By Mary Hunt
Apparently, I am not the only one who hesitates when it comes to frying bacon. It can make such a mess! Then there’s all that fat to get rid of. But I think those days are gone for me. After you read these clever bacon tricks from your fellow “Everyday Cheapskate” readers, I think you will agree!
BACON BITS. I keep my bacon stored in the freezer so I have it handy when a recipe calls for bacon bits. When I need some cooked and crumbled bacon, I pull out the package and, using a chef’s knife, cut thin strips from the entire width of the package. Then I cook the small pieces in a skillet. I can cut off only as much as I need, and the bacon is already “crumbled” after it is cooked. — Janelle, Missouri
BACON BASICS. My favorite way to fry bacon is on a George Foreman grill. The bacon fries flat, and all the fat drains into the grease tray. It’s quick and easy! — Anita L., e-mail
BAKED BACON. Here’s a way to cook bacon with no mess and no grease spatters anywhere. Line a baking sheet that has sides with heavy-duty foil. Lay the bacon strips on the baking sheet side by side, slightly stretched lengthwise but not touching. Bake at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on your desired crispness. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain. — Sandra C., Michigan
MAKE AHEAD. My family likes bacon, but I don’t like the greasy mess it makes. Precooked bacon is too expensive. I fry the whole package of bacon at one time and then keep it in a plastic zip-close bag in the fridge. That way, I only have to clean up the mess one time. Bacon reheats well in less than 10 seconds in the microwave. — Susan S., Tennessee
SALE SHOPPER. When I buy bacon on sale, I cut the packages in half with a meat cleaver, right through the paper and cardboard. Then I lay the strips on a cookie sheet that has been covered with plastic wrap. If I fill up the cookie sheet, I lay down another sheet of plastic on top of the bacon and continue layering the half-slices in opposite directions until the bacon packages are empty. Then I place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 24 hours, or until all the bacon is frozen. I stack the frozen pieces sideways in a one-gallon freezer bag and store them in the freezer. To cook, I remove the number of pieces I need, place them on a microwave-safe dish between folded paper towels and cook for two minutes. — Mary D., e-mail
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Include your first and last name and state. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 18 books, including “Debt-Proof Living” and “Tiptionary 2.” To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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