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The Ultimate Guide to Bacon

American-Style Bacon

American style bacon cooking in a pan

American-style bacon, distinct for its streaky mix of fat and meat, is perhaps the most universally popular variety of bacon in the world and is the form with which most people are familiar. Cut from the pork belly, streaky bacon or side bacon is fatty with long streaks of fat running parallel with the meat and the rind, sliced into strips of varying thickness. It can be cooked in its own grease and shrivels into a golden brown crisp that gives it its addictive and incomparable quality.

Cooking American-Style Bacon

There are many ways to cook American-style bacon. The simplest and perhaps most traditional method is cooking it in the pan until it gets the preferred level of crispness. Everyone has their own preference for how well done their bacon is cooked, much like preferences for the cooking of steak. Some like it soft and greasy while others like it very crispy. Most people like their bacon somewhere in between.

A method rising in popularity is baking bacon in the oven. Similar results as pan frying can be achieved with baking without all the messiness of grease splatters to clean up.

American-style bacon can also be cooked quickly in the microwave, on the grill, or even blanched in boiling water. Different methods of cooking result in different textures of bacon, but all will result in the pleasantly flavorful and mouthwatering aroma that it is universally known for.

American-style bacon is a very popular breakfast item, and in the United States most bacon is consumed during breakfast. It is often enjoyed with eggs and toast or served with pancakes or waffles. Because of its thin and streaky character, American-style bacon is often used as a wrap for turkey, chicken, scallops, fish, and even vegetables. It serves as an outer skin that provides moisture and enhanced flavor to the dishes.

The distinctively crispy nature of fried American-style bacon makes it ideal for chopping into bacon bits, which can be sprinkled over salads, soups, and stews, as well as baked potatoes, rice, and pastas. American-style bacon can be cooked and enjoyed in an increasingly unlimited amount of ways.

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