Old Mountain Cast Iron Bacon Press
As mentioned previously, I recently tied the knot with The Vegetarian. As many of you know, the pre-wedding period involves showers, where the couples receive gifty things. Well, my now mother-in-law, well knowing of my shadowy superhero-esque alter ego of BetterThanAndrew, vigilante baconologist, was appalled that I didn’t have a bacon press. Being the upstanding enabler that she is, she rectified the situation by begifting me an Old Mountain cast iron press.
It’s quite the beefy (err, porky) unit. I’m not sure where it tips the scales but it strikes me as being around the 4-5 lb mark. Then again, I’m a terrible estimator so I could be way off. (Edit: confirmed at around 4 lbs) It’s hefty, though. It measures in at about 7.5″ in diameter and centers nicely in the flat portion of a 10″ skillet. It’s got enough surface area to cover 4 good slices vertically. It was pre-seasoned, which was convenient. No fussing with baking it in the oven for a couple hours before I could use it to smash some swine.
Construction is solid, IMHO. I don’t have other presses to compare it to but my meter is that I’m pretty sure that if I was attacked by a secret agent assassin in my kitchen I could use it to deflect his gunfire and then smash his face in, Jason Bourne style, with no consequential damage to the press. The handle is attached by two beveled flat head phillips screws, flush with the pressing surface so there’s no concerns with scratching your cookware, and secured topside with a washer and nut. A crush nut or split-washer would instill more confidence but I’m not terribly concerned about the nuts coming loose, even after assassin attack. If they did it’d be a quick fix with a screwdriver and a wrench (or pliars, or what have you, if you’re not someone with a Bob Villa-endorsed workbench). The handle is a nice chromed steel with a coiled grip. I’ve never had issues with it heating up during use and it has excellent knuckle clearance from the press surface. Some of the “competing” units I’ve since seen online have a stubby wooden knob or similar grip that’s looks like a quick ticket to blisterville if you’re not careful. The only downside I’ve found is that the heads of the screws can get grease packed up in them during the cooking process. All that really means is an extra couple seconds during the cleaning process, though. It’s of very small concern in the grand scheme of things.
It does what it was designed to do very well. It prevents curling, speeds up cooking time and evenness, and reduces spatter, even better than my old pan screens did. Clean up is a breeze. Hot water and a bit of Dawn and she’s all ready for another round with that smiling pig looking up at you as if to say “Anything I can do to help, sir!” It’s the quintessential bacon preparation tool, besides tongs, and I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to own one. Bacon tested, BetterThanAndrew approved!
This bad boy is available from a number of online retailers for under $20.00. Do your bacon proud!