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How to cook turkey bacon in the oven

Turkey bacon is poultry based low fat alternative of traditional pork based bacon; it also substitutes pork bacon where there is religious restriction or dietary issue to avoid pork consumption. The dish is a new world cuisine comes from two main styles,

  • One is either from turkey thigh
  • And the second one is from finely ground light and dark turkey meat. 

Like its cousin traditional pork bacon turkey bacon could be made as cured or uncured, smoked, chopped, and replicated the form of strips like traditional pork bacon, it tests more like hams than bacon. It could be again cooked by pan-frying or deep frying.

Turkey bacon could be used in the same manner as traditional bacon in breakfast or in BLT Sandwich etc. Since it is lower in fat content than pork bacon it may be unsuitable for grilling as it does not shrink while being cooked and has a tendency to stick to the pan and tedious to remove, thus making deep-frying a faster and more practical option.

Cured turkey bacon made from dark meat can be 90% fat free, this feature made it popular in America in the early 90s as lower fat alternative bacon among the health conscious.

Two strips of Butterball turkey bacon contain 3 grams of fat and 50 calories (32% of which from fat) in contrast to pork bacon’s 7 grams fat. But turkey bacon contains twice amount of sodium than the pork bacon on an average.

Why cooking turkey bacon into oven?

Cooking turkey bacon into skillet is not as smooth experience as traditional pork bacon since it lacks over 50% less fat than its cousin. This lack of natural grease more often let the turkey bacon stick to the skillet and don’t give the traditional wavy texture and curly finish. Cooking turkey bacon into oven is a boon to these pitfalls, and definitely a better practice of experiencing succulent, aromatic gastronomy every time, as,

  • The bacon cooks uniformly without much attention.
  • It is easier and quicker than making bacon in a skillet.
  • It saves hands (and stove top) from all those tiny bacon grease explosions.
  • It maintains tidiness with minimum effort, no tedious rubbing and cleaning exercise every time.
  • It helps handling large batch of bacon cooking with ease, comfort and perfection, usually cooking bacon over a pound gives particular advantage.

Ingredients and Equipment’s of cooking turkey bacon

Bacon- 1 packet of any choice from the superstore

Parchment paper (you can interchangeably use aluminum foil)

Large rimmed baking sheet                      

Aluminum foil

Timing of cooking and serving bacon

  • Precooking preparation 10 minutes of removing packet and preparing oven with aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Preheating oven 10 minutes or you may start from a cold oven
  • Cooking bacon 15-20 minutes, it is subjective and depends on bacon types
  • Serving bacon 5 minutes

Serving

As a thumbs rule there will be 10 to 32 slices in each pound of bacon with the thicker cuts towards the lower end of that range and usually 2-3 pieces bacon per serving or by choice.

  • Regular-sliced bacon is .062 inches thick (1/16 inch) with 16 – 20 slices per pound.
  • Thin-sliced bacon is .031 inches thick (1/32 inch) with 28 – 32 slices per pound.
  • Thick-sliced bacon is .111 inches thick (1/8 inch) with 10 – 14 slices per pound.

3 recipes to cook mouthwatering turkey bacon

Recipe 1: Baking Crispy Turkey Bacon in the Oven

Recipe 2: Baking Brown Sugar Turkey Bacon in the Oven

Recipe 3: Baking Turkey Bacon in the Microwave

Recipe 1: Baking Crispy Turkey Bacon in the Oven

Because of the lower fat content, turkey bacon doesn’t curl up at it cooks, leaving with perfectly straight pieces of bacon. This is no problem from salads or sandwiches but it may not look noticeable to many in breakfast dish next to scrambled or sunny side up egg. If you don’t want to sacrifice anything of health benefit of turkey bacon and love the wavy texture of traditional bacon, we will device a tricky method of folding a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil into sturdy ridges and place beneath the turkey bacon in the oven and bake it. The bacon strips will hold the shape of the ridges as they bake and come out with distinctive wavy texture.

The entire process could be broken into several steps as below,

Step 1:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C) and fold a sheet of foil. 
  • Tear off a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil that’s 2 to 3 inches or 5 to 8 centimeter longer than your baking sheet. Fold the foil back and forth like an accordion like sturdy ridges.
  • Make ridges in the foil that are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall. The ridged foil will help the bacon cook in a crispy shape.
  • If you prefer flat bacon or you use the bacon for sandwich, just lay a sheet of foil in a baking sheet to get flat bacon.

