Monday, August 16, 2010

Grilled Bacon Tip From The Food Guy

Bacon and Freud

I have never met anyone who didn’t love bacon. There are people who don’t eat it as part of their diet, but bacon flavor seems to be universally loved…at least in my universe.

Americans owe our love of bacon, in part, to Edward Louis Bernays. Never heard of him? He was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, and a genius in public relations and propaganda. Bernays was a master of psychology and other social sciences and is considered the first modern marketing and PR wizard.

In his day, in the 1920s, he handled many advertising campaigns. One of them was for bacon. He convinced America, using Freud’s ideas of subconscious manipulation and indirection that the all-American breakfast consisted of eggs and bacon.

In order to get people to consume more bacon, he produced a doctors’ survey that recommended that patients eat bigger, heartier breakfasts. The results of the report were sent to 5,000 doctors and included publicity that a hearty breakfast should include eggs and bacon. The message took hold.

We don’t need much persuasion today. Bacon is still on the breakfast menu, and increasingly on the desert menu too:Chocolate covered bacon bars (Vosages), candied bacon ice cream (David Leboviz), Brioche-Bacon Bread Pudding (NYC Dovetail), and Bacon-flavored Popcorn (Nosheteria).

The Perfect Bacon Sear – try the Five (5) Easy Steps to Grilling It!

1. Identify the hot and cool spots on the grill. You’ll want to flash the bacon on a hot spot to start the process, render and cook on a cool spot and return to the hot spot for the finale.

2. Sacrifice a strip of bacon and grease up the grate. This won’t prevent all the strips from sticking, but it will help and add a more intense flavor.

3. Lay the strips of bacon at a 45 degree angle to the grates. This will help prevent them from falling into the grill. A safety note: be ready for flare-ups and handle them with a spray bottle.

4. Cook the bacon strips over the hot spot until they start to shrivel up, and then flip with your tongs and move to a cool spot to crisp up. Cooking time will vary greatly, so just hang out and keep an eye on them. Build the suspense by enjoying the wonderful scent of cured pig and fire.

5. For the finish, darken the bacon over the hot spot one more time. It should be dark rust colored, the fat should be rendered, and it should be crispy but pliable.
This method will produce consistent and solid results.

To spice things up, try adding brown sugar or maple syrup to the bacon at different stages in the cooking process. Amazing!

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