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What is a Bacon Press?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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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utensil in kitchens of all sizes, the bacon press continues to be a great asset, even in a time when many utensils have been replaced by high tech equipment.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.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon311144 — On Dec 29, 2012

I use a bacon press all the time, but not for bacon. I use the cast iron press to press down ground meat into a thinner hamburger. I also put the press on top of the hamburger as it grills to keep it flat. The problem is with the cast iron: it rusts. No matter how hard I try to wash it and dry it, it still rusts. I would love to find a stainless one.

By lightning88 — On Nov 01, 2010

I have a glass bacon press, but I hardly ever use it, even though I love the way that it makes the bacon look.

I had actually asked for a stainless steel bacon press, but the person I was asking gave me a glass one instead since they thought it looked prettier.

The problem is in the design. It's made of relatively thin glass with a short glass handle that gets really hot. However, the handle is so short that it's almost impossible to hold with an oven mitt on, so you can either singe your fingers holding the handle, or you have to clumsily fumble the large round bacon press onto the pan with the oven mitt and hope it doesn't shatter and leave a thousand glass shards in your bacon.

Is it any wonder that I don't use it more often? Next time I'm just going to get my own -- that way I can know that I'm getting a good one, and not some wonky glass one.

By yournamehere — On Nov 01, 2010

This sounds like such a cool thing! I love all kinds of kitchen gadgets, but I had never heard of this one. At first I thought it was something like a panini press, but obviously I got that wrong.

I am definitely going to have to get one of these things though -- I've even got a spot available right next to my enameled cast iron dutch oven that will be perfect!

Do you know where I could buy one in the Milwaukee area?

By closerfan12 — On Nov 01, 2010

This is the same thing as a grill press, right? My husband has one of those things and he loves to bring it out every time we do a barbecue.

He says it gives the steaks better lines or something, but I would have thought you could accomplish the same thing by pressing a spatula on it.

Of course, I could see how that would be a little more difficult with bacon, since it gets crispy. I wonder if anybody still uses one of those things regularly, or if it's gone the way of the iron griddle?

Does anybody reading this use a bacon press on a regular basis, or is it one of those things that you get for your wedding and then stick it in the back of the cabinet for the next 10 years?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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