You might be surprised to know that professional cooks as well as savvy home cooks cook certain common foods in ways you might not expect. And they get superior results in the process. Rather than automatically defaulting to a fry pan, why not consider the benefits of cooking in the oven?
Cook your Bacon – and other things – in the oven rather than on the stove top.
You’ll get superior results with less fat and oil. Always line your baking pans
with parchment paper or foil. Always sear Steaks, Cops or Chicken
Pieces on the stove-top first, in a pan whose handle is oven-safe.
How do you cook your Eggs? Bacon? Chicken Breasts? Burgers? Fries? Wings? Whatever?
If you said, ‘in a fry pan’ or ‘on top of the stove’, this post is for you!
I’ve been cooking my Bacon in the oven, on a sheet pan, for ages – even before I went to culinary school. It renders off more cleanly and the slices stay flatter than if you fry them in a pan. It’s the only sensible way to cook large batches of Bacon. Twenty-five minutes at 350 F will give you nice, crisp flavourful Bacon every time. Just plunk it in the oven and let it go. You can do slices of Peameal Back Bacon or ham this way, too.
I also love to do ‘fancy’ Eggs in the oven. Call them Baked Eggs, if you must. But I always make the eggs this way if I’m doing something like Eggs Benedict or Poached Eggs on Toast for a crowd. Just grease the wells in a 6-hole Muffin tin and crack an egg into each hole. Season with Salt and Pepper and add some spices or herbs, if you wish. I like ground Cumin, Coriander and Rosemary, in equal parts. A little pinch’ll do ya! (You can’t do that with conventional poaching!) Place the muffin tin in a casserole dish big enough to accommodate it and pour boiling water into the casserole, surrounding the Muffin tin wells. Place the whole thing – carefully – in a 350 F oven until the Whites of the eggs have just solidified. You wan toe Yolks a little runny.
Chicken Breasts and other stuff – like Pork Chops, Steaks and Fish Steaks – can be seared on top of the stove and finished off in the oven. They’ll cook more evenly than on top of the stove and they’ll stay moister inside. This, in fact, is how all the pro chefs do it; one reason your every-day home-cooked dishes never quite turn out like what you get in a good restaurant!
Wings are still pretty cheap compared to other meats and cuts of Chicken. When you get a hankering for them, buy a big ‘Club Pack’ tray or two and give them a simple breading: Just sprinkle with Salt and Pepper. Then dip them in Milk and then dredge them in well-seasoned Flour.that you’ve liberally dosed with your fave herbs and spices. Thus far, you’ve got pretty much what the Colonel started with, making KFC. But you’re going to take a sharp left at Albuquerque! Place the wings inn a single later on a baking sheet or sheet pan and drizzle lightly with Olive or Canola Oil. Bake on the centre rack of a 400 F oven for 20-30 minutes. Actual cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your Wings. Once cooked, you can toss them in whatever sauce you like or leave them plain for dipping. Quick. Easy. Totally satisfying. And much less greasy than an-fried or deep-fried Wings!
Fries are also a thing that can be rendered more healthy by cooking in the oven than in the deep-fryer. Just cut them nice and chunky, dry them with paper towells, toss in Olive or Canola oil and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes in a 400 F oven. They may take less time cook depending on how thick you cut them. Take them hot from the oven and toss in the Sauce or spice blend of your choice. You can also make thick Potato Chips or Wedges by this method. Just adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Enjoy healthier, less-greasy and more flavourful ‘fried’ foods the way Chefs make them!
~ Maggie J.