Cool Tool…The Cast Iron Bacon Press

You gotta CRUSH that bacon flat!

One of the great all time nonessential-but-cool-to-have kitchen tools is the cast iron bacon press. You use it to keep bacon from curling up as it cooks, and that makes it great for topping sandwiches (like killer BLTs, bacon cheeseburgers, grilled cheese and The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich). Used in conjunction with a heavy, seasoned Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Pan (an essential addition to any kitchen because of its excellent heat retention and diffusion properties), it’s also perfect for weighting down chops, burgers or steaks while pan-frying, which helps to keep more of the surface area of the meat in contact with the pan. This  browns them more evenly and helps develop complex flavors and aromas via the Maillard Reaction, all while forming a tasty caramelized crust .

8 thoughts on “Cool Tool…The Cast Iron Bacon Press

  1. I’ve been waiting for a site just like this. So far all of the content is great! I’ll be checking every day for more cool stuff.

  2. I’ve recently been moving from cast iron to multiclad. I just got tired of the poor heat conduction. Not much of an issue with as 12″ pan on a commercial range, and also probably not much of an issue on an electric burner, but over a residential gas stove, with burners around 3.5″ across you definitely get a hotspot wherever the burner is. Not a problem with a multiclad (nor, probably with aluminum or teflon lined aluminum, but I won’t use those for other reasons.) Not having to keep moving the pan around over the burner to spread heat is pretty nice.
    So… the next time you have a non-contact thermometer, plus 12″ CI pan on a residential burner, just have a look, and maybe stop mentioning CI’s great heat diffusion – because it’s not actually all that great.

  3. I agree with you that multiclad is fantastic, but I also think that cast iron has great conduction properties. Since cast iron is a very slow conductor of heat and it takes a while for the heat to spread, it will form hot spots if it’s heated too quickly. Try heating it up more slowly over lower heat and I think you might see that hot spots just disappear. Thanks for your comment..

  4. Well, for me, slow conduction == poor. A major point of cooking with gas is the immediate response you get when changing the flame. FWIW, I live in a cohousing community, we have a commercial gas stove in the commonhouse that I use on a moderately regular basis. Even with a much larger Lodge pan (18″?), the effect is much less pronounced (big Vulcan – gas burners are 6″+ in diameter) but it’s still there. That would be with a low-and-steady flame and plenty of pre-heat time (browning a pan full of stuff, items at the edges get a lot less browned). Pan’s heavy to move and it’s got a ridge molded in the bottom to keep it centered, so you have to actually lift it to move it off center.
    OTOH, that hotspot can be a feature, when making, say fried rice; just keep moving stuff into and out of that center area. Same deal as a wok, but you can do a lot more bulk.

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