For most of us, bacon is synonymous with perfect breakfasts and sandwiches, and for good reason; it’s irresistibly tasty!
If you ask me, there can be no egg’s benedict without the rich, smoky flavors of bacon. No stuffed baked potato without crisp bacon bits on top. Let’s be realistic here, there’s a reason why ‘bacon mania’ is still going strong.
This salt-cured delicacy has tons of uses and there’s many different ways of cooking it. But one thing is for certain, whether you pan-fry, bake, or even microwave it, it’s going to be lip-smackingly good.
Can you cook bacon in a deep fat fryer? Yes, you can!
Many people avoid deep frying at home because of the potential mess and oil spatter. But when you think about the smoky, crispy flavor bomb that is deep fried bacon, it’s definitely worth doing a little more clean-up than usual.
In this article I’ll be talking about how you can cook bacon in a deep fat fryer. I’ll also explain how you can deep fry bacon even if you don’t have a deep fat fryer to hand!
Is it Safe to Deep Fry Bacon?
The short answer is, yes! It is the same as deep frying anything else, actually.
You just have to be careful about the potential risks, like you would be when deep frying any food.
Here is what you need to be aware of when deep frying bacon:
Type of oil
You should always use an oil that has a high smoke point, meaning that it won’t burn easily. Most neutral oils like peanut oil, sunflower seed oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil have a smoke point at around 400˚ F, so they will do the job.
If you prefer, you can even use ghee (clarified butter), which has a smoke point at around 485˚ F. However, it will impart some of its flavor, which may or may not be a a positive depending on your preference.
You should, however, avoid using olive oil because it has a lower smoke point of around 325˚ F.
Type of pot/pan
Did you know you can deep fry bacon without a proper deep fat fryer? You can! If you do this, though, it’s essential that you select the right pot or pan to use.
Never deep fry in a pan or a pot that is too shallow, wobbly and doesn’t have a properly fitting lid. All these factors can contribute to a kitchen disaster; your pot, which is full of scorching hot oil, might I add, may topple and spill everywhere if it isn’t sturdy enough; or your oil may catch fire if it gets too hot, so you should always keep a lid nearby that fits the pot.
Be careful not to overfill your pot with oil, otherwise it WILL bubble up and spill over everywhere.
You should always keep an eye on the temperature of your oil. If you’re using a deep fat fryer the built in temperature controls will allow you to keep things in check. On the other hand, if you’re using a pot or pan, use a food thermometer if possible.
If you fry your bacon at a low temperature, it will be greasy and limp. On the other hand, if your oil temperature is too high, your bacon will be burnt and darker on the outside and raw on the inside.
When deep frying bacon, you should aim for an oil temperature between 350-375° F.
Always pat your bacon, or any other food, completely dry before deep frying. Otherwise, it WILL splatter all over you and your kitchen.
How Long Does it Take to Deep Fry Bacon?
It takes somewhere between 3 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cuts and the temperature of your oil.
So, it takes a bit of your own judgment to know if your bacon is cooked enough. You should take it out before it gets too brown, because it will continue to cook with the carryover heat from the hot oil on the surface.
Can You Cook Frozen Bacon in a Deep Fat Fryer?
Definitely yes. However, all the risks and precautions I have mentioned above, if not more, goes for frozen bacon too. You should definitely be more careful when deep frying frozen bacon.
If your frozen bacon has large ice crystals, you are basically throwing a bacon grenade into a pot full of hot oil. It will explode as soon as it touches the hot oil as the water in large pockets of ice will rapidly expand and turn into steam. As the steam try to escape, your hot oil will boil over and cause all kinds of disasters in your kitchen.
So, if you see big chunks of ice on your bacon, let it thaw a little so that you can fry it safely. It doesn’t have to be completely thawed. Thaw it until the big ice crystals melt, and pat it dry before putting into your pot.
How to Cook Bacon in a Deep Fat Fryer
So, now that you know you can deep fry bacon, and know how to do it safely, you want to give it a try? Who wouldn’t? There is nothing more satisfying than a shatteringly crunchy and smoky bacon.
There are mainly two methods of deep-frying bacon and I have explained both of them in detail so that you can give both of them a try and pick your own favorite.
Both of these methods work with a deep fat fryer or with a carefully selected pot.
Deep Frying Naked Bacon
In this method, you are frying the bacon as it is, without any batter. If you prefer it this way, here’s how you do it:
- Fill one-third of your deep fat fryer or a sturdy pot with a neutral oil like grapeseed, sunflower seed, or canola.
- Let your oil heat up to about 350-375 degrees F., any temperature lower than that will result in a greasy and limp bacon, and anything higher than that will burn the outside before the inside is cooked through.
- Pat the bacon dry and fry them in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. Otherwise, the oil temperature will drop too much and they won’t cook properly. Also, it may boil over if you fill it too much.
- Fry the bacon for about 5 minutes. But, again, the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your bacon. So, your eyes are the best tools to check for its doneness. Also, never leave your bacon unattended while frying, because they can go from beautifully browned to burnt in a matter of seconds.
- Take the bacon out of the oil after it is cooked and transfer to a wired rack or a plate lined with paper towels. This process will prevent the bacon from getting soggy and get rid of excess oil. Keep in mind that you should take your bacon out of the oil before they get too brown, because they will keep cooking with the carryover heat and finish cooking on the wired rack.
- Leave them to cool a little and enjoy!
PS. You don’t need to salt your bacon since most types are already salt cured. But if the kind you are using isn’t salt cured for some reason, be sure to salt it after you take it out of the oil at the end.
Deep Frying Battered Bacon
This method involves a batter, so it is even crispier than the naked one! If you want to give this method a try, here’s how you do it:
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of whole milk
- Enough vegetable oil to cover one-third of your pot
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut in half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Your preferred spices (optional)
With this method, it is crucial that the bacon is thoroughly cooked before dipping into your batter! Otherwise, it won’t cook properly on the inside and eating raw bacon carries the risk of food poisoning.
- First step is preparing the batter. Put the flour, eggs, and milk in a large bowl and whisk until it is perfectly smooth.
- Transfer your batter mixture into refrigerator. Cold batter will puff up and become even crispier in hot oil.
- Pre-cook your bacon completely by any method you prefer. I recommend pan or oven frying since you will also get rendered bacon fat which can be used for lots of things!
- Coat the bacon with batter by dipping it into the bowl. You can use tongs if your bacon slices are on the thicker side, but I recommend using your hands if they’re thin slices to prevent them from crumbling apart.
- Slowly and safely lower the bacon into hot oil and fry for about 4 minutes, flipping them halfway through since they’ll float due to the airy batter.
- After they are perfectly fried, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate and enjoy!
Whichever method you use, you’re going to end up with a lot of leftover oil. What should you do with it?
Well, the first and most important thing to do is allow it to properly cool and solidify. DO NOT throw it down the sink! This can severely damage your pipes as well as clog them as the oil solidifies.
Solid oil can be disposed of along with the rest of your food waste.
One of the benefits of using a dedicated deep fat fryer over a regular pot or pan is that it makes the collection and disposal of oil after cooking more convenient.