A bacon lover's dream? UK firm debuts package that crisps it in a microwave
U.K. company Sirane has introduced innovative packaging that will allow bacon to be cooked to a crisp in a microwave. The company said an absorbent board inside the pack soaks up hot fat released by the bacon and allows for cooking time to determine the degree of crispness.
Bacon producers can sell the Sira-Cook Crispy Bacon Packs with their own products inside. Consumers also can buy take-home packs to add their own bacon, the company said.
"Over the years we’ve been asked to develop many products, but one that’s kept on popping up is a pack that will cook bacon in a microwave. We’re now able to offer exactly that — a 'microwave crispy bacon pack,' " Simon Balderson, Sirane's managing director, said in a company release.
For bacon fans, this innovation in packaging sounds almost too good to be true since microwaving has typically made bacon soggy unless it's cooked between layers of paper towel to soak up the grease. But while this Sirane product checks the boxes for convenience and personalization, the company doesn't say what the absorbent board is made of, so some consumers might be nervous about microwaving the material unless more information is included with the product.
Increasingly, shoppers prefer flexibility and sustainability in packaging so that items don't have to be thrown away as often, adding to waste and landfill problems. A reusable microwave package for organic and/or nitrate-free bacon or other meats would be a preferable choice compared to a one-time-use one. It's not clear whether the Sirane product can be reused.
The addition of the microwavable crispy bacon pack by major U.S. meat producers also could add to the retail price of bacon, even though it enhances the convenience factor. Given the popularity of bacon, though, the potential cost — or any lingering environmental or nutritional concerns — may not be much of a deterrent.
Several factors have contributed to the increasing U.S. demand for pork products, including bacon. These include a growing export market, interest in Asian and Latino cuisine, more breakfast items using bacon and the product being routinely offered on restaurant menus — as a hamburger add-on, for example.
Consequently, producers, such as Hormel, have expanded precooked bacon capacity, while others, including Seaboard Triumph Foods and Prestage Foods, have significantly upped their pork production. According to The Washington Post, the U.S. Agriculture Department projects that pork production will equal or overtake beef by the end of this year. It will be interesting to see if packaging innovations like this one will be a successful way to differentiate in the growing space and if shoppers will be willing to shell out more for the premium convenience.