This article will cover how restaurants cook their bacon with step-by-step instructions. It will go over the equipment used, where they get their bacon from, what type of bacon they use, and the methods that they use.
The way that restaurants cook their bacon is very simple. There isn’t much work that needs to be done to prep the bacon, considering that the bacon is coming from a supplier. This is usually where restaurants get their bacon from, and it is already ready to go (sliced) straight out of the bag most of the time.
Restaurants will usually receive their bacon from a supplier that sells the bacon to them in bulk. The bacon is either par-cooked or raw. The bacon is in plastic sealed bags in layers, and spread out in columns and rows divided on wax paper for each layer.
The bacon is usually lean, meaning that it contains less fat than the bacon found at grocery stores most of the time. This type of bacon is more flexible because of this, and it allows room for restaurants to cook bacon easier without worrying so much about messing it up. It also allows them to make thin pieces of bacon that don’t shrivel up as much after it is cooked.
Some restaurants do actually make their own bacon from scratch, which we will cover later. They will buy the pork belly as a whole and then make bacon from it.
The Flat-Top Grill
A flat-top grill is one of the more common ways that restaurants use to cook bacon, especially if they use this grill frequently for cooking all of their other foods. They will take the strips of bacon and lay them on a flat top grill once it has heated up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The bacon is spread out on a section of the grill all together, but spread out enough so that none of the pieces of bacon are touching one another. The bacon is stretched out and laid flat to ensure fast and even cooking of each piece.
They use a large grill spatula to flip the bacon by going underneath the cooked bacon on the grill with a spatula and lifting it up. From there they just flip the bacon over to finish its cooking. Most restaurants will flip the bacon after the bacon has cooked enough that it begins to curl slightly. A few restaurants don’t flip their bacon at all, but just let it cook on its first side for the entire duration until it is finished.
It varies per restaurant on their style on how long they cook their bacon for. However, many times restaurants will continue to cook their bacon until the liquids come out of the bacon and it is bubbling in its juices. The temperature used to cook the bacon on the flat-top grill is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Some restaurants will use a lesser temperature to cook the bacon if they are cooking other foods on the flat-top grill that take longer to cook. This ensures that the bacon is still fresh, warm, and juicy by making sure that the bacon is cooking slow enough that it finishes near the same time as the other food.
To do this, a flat-top grill is used with one side that it hotter than another on its surface. The bacon cooks on the less heated side. If restaurants don’t want to change the temperature from the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then they will simply put the bacon on the grill later instead of cooking it at the initial same time as the other food. This way the bacon can still cook and come out fresh with the other food.
The bacon is then removed from the grill using two large spatulas to hold it as it is transported. One spatula is underneath the bacon, while the other spatula is used to gently clamp the bacon and hold it at the top while it is transported.
A frying pan is also another way that restaurants will cook their bacon, although it isn’t as common as using the flat-top grill. Restaurants that do most of their cooking on a stove top and don’t have a flat-top grill, will use this method. It isn’t going to help much if the restaurant has to go through a lot of bacon in a short period of time, because of the lack of room in the frying pan, but it still works.
Because bacon is usually ordered as an addition to compliment other foods, enough bacon can possibly be cooked on a stove top using a frying pan by a restaurant to get through one shift. Possibly one more batch of bacon may be required, but it isn’t much that is needed. However, for restaurants that use a lot of bacon, the flat-top grill is the best option. It has all the space needed to cook the bacon in large quantities all at once.
If the restaurant doesn’t have a flat-top grill or a stove top, then bacon can also be cooked in a conventional oven. This isn’t something that is commonly done, but it is done by restaurants that don’t use grills or frying pans. The type of oven used is a commercial oven with a conveyor belt. It has enough room to cook a lot of bacon, and it is actually the easiest method for cooking bacon.
For this method, the conveyor belt oven is preheated to 350 degrees first, then sent through the oven with a timer set to about 1 minute to 1 minute and 30 seconds. The bacon is laid out on a sheet of aluminum foil and sent through the oven on the conveyor belt this way. Once the bacon reaches the other side of the oven, it is finished cooking. Restaurants that toast alot of bread use these types of ovens.
The same procedure is followed as before with spreading out the bacon; just how it is done on a grill to ensure even cooking.
Some restaurants do use microwaves to cook their bacon, but mainly for bacon that has already been par-cooked as described earlier. Microwaving raw bacon is not ideal, as it will not have a good crisp like it would when it is cooked using a flat-top grill, conventional oven, or frying pan. As mentioned, some restaurants do buy par-cooked bacon. It is then just taken out of the package and placed in the microwave on high setting for around 1 minute.
Bacon From Scratch
A few restaurants will make their bacon from scratch by using a pork belly. They will get the pork belly from a meat supplier and smoke the entire thing in a commercial smoker. After it is finished, it is sliced into thin slices of bacon with a knife to make the bacon. After the bacon is sliced from the smoked pork belly, then it can be cooked further by using any of the prescribed methods on how restaurants cook their bacon.
After a restaurant cooks the bacon, they may decide to hot-hold the bacon in a warmer. This is commonly done in restaraunts that do not immediately serve the bacon that they have finished cooking. The bacon is fully cooked and then placed into a warmer to keep it fresh. The bacon is usually good for hours, but if it is kept in a warmer for too long, then it can dry out and become undesirable. However, because of the nature of bacon, it can be kept for a long time this way by a restaurant throughout the day.