For well over two centuries, many cooks have considered their kitchens to be incomplete unless a bacon press was found among the cookware. The tool is exactly what the name implies. Used as a means of bacon flattening for a number of years, the press is typically made of a flat section of heavy cast iron, with a handle attached. The earliest models were made completely of cast iron, but since the early 20th century, the handles have been constructed of wood in most cases.
The press is used to flatten bacon as the strips are cooked in a pan or on an open grill. Because of the cast iron construction, it helps to hold in the heat while it prevents the incidence of curling bacon. The result is that the meat will cook a little faster when a press is used, and will most certainly yield flat and relatively uniform slices of bacon for the breakfast table.
Along with the bacon press models that are constructed for use in the home kitchen, commercial versions have been on the market for years. These commercial models are simply larger versions of the home press, and serve quite a few functions in local grilles, restaurants, breakfast bars, and other types of eateries.
Not only does the commercial model come in handy for ensuring the bacon strips are flat and attractive, the press also does the same for a number of other foods. For instance, a sandwich shop that features hamburgers, ham slices, boneless steaks, and other quick prepare types of meats will find a bacon press is great for use with the griddle. Placing the meat on the griddle and then applying the press helps to seal in some of the juices, makes for even cooking and, in the case of the ham steaks, prevents the ends from curling.
Purchasing a bacon press is not hard to do at all. Most fine kitchen supply stores will carry several sizes. Restaurant supply superstores are another great place to find them in various sizes. Even some of the national discount retail chains that carry cast iron cookware often include the press in their line of products.
As a valuable utensil in kitchens of all sizes, the bacon press continues to be a great asset, even in a time when many utensils have been replaced by high tech equipment. Given its versatility, relatively inexpensive cost, and ease of use, this tool is likely to remain in many kitchens for a long time.