We finally decided to take matters into our own hands and figure out for ourselves what the best way to cook bacon truly is. We cook up a couple strips using 6 different cooking methods and tried them all side by side. There are probably a few more intricate methods that we missed, but we covered all of the most common preparation methods. Let's see if we can get to the bottom of the age old question. What is the best way to cook bacon?!?
In our quest for the best bacon we decided to try 6 different cooking methods:
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- Pan Fried
- Baked on an Oven Rack
- Baked on Parchment Paper
- Deep Fried
Each of these methods will be arbitrarily scored by Megha and I. We didn't have much of a scoring metric going into this. We basically just wanted to figure out what the best way to cook bacon is based on taste.
Pan Fried Bacon
The most common way we cook bacon around the house is pan frying it. The reason for that is because it's relatively quick, and it leaves you with the bacon grease in the pan to cook up a batch of eggs in. In doing this experiment I found myself appreciating a strip of bacon that holds it's shape and doesn't curl up so much. Pan fried bacon definitely falls victim to curling up more, and it can also be tough to cook it evenly. The oven methods we tested definitely excelled in both of those areas. Taste is 90% of the game though, right?
In our quest to try as many cooking methods as we could, we thought it would be fun to throw in a wildcard or 2. This is definitely one that we did not have high hopes for. We have never boiled bacon before, so we thought there was a small chance that it could really surprise us.
Bacon In The Oven On Parchment Paper
Baking bacon on parchment paper is something we've heard a lot about but have never actually tried it. Our hopes were very high for this one. The thinking is, you get all the benefits of cooking in the over(even cooking, holds shape) while still getting the concentrated flavor of the bacon cooking in its own grease as you would with the pan fried method. Our hopes were even higher when these pieces came out glistening and looking like a million bucks. How did they taste though?
Bacon In the Oven on Baking Rack
This is another method that we rarely use because it removes a lot of the delicious fats during the cooking process. It can be a nice option if you want to restock your bacon grease jar that you keep next to the stove though. Everyone does that right? Bacon in the oven on a baking rack was the biggest surprise to me in all of our testing. The bacon came out extremely tender and flavorful. It also held its shape perfectly, as was expected.
Microwave bacon is definitely our emergency, quick fix cooking method. We don't do it often, but it usually comes out tasting pretty decent. I was curious to see how it stacked up with the other methods when tasted side by side. The major downside of microwaving bacon is that it really does not hold it's size at all.
Deep Fried Bacon
Deep fried bacon is something that I've never had before, but my hopes were high. In theory it sounds incredible, but the results were not as good as I expected. You can see the deep fried bacon really curls up and doesn't hold its size well. Also, the cooking was rather uneven. As the protein sections were fully cooked, the fat was still a bit underdone.
So What Is The Best Way To Cook Bacon?
After tallying up the results there are 2 clear standouts. Baking in the oven using an oven rack and pan frying. The nice thing is, each of these have their utilities in our weekly cooking. If we're cooking to order we're going with pan fried bacon every time. If we are prepping for the week and we want to cook up a pack of bacon, then using an oven rack makes the most sense. We're happy with these findings as you can really get by using these 2 preparation methods in almost every scenario. We have definitively found the best way to cook bacon! Well, kind of....
If you like these comparison type of posts, be sure to check out our post on the best keto overnight oatmeal or try out one of our delicious bacon-centric recipes like our super simple bacon egg cups.