Of all the world’s different foods, few inspire as much passion as bacon does. Still, it’s not hard to see why. As far as meat goes, bacon reigns king as one of the most delicious. Its texture is chewy, crispy and greasy with a salty meat flavor with smoke as well. For super-fans, there are even artisanal brands of bacon and different cuts of bacon that can provide you with exactly the flavor and texture you’re looking for. Still, all these extra varieties aren’t useful unless we know exactly how to cook our bacon the right way.
Although you may have heard of the bake-bacon-in-the-oven trick, this can sometimes be a pain. We don’t always want to preheat the oven and wait 20 minutes to cook our bacon. Additionally, baking your bacon gives it a very uniform texture that is mostly just thinly crispy without all the texture perfect bacon can offer. Fortunately, we have a great method to cook perfect bacon in a pan that anyone can do.
Here’s what you need:
- bacon of your choosing
- spatula or tongs
Here’s what you do:
1. First, throw your bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Still, instead of letting it sit there on its own, pour in enough water to completely submerge the bacon—though only just enough. Adding water to your pan helps to keep the temperature in the pan low at first, allowing your bacon to cook and develop a chewiness without letting it burn.
2. Allow everything to heat up until your water starts to boil. At that point, turn your heat down to medium and let the water keep evaporating. During this stage of the process, your meat will be absorbing some extra moisture which prevents it from drying out—although now we’re exposing it more directly to the heat and letting it get firmer.
3. Finally, once all the water has evaporated, turn your heat down to medium-low and keep cooking the bacon. With all the water gone, you can now cook your bacon to its desired crispiness without worrying that some of the fattier or fleshier parts will be undercooked while others get burned from too much direct heat.
4. Ideally, your bacon will get evenly browned and evenly crispy all over after a few more minutes in the pan at this temperature. At the end of the process, simply transfer your bacon strips to paper towels and you’re ready to serve!
The trick to this method is knowing how water boils versus how fat cooks. On every piece of bacon, there are at least some fat deposits that you have to wait for while you’re cooking. On the other hand, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to almost completely render the bacon fat down before you start your crisping process.
When it comes to frying bacon in a pan, the most common mistake we can make is not paying attention or turning the heat up too high to start. Although without water, the rendered bacon fat can fill the pan and help the meat fry, it’s all too easy to let it dry out and get crumbly and burnt if you’re not careful. By adding a little extra moisture, you can strike the perfect balance!
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Source: YouTube/America’s Test Kitchen