As a lifelong fan of BLTs, I have a soft spot for bacon. But not just any old bacon—I’m talking warm, flavorful, perfectly crispy bacon!
And while cooking bacon isn’t exactly difficult, there are a few ways it can go haywire if you’re not careful. So in hopes that we can all avoid those all-too-common pitfalls, here are 7 mistakes to avoid in the pursuit of perfectly cooked bacon! :-)
7 Mistakes You’re Making With Bacon
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1. Buying Too Much
If you’re only making a serving or two, check at the meat counter to find out if you can buy a few slices instead of a whole package? Not only will that bacon be fresher than the packaged stuff, but it won’t go to waste in your fridge either.
2. Cooking It Cold
In order for your bacon to cook evenly, the meat and the fat need to cook at the same rate. This can be tricky, because the fatty part of the bacon retains cold longer than the rest.
A simple solution is to let your bacon sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before cooking it. The resulting bacon will be much more evenly cooked than if you had cooked it straight from the fridge!
3. Crowding The Pan
Crowding your pan full of tangled strips of bacon will only yield a floppy, greasy mess. Instead, lay out individual strips in a single layer and give them room to “breathe.”
Giving the bacon more room is the key to achieving the crispy, evenly cooked bacon you want and deserve!
4. Using A Hot Pan
The key to achieving perfectly crisp bacon is allowing some of the fat to render out before the meat starts cooking. The best way to do this is to start the bacon in a cold pan, then place it over heat.
If you drop cold bacon into a hot pan, the meat will start to cook before the fat has time to render properly. You’ll end up with bacon that is cooked in some parts and undercooked in others, with lots of chewy fat left intact.
5. Discarding The Fat
When you’re done cooking your bacon, don’t throw out the grease! Pour it into a container and keep it in your fridge or freezer to use in other cooking.
Use bacon fat as your oil for shallow frying potatoes, or add it to soups for instant richness and flavor. You can even add some to chocolate chip cookies for the ultimate sweet and salty combination!
6. Using A Flimsy Pan
Another important factor in achieving evenly cooked bacon is using the right kind of pan. Thin pans are more prone to having hot and cold spots, so a thick, heavy-bottomed pan (like cast iron, for instance) is the way to go!
7. Cooking It The Same Way Every Time
There are a lot of ways to cook bacon, so it never hurts to branch out! If you typically cook it on the stovetop, try cooking your next batch of bacon in the oven, your waffle maker, or even on your grill!
For more ideas, read my post about 14 different ways to cook bacon.
What’s your best bacon tip?