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Emeril has it right when he says “Pork fat RULES!”  I LOVE bacon! However, bacon and I have issues. What good relationship doesn’t? On one hand, you have the crispy, salty, chewy loveliness that is a piece of perfectly cooked bacon. On the other, the popping and splattering grease. Invariably, I end up with tiny burn marks, a grease stained shirt, and a big mess to clean up on the stove top. And that’s with a splatter screen. It’s still totally worth it, but their is a better way. Bake your bacon! It’ll change your life.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Now grab the bacon! I tend to use your run-of-the-mill regularly sliced bacon. Thick cut is nice too, but will take a bit longer to bake.

Lay the bacon slices very close together across the cooling rack. Mine are just barely touching on the sides so that I can fit the most bacon possible on the rack, which is usually about 10 slices. Don’t freak out and call my cardiologist or anything–I am feeding 6 people. And I don’t have a cardiologist.

Bake at 350 degrees for between 30-45 minutes. I like my bacon done, as in cooked crisp, dark brown, and stiff as a board when I’m done with it. I usually bake my bacon for 45 minutes. Start checking at the 30 minute mark, and continue cooking for 5 minute increments until it’s done to your liking. If you are feeling especially naughty, sprinkle a hefty pinch of brown sugar over each bacon slice about 10 minutes before taking it out of the oven. Brown sugar bacon will rock your world. I promise!

Baking bacon is great because the mess is minimal. Just pour the drippings from the baking sheet into the jar that you keep in the fridge. Y’all have a mason jar full of bacon drippings in the fridge, right? Good. Then give the baking sheet a good wipe, and put it and rack in the dishwasher. Boy, that sure is easier than cleaning a frying pan, stove top, and cupboards.

If you are feeling especially mischievous, serve baked bacon alongside Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Baked French Toast. They both bake for 45 minutes in the oven.

Coincidence? I think not.

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