How To: Make Restaurant-Worthy Bacon at Home

It is no secret that LON’s at the Hermosa has one of the best bacon dishes ever in its Sizzling Bacon brunch plate paired with maple syrup. How can we get that comforting bacon goodness at home (without turning into Michael Scott during his dreaded George Foreman Grill debacle)? Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco of LON’s shares his bacon-making insight.

First of all, why do you think people love bacon so darn much?

Smokey, fatty, salty goodness. It’s almost like umami.

Do you have favorite local shops for bacon?

The Pork Shop in Queen Creek.

When at a grocery store, what do you look for when purchasing bacon?

Thick-sliced, natural.

Bacon-cooking tips:

At home, I wrap a sheet pan in aluminum for easy clean up. You can just leave the grease on the aluminum, pull it from the pan and throw it away. You don’t have to deal with the grease. Start in a cold oven and turn it to 375 degrees. Helps to keep it flat. If cutting for “lardons” (fancy French word for big bacon bits), place in the freezer until it is firm but not frozen before cutting. If cooking “lardons,” when you first start cooking them, add water to the pan so it starts rendering the fat. This helps to get them crispy but not burned. My dad used to always burn the bacon so there’s a certain place in my heart for that.

How can pre-packaged bacon be jazzed up?

Sprinkle brown sugar and cayenne on it when you bake it. The brown sugar caramelizes on it while it cooks. Trick from one of my former cooks…

Do you have favorite rubs or seasoning for bacon?

Our current rub includes coriander, black and pink peppercorns and fennel seed. Fennel is one of my favorite spices and goes great with all things pork.

Do you have any unique uses for bacon that home chefs might not have thought of?

Many people may already do this but save the fat for future cooking. Gravy, cooking your eggs, flavoring whiskey…you can sub bacon fat for oil or butter in many dishes and you get the great, smoky salty, pork flavor added.

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