Oh, man, do I love bacon and eggs for breakfast: a few drops of Tabasco on the eggs and the bacon crispy, but not so crispy that it disintegrates on the fork. The mouth waters at the thought! I have a pretty good handle on the eggs, but, for all the time I have spent in the kitchen over the years, I have yet to master the art of perfect bacon: it always comes out too crispy and burnt or dangerously undercooked and limp.
So, with some friends driving into town, soon, for an overnight visit, I have decided to ratchet up my game a couple notches and treat them to a great breakfast before they get back on the road. Before I fill up the refrigerator with a huge pile of bacon, let’s see what my options are.
The first method comes from America’s Test Kitchen. They suggest a pan full of water to start off the cooking process. As the meat cooks, the water evaporates, leaving the finished bacon moist and crispy. Sounds promising!
Next we have oven baked bacon. I’ve tried this cooking method before, but have been disappointed with the results. After watching the video below, I think my error lay in using a flat sheet of wax paper, rather than crinkled aluminum foil.
Finally, we have a couple tips from The Art of Manliness, who tell us the “number one fatal error that many people make when cooking bacon is throwing cold bacon onto a hot pan over high heat.” Instead of taking the bacon directly from fridge to pan, leave it out for a few minutes to allow “the fat to loosen up a bit and return to a more natural state. When you are ready to cook, place the bacon in a room temperature pan and then place it over medium heat.” Further, they suggest makin’ your bacon Vermont Style:
…place several slices of bacon into a bowl and douse with maple syrup… Be certain that the syrup is coating all the bacon slices, then stash it in the fridge for a half hour or so to soak. Once you are ready to cook, simply fry the bacon up using the classic pan fry method, keeping in mind that the caramelizing sugar in the syrup will make the endeavor a little messier.
Whichever way works out, I’m sure I’ll perfect my craft in time for my friends’ visit and send them back out onto the road stuffed with crispy and delicious bacon.