VIRGINIA BEACH — Dec. 30 is known as National Bacon Day, which means it’s perfectly acceptable to openly profess your love for delicious slices of cured and processed pork bellies.
Whether you prefer to devour your decadent swine strips for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we can all agree that bacon is a mealtime hero for all carnivores with a hankering for greasy goodness.
But in order to truly celebrate this joyous of foodie holidays, here are some bits about bacon to tempt your appetite:
- The process of preserving and salting pork dates back to ancient China, around 1500 B.C.
- In 1924, Oscar Mayer changed the world of food when it patented the first packaged, sliced bacon.
- Canadian bacon isn’t bacon, it’s smoked pork loin.
- A 275 pound pig yields 16 pounds of bacon.
- 62 percent of restaurants have bacon on their menus.
- 53 percent of homes keep bacon on hand at all times.
- 16 percent of Americans say they can’t live without bacon.
- 2x as many Americans prefer thin-cut bacon — only 33 percent say they like thick-cut better, while 67 percent say thin-cut wins.
- Half of Americans prefer their bacon crispy, with 52 percent liking their bacon “very crispy.” Only 31 percent say they like it not that crispy, while 8 percent like it slightly cooked, and another 3 percent like it charred.
- 1 in 5 Americans agree: it’s real bacon or the highway — 19 percent say turkey bacon isn’t real bacon.
With 21 percent of Americans saying they would eat bacon every day for the rest of their lives, we want to hear from you: Is bacon your favorite food? Comment below or on Facebook.
Looking for events and restaurants around town to celebrate? Visit our community calendar page, Where to Go, What to Do.
How to Cook Bacon (From Pork.org)
If the packaged sliced bacon is cold from the refrigerator, slowly slide the dull edge of a butter knife along the length between the strips, to separate slices.
Avoid crowding while cooking more bacon. Crispy bacon is a product of allowing some breathing room in between strips while cooking so heat can circulate evenly. Where you’d want to limit your frying pan or skillet to 3-4 strips, you can fit about one pound on a sheet pan for baking. And more bacon is always better.
Place bacon on a jelly-roll pan and cook three inches from the broiler, turning slices at least once. Drain the slices on absorbent paper towels before serving.
Place bacon slices in an ungreased or lightly greased frying pan over medium heat, turning often to achieve uniform crispness. Drain the slices on absorbent paper towels before serving.
This is a great way to cook bacon for a large gathering. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay slices on a roasting rack in a shallow pan to catch the drippings. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place up to eight slices on a microwaveable rack or plate and cover loosely with absorbent paper towels. Cook on high for six to eight minutes, repositioning the rack every two minutes. For microwave-in-the-package bacon, follow the instructions on the package label.
How to Make Perfect Bacon Every Time
Use your oven to bake the bacon for a consistent and delicious result every time.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- If you don’t plan to save the bacon fat, line a lipped sheet pan with aluminum foil. When finished, you’ll be able to easily peel the foil from the pan and discard – minimizing the mess to be scrubbed from the pan. (You can save the bacon fat by pouring it from one of the sheet pan corners into a jar. or, if you prefer to just scrap it, line your sheet pan with aluminum foil prior to baking so you can peel and trash them once you’re done.)
- Coat both sides of a cooling rack with light cooking spray before; place cooling rack in the sheet pan.
- Lay strips of bacon across the width of the cooling rack.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove bacon from oven. Place bacon on a plate lined with paper towel, and pat away excess grease with another sheet of paper towel.