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How do you like your bacon?

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How do you like your bacon - chewy, crispy, combo? I love bacon when you get both the slightly crispy but also chewy bits - usually I cook it until 1/2 of the slice is crisp and the other more fatty half is slighty crispy but still chewy and delicious, but my SO loves crispy almost burned bacon It makes for entertaining bacon wars. Whenever I make a dish with bacon, even though he has very minimal skill whatsoever in the kitchen and mostly enters it to grab a cold beer, he demands to make the bacon because I always "undercook it."

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  1. Crispy. Not burnt, but crispy. Flabby fat, even on bacon, repulses me. You and I could not happily share bacon :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      Oh it's definitely not in the flabby state, but close, but at least moderately curled :)

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Nope. In my meat-fat world, anything short of crispy = flabby :)

        1. re: CanadaGirl

          haha, exactly how he feels.

    2. Depends on what it is for but if it is just for eating in slices, I would say crispy with a touch of chewiness. But my real favourite is brushing slices with maple syrup and baking in the oven. Oh, my!

      1. Cook it 'til it "breaks"....extra crispy but not burned.

        1. Crispy all over. YUM.

          1. Just this side of burnt aka extra crispy. YUMMM!

            1. Pretty dang crispy.

              1. However you wanna serve it up to me. ;-) Seriously though, I can eat it crispy or chewy. I am not a fan, however, of it reheated. When it is reheated to the residual grease tends to overcook it and that leaves it dry and it turns to a weird powder in your mouth. Yuck.

                1. Baked 'til crisp, often with brown sugar spread on first and just a wee sprinkle of cayenne pepper...

                  1. "Medium well"

                    Crispy on the outer edges, but a bit chewy (al dente, if you will) in the middle.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Completely cooked through, and crispy at the edges to almost the middle, which should be chewy. If the fat has turned that weird shade of yellow and the lean is deep russet, it's overdone IMO and not fit for human consumption.

                    2. I'm not even going to read others' tastes so that I can get intimidated- I like it
                      *equally crispy all over,
                      *undercooked but not raw
                      *half and half of the above
                      As long as it's not totally raw or ruinously burnt I'm okay with it. But in a pinch I would chose sausage, just sayin', not everybody loves bacon unto all other flavors.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: EWSflash

                        I agree, I'm not a crazed bacon lover. To my SO bacon is the end all and be all of tastiness which is why I concede and let him cook it how he likes it. I like bacon, but it's not that OMG I can't get enough food for me, good but don't get all the rave.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          I go along with EWSflash. In the past I also enjoyed "white bacon" which was salted but not cured or smoked. Was great for seasoning greens or done in the pan by itsel, but now, almost impossible to locate.

                        2. These days I like double smoked 'jowl' fried just to golden.

                          1. plentiful.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: linus

                              Massive quantities, any type.

                            2. I was raised on very crispy bacon and that was the only way I had it until someone from outside my family fixed many English breakfasts. There are times when crispy bacon bits are needed, but I find that bacon tastes better when there is still a bit of gently cooked fat. Bacon isn't jerky, after all.

                              1. Crispy, but not burned- but- if you served me chewy bacon, I would eat it! My family vacations together every year, and one of my neices, now 16, says her favorite memorie of our beach vacations was waking up early when she was about 5. Her uncle cooked a pound of bacon, and told her not to tell anyone, but that they would eat the entire pound- and they did!

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: macca

                                  That's funny. When I was about thirteen staying at my uncles we had a 'breakfast eating contest'. My auntie did the cooking. I can't remember who won but between my uncle and me we ate two pounds of fried bacon, two dozen eggs, a pound of butter and two loaves of homemade white bread.

                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    It is funny- especially funny that one of her favorite memories of the beach is eating bacon!Wow!! I could keep pace with the bacon and eggs ( maybe!), but would never make it through the bread- though it sounds delicious.

