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Ensuring Crisp-Tender Bacon

By Cook's Illustrated Published May 2012

Here’s a simple technique for making bacon that’s crisp and tender instead of dry and crumbly.

Place the bacon (in strips or cut into pieces) and just enough water to cover it in a skillet over high heat. When the water reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium. Once all of the water has simmered away, turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking until the bacon is crisp and well browned. When we tried this method, the meat plumped up as it cooked instead of shriveling, leaving the bacon pleasantly crisp, not tough or brittle.

The addition of water keeps the initial cooking temperature low and gentle, so the meat retains its moisture and stays tender. By the time the water reaches its boiling point (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.

BACON COOKED IN WATER?

It works!