Warning: Do not proceed further if you don't want to be tempted! This is a bacon overload post!! ;)
Although I've seen recipes and videos that showed the easiest way to cook bacon...by baking, I've never thought of attempting it until now. I guess I just wasn't brave enough to try for fear that it might not work out and thereby ruining my costly bacon! :P
Mind you, these six slices of premium streaky bacon cost me close to RM18! O_o That's how expensive bacon has become these days. T_T
I finally took a gamble and tried this method which I've seen on so many video blogs. But the kiamsap in me meant I won't put all my eggs in one basket. So I tried with just one slice first...and it worked....a perfectly cooked slice of bacon! ;)
So, a couple of days later, and with my bacon restocked, two slices were baked as they were in its original form. Another two slices were made into spicy bacon by sprinkling them with smoked paprika.
The final two slices were made into candied bacon by brushing them with honey (I like to incorporate a light pinch of freshly cracked black pepper but you can omit it)...it's entirely up to you. You can use a pastry brush or, better still, use your fingers (like the lazy me), then you won't need to wash yet another utensil. I separated these two slices as I didn't want the sweetness of the honey to interfere with the other four slices.
Both trays went into the oven at the same time. Bake at 200°C for 15 - 25 minutes depending on how crispy (or caramelised) you like your bacon.
I like mine well browned, so I baked this tray (that contained the candied bacon) for 15 minutes on one side (10 minutes if you prefer it less browned), flipped it and baked it for a further 4 minutes on the other side. Because this one has honey brushed on them, it will be the quickest to caramelise (so watch it closely after you've flipped it over and take it out once it reaches your desired level of browning). And don't worry about the blackened remnants surrounding the bacon coz, as long as your bacon is timed perfectly, your bacon won't be blackened (and you can leave the blackened remnants behind when you lift your bacon).
For the tray that contained the spicy and original bacon, I baked it on one side and flipped it at the same 15 minutes mark. I baked it for a further 7 minutes on the other side for the spicy bacon and a further 10 minutes for the original bacon. You just have to experiment and find the right timing on how you like your bacon cooked...and then just stick to those times once you're pleased with the outcome.
Spicy Bacon - you can also sprinkle cayenne pepper, curry powder or chilli flakes to spice up your bacon further...whatever works for you :)Come, come (don't be shy), come nearer...for a close-up! ;D Is that a pretty sight or what? ^_~ Who knew that making flavoured bacon at home would be so easy.....and you can experiment with all sorts of seasoning for different flavours.
I think baking it in the oven is indeed the easiest way to cook bacon, without having to pan-fry it in a non-stick pan and having to watch over it or cook it batch by batch (my pan fits only 3 slices of bacon at one time) and having the oil splatter all over your stove top. :P
It's especially handy when you want to cook lots of bacon (like say for a makan party). Just get the largest tray that can fit into the oven and line up the bacon in rows (it's even ok if they overlap as the bacon will shrink as they cook).