                                  2. re: macca

                                    This reminds me of my mother's favorite childhood summertime breakfast. I think the story has been told nearly a gazillion times by now. When my grandparents were working in the summer and her older sister (probably 15 or 16) didn't feel like reheating any of the food that my grandmother left for them, they would make a trip to the corner store, buy 2 lbs of bacon and eat it raw. Yum-O. I may like slightly undercooked bacon, but it needs to see at least a few minutes of heat before I want to consume it.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      EWWW! Could not eat bacon unless it was cooked- though I will admit, I have never tried it!

                                      1. re: macca

                                        Indeed! The raw bacon also accompanied tubs of straight up chocolate icing. If only my grandmother knew...she'd be horrified.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          Dayum! I'm horrified. And I'm nobody's grandmammy.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I was at a winery in Slovenia once and they served a charcuterie platter that included a spread that was basically raw bacon, ground to a paste. I was a little taken aback at first but I must say it was divine.

                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              I've had this there, too. My first experience was in the Czech Republic. We were slightly surprised as well.

                                              1. re: chefathome

                                                slimy?

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  No - just pasty.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Pasty is a good way to describe it, but it's also kind of silky from all the fatty goodness. It was a pretty warm day when I was there, so the spread got nice and soft. Almost like meaty butter.

                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                      Pasty, hmm I can't picture it.

                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                        Yes! That's it. Great description. Mmmmmm...

                                                        1. re: chefathome

                                                          Does anyone know what this is called? (in any language)

                                                          Do you think there are any packaged version of it, or is it just a dish that would be made at home and/or restaurant?

                                                          1. re: Dave MP

                                                            I think I wrote it down - will check. I have not seen it packaged, ever, and we do a lot of international traveling (and visiting shops, eating out, food festivals...). It is very interesting stuff!

                                                            1. re: chefathome

                                                              I don't know what it's called, but I am fairly sure it's made like this:

                                                              http://www.thegastrognome.com/2009/05...

                                                              The only difference would be that you'd be using bacon instead of leaf lard or fatback, and I would guess you'd want a pretty find grind.

                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                YES! That's it!

                                        2. Has anyone tried the black pepper bacon? I often see it in Whole Foods and have been intrigued but didn't know if the black pepper would be a bit overwhelming.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            We cure/smoke 8 to 12 slabs of bacon yearly and I never go the pepper route.Every time I try a black pepper crust bacon,all small batch,high end stuff the result is disappointing for me.The pepper just doesn't taste "FRESH".Old,stale or ? pepper just isn't for me.
                                            Try it the first time where you can buy just a few slices,open stock to see if you like it.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              Not black pepper, but bacon with Montreal steak spice is quite easy to find where I am (Halifax, Nova Scotia). I don't like it at breakfast but it makes a killer BLT.

                                            2. Chewy. Lightly crisp edges with chewy middles, to be more precise. Bacon should bend, not break. I will eat crisp bacon, but only if it has been more or less deep fried so that it melts in your mouth.

                                              1. Not that my preference matters, but isn't almost as easy to cook the bacon to different degrees of doneness, just as if you were cooking steaks for two?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mwhitmore

                                                  Sure if you have time for that, but I'd rather just cook it all at once and not have to deal with individual pieces. With a steak it's usually not too many to worry about, but for 16 or more slices of bacon for me at least it requires too much attention. Also when you are crumbling the bacon into a dish, it's not really possible to mix "donenesses" if someone has a particular preference. For our favorite blue cheese Alfredo fettuccine or bacon macaroni and cheese, if SO bites into chewy bacon it's all over. However, as not the biggest bacon crazy, I can tolerate a little extra crunch. But, if I'm making bacon for my own morning scrambled eggs, chewy/crispy it is.

