It’s great to have a batch of homemade bacon bits ready to add to soups, eggs, and pastas, as well as to toss in salads. The possibilities are endless, really, since everything is better with bacon.
I love the thick, center cut bacon at Costco. It comes in two 2-pound packages so I always throw one in the freezer. I use the oven baked method if I want strips, but I like to make bits out of the frozen package.
Start by cutting two pounds (or however much you want) of bacon strips into pieces, not too small as they will shrink down. If you are using frozen bacon, it’s easier to cut when it’s still a little frozen, so you don’t need to thaw it all the way.
Place the bacon in a heavy, high sided skillet or Dutch oven. I like to use the cast iron for the job. Turn the stove on medium heat and begin cooking, stirring occasionally.
If the bacon has been frozen, it will likely give off excess liquid as it cooks. Drain as much of the liquid out of the pan as you are able then continue to cook the bacon. You can turn the heat up to medium-high if you’re watching it closely.
Once the fat begins to render and brown the bacon, keep a close eye on it, stirring often, until the bacon bits are nicely browned and crispy.
The whole process can take 30 minutes or longer depending on the amount and thickness of the bacon and level of heat you use.
Place a stainless steel strainer over a heatproof bowl (it’s hard to see, but it’s under there). Carefully, transfer the cooked bacon bits to drain off the excess fat.
Store whatever you aren’t using right away in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 5 – 7 days. (Try not to eat them all!)