Cooking Turkey Bacon – Kitchen Shortcut

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on February 8, 2011

cooking-turkey-bacon

Bacon…bacon…bacon.

Too bad it’s so bad for you!  Because it tastes soooooo gooood.

We don’t eat a lot of bacon, but when we do I try to use turkey bacon.  Lean, lean, lean turkey bacon.

But the problem with the “lean-ness” is that it doesn’t release much fat to cook itself, like pork bacon does.  I’ve tried cooking turkey bacon in the microwave on paper towels.  I’ve tried it on aluminum foil in the oven. And I’ve tried it in the skillet.

My fave…

By far the skillet!

Here are a few tips and tricks that help me make the most of my time in the kitchen.

  • Batch Cook – Cook the entire package at once.  Once cooled, add the whole or crumbled bacon to a freezer baggie. It thaws in minutes when you need to use it.  Best to cook an entire package while you’re working on something else in the kitchen!
  • Slow and Steady – The turkey bacon tends to respond best when cooked longer over lower heat.
  • “Deglaze” – If you have the heat too high and the bacon starts to burn (because there is little fat coming off the bacon), add a Tbsp or two of water…as if you were “deglazing”.  This will cool down that part of the skillet, and make it easier to lift the bacon from the skillet to flip it.
  • Cook it in the Oven – If standing at the stove flipping bacon for 20 minutes doesn’t appeal to you, then one of my new favorite ways to cook bacon is in the oven!  I like to bake at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes and NO FLIPPING is needed!  Place the bacon on a foil covered baking pan (foil isn’t crucial but it helps with clean up!), place in the oven, set a timer, and remove when cooked to your taste.  No need to turn or flip!

I hope these tricks help you out the next time you cook up some turkey bacon!

Now my question for you…real bacon, low sodium bacon, turkey bacon?!  What do you prefer?!

See more $5 Dinners Cooking Tutorials here

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie Huston February 8, 2011 at 11:59 am

Real pork bacon…double smoked thick sliced from the Amish market. When I’m in a pinch for time or money, thick sliced pork bacon from the grocery store will do, but I’ve recently been able to get turkey bacon free with coupons at the market, so I’ve been using that in salads & wraps but not for eating plain.

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Tacy M February 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Real bacon! We don’t eat bacon very often, but when we do we go for the real stuff! With 5 children and 2 adults, none of us get a lot if we stick to a single package.

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bk February 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Real uncured bacon. Turkey bacon is very heavily processed. Stick to the least unprocessed foods for your health/weight.

Jennie O Turkey Bacon Ingredent list:
Mechanically Separated Turkey, Turkey, Dark Turkey, Potassium Lactate, Sugar, Salt, White Turkey, Water, Natural Bacon Flavor (Maltodextrin, Rendered Bacon Fat and Bacon Bits (contains Natural Smoke Flavor, Water, Salt, Sugar, Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite) Salt, Natural ( Natural Smoke Flavor)Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten and Soy Protein and Wheat Gluten, Silicon Dioxide, Disodium Inosinate, Smoked Pork Fat)Natural Smoke Flavor, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite.

Hormel Uncured Bacon Ingredient List:
Pork, Water, Salt, Turbinado Sugar, Seasoning (Cultured Celery Juice Powder, Sea Salt).

Need I say more?

-Brad

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rachel B. September 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm

yes, Brad is right! Also, turkey bacon has 3x’s more sodium! It may have similar quantities of calories and such but the sodium and other chemicals are way high!

Why try to turn turkey into a pig?!?!? Just eat the real stuff and leave turkey in natural form!!!!

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Kelly February 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Totally agree with Brad! Real Uncured Bacon is the way to go. It is not like you are eating it everyday. All those chemicals and processing in the turkey bacon totally outweighs the fat in real bacon.

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Andrea February 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Make sure you are skipping the nitrates! Nitrates and overly processed meats are cancer causing! If you like turkey bacon, try Applegate Farms brand with no nitrates. Ummmm.

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Renee at Applegate February 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Thanks for mentioning Applegate’s Turkey Bacon. We totally agree that you should watch out for bacons that have artificial nitrates or nitrites (none of our products have any artificial nitrates/nitrites): http://goo.gl/6hrFk. Our Turkey Bacon is great because it’s Gluten Free, Casein Free, Dairy Free, Low in Carbs and Low in Fat!

