Regardless of where or when we camp there are a few common traditions that occur each trip. One starts each morning around 9:00 am as campers emerge from tents and trailers everywhere. The smell begins to waft in the air as bacon starts to sizzle on camp stoves and grill throughout the park. Fellow campers begin preparation for the ritual of breakfast, a ritual that only exits at the campground. We rarely cook bacon on any other occasion, but when we camp it is a standard item on the grocery list, one that is expected in the same way as smore’s and spider dogs.
Here are some tips and techniques to file for future bacon breakfasts.
Tips I never knew!
- Older bacon will cook and burn twice as fast as fresh bacon.
- If you like crispy bacon choose thinner slices.
- Pour or baste off the bacon grease as it accumulates to avoid burning and shrinkage.
- Prick bacon with a fork as it cooks to reduce and avoid curling.
- To reduce splattering start with the bacon cold from the refrigerator in a cold pan. Continue to cook at medium to low heat slowly until you reach the desired crispiness.
Option for cooking bacon while camping
- Oven: Bacon can easily be baked in the oven and is the best way to produce flat strips. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (remember preheating an RV oven is especially important and I would preheat to 425. Reducing the heat to 400 once you put the bacon in. With the smaller RV ovens the heat will escape as soon as the door is open likely reducing the temperature to 400 on its own.). Place a rack inside a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out slices and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired doneness level.
- BBQ: Preheat the BBQ to medium. Allow the bacon to warm at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes to take the chill off. When grill is hot, lay bacon on the grill making sure the slices do not touch. Cook six to eight strips at a time to reduce the amount of fat that drips into the BBQ. Cook the bacon until the bottom has begun to get crisp and golden, then flip and repeat. Total cooking time will be between 5-7 minutes.
- Campfire: Thread bacon accordion style on a stick and cook over medium coals until desired crispiness is reached. Another option is to wrap the bacon around the stick and roast over medium coals cooking until the desired crispiness is reached. Be sure to use a stick long enough to keep away from the spitting of the fire.
- Microwave: Place paper towel in a microwave safe dish large enough to fit a single layer of bacon slices (4 to 6 slices). Cover with another paper towel. Six slices take about 4 to 5 minutes on high, depending on the wattage of your microwave and the thickness of the bacon but often RV microwaves are smaller and may require more time. Check after the first two minutes, and continue cooking at one minute intervals until you can judge the cooking time for the way you like it. Microwave cooking seems to reduce the curling of bacon
Which ever way you choose to cook your bacon the important point is to enjoy the camping ritual