I actually put a sprinkle of sugar, that’s right, sugar on my bacon. It gives it a perfect hint of salty and sweet and it’s a unique touch that I’ve only received positive compliments about!

Don’t take my word for it, however; do you have any unique tricks when it comes to cooking bacon? Let’s hear it!