Bacon bits. Who doesn’t love those crunchy, flavourful little nuggets? Whether you sprinkle them over a baked potato, toss them into salads, or add a few to your scrambled eggs, there’s no denying: they’re damn handy. A touch of bacon flavour without the messy work of cooking actual bacon.
I used to buy the prepackaged bacon bits all the time, but it wasn’t until I started being conscious of what I was consuming that I stopped. Just one look at the label is enough to deter a lot of eaters: simulated bacon bits. So… not even actual bacon, just simulated, crunchy bits that miraculously don’t even need to be stored in the refrigerator. Yum!
I stopped buying them. My sour cream baked potatoes were left barren.
Sure, I could have fried up some bacon and sprinkled the crispy bits on the potatoes, but in all honesty, I hate frying bacon. I really, really hate it.
It’s messy. It’s greasy. It spatters. Only three strips fit in the pan at a time. I love eating it, but the process of cooking it is undesirable. I rarely ate it at home until I discovered that you can bake bacon in the oven. One pan, some aluminum foil, easy clean up, and it’s possible to cook an entire pack all at once, in bulk.
It’s the only way I cook bacon now!
Simply line a baking tray (with edges, so the grease stays on the pan!) with aluminum foil, lay the bacon strips on the foil, and bake for about 20 minutes in a 375°F oven. Remove them from the heat and drain off the fat (save the fat for these cookies!), then eat as normal.
To make your homemade bacon bits, cook the bacon until crispy, let cool, and crumble it into tiny bits (or pulse in the food processor). Store them in a mason jar and keep them in the freezer!
It’s life changing. I have a jar of frozen bacon bits in my freezer at all times. I use a sprinkle here and a sprinkle there, as needed, to spice up any dish.
You can warm them up in the microwave if you want, but I recommend skipping that step! The bacon bits don’t even need thaw; when cold, they taste exactly like those simulated, crunchy bacon bits, but without all those nasty chemicals.
Baking the bacon lets you cook a big batch all at once, and storing the bacon bits it in the freezer keeps them from going bad.
Real bacon bits at your fingertips!
(That’s a pretty great jingle, can I patent that?)
|Homemade Bacon Bits|| |
- 1 package of sliced bacon
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking trays with aluminum foil, and lay the bacon slices on the foil. Bake for 18-20 minutes until bacon is cooked and crispy. Remove from oven and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain off any fat. Try to remove as much of the fat as possible, as the dryer the bacon is, the better it will freeze. Let cool to the touch. Tip: reserve the bacon fat, if desired. Congealed bacon fat is a wonderful butter replacement in baking!
- Once bacon has cooled, transfer to a food processor and chop until broken into tiny bits. Transfer the bacon bits to a jar or freezer bag.
- Store in the freezer and use whenever you need 'em!