If you have tried to make turkey bacon recently, you might be wondering how you can tell when it is cooked. We all know that under-cooked meat is dangerous, but over-cooked meat is chewy, hard, or simply inedible – so you need to find the middle ground.
How do you know when turkey bacon is ready?
How to tell if turkey bacon is done? You can tell if turkey bacon is done when it has been cooked in a skillet for eight to ten minutes in total, with a few minutes of cooking on each side. The bacon should turn crispy and a nice rich brown, and you should not see pink or translucent flesh.
How Long Should You Cook Turkey Bacon For?
In total, turkey bacon will usually need about ten minutes in a pre-heated frying pan over a medium to high heat. You should cook it in oil, rather than dry, because this helps to distribute the heat across the surface by coating it with hot oil.
Get a large skillet and warm a couple of tablespoons of oil in it, and then add the bacon once the oil is starting to glimmer. Fry the bacon for a couple of minutes, and then turn each rasher over.
Allow the other side to cook for another two to three minutes, and then turn it back. Again, apply heat for a couple of minutes, and turn it back again. This prevents the rashers from burning and helps the bacon to cook evenly.
You should cook the bacon for around eight to ten minutes in total, until it is very nicely browned all over. Do not take the bacon out of the pan before you are satisfied that it has turned golden and delicious.
Can You Oven Cook Turkey Bacon?
Yes, it is possible, but you may find that the bacon becomes a bit tougher. It also needs to be cooked for longer, so many people do not favor this cooking method.
You can cook turkey bacon in the oven by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and then lightly greasing a baking tray. Put the bacon slices in a single layer across the tray, leaving a small amount of space between each so that they do not overlap. You don’t want any overlapping.
Place the baking tray in the hot oven, and bake for between fifteen and twenty minutes. You may not find that you need to turn the rashers, as the tray and the oven will apply heat from both directions, but some people do prefer to flip them to ensure that they cook evenly.
Again, it is a good idea to check that the bacon looks well done all over before you serve it.
Can You Eat Turkey Bacon Without Cooking It First?
No, it is not safe to do this. Turkey bacon, like a lot of meat, can harbor bacteria when it is in its raw form, and it is important to cook it to get rid of this bacteria. Eating turkey bacon raw could make you very sick, as it may contain bacteria such as salmonella.
There are many other diseases and issues associated with raw bacon, so do not consume it. Always cook your bacon according to the package instructions in order to minimize your risk of issues.
Will My Turkey Bacon Be Crisp?
Good bacon should be crisp, and it is possible to achieve this with turkey bacon. However, you should note that it is harder to do this than with regular pork bacon, because turkey bacon has a much lower fat content.
It is fat that makes bacon that satisfying chewy texture, so it’s quite tricky to give turkey bacon the same texture. Having hot oil in the pan before you add the bacon can help, and using a generous amount will encourage the meat to crisp up at the edges.
However, you may need to accept that your turkey bacon simply won’t be quite as crispy as pork bacon – but this does not mean that it hasn’t finished cooking. If you keep cooking it in an attempt to get it crispy, you may burn the edges or make it very chewy and leathery.
Why Should You Choose Turkey Bacon?
You might be wondering why you would choose this kind of bacon if it does not offer such a fantastic texture. There are a few reasons: health, flavor, and cost.
Firstly, turkey bacon is a bit healthier. Because of the lower fat content, it is often considered a healthier way to still enjoy bacon, without overloading your body with fat. You should note, however, that while turkey bacon is a healthier option, it is still not very good for you overall.
Many people also prefer the taste of turkey bacon, although this obviously comes down to personal preference. Some people also prefer to buy turkey bacon because they opt not to eat pork for ethical reasons, and poultry is a good alternative.
It is important to note that turkey bacon tends to be significantly cheaper than traditional bacon. Some people cook a little of each to help reduce the cost of making bacon sandwiches and create a healthier meal, while still really enjoying the bacon.
If you are in a store, it’s well worth picking up and trying a packet of turkey bacon alongside your regular bacon.
Can You Microwave Turkey Bacon?
Yes, you can. Line a microwave safe plate with a paper towel to absorb the grease, and then put a few rashers of turkey bacon in a single layer on top of the paper towel. You may need to experiment with cooking times.
Two to three minutes is usually sufficient, but as microwaves vary significantly, you should test yours out. Microwaving is a great way to make turkey bacon chewy.
Turkey bacon is done when it is brown and reasonably crispy. The meat should all have darkened, leaving no pink areas, and it should look much like regular bacon does. However, it may not become quite as crispy as regular bacon, so don’t over-cook it, or you will end up with very dry and unpleasant bacon!