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The Ultimate Guide to Bacon

Culinary Uses of Bacon

There are many ways to cook bacon, and the simplest way is to fry it in the pan and let it cook in its own grease. A classic breakfast for fully enjoying the taste and texture of bacon is to eat it with eggs and some toast. Some like their bacon dark and crispy while others like them soft with some streaks of fat and still a bit pinkish in color.

Most of the time, bacon is used to enhance the flavor of the dish or to garnish meat, fish, seafood or vegetable dishes, as well as stews, soups, salads, pastas, and rice. Bacon is typically chopped into pieces and sautéed with garlic, onions, and some butter or oil as a base for many stir-fried dishes or making a delicious and savory fried rice. Bacon bits can make any bland-tasting dish tastier and sometimes used as a substitute to salt for seasoning.

When cooking bacon strips, use a large flat frying pan, preferably a heavy-bottomed pan made of cast iron, a nonstick skillet, or Teflon, so that heat is more evenly distributed and prevent the bacon from burning. Lay out the bacon strips in the pan leaving a bit of space in between each piece. Avoid overlapping the bacon, as overlapping will result in uneven cooking. Since the grease released from the bacon will be used to cook it, it is best to cook three or more bacon slices at a time (thus the need for a large pan) so that the oil is enough to cook the slices.

It is best to let cold bacon settle first outside the refrigerator and allow it to adjust a bit to room temperature. Let the fat loosen up a bit to also make it easier to separate the slices from each other. Cook the bacon strips over medium heat and wait for it to sizzle. Flip the bacon only once. Let it cook on one side first to the level of crispness that you desire and flip it over the other side to obtain the same level of crispness. Keep an eye on the bacon at all times, as it is easy to scorch and burn the bacon when unattended.

Lay the cooked bacon pieces on paper towels to absorb some of the grease before placing it on the plate ready to serve. The grease from the cooked bacon is very flavorful and can be used to stir-fry vegetables and meats, and add a distinctively savory taste to any dish.

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