The bacon craze has given the world some truly breathtaking culinary inventions. From its humble origins as a breakfast side item, bacon has ascended to astonishing heights; a spark lighting the foodie imagination, bacon has given rise to delicacies ranging from bacon pancake dippers and bacon pies, to bacon sushi and bacon donuts. While it's true that everything tastes better with bacon, I’ve got to admit that sometimes I find myself yearning nostalgically for the days when bacon was just, you know, bacon—something completely satisfying all on its own, a perfect, unadorned expression of the power of salt and sugar and fat.
In a video from America’s Test Kitchen, Bryan Roof takes us back to the good, old bacon basics, demonstrating how to make perfect, melt-in-your-mouth bacon in a few simple steps. It’s a quick, easily replicated method for making great bacon every time. Here’s how you do it:
- Place bacon in a skillet over high heat. Pour in just enough water to cover the bacon. As Roof suggests, the water keeps the bacon’s initial cooking temperature low, which helps to retain moisture (so your bacon doesn’t get dry and crumbly, aka, the thing that makes angels weep).
- When the water boils, lower the heat to medium.
- When all of the water has simmered off, reduced the heat to medium-low and cook until your bacon is crispy and browned.
According to Roof, the trick to this method has to do with the water’s ability to cook without burning; he says that “By the time the water reaches its boiling point at 212 degrees, the bacon fat is almost completely rendered, so you’re also much less likely to burn the meat while waiting for the fat to cook off.” Admittedly, it’s hard to really mess up bacon—I love it when it’s almost blackened—but isn’t it our duty to help bacon reach its full, mouth-watering potential? Yes. Yes, it is. It's our responsibility as humans.