You wake to the smells of a dewy forest, and after coaxing a campfire to life you put some bacon in the old iron skillet. It's a ritual as old as camping itself—as common today as it was to cowboys in the Old West. And despite warnings about fats and preservatives, bacon is still one of our favorite forbidden fruits.
Bacon is one of most versatile foods you can carry and is available as a slab or ready-sliced thin, thick or extra thick, which also known as market sliced. It's also available in pieces or crumbles that are sold in packets or jars that keep for months. When stored in vacuum packs, it keeps for weeks if kept cold.
Before you pack a weekend supply of bacon in your pack, remember the bacon basics.
- Lay bacon slices over a whole chicken, turkey or roast in a Dutch oven for succulent basting.
- Wrap baked potatoes with two strips of bacon and place each one in a square of tinfoil, folded tightly around the potatoes to keep the bacon in place. Cook in the oven or over the fire, turning them often until the bacon is crisp and the potato is tender. Open the foil carefully because the steam and finished product will be hot.
- Save and refrigerate bacon fat, and use it sparingly in place of butter or oil in mashed potatoes, vegetables, casseroles and soups.
- Imitation bacon bits aren't recommended as a substitute for real bacon, especially in cooked dishes.
Now that you're armed with these important tips, try these four bacon recipes during your next campfire.
Eliminate the need for toast by topping your bacon and eggs with crisp croutons.
8 slices bacon (2 per person)
8 eggs (2 per person)
4 cups croutons (1/2 cup per person)
Arrange bacon slices in a single layer in your heavy skillet. Don't hesitate to use more than one skillet to avoid crowding. Brown the bacon on one side, turn it over and brown the other side. Spoon off any excess fat and turn the bacon again until it's done. Crack your eggs over the bacon and sprinkle croutons on top. Cover your skillet and cook this over a medium fire until the eggs are done to your liking.