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Sarah (Frontier Kitchen) February 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm

We use turkey bacon too and I totally agree about the skillet! It’s the only way to get it close to tasting like “real” bacon. And since it’s so lean, you totally don’t have to feel guilty about eating it! :)

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Amber February 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I’m a huge fan of turkey bacon. I think it tastes better with all the extra actual meat on it. I do wish it crisped up like regular bacon though. :-(

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Nicci February 9, 2011 at 11:44 pm

You may not like this, but I microwave mine and always overcook it a little. It gets nice and crispy that way.

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Amanda S February 8, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Well, what I prefer and what we eat are two different things. I prefer real bacon! But I only buy it on rare occasions. We eat turkey bacon a lot around here. I always have some in the freezer to pull out when needed. This past week I’ve been on a turkey bacon BLT kick! I also crumbled it in my loaded potato salad.

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Steve February 8, 2011 at 1:51 pm

We eat turkey bacon a lot but do like real bacon every once in awhile. Good point about all the processing with turkey bacon!

I actually have tried all the methods listed above for cooking the bacon and what I have come to like is cooking it in the oven. Put it on about 350 and it only takes a few minutes to crisp up.

– Steve

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Jennifer February 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I love turkey bacon! To those earlier claiming turkey bacon is bad, not all turkey bacon is made with MSM. I don’t eat pork but I also don’t eat MSM and still have found turkey bacon that I can eat. Dorothy Lane Market’s is fabulous!

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Shelly February 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I cook bacon on my George Forman grill. Cooks on both sides at once, no grease splattering, cooks in a few mintues.

I usually do uncured bacon, but do make turkey bacon occassionally. I can’t cook it ahead my kids and hubby would it all in one sitting if I did.

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Jimmi February 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

REAL bacon and only real bacon and there is not a thing wrong with it ;)
oink!

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Glenda Penny February 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I always buy the Oscar Mayer Center Cut or one of the other brands, they really have alot less calories and still taste great!

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Keisha February 8, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Thank you for this article! I always cook turkey bacon in the oven and have a problem getting it cooked just right. I will try cooking it in a skillet soon.

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debi February 9, 2011 at 5:30 am

turkey bacon has too many ingredients to even be healthy for you and they actually have to ADD oil to it. there is only 1 less gram of fat in turkey bacon vs. real bacon. we buy uncured bacon because it is much better for you and it tastes better. we always cut our bacon in half and cook 3-4 slices each – it fools you into thinking you are eating more!

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Susannah February 9, 2011 at 8:36 am

I love “real” bacon, thick sliced, and eat it every day. I find a Paleoesque diet keeps me humming along nicely. I do my research though and buy from humane farms- it’s just wrong the way most animals are treated.

I also like turkey bacon, though- I’m not a picky eater. It’s frequently more trouble than it’s worth because it’s so lean and because most varieties are so processed.

There’s only one way to make bacon- in the oven, 375, 20 minutes. Perfect bacon! I frequently slice pears on top- they make a great combo.

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Kathy February 9, 2011 at 10:08 am

I have tried the Jenni-o and Oscar Myer turkey bacon and the Oscar Myer is by far better and it gets all nice and crispy when I cook it in a skillet!

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Meg February 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I usually do turkey bacon, but regardless of the type I cook it on my George Foreman Grill, and do the entire packet at one time (to make it worth dragging that thing out). Its always crispy, the fat drips right off and cleanup is easy as well.

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Mina February 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I buy turkey bacon from Sams’ Club and it’s a great bargin. Thanks for the cooking tips. :-)

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mandie February 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

I’ve heard/read turkey bacon has pretty much the same fat content & more sodium than pork bacon. I eat/cook pork bacon. Always have. Always will.

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Laura Jane May 30, 2011 at 9:46 am

I’m a huge fan of using my George Foreman. No grease splatters and turns out perfectly crispy every time. Downside is that I can only cook a few strips at a time so it takes a while to fry up the whole package.

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Wanda June 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Real Bacon….I use to eat Turkey bacon but what the point. Real bacon is my Saturday morning breakfast treat. I eat turkey sausage during the week and look forward to Saturday’s for my pork fix! 2 slices extra crispy eaten extra slow makes me happy every time!

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Diana Grant October 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

real bacon

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Tiffay January 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I don’t like Pork Bacon…don’t like the smell of it either. I’m odd, I know. But I like the flavor of Turkey Bacon when it isn’t crispy. But thanks on the healthier brands and the different ways to cook it.

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Jessy January 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Turkey bacon here. I can’t eat pork in any form, makes me ill. So I have to eat turkey bacon if I do bacon at all.

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