When it comes to cooking bacon either in a pan, in the oven or a microwave (or any other way you can think of!), I think it pays to be pretty laid back about the whole thing. Whatever works for you is my rule of thumb. After all, the Republic of Bacon is a pretty big and accepting place – the only rule is that you have to like bacon! But ever so often, someone comes along who tells us that the way we are cooking our bacon is wrong. Today, I’ll look at what CHOW says is the wrong and right way to cook bacon.
You’re Doing It All Wrong
Here’s the video where they show us how to cook bacon.
First of all, I have no idea why Scott Vermeire – the host of this particular segment – describes the bacon in a kinda sexual way. “Flaccid” bacon is bad; “lubricated” is good, apparently. A subtle advertisement for bacon, or just the way his brain works?
Vermeire: Bacon Needs Twenty Minutes
As for the actual cooking instructions, Vermeire does throw down some big gauntlets. The one I think is the most arguable is that he says bacon should take more than twenty minutes to cook. Really? Twenty minutes? I agree that it’s always a good idea to keep your temperature pretty low at the beginning, but twenty minutes seems like an overly cautious amount of time to me. Not all of us can be that patient with bacon! I favour starting out low and then turning up the heat a bit, and I’ve never noticed my bacon suffering in quality.
Bacon Likes to Cuddle with Other Bacon
He also suggests that you need to cover the bottom of the pan with bacon to make sure there is enough fat rendering off. Vermeire says that you need to do this because otherwise the bacon will burn. Once again, really? What if you don’t want to eat that much bacon: are you supposed to throw out the rest? And if you are cooking the bacon slowly, shouldn’t you be able to cook only a few slices? I don’t find a lack of bacon grease rendering off my bacon to be much of a problem. In fact, I would think that jamming a lot of bacon into your pan is more likely to cause the overlapping problem he describes.
What About Variety?
Finally, what about those of us who like our bacon to be a little bit variable in consistency and texture? After all, getting some uniform bacon from a fry pan seems like a waste of time and effort: why not just bake it? In contrast, frying bacon to me often seems to be about the joy of somewhat curled up bacon that have bits of undercooked pink goodness. I often like imperfectly done bacon, cause it’s so imperfect. Frying is also about the fun of watching it sizzle and kinda letting it do its own thing. Getting those robotically perfect strips of bacon after frying may be good for some perfectionist chef, but what normal person really wants to live like that?
How about you – do you fry your bacon really slowly and perfectly, or are you a devil-may-care, fly by the seat of your pants type?