Tag Archives: cooking bacon

Product Review: Smart Bacon Express

I love bacon. The salty fatty pork is utterly delicious and addictive and I think plays a huge role in the British psyche. The Americans may chuck bacon onto literally everything but we have the upper hand with the bacon butty and the English breakfast. The tasty yet humble bacon butty may be simple but also divisive; white, brown or a bap, ketchup, brown sauce or an egg, toasted or untoasted, butter or no butter, everyone has it their own way.

For me, the perfect bacon butty is toasted sliced white or wholemeal bloomer (I’m not fussed) spread with butter with crisp unsmoked bacon.

The bacon I would have is not the crispy bacon that the Americans have on their pancakes; it simply wouldn’t work. But at times, getting crispy bacon which is crispy but not burnt can be difficult – the so-called perfect bacon. I’ve seen various tips and tricks to get crispy bacon such as:

  • Take the bacon out 10 minutes before frying so it returns to its natural state and start with a cold cast iron pan and do not overcrowd the pan with bacon
  • Place the bacon a wire rack over a roasting tray to catch the fat and bake in the oven
  • Put cold bacon into a cast iron skillet lined with foil and add water to the skillet
  • Microwave the bacon on a plate, layering the bacon between multiple sheets of paper towels for about 5-6 minutes

While these methods all yield crispy bacon, the UK now has a new and innovative way of cooking bacon without having to turn on the hob or the oven. The Smart Bacon Express is a new healthier way to cook bacon to crispy perfection quickly and easily.

The Bacon Express instantly reminds me of a toaster, especially with the dial on the side that allows you to adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of your bacon and how crispy you want it. The Bacon Express allows you to cook up to 6 rashers of bacon at a time – probably more than you can fit in your average sized frying pan or baking tray.

The Bacon Express has cool touch handles on the side panels which easily open to reveal the inside. The bacon is laid over the cooking plate inside which can be easily removed using the two tabs. This unique vertical cooking position allows the fat to drain away into the removable drip tray underneath the cooking plate giving crisper and healthier bacon. The two door plates again can be removed for easy cleaning. The chrome finish gives the Bacon Express a modern style, making it suitable for all kitchens.

You can watch my unboxing of the Smart Bacon Express on my Youtube channel below!

My initial impression of the Bacon Express was that it was very easy to use and set up. With just a simple touch of a button, the Bacon Express is preheated and ready to cook the bacon in no time! The intense sizzling sound when you lay your rashers of bacon on is amazing and unrivalled! Then simply shut the two doors, turn the dial to your required setting, press the button and then leave to cook. It’s that simple!

The thin crispy bacon setting took around 6 and a half minutes to cook the bacon that I tested in the video. This is certainly quicker than achieving crispy bacon through the cast iron skillet methods I mentioned above but of course there are limitations to this; cooking large amounts of bacon for a big group of people or a family means that the Bacon Express takes much longer than the other methods and while the bacon yielded from the Bacon Express is amazingly crispy (something I have never managed before), it wouldn’t be worth your time for a large amount when the grill/hob would do the same job much quicker! The size of bacon sold in the UK is larger in width than the ones on the packaging so you probably won’t be able to fit 6 strips on the cooking plate; 3 is probably the average number you can fit on.

Hence the Bacon Express is well suited for a university student like myself who is probably only cooking for themselves as well as other people living on their own, new couples or new homeowners. I know that I would certainly use the Bacon Express instead of microwaving my bacon (which is a nightmare at times!) or trying to grill it – the number of stories I have heard about smoke alarms being set off when people have tried to cook bacon! The Bacon Express is advantageous for cooking small amounts of crispy bacon where perhaps you won’t be cooking eggs in the same pan for the flavour or don’t want to turn on the gas/hob or oven – for example for a salad topping or a pasta salad.

Moreover the Bacon Express lends itself well to multitasking in the kitchen. Really the bacon does not require any of your attention thanks to the beeping after it has preheated and after the bacon has cooked meaning that except from opening it just to have a check on its progress, you can very easily prepare your bread for your bacon butty or scramble your eggs while the bacon sizzles away happily in the Bacon Express which is a huge positive.

When it comes to cleaning, the cooking plate, the two door plates and the drip tray are all very easy to remove but not as easy to clean. The cooking and door plates all get surprisingly messy and after letting them cool so you can remove them safely, I found they had to soak for a while before I could properly clean them and even then, I couldn’t clean them fully without scratching the plates at least – this may have been down to the fact that I cooked lots of bacon and the residue from the first batch burned as time went on.

And when it came to replacing the door plates, I did struggle with one of them getting in properly at times. But the Bacon Express prevents any bacon fat splattering around due to the closed design which is a big advantage of the product and something I really liked about it.

When the doors of the Bacon Express are closed, it is very compact and fits well into most kitchens both size wise and aesthetically. But when the Bacon Express does require a bit of space when the doors are open and many kitchens just may not have the space to fit in this gadget.


