It's no secret that America has a fondness for breakfast. We like pancakes, scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, but nothing can top America's favorite breakfast food: the almighty bacon. The average American gobbles up 18 pounds of bacon strips a year, whether crispy, crunchy or downright chewy.
Everyone has their own preference of how to cook bacon. Some, like my father, think that the perfect bacon consists of cooking the bacon so it crumbles into a million pieces when you bite it. I, on the other hand, like my bacon on the floppier side. He swears by cooking bacon in paper towels in the microwave while I usually go for the oven method to prevent grease from flying all over my kitchen.
So when I recently stumbled upon the technique of cooking crispy bacon in a pan of cold water I was instantly intrigued. According to America's Test Kitchen, this bacon cooking approach achieves the perfect texture without the mess of an oily frying pan.
To begin, place your bacon in a cold pan and add just enough water to cover the bacon. If some pieces of bacon are sticking out of the water it's fine. Turn the burner to high heat.
Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium heat. At this point, the bacon fat is rendering and is contained in the water. Keep boiling and watch as most of the water evaporates. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the bacon is nice and crispy.
While this technique does take a little longer than cooking bacon in the microwave, you can be sure that your strips of bacon are cooked perfectly. Plus it reduces all of the oil splatters that usually cover your stove. The one downside is that you don't get to save your rendered fat. If you find yourself cooking with bacon fat often stick with the ole' cast iron skillet and slap on the bacon.