Why is my bacon wrapped chicken a soggy mess?

I recently had a Google conversation with one of my wonderful readers that went like this:

Reader: I tried to make the bacon wrapped chicken.
Me: Did it work?
Reader: Emphasis on tried.  I couldn't get the bacon to crisp up like I wanted it to.
Me: Weird.  Maybe put it under the broiler next time.
Reader: I think it was the dish I had it in.
Me: Bingo!  You have to use a wire rack.  It won't crisp in a dish.

This is what your set up should look like for crisping things
like bacon or wings in the oven.  See that the wire rack is
on top of a cookie sheet.  This allows air to flow on all sides
of the meat, including underneath, for a crispy exterior.
image via
Getting meat crispy in the oven can be very tricky business.  A wire baking rack is a kitchen essential if you are going to be cooking anything that needs to get crunchy in the oven.  The oven is not applying a direct, hot surface to the bacon the way a skillet on a stove top does.  Cooking bacon in a dish in the oven will cause the bacon to release some juice, but it wont get hot enough to actually fry it.

If you're unfamiliar with wire baking racks, you may know them as cooling racks.  Make sure to get one that is oven safe, as some nonstick surfaces release fumes that can be toxic when they are heated too high.  Kitchen Essentials makes one that is oven safe up to 450 degrees, which would be fine for most recipes.  They are sold at Target for around $10.

Many thanks to the reader who submitted this question.  Please continue to send your questions, comments, and suggestions to lifelovelowcarb@gmail.com, or if you catch me online feel free to send me a Google Chat.  I love hearing from you all!  

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