Step 2:

  • Arrange the turkey bacon across the foil ridges. 
  • Place the ridged foil on a baking sheet and lay as many pieces of turkey bacon as you like across the ridges but avoid overlapping slices otherwise the edges won’t be crispy.

Step 3:

  • Put the baking sheet in the preheated oven, then bake the turkey bacon for 7 to 8 minutes or until it begins to brown and crisp up.
  • The edges of the turkey bacon will begin to look dry and crunchy once the slices are ready to flip.

Step 4:

  • If you used ridged foil to get the wavy crispy bacon you need not to flip the slices over since they’ll make them ridged shape.
  • But if you used a flat sheet of aluminum foil and wish to get flat baked bacon then flip the turkey bacon over with a pincers. After that cook it for another 7 to 8 minutes so it becomes completely crispy.

Step 5

  • Now take the pan out of the oven using an oven mitt. Then lift the turkey bacon off of the foil with a pincers and serve immediately while it’s hot enough.
  • Store the leftover turkey bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 4 to 5 days but it lost crispiness like before.

Recipe 2: Baking Brown Sugar Turkey Bacon in the Oven

If you are bored of regular cooking method of bacon this recipe may bring hue to the dullness of traditional bacon. The recipe punch your tongue with sweet, salty and hot flavors altogether and a vigorous aroma of maple syrup and herbs. When you are lost in dullness try this recipe to splash hues to your gastronomical delight.

Step 1

  • Preheat the oven to 375 °F (191 °C) and fold a sheet of foil. 
  • Tear off a sheet of parchment paper and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 2

  • Spread the turkey bacons on the parchment-line baking sheet in a single layer; make sure they don’t overlap one another for an even cooking. Staying close is no problem but staying above one another deters crispy cooking.
  • Take 1 pound (453 g) of turkey bacon (about 20 to 30 slices depending on thickness) to serve 4 person.

Step 3

Take ¼ cup (50 g) of packed light brown sugar into a small bowl along with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of pure maple syrup. Now with the aid of a whisk or a spoon beat it to dissolve the brown sugar in the maple syrup, make sure no lump of sugar is remained.

Step 4

Now take a pastry brush or grilling brush, dip it into the syrup and spread it generously over the turkey bacon evenly or you can trickle the syrup over the turkey bacon or dip it into the syrup if you don’t have any brush.

Step 5

Now season the turkey bacon with your choice of spices and herbs. You may sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper or any fresh or dried herbs of your choice. Then place the sheet in the preheated oven and bake the bacon for 20 to 25 minutes until it’s as crispy as your choice.

Step 6

  • Now take the pan out of the oven using an oven mitt. Then lift the turkey bacon off of the foil with a pincers and serve immediately while it’s hot enough and enjoy the great sweet and salty punch together.
  • Store the leftover turkey bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 4 to 5 days.

Recipe 3: Baking Turkey Bacon in the Microwave

There could be hundreds of turkey bacon recipes, each has its gastronomical superiority over another but in terms of timing and easiness of recipe no one could beat turkey bacon in the microwave. But don’t worry that it compromises quality of taste. This recipe goes well with your busy work life when you are in hurry. Add your choice of flavor to make a difference.

Step 1

  • Take a large microwave-safe baking dish lined with paper towel. Make sure it’s large enough to hold several pieces of turkey bacon; rectangle dish is a better choice.
  • Now spread the turkey bacons evenly on the baking dish over the paper towel in a single layer of 4 slices in each batch, place them close but don’t overlap them one another for the sake of an even crispy cooking. If you want to cook more than 4 slices, you’ll need to microwave them in batches of 4.

Step 2

Place the plate in the microwave and set it to full power. Now microwave the turkey bacon for 2 minutes, if you don’t get your desired crispiness increment 30 seconds until it’s crispy.

Step 3

  • Now take the pan out of the oven using an oven mitt. Then lift the turkey bacon off of the foil with a pincers and serve immediately while it’s hot enough and enjoy the great sweet and salty punch together.
  • Store the leftover turkey bacon in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 4 to 5 days but it will lose its initial crispiness.

Note:

  • Add a little more or less time depending on your chewy vs. crunchy preferences.
  • Flip the bacon strips once half way through for added crispiness. Line the sheet pan with foil for quick clean up.
  • For some extra flavor sprinkle over a pinch of black pepper or herbs of your choice. 
  • Your baking time may differ. No two ovens bake at the same temperature, so probably you need to perfect yourself by experiencing a couple of times to find the right time/temperature that works for you.

Jimmy Dotson

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