If you’re looking to “wow” your guests, a bacon weave will do the trick, and smell amazing! Knowing how to create a bacon weave is a tool you can add to your culinary skillset. Once you follow this beginner’s guide, you’ll find bacon weaving isn’t that complex. It just takes a little time.
The key factor in making the best bacon weave is making sure you get a bit of succulent bacon in every morsel. And while you’ve probably seen weaves used on pork loin, there are a lot of creative ways in which to use them, including:
- Enveloping meatloaf, sausage, chicken, and meaty fishes
- Wrapping around grilled sandwiches
- Crisscrossed around corn
- Woven into a Brussels sprout stalk
- Basketing burgers
and much more.
What is a Bacon Weave?
If you stumbled onto this page and wonder what the heck a bacon weave is, you are in for a treat. A bacon weave is pretty much like it sounds. You make it by creating a flat lattice of bacon. The resulting mat wraps around your choice of food before cooking, keeping everything tender and tasty. Not to mention it makes for an awesome presentation.
Basic Bacon Weaving Technique:
When you start working on a bacon weave, it may give you flashbacks to summer camp craft projects. The end result, however, is anything but ordinary or humdrum. You’ll be tickled when you see your creation.
- Set out 8 strips of bacon on parchment paper, flush against each other. Make sure the fatty sides are all turned in the same direction. When you look, the width of the 8 should match the length roughly.
- Fold every other strip in upward, about ¼ of the whole length onto itself.
- Take one of the other 8 strips of bacon and lay it perpendicular across the folds.
- Unfold those strips, then fold the other set up to the point where the edge of the perpendicular piece ends.
- Lay the next piece of bacon across them.
- Repeat the process with the other 6 slices of bacon. When you look at the square it should appear like latticework.
- Place another piece of parchment paper over the entire bacon weave. Use a rolling pin, gently. The goal is to make a uniform thickness and bringing the edges together. If you don’t have a rolling pin, try a tall glass.
- Put the bacon weave on the meat (or other product). In cases where it will not wrap all the way around, use toothpicks to secure.
Cooking times vary, but if you are cooking it “as is” 35 minutes or so should do it on a 350 degree F smoker.
If putting it on meat or something else, you will see the bacon tighten and stay in place.
Go Big or Go Home:
If you want to make a bacon weave for something like a turkey, you need a bigger mat. You can lengthen rows by adding more bacon, each strip of which overlaps the ends of your current mat by about 3 inches, then just keep weaving.
A Bacon Weave Solo Act
If you’d like to use your bacon weave as a pizza crust or a serving tray you can make it by itself. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the rack in it. You can actually weave it right there to save the difficulty of moving it.
Cook at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you like. Pat it with paper towels to soak up the oil.
Tips & Tricks
- If you like smoky bacon, make sure the product you buy has been naturally smoked.
- Look for bacon with as much meat as possible, and get more than you think you’ll actually use. This is doubly true when using thin bacon.
- Buy thicker cuts of bacon for recipes that cook “low and slow,” otherwise it’s prone to burning. You can use thinner cuts on your grill for burgers, fish, baked potatoes, etc. remembering to increase your grill’s temperature in the last 10 minutes or so for crisping.
- Keep your bacon cold until you’re ready to weave it. It makes manipulating it easier.
Remember that bacon comes with several flavor profiles like apple and maple. Use your personal preference or what matches the meat best.
Bacon weaves are not just for the main course. Try it on top of an apple pie in lieu of crust! Or make the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich with the bacon weave wrapped around it.
Pit Master’s Memos
For greater flavor, sprinkle some seasonings on what will be the inside of the weave before applying it to the meat.
Bacon weaves will shrink as it loses fat. Take that into account when building one.
For more even cooking, put your bacon-wrapped item on a rack, providing greater air circulation.