Bacon bits are a staple at salad bars and on top of baked potatoes, but many commercial versions of bacon bits are not really made from bacon. In "Bacon: A Love Story," Heather Lauer notes that the uses for bacon bits are unlimited, and that ones you make often taste better than bottled versions do. While homemade bacon bits do not keep as long as most store-bought varieties, they lend a bolder flavor to any dish you feel like adding them to.
Cut the bacon into large chunks using a sharp knife.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Sprinkle the chopped bacon into the hot skillet.
Cook the bacon bits for 5 to 6 minutes, then stir.
Cook the bacon, stirring often, until it is crispy.
Line a large plate with two or three layers of paper towels.
Remove the bacon from the skillet using a slotted spoon and layer on the paper towels.
Allow the bacon to drain and cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Crumble the bacon into small bits using your fingers. Store in an airtight container.
Homemade bacon bits will keep in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator or up to three months in the freezer. Include bacon bits in a variety of recipes. Top potato soup, clam chowder or broccoli cheese soup with your homemade bacon bits, or add them to baked potatoes, tossed salads or steamed vegetables. Add bacon bits to pasta sauces to add a bold flavor and new taste. Bacon bits can also enhance the flavor of your favorite stew or chili recipe. Substitute pork bacon for turkey bacon to reduce the amount of fat in your bacon bits. Soy bacon is a meat alternative that tastes similar to meat-based versions of bacon.
Do not store your bacon bits in a cabinet like you would store-bought versions. Homemade bacon bits are perishable and must be kept in the refrigerator to be safe to eat. Use caution when stirring your bacon bits. Bacon grease gets very hot and tends to splatter when disturbed. Use an oven mitt when stirring to protect your hand and arm. Wearing an apron may also protect your clothing from grease splatters.