The Bacon Express retails for £49.99 which, for me, seems to be on the expensive side considering I am approaching this from a student’s perspective who would benefit greatly from this product; I would have expected a cost of around £35 – £40. But even if you aren’t a student, the Bacon Express is certainly a fun kitchen gadget with an appeal to not only student kitchens but for people living on their own, new couples, new homeowners and kitchen technology lovers too! For the bacon lovers, the Bacon Express will deliver the crispy bacon that they so desperately crave without the hassle of buying a cast iron skillet.

Overall I really enjoyed my time with the Bacon Express. The bacon it yielded was the crispiest I think I have ever had it, especially for the time that it took. The speed at which it cooked impressed me and made me think that the Bacon Express could have a place in my student kitchen when I need a cooked breakfast in a hurry – and I could also make a cup of tea or make some toast while it cooks, saving time. I would probably have a few issues with cleaning the door plates since I probably wouldn’t be able to clean it until after I got back from a day of lectures and it would require soaking for a while. It also would take up little room in the kitchen while it’s not being used which is a huge advantage.

The Bacon Express is certainly coming with me back to uni for my second year!

At the time of writing, the Bacon Express is currently available exclusively at Harts of Stur; I’ve put their social media links at the end of this post as well as a direct link to the product and their website so you can plenty more cookware items to purchase – and they have a clearance on too so make sure to check that out; you get free delivery on orders over £50 too!


As with all of my reviews, I keep the product after reviewing it but do not receive direct payment from this review. I have not been told to falsely write positive comments about the product and everything is my opinion. Also thanks to Ben for letting me borrow his kitchen – I’m sure he didn’t mind having bacon cooked for him!

Check out Harts of Stur’s website as well as their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Pinterest!

A direct link to the Bacon Express on the Harts of Stur website can be found by clicking here.

Comment down below about what you think of the Bacon Express! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and make sure to check out my previous recipe post for Sausage Stuffing Bonbons!

Slow Cooker Pulled Bacon with Homemade Barbecue Sauce

It used to be the case that meats that took a long time to cook were cheaper than the quicker cuts and while generally that still remains true, I found a little secret in some supermarkets which inverts that rule. “Cooking bacon” is what the supermarkets call those pieces of bacon which they can’t make into rashers and they put it all into one pack and it’s RIDICULOUSLY cheap, £1.15 for 1kg of bacon.

You do have to sort through all of the different packs as some of them can be incredibly fatty however if you do get a good pack then the bacon can be used in replacement for rashers, lardons or even slow cooked to make the most amazing pulled bacon!

My tips for looking for a good pack of cooking bacon is to choose a pack that contains hardly any fat/pieces of rind and depending on what you want to use it for, find a pack that contains what you want; packs usually either contain small rashers or large steaks. For my pulled bacon recipe, it’s best to go for the steaks. Of course choosing a pack with no fat/rind can be tricky so spend a few minutes preparing the bacon by trimming off any large pieces of fat/rind.

The pulled bacon is incredibly versatile and when it’s pulled in this way, it makes it go a lot further but for now, I am sharing my recipe for a homemade barbecue sauce which I mix with the pulled bacon and serve on poured over chips, similar in style to the Canadian dish poutine, which is chips topped with chewy cheese curds and covered in gravy.


For the slow cooker bacon:

200ml apple juice

1 tsp coriander seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

1 clove of garlic, crushed

½ tsp paprika

A pinch of dried chilli flakes

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1kg cooking bacon

For the barbecue sauce:

40g tomato puree

60g tomato ketchup

40g soft dark brown sugar

2 tbsp malt vinegar

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp hot sauce such as Tabasco or sriracha

Chips and grated cheese, to serve


Pour the apple juice and all the spices and seasonings into a 1.5L slow cooker. Mix to combine and place onto low while you prepare the bacon.

Trim off any large pieces of fat on the bacon and discard. Cut the bacon into manageable sized pieces that will fit into your slow cooker and then submerge into the slow cooker. Use a spoon to stir the contents so that the bacon chunks are coated in the spices.

Put the lid on and turn the slow cooker onto high and leave the bacon to slow cook for around 4 to 5 hours until the bacon is soft and falls apart easily, giving the contents a stir every hour or so. Once cooked, turn off the slow cooker and leave the bacon to sit in its cooking juices for 15 minutes. Gently lift out as much of the bacon as you can and use two forks to pull apart the bacon.

For the barbecue sauce, heat together all of the ingredients with 100ml of water and 100ml of the cooking liquid in a saucepan, stirring it constantly until it boils. Reduce the heat to medium and leave it to simmer for around 15 minutes until it has reduced slightly, stirring every so often to prevent sticking. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.

Mix together the pulled bacon with the barbecue sauce in the pan and spoon over the cooked chips in a bowl and finish with a sprinkle of grated cheese.