Who doesn't love bacon? (Sorry vegetarians and the pork-adverse!)
Well, we love bacon. But we don't love cooking bacon. Granted there are worse smells you can have in you home than bacon, but it's does tend to linger and permeate the house. We've found a better way: sous vide, thanks to chefsteps.com and Joule.
This technique may not be for all bacon lovers. It doesn't make crisp, snappy bacon. If you like softer bacon with a little more chew, more tender and some fat left in it, this may be for you.
The ingredients are simple, just 1 Lbs of bacon. It can even be from you freezer. Here in Seattle, we're able to get Hempler's Uncured Thick-cut Bacon. It's still smoked but no added nitrates*. We think it tastes a little more "natural" and not quite as "salty." You're call on the cured vs uncured. Just saying, that's what we used.
The one intangible ingredient you need is time. With the Joule set at 147F/64C, this takes as "little" as 9 all the way to 48 hours depending on how tender you want it in the end (and how long you want to wait). So some advanced planning is required here. Once the bath is up to the set temperature, just through in the whole vacuum sealed package the bacon come from the store in. And wait....or just go to bed and try to sleep in the next morning even knowing that bacon is waiting for you.
What it looks like just out of the bath:
In the morning, it couldn't be easier. Just get out your trusty cast iron skillet or carbon steel pan or any pan, really, that can get smokin' hot. Don't use a Teflon pan, it won't like this much heat. When the pan is good and hot, throw on a few strips and let them sizzle for only 30 seconds. Chef Steps suggests just doing one side. We like it better with both sides seared. Just remember it only needs 30 seconds on each side since it is technically fully cooked already. You're just crisping it up a bit. Serve immediately!
This first photo is with both sides fried. The next shows the strips fried on only one side, the fried side showing on the left and un-fried side showing on the right.
The bonus feature is that you can have bacon all week long, if you don't eat it all on the first go. It can stay in the fridge so that you can quickly fry up a slice or two in the mornings throughout the week. Bacon in just a minute. In the words of dear Ina Garten, how good is that?
* We'll leave it to you to do your own research on the nitrate situation. Apparently nitrates occur naturally in many of the vegetables that dietitians and nutritionist suggest we eat. We choose "no nitrate added" bacon just because we like the taste better. To us, it's a more "natural" flavor and not as "salty." As with all things meat, moderation is key.