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Smoky, crispy, salty, tasty. Bacon is the one food that is practically universally loved. It really deserves to have its own food group.
Americans can't get enough - the typical American consumes about 18 lbs of bacon each year. It's delicious on burgers, sandwiches, salads, eggs, and all on its own, too.
Most people typically fry bacon in a skillet on the stovetop. It can be messy between the hot oil spitting up at you while you cook and getting rid of the extra fat afterwards.
One of our favorite ways to make bacon is on the grill using a cast iron griddle. Grilling bacon is the perfect addition to grilling burgers in your backyard or for a weekend camping getaway.
Let us show you why you should grill some bacon this weekend, and teach you how to grill bacon that is perfectly crispy!
Perfect Bacon on the Grill
The taste of bacon speaks for itself. But there has been a lot of debate in the medical world over whether it's good or bad for your health.
50% of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, which is the heart-healthy kind found in olive oil.
The remaining fat is saturated and polyunsaturated. Saturated fat used to get a bad rap for contributing to heart disease, but studies have found no consistent links between the two. It also contains some cholesterol, but dietary cholesterol has been shown to have a very minor influence on the level of cholesterol in the blood.
While we don't recommend eating bacon at every meal, it is okay to eat in moderate doses.
Bacon tastes good both ways. But we like to think that grilled bacon is a little extra tasty.
Why should you cook bacon on the grill? It tastes better. The smoke from the grill adds depth to the smoky flavor of the bacon.
It also cooks more quickly and evenly on the grill, which is a great way to avoid the half-crispy, half-soft version that comes from a frying pan.
If you're already using the grill for your burgers it's convenient to cook your bacon there as well - especially since you should always keep an eye on your bacon while it's cooking for safety.
Cooking your bacon on a stovetop means the bacon sits in its own fats, whereas cooking bacon on the grill allows the fat to drip off. This means you can eat a little more of it without feeling guilty. Win!
Speaking of the fats when frying bacon, they can cause a hazard for burns. Because the bacon sits in the fat, it sputters up quite aggressively and it is burning hot. Flare-ups like this are pretty dangerous. You really want your bacon-cooking experience to be free of flare-ups.
There are 3 main types of bacon. They're all well-suited for grilling if you keep a few things in mind and adjust accordingly.
Standard bacon is all-purpose and sliced very thin. You will want to keep a close eye as it will cook quickly, and keep the cooking time to a minimum.
Center-cut bacon is cut close to the bone in the pig belly, so it's a much leaner cut than the other types of bacon. It has roughly 30% less fat. As it has less fat and the strips are shorter, you will want to cut the cooking time down.
Thick-cut bacon is about twice as thick as standard bacon, which allows it to hold its shape a little better. It's ideal for grilling and can cook a little longer without getting burnt.
You can absolutely grill bacon on foil by taking a piece of foil and folding it over itself to make it more sturdy. You will want to ensure that you fold up the edges to ensure the fat doesn't drip everywhere, which could cause a fire.
The foil will work in a pinch, but there is a far better solution - cooking bacon on a griddle on the grill. A sturdy cast iron griddle is great for grilling bacon - they usually have an angled slope for catching grease, which avoids the potential for a grill fire.
You can also use it to cook just about anything on a grill, making it an excellent addition to your collection of barbecue tools.
Preferences for bacon are varied - some prefer soft and chewy, while others love crispy and golden. The best way to grill bacon is often up to the person who'll be eating it.
If you'd like to keep your bacon on the soft and chewy end, lower your cooking time. Cook the first side for 7 minutes, and the second side for 3 minutes. You can also play with adjusting the grill temperature to 375 °F.
If you want to make your bacon really crispy, add a few minutes on to the grilling time for each side. Cook the first side for 10 minutes, and the second side for 5. If the bacon still doesn't look crispy enough, keep grilling until you get the desired doneness.
Using an iron griddle to grill the perfect strips of bacon is a surefire way to please your house guests and family this summer.
Making bacon on the grill and getting your home full of that bacon smell while your cast iron skillet sits on the grill grate and heats up all that deliciousness is what summer is for.
And you can always wrap up the leftovers in aluminum foil and keep it for later. When you're ready to eat it, remove the aluminum foil, put the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, cover the bacon with paper towel, and heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
We hope our tips help you to choose and serve up the perfect bacon for your next backyard barbecue.
If you are impressed by your bacon on a griddle, and you're ready for more cooking fun, check what else you can cook on a griddle!
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