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When frying bacon in the pan, it tends to curl. What causes this? Is there a way to slow down that process itself?

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It might be good to combine this with your other question: How can I get my bacon flatter?. – Callithumpian May 30 '12 at 13:13
up vote 8 down vote accepted

As the bacon cooks the meat reduces in size faster than the fat does.

Since they are cut into strips this causes the fat to bunch up or even coil if the bacon isn't flipped enough.

The fat will eventually reduce as well when it renders but not enough to straighten out the poor bacon.

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I've found that frying the bacon at lower temperatures, medium heat rather than high heat, reduces or eliminates the curling.

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Somebody once told me it was the saltpeter in it that made bacon curl. I don't know, but he was a butcher.

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I think that butcher might have been wrong, sorry. If you look at the bacon it's pretty obvious that Sobachatina's answer is right; you can see that the meat has contracted more than the fat. – Jefromi Nov 1 '13 at 17:55

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