                                                2. Any kind almost any way. There are some bacons I'll eat uncooked - Hungarian, Canadian, and English back bacon are nice as nibbles - but your mainstream supermarket bacon I prefer pretty crisp. Any dry-cured bacon, though, I find enjoyable at any degree of doneness; a really thick slice of Broadbent's slab bacon, baked just until the fat is transparent, is a nice meat side to a plate of greens and polenta.

                                                  1. Just like my eggs: part barely done, part well done. I like the meaty part and the adjoining fat to be crispy, the fat mostly rendered, but the end parts of fat barely cooked.

                                                    1. Is anyone a fan of "Canadian" bacon? I can't seem to find the real stuff - it always is "just ham" as my friends have dubbed it. Also, I prefer my fat back the same as my bacon - crispy skin with soft chewy middle. Aaahhh, dreams of my youth as I don't think I've had fat back for decades now. In the summers, I loved to wake up to my grandmother frying up fat back.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                        Mmmmmyummy. Have you tried sourcing it by the name "peameal bacon?"

                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          hmm, yea I'll look into that.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            That's what it's called in Canada....

                                                            1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                              Yeppers. And I love the stuff.

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                Me, too. That is the only kind of bacon we buy, straight from the farmer. We can trace it back to the very Berkshire pig it used to belong to.

                                                        2. Chewy

                                                          1. no muss, no fuss
                                                            cut a pound of bacon in half
                                                            line a cookie tray with foil and lay the bacon on it (I cover the meaty parts with the fatty parts)
                                                            put it in the oven and THEN set the oven to 400 and walk away (set alarm for apprx 17 min)
                                                            when alarm alarms, check for your preference of doneness
                                                            when you've got what you want take it out
                                                            (I like it undercooked because I can finish cooking it in future dishes)
                                                            eat what you want now and put the rest in the freezer
                                                            take bacon out of freezer as you want it

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: sylvan

                                                              how do you reheat the strips you take out of the freezer? Is it still to the doneness you like? I imagine for crispy loving folks it'd be less crispy.

                                                            2. Thick and meaty, real maple smoked and iron pressed.

                                                              Naturally-raised pigs preferably Berkshire.

                                                              1. Flabby. I don't like overcooked meat of any sort and, in particular, don't like crispy bacon.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  I was beginning to think I'd be the only one! Soggy for me. Usually if I order it this way it actually has a little body but has soft fat and meat, which is perfect for me. "Soggy" seems to get across to cooks that I don't want it crispy, which seems to be the default. I want to chew my bacon. BUT crispy/crispier works better for sandwiches (so you can bite through it) and toppings (to add a different texture and because it's hard to crumble soggy bacon).

                                                                  1. re: juster

                                                                    I rarely eat bacon at a restaurant, as it is never cooked properly to my taste. I don't want it soft at all, but to get everything crispy without making it hard and crunchy takes more time and patience than most restaurants are willing to put into a piece of bacon.

                                                                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                      Perhaps that is my issue with the crispy bacon...it always is hard and crunchy. I thought they were one and the same. How do you cook your bacon?

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        It needs to be started in a cold pan and cooked over low heat. It will take a bit of flipping and a good 20 minutes or so. If I need more than will easily fit in a frying pan I cook it on a piece of parchment on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 for about 30 minutes. If done the way I like it, all the meat and fat will be crispy, but somehow still almost melt in the mouth. It will also still be flexible, even though it's crispy. If you try to rush it, it just gets hard and I totally see why that is unappealing.

                                                                        It takes time and attention, because it goes from perfect to overcooked in about 30 seconds. The quality of the bacon matters too, because If it is too thin it will get hard very quickly.

                                                                    2. re: juster

                                                                      Exactly my feeling - I'd like my bacon to have some bite rather than disintegrate when I chomped into it. I've never tried ordering soggy...hmmm, might try that.

                                                                  2. First and foremost I like it without a lot of fat. Around here this is not an easy thing to do if I buy any of the pre-packaged supermarket brands. - Still trying to figure out why all other pork cuts seem to be getting leaner by the minute, and bacon is getting "fattier". - Special "bacon pigs"?????

