Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Bacon Experiment

Mmmmm, bac- wait. Is that water?

My friend Eddie posted this link on Facebook and it seemed an interesting and simple experiment to try. It's an unusual way to cook bacon, essentially boiling it rather than frying it in the pan. This process renders the fat without over-cooking the meat.

Personally I can't stand crispy bacon where one bite breaks the strip into many little pieces, and the flavor has a slight hint of charcoal. Reduced cooking time always left a floppy, chewy piece that while preferable to crispy, still left something to be desired. I've ever been able to find that elusive happy medium until now.

Place the bacon as you normally would in a regular frying pan. The best part is you won't need to melt butter or add cooking spray because the bacon won't stick to the pan afterwards. Add just enough water to the cold pan to where the strips are barely submerged. Set the flame to high and wait for the water to come to a rolling boil. You will see the fat begin to render before the water boils.
At this point reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until all the water evaporates. It was here that I made my lone mistake..

It seemed to me that there was too much water in the pan so I dumped some of it before reducing the heat. To my surprise the water evaporated much quicker than I thought it would at medium heat so the bacon was a bit undercooked by the time the water was gone. So don't make the same mistake I did and I'll tell you why in a minute...

Once the water is completely evaporated reduce the heat again, this time to medium-low and cook it to taste. You will be able to find any meat consistency you prefer because you don't need to worry about rendering any more fat.

Due to my error in water management, I had to leave the heat on higher than necessary to cook the bacon and what happened was a lack of consistency in my strips. The middles were just a bit too crispy for my liking whereas the ends were fatty and floppy. Otherwise I think this would be the best way to cook bacon save for one, very important factor; the bacon flavor was in a word, weak.

I guess there's something to be said about cooking bacon in its own fat and this morning's experiment proved that theory. Rendering fat in water dilutes the grease to a point where there is not as much grease to drain and what grease there is has a distinctly lighter color than normal bacon drippings. Since the flavor is the whole point of eating bacon in the first place I cannot recommend this process unless you are closely watching your fatty intake.

In all candor I will try this again and more closely adhere to the recommended process but I don't see that affecting the flavor all that much.

If you have cooked bacon in this manner, or plan to try, please share in discussion over at The Mike Tursi Facebook page. 

Before signing off, I must address a concern brought up by my friend and semi-regular contributor, Pornocat who felt I wasn't posting enough pictures of sexy women. So here is a gallery featuring two of my favorite things; girls and guitars. Enjoy...




















Internet addict Pornocat says, "Meow-WOW! I was worried you maybe lost interest in girls, Turz. Meow."


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