Crispy, juicy, smoky, and sweet, bacon has become a staple in the American diet. Traditionally breakfast meat has now become a cornerstone of flavor when cooking. It adds a unique, smoky sweetness to dishes or texture and crunch when grilled or fried.
Preparing the perfect bacon strips can be tricky, there are many methods to achieve the perfect crisp. Some methods like pan-frying can be messy and land up spattering bacon grease all over your stove. Timing is also key, making sure you keep a ‘hawk eye’ on the bacon as it can turn from golden to a burnt crisp in just seconds.
There are other ways to cook bacon, easier ways, with less mess and better results. One of them is grilling.
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Can bacon be made on the grill, you may ask?
Yes, if done correctly and with care, you can achieve excellent results. Beware, you can’t just throw strips of bacon directly on a hot grill. You will be in for a dramatic flare-up as the bacon fat renders. While we all for theatrical cooking, this will leave you with charred bacon, or worse, bacon ash. Done correctly, grilled bacon is smoky, delicious with just the right amount of crispiness.
We love cooking bacon on the grill, and this article will take you through the process to achieve faultless results. From choosing your bacon to the correct grill options and the optimum temperatures to follow. This guide to Cook Bacon On The Grill will make it easy.
Choose your bacon
There are 3 main types of bacon, and they are all well suited for grilling. Depending on the thickness, you will need to adjust the cooking time. Always make sure your bacon is fresh and within the sell-by period. Choose good quality wood-smoked or dry-cured bacon. This will ensure you don’t have water/brine pouring out of the bacon when you start cooking. The results will be a good crisp and authentic flavor.
Also known as streaky bacon is high in fat and sliced very thin. This cooks quickly and requires minimum cooking time.
Also know as Candian bacon, leaner cut with less fat and short cooking time.
Thick cut bacon
Similar to standard bacon, but cut much thicker, it requires a longer cooking time.
Choose your grill
- A grill that has a flat top would be the first prize when grilling bacon. Flat top grills have smooth, non-stick surfaces that channel the grease away from the food. Leaving you with crispy, perfect bacon.
- A grill with small, open ridges on the metal grate could also work. However, you would need to watch the bacon as dripping fat could cause a flare-up.
- Alternatively, place a reversible iron griddle pan directly on the grill, this will ensure the heat is distributed evenly and allow for easy cleanup.
- If you don’t have a griddle pan, you can use a cast-iron skillet on the grill, but this will mimic frying rather than grilling.
- Grilling on a traditional charcoal grill can be tricky as the spacing on the grill is large and the heat difficult to manage. It is possible to do, but it requires patience and a watchful eye to ensure the bacon does not fall through the grill.
- Alternatively, you can line the metal grate with two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil and grease the cooking side before cooking the bacon on the grill.
How to achieve perfect crispy bacon on the grill
- Choose the type of bacon you would like to grill.
- Use the recommendations above to ensure you have a suitable grill to prepare the bacon.
- To ensure the bacon does not stick to the grill, use a non-stick surface or oil spray on the grill before cooking your bacon.
- To achieve the best results, heat your grill to 400 °F before cooking.
- Once it has reached the appropriate temperature, spread the bacon out along the griddle.
- Allow bacon to cook for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness.
- If you have a lid on your grill, you can close it through this process.
- Open the grill, flip the bacon with tongs. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, depending on your preferred crispness.
- Remove bacon from the griddle and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Enjoy your delicious grilled bacon!
Bacon on the Grill FAQs
Is bacon healthy?
When it comes to most foods it is best to practice control and moderation. A balanced diet will generally consist of proteins, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins and alternative nutrients.
When it comes to bacon it thankfully falls into the category of healthy fat but due to the volume of salt and methods used for preservation, it is best to eat it in moderation.
There has been a lot of debate in the medical world over whether bacon is good or bad for your health.50% of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, which is similar to 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.
Is it better to fry or grill bacon?
Bacon tastes good both ways. But we like to think that grilled bacon has an extra depth of smokiness and grilling adds a unique flavor.
Why should you cook bacon on the grill?
It just tastes better, like most things on the grill. It’s quicker to prepare and cooks more evenly as there is a larger surface area.
If you’re already using the grill for your burgers it’s convenient to cook your bacon on the same grill allowing you to keep an eye on it.
Grills allow the fat to be drained away from the meat, allowing the meat to crisp up easily and make it less fatty.
We hope these tips will help serve up perfect bacon for family and friends at your next barbecue. Happy Grilling!