Our ode to bacon—with recipes for all menu parts.
Bacon needs no context, no introduction. It is not one of those ingredients that's trending now and will later recede into culinary history. It's got lifelong sweetheart status with the American consumer, adored for its salty, sweet, crisp profile. Chefs love it, too. Bacon adds deep, echoing flavor and lingering smokiness. Its fat renders perfection to stews, soups, sauces. And in strips? Nothing crowns burgers and sandwiches with more majesty. Indeed, bacon makes everything better.
Chef Ryan Baxter Weighs In
"As chefs, we talk about this ingredient with a passion and zeal that can sometimes border on the embarrassing," says Ryan Baxter, senior executive research and development chef, Kraft Foodservice. "Bacon, likely because of its salty and smoky profile, appeals to us in a primal way. It adds a rich fattiness and a smokiness that is generally unmatched by other ingredients."
Why OSCAR MAYER:
fresh trimmed pork bellies that yield 100% lean useable slices
naturally applewood smoked—with no smoke added
high-quality skinless pork bellies
sugar-cured for distinct taste
minimum shrinkage, so consistent burger/sandwich coverage
Bacon Recipes for Your Entire Menu
Bacon provides a quick, easy and reliable way to add interest and flavor to a wide range of dishes. Varying the degree of crispness through cooking alters its texture in certain dishes. The following recipes, developed by the chefs at the Kraft Culinary Centre, feature Oscar Mayer Bacon and offer solutions across your menu.
APPETIZERS & SHAREABLES
SANDWICHES & BURGERS
SALADS & SIDES
BREAKFAST DISHES & SWEETS
Behind the Bar with…BACON
Mike Ryan wears his heart on his sleeve. Or rather, he wears his passion for bacon on his forearm in the form of a tattoo. Motivation? "Because bacon is delicious," says Ryan, who serves as head bartender at Chicago's hip Sable Kitchen + Bar, adjacent to Kimpton Group's Hotel Palomar. A former sous chef, he brings his culinary savvy into the bar. We asked him his favorite ways to add bacon to cocktails:
- Bacon Bitters—He uses this in drinks that call for bitters that "benefit from the smoky, meaty characteristics of bacon, like a Manhattan." To make it, he renders bacon, pours the liquid into spirits and lets that sit for a few days at room temperature. Then he chills it in the freezer overnight, passes it through a cheesecloth, which gets rid of the fat, leaving the aroma and smoke from the bacon infused into the spirits. He then builds the bitters with aromatic herbs, roots and spices.
- Bacon Syrup—He brings rendered bacon, brown sugar and water to a bare simmer, then lets it sit overnight at room temperature. He then refrigerates the syrup overnight and strains. He uses the bacon syrup in a drink called "Yoinobuta," translated to drunken pig from Japanese. It's essentially an Old Fashioned, and stars Japanese whiskey, bacon bitters and bacon syrup.
- Tea & Sympathy—for Chicago's Baconfest (April 2012), he created a cocktail featuring bacon-infused rum, early grey and balsamic shrub (fruit and vinegar preserve). He then mists the drink with a bacon-lemon flame (bacon fat, lemon oil, grain alcohol) and torches the top of the cocktail.
Click for more information on Sable's Amazing Cocktails.
A quick glance across the foodservice landscape shows off the downright genius of chefs, using this glorious cured, smoked meat as their muse.
Smoked Bacon Baklava—brined and hickory/apple-smoked pork belly layered between phyllo sheets and topped with a honey-sugar glaze. Chicago q
Peppered Bacon-Wrapped Pork Wing—served with a bourbon coffee barbecue sauce. Flo and Santos
Bacon Shake—vanilla ice cream, bacon-flavored syrup, whipped topping, maraschino cherry. Jack in the Box
Grilled Bacon Smørrebrød—an open-faced sandwich with grilled bacon, herbed honey mustard and greens. Vandaag
Angry Mussels—with peppered bacon, Serrano chile and onion. JCT Kitchen & Bar
Strange but Magnificent?
We've heard about the bacon bouquets that you can send instead of flowers (yes please!), and we unabashedly love bacon, but our dedication pales in comparison to the inventors of these products: