The Bacon Chronicles

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Getting ready for your weekend brunch yet?! Due to the low temps in Pittsburgh, most people will be staying inside and making a home-cooked brunch. And what is more important than mastering perfectly crisp bacon. Follow these 5 tips to have some of the best bacon ever:

1) Cook in a Cold Skillet

Hot skillet vs. cold skillet… the winner seems to be cold. When tossing bacon into a hot skillet, the bacon browned and crisped before the fat really fell off. With a hot skillet, you have two options: cook the bacon all the way through but it burns, or have brown, crispy, fatty bacon. When cooking with a cold skillet, the fat has plenty of time to melt away leaving the bacon crispy and crunchy.

2) Cast-Iron Skillet Cooks Bacon Faster

Cast-iron vs. stainless-steel… cast-iron took the victory on this matchup. When cooking with a cast-iron and a stainless steel skillet, both allowed the bacon to crisp, brown, and musk up a smoky flavor; however, the cast-iron skillet got the job done in 8 minutes. The stainless-steel took 11 minutes. Womp, womp.

3) Add Water for Crumbly Bacon

Sometimes bacon is better in the crumble form, for instance on top of a salad or pizza. To make a good crumble, adding a bit of cold water to the skillet will create thinner, crisper bacon. It does take a little longer to cook because the water needs to evaporate entirely before removing the bacon. The bacon also loses some salt by using this method.

4) Use Oven for Big Servings

When having a big brunch party, it will be best to cook your bacon in the oven. Baking your bacon on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet allows the rendered fat to drip away. This helps make the bacon crunchier and crisper. When cooking in the oven, a good temperature is 450°F, which gives the same smoky depth as the stovetop. You can fit 10 to 12 slices on a rack and needs no attention (flipping or rotating.)

5) Don’t Microwave

Although the microwave is the most convenient, only taking 3 1/2 minutes, it also leaves less flavorful bacon. The bacon will look up to par: crinkly and golden-brown, but the truth is told when biting into a strip. The bacon isn’t as crisp and lacks the smoky flavor. The pan or oven wins over the microwave any day.

Hopefully these tips will leave your bacon crispy, crunchy, and delicious for your next brunch party.

For more information on cooking bacon, click here.

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