Bacon is a flavor that not many people can resist, so we must acquire the skill of cooking this popular food on the grill.
If you have tried to cook bacon on the grill, you would probably have had mixed results, with limited success.
Our expert bacon grilling guide from our grill masters will give you all the tricks to grilling perfect bacon!
- Grilling bacon can be done using zoned coals in a charcoal grill or on any grill by cooking the bacon on an oven baking tray, preventing overcooking and flare-ups.
- Letting the bacon warm up to room temperature before grilling helps ensure even cooking of the meat and fat.
- Using a baking tray from your indoor oven to grill bacon provides indirect heat, retains the bacon fat for even cooking, and simplifies cleanup.
How To Cook Bacon On A Grill?
The foundation to cooking perfect bacon on the grill starts with buying your bacon.
Scott "Admiral BigGun" Backstrom, founder of TailgateMaster.com, recommends placing the skillet over direct flames during the pre-heat process, then turning down the burners once bacon is added. If you are using a charcoal grill, move your skillet away from the coals before you lay your bacon on it.
If you can, source slightly thicker-cut bacon; it will be much easier to cook on the grill than a paper-thin piece of bacon.
If you cannot source thicker-cut bacon, don't worry, we have a method to help you with this problem.
We will solve the issue of rendering fat with the grilling methods we teach you.
1. Season The Grill To Prevent The Bacon Sticking
Bacon sticking to the grill could result from the grill temperature being too high, or you have not seasoned your grill before cooking the bacon.
The best way to season the grill is to wipe the cooking grill down with a high smoke point oil, such as ghee, before you light the grill.
This creates a non-stick coating on the grill that helps prevent the bacon from sticking to the hot metal until the bacon fat gets hot enough to render.
2. Let The Bacon Warm Up Before Grilling
One of the main problems with grilling bacon is uneven cooking. The meat and the fat on the bacon warm up at different rates.
Fat warms much slower than the meat, so if you put cold bacon on the grill, the meat will cook before the fat heats up enough to become crispy.
When this happens, the meat will start to overcook while getting the fat crispy, resulting in dry, hard bacon strips.
Let the bacon stand be covered on your kitchen counter for at least 15 minutes before cooking to allow the fat and the meat to warm up to room temperature equally.
3. Use Grill Zones To Cook Bacon
The best way to grill bacon on a charcoal grill is to use heat zones. You will need an aluminum foil tray for this method.
The tray is unnecessary, but it makes cleaning up afterward easier.
Start the coals in a pile in the middle of the grill. When they are all well-lit, separate them into two piles, one on each side of the grill.
Place the aluminum foil tray in between the two piles of hot coals.
The tray acts as a drip tray to catch the rendered fat from the bacon and distance the bacon from the direct heat of the coals.
Place the bacon on the grill directly above the aluminum drip tray, not directly over the coals. This will minimize the flare-up resulting from bacon fat dripping directly onto the hot coals.
4. Use a Baking Tray From Your Indoor Oven To Grill Bacon
Another method for grilling bacon is to use a baking tray from your indoor oven to provide indirect heat to cook the bacon.
Light the fire in the grill, and while the grill warms up, prepare the baking tray.
Rub a thin layer of high smoke point oil on the cooking surface of the baking tray. Place the baking tray on the grill and give it a minute or two to warm up.
Place the bacon strips on the baking tray and allow it to cook, turning it periodically. Cooking bacon this way has several benefits. Overcooking the bacon directly on the grill.
- You don't lose the bacon fat. The bacon fat remains in the baking tray and helps cook the bacon evenly.
- You can fry eggs at the same time. For breakfast, you can fry your eggs directly in the bacon fat on the baking tray. Try frying some thinly sliced potato or sliced onions and tomatoes in the bacon grease if you are not cooking breakfast.
- Minimal chance of flare-ups. Using a baking tray to grill your bacon minimizes the chance of flare-ups on the grill even further.
- Clean-up is easy. The cleanup using this method is even easier than the previous method since all the bacon fat is contained in the bacon tray.
Some people may argue that grilling your bacon this way does not expose the bacon to BBQ smoke.
While this is true, most bacon is already smoked, so the meat's delicious smoky flavor is already present. Thus, grilling bacon this way will not detract from the taste.
The Problems With Grilling Bacon
Several problems are typical for grilling bacon, and some common mistakes people make in grilling bacon can accentuate these issues.
We will guide you through our frustration-free methods of grilling bacon on your barbeque grill to deliver perfect bacon every time!
The main issues with cooking bacon on the grill include the following:
- Bacon is thin. Bacon is traditionally a thin cut of meat, but the thinner it is, the more difficult it is to cook without overcooking it or charring it to an inedible blackened strip!
- Bacon has a lot of fat. As you know from cooking bacon on your indoor stove top, bacon contains a lot of fat, which renders out when exposed to heat. That fat has to go somewhere, and if it gets onto the fire, you will have constant flare-ups to deal with on the grill.
- The bacon sticks to the grill. Bacon sticking to the grill is problematic because it is a thin cut of meat. When you try to lift the piece off the grill, it sticks and rips the bacon, and you invariably lose part of it as it slips through the grill!
- Unevenly cooked bacon. The meat is cooked and beginning to burn, and the fat has not yet been cooked. This uneven cooking is a symptom easily remedied.
We will cover these main issues around cooking bacon on the grill when discussing cooking bacon on the grill.