Who does not love pan fried bacon? Nobody. But that does not mean people know how to cook it properly. I have experienced some of the worst bacon at Breakfast Restaurants. So often that I rarely order bacon when I am out for breakfast. They either serve it floppy and fatty, or burnt crisp. There is a sweet middle ground that is easily mastered. Below is your personal guide to perfect pan fried bacon. A ritual I enjoy every weekend.
7 Keys to Perfect Pan Fried Bacon
- Choose the highest Quality Bacon
- Use a Heavy Pan
- Preheat your pan over Low-Medium heat
- Fill the entire bottom of the pan with bacon
- Flip Often
- Baste the Bacon in its own Fat
- Remove the bacon right when both sides start to become a nice light golden color
Pick out Quality Bacon – this is the easiest step to better bacon. Most commercially produced bacon says it is smoked. Yeah, maybe for 5 minutes. Most of it is cured in a salty cocktail solution. Pick out a quality package of bacon. Read the package for ingredients to compare and look for the pretty bacon. You will know when you see it. Take a look at this stuff below I found in Vermont when I was on vacation. I do not know where Jansal Valley is, but I want to go there after trying this bacon. It has a great natural saltiness and sweetness in the background. You can order their awesome bacon online, delivered to your door.
If you want to try another awesome bacon, check out Nuenske’s Bacon. My favorite is the thin sliced apple wood smoked bacon. Same great flavor as the thick cut, but you can have a few more pieces with each breakfast. You will find quality bacon is easier to cook and the rendered fat does not burn easily, staying nice and clear. Store the rendered fat in a mason jar when cleaning up. You can use it to start frying bacon that has less fat or frying eggs, etc.
Use a Heavy Pan – Use a pan that will create a buffer between the stovetop and the bacon. Using a heavy pan will give you a more constant heat source, ensuring your bacon does not burn. When you go shopping, compare the weight of the pan. You might pay up a little, but its worth it. I just purchased at a nice Cuisinart 12″ Fry Pan, and it does the job nicely.
Preheat your pan over Low-Medium Heat – Preheat your pan for about 5 minutes. When I lay the bacon in the pan I light to hear a quiet sizzle. Not a big hissing tantrum. By preheating a little, we can develop a nice layer of bacon fat in the bottom of the pan more quickly. Frying fat in rendered fat is pure magic.
Fill the entire bottom of the pan with bacon – Never put just 2 slices of bacon in a pan and expect great results. You want the bacon to fry in its own fat. With out a full pan of bacon, this does not happen and you will find your bacon cooks unevenly. Often with spots that become burnt.
Flip Often – I think this is where most people go wrong. You cannot throw bacon in a pan and walk away for several minutes or ignore them as you make the perfect omelette. When they hit the pan, flip every minute. As you get closer to being done, flip every 30 seconds. An extra minute can ruin the perfection we are shooting for.
Baste the Bacon in its own Fat – Often you will find that the liquid fat might run to one side of the pan or perhaps toward the outside of the pan. In order to have awesome results, you want to make sure all the bacon gets some of that love’n. The best way to do this is to gently swirl the pan around and tilt it back and forth periodically while frying. This speeds up the cooking process and ensures consistent results.
Remove the bacon right when both sides start to become a nice light golden color – This is a learning process, but generally take it off when both sides of the bacon become light golden in color. If you are switching to high quality bacon for the first time, you will notice that you do not have to kill it to become crisp after resting for 5 minutes.
Those are my methods for pan fried bacon. If you find some of these tips useful, be sure to share with your friends. Nobody deserves flabby or burnt bacon. Save a friend!