When it comes to cooking there are tips and tricks that make everything easier. That being said, there are also missteps that can make any cooking venture, no matter how simple, a complete and utter disaster.
In a day and age where health is becoming a bigger concern than ever before, food items like turkey bacon are becoming more and more popular and as such it may be beneficial for you to learn how to cook it properly.
Here is a step by step guide to cooking the perfect turkey bacon each and every time.
Turkey bacon is a wonderful, flavorful, and easy to make alternative to the fatty bacon that we all know and love.
Though it does not have the same super salty bite as pork bacon paprika, it still packs a ton of great flavor and can be a perfect addition to recipes or a stand alone snack that can help add protein to your diet and can help you shave off extra calories without sacrificing taste.
What You Will Need
- Turkey Bacon
- Cooking Vessel
Choosing Your Bacon
In order to cook the perfect turkey bacon you will of course need the bacon. There are a ton of great turkey bacons out there that will be perfect for your recipe like uncured turkey bacon and cured turkey bacon options.
When choosing your turkey bacon you want to look for a bacon that is lean but not too lean.
In order to cook turkey bacon without it drying out and being like shoe leather, you are going to have to get a product that still have some fat. Generally, very lean bacon is not great for cooking since it does tend to dry out very quickly.
Another great tip when choosing the right turkey bacon is to get one that is not flavored. This means a product that does not have added flavoring other than the simple smoked flavor.
By getting a bacon that is not flavored you can add it to just about any dish and can even add fun flavors of your own during the cooking process. If you are going to use spices, this is the where you would gather them up and decide what to use.
Things like basil and oregano can give an Italian twist, paprika and chili powder give it a smoky taste, and things like good old salt and pepper give a great flavor as well.
Choosing Your Cooking Method
You will also need your cooking vessel. For those that prefer to cook bacon on the stove top, a non stick pan is best or a griddle that can help give you fast results and take away any extra fat.
If you prefer to cook your bacon in the oven you will need a broiler pan that has two sections, one to raise the bacon up out of the grease and a catch pan, or a baking rack that you can place the bacon on while it is cooking.
The last option is to use a microwave bacon cooking rack but this is going to be far more likely to dry your turkey bacon out than other options.
Possible Spice Options
Spicy and Robust
Since turkey as a general rule tends to be a bit bland, you can always spice up a basic turkey bacon with some great flavor combinations for an added kick. Lemon and thyme are a great combination that is interesting and that makes a great pairing with a salad or a light sandwich or wrap.
This combo is easy to do and can give you that kick of something that is a bit tangy that you might be craving. Thyme and sage give turkey that warm, holiday feel that you may be missing through the year.
These spices are earthy and robust and can add great flavor to a sandwich or to a roast that you have added some turkey bacon to.
Garlic is another great addition to turkey bacon. Garlic is a bold flavor and may help you make your turkey bacon flavorful enough to add to your next pizza.
Sweet and Spicy
Honey and dark chocolate are another way to make your own twist on the trend of sweet and salty. Try drizzling honey on your turkey bacon as it cooks or add some melted dark chocolate when it is done for an interesting flavor combination that is sure to set your taste buds tingling.
Maple is another great flavor that goes well with turkey bacon. For those that want to use maple, try brushing maple syrup on your turkey bacon as it roasts in the oven for a crackling, tasty, and sweet alternative to traditional bacon.
Still another great combination that is a bit easier to come by is salt and cracked black pepper. Just like coarse ground pepper does wonders for pork bacon, it can also help make your turkey bacon mouth watering and utterly to die for.
- As with any cooking process you first want to make sure your turkey bacon is thawed if it has been frozen and that it is laid out and ready to cook.
- If you are seasoning it you will want to season before you cook. To season, lay your turkey bacon out in one layer and sprinkle on the spice mix or sprinkle on spices one at a time.
- Preparing your cooking vessel is the next step. If you are cooking on the stove top you want to get your pan to the correct temperature before you start cooking.
- Low to medium heat is best because turkey bacon cooks quickly and will get dry and even burn if too much heat is applied.
- If you are cooking in the oven you want to preheat the oven and want to know how long to cook turkey bacon in the oven, you want your oven to be 300 degrees and you will cook for less than 20 min.
- Place your bacon in an even, single layer on your baking sheet for oven cooking and then place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Turkey bacon takes far less time to cook in the oven than pork bacon and you should start checking for doneness at the 12 minute mark.
- For stove top cooking you are going to want to place your bacon in a single layer as well flipping it at about the 2 to 3 minute mark with it begin done in about 5 minutes.
- Turkey bacon does cook much faster than pork bacon so you want to pay close attention no matter how you decide to cook it.
- For those wondering, “Can I use canola oil to cook turkey bacon?” It can be used to add some extra fat for quicker cooking but is not entirely necessary. You can find out how to tell if turkey bacon is done when it is crisp and golden brown.
- As with pork bacon, have a landing area, or a plate with paper towels, to soak up any excess grease and to make sure your bacon is perfectly crispy and delicious each and every time.
- You may also want to consider storage options if you are cooking ahead.
- If you are cooking ahead a zip top bag is going to be the best way to store your bacon as it will keep longest in this form.
- Serving your turkey bacon is entirely up to you. Since it is so versatile, you can add it to just about any dish and it will be super delicious and easy to eat.
- Eating it alone, on a sandwich, or even on a pizza is a great way to go.
Possible Uses after Cooking
There are tons of different ways that you can eat your turkey bacon after you have cooked it. The first and most obvious is a stand alone option with eggs and toast in the morning for breakfast.
Turkey bacon has as much protein as pork bacon but has less than half the fat and saturated fat that pork bacon has which makes it a great alternative that is still delicious.
Sandwiches, Wraps, and Biscuits
Not the eggs and bacon type? You can also add your turkey bacon to sandwiches for some added flavor. Just about any sandwich that calls for traditional bacon can have turkey bacon subbed out for a tasty treat.
Turkey bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches are great as are club sandwiches that have had turkey bacon added instead of pork bacon.
You can also add turkey bacon to snack wraps, turkey sandwiches, and even breakfast sandwiches for a bit of salty bite without the added fat and cholesterol that comes with your traditional fatty bacon.
Garnish and Stand Alone Snacking
Sandwiches simply not your thing? Turkey bacon is a great garnish for salads. Cook up two to three strips and crumble them up for your own homemade bacon bits that have less salt, less fat, and that are just as tasty.
Turkey bacon is also a great addition to things like chicken breast that needs a bit of spicing up and salad wraps that just need that little bit of added flavor.
If you are still not seeing an option you like you can also snack on turkey bacon alone. Turkey bacon is a great protein filled snack that can help keep you going on long days and that can fill you up and keep you from snacking on things that may not be as great for you.
Pair turkey bacon with some cheese and whole wheat crackers for a fantastic snack that will keep you coming back for more.
Turkey bacon is a wonderful alternative to the salty and fatty bacon that most people tend to choose on a daily basis. Though turkey bacon is not going to be quite as salty as pork bacon, it still has tons of great flavor and may be a heart healthy alternative to pork bacon.
Turkey bacon is also great if you cook it ahead then add it to salads, sandwiches, or just munch on it through the day as a healthy protein filled snack. If you already know how to cook pork bacon you are already half way to cooking the perfect turkey bacon that satisfies every single time.