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My mom likes bacon crispy (and dry enough to choke on). I like bacon to be chewy.

I have noticed some techniques that will make bacon chewy or crispy but it sometimes seems like luck. Making it crispy is easy. I just cook it in a well drained pan for too long. Chewy is more elusive and it seems like a fine line between raw and floppy to dry and the chewiness is lost.

Is it just the temperature it is cooked to or is there some other magic that can ensure chewy bacon?

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

According to this America's Test Kitchen video, you can get plump crisp and tender bacon by barely covering your bacon with water in a skillet over high heat, turning the heat down to medium when the water starts boiling and down again to medium-low once it has all evaporated and cook until ready.

Having water in your skillet will keep the cooking temperature low while preserving the bacon's moisture. As in explained in the video, once the water reaches its boiling point, the fat will be pretty much all rendered, so you'll be less likely to burn the meat while waiting for the fat to cook off.

It would seem the secret, whatever the method, is to preserve the moisture in the bacon to prevent it from going dry, while of course thoroughly cooking it. Perhaps cooking it covered with a lid would achieve something similar.

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Microwaved bacon will be chewy, but it drains out the fat so that might not be what you want. And bacon that is microwave cooked part way through and then finished in a frying pan will still be fairly chewy.

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