                                                                    Anyway, in terms of texture, I prefer chewy/bendable for uses that call for anything that resembles a slice. Otherwise, bits on top of things like a tossed salad or baked potato get crispy.

                                                                    Lately, in order to achieve this with the name band packages (as discussed in other bacon threads) I've taken to the "wire rack and sheet pan" method. From what I gather, most people bake it at 325-400. I lean (no pun intended) towards 225. It takes a lot longer, but I find it's worth it in order to render off more of the fat and still have the bulk of the package turn out chewy. Some portions will end up crispy, but those I use for "bits".

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                      Have you tried center cut? It is usually less fatty.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        Right. Center cut is definitely the way to go.

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          It's often too thin for me and I hate that it cooks up so fast so sometimes I go for thick cut center cut but if you like least fatty, center cut regular cut sounds like the solution.

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            That's the way I like. And more important, that's the way the Khantessa likes it!

                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          If I have, it was just a fluke because until now I didn't know that was an option.
                                                                          Actually, having re-read my post, I Ithink I may have given the wrong impression - what I was trying to say was that (when it comes to pork products) if I were to rule the world:

                                                                          a) chops and other cuts would have just a little more fat to help flavor and moisture issues and...
                                                                          b) when the consumer opened their package of bacon they wouldn't discover that for at least half the length of every slice the only meat to be found is the thin little strip shown through the window on the front of the package and the rest of the slice is fat.

                                                                          Hopefully buying center cut will get me a little closer to "my perfect world" . Thanks for the tip!

                                                                      2. DH and I have a very serious bacon disagreement - i like mine "done" aka crispy, he likes his "floppy". LOL the only time I like my bacon not crisp is when it's rolled around smoked jalapeno poppers. YUM

                                                                        1. Crisp, but again, not burnt. I use a mw ridged pan/tray covered in paper towel to reduce splatter in the microwave. Recently started doing the same to pre-sliced pancetta (Black Bear brand...not sure if it's only Shop Rite available)...and it comes out perfect. Thinking I like the cured flavor over the smoked bacon...less intense and does not take over whatever I'm putting it in.

                                                                          1. wife and daughter want extra crispy...i like thick bacon somewhat still "floppy". The stuff I make myself.....outta Boneless Ribs.... is very meaty....maybe even better for you

                                                                            Always cooked low and slow with a lot of turning..........unless I got a crowd, then it's into an oven, cold...........set to 425........when my oven beeps...it's just about done

                                                                            1. Stuffed into a cheeseburger.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: plasticanimal

                                                                                Why have I never thought of that?

                                                                              2. Somehow I missed this thread. Joining in:

                                                                                Chewy -- or really tender and soft, maybe just a touch of crispness around the edge.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                  Exactly! But I think we are in the minority here.

                                                                                  1. re: EM23

                                                                                    Wow, I came back and ready to comment that "I guess I am a minority here, huh?". I am pleasantly surprised to find your comment -- both because of our similar preference, and because you wrote exactly I wanted to.

                                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      YES! Crispy = inedible for me. And - in true confession mode - I like to buy the fattiest bacon I can find - more chewy and tender. With that statement, I reckon I have lost all cred on the WW thread. heheh

                                                                                      1. re: EM23

                                                                                        I am also a chewyish fan. I was quite shocked as my grandmother went to town on a platter of nearly black burned bacon on Christmas and commented "I love bacon, I can't stop eating it." I looked in amazement as she ate what resembled charcoal...

                                                                                        1. re: EM23

                                                                                          See, you are the person, that I leave, what I consider "under-cooked" for. I take crispy, and you get the other. Symbiotic relationship!

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                      Exactly my preference as well! Joining the minority...

                                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                        Me too. I like it to be just crispy enough that I notice it.

                                                                                      2. Shatteringly crisp! not burned.

                                                                                        1. I like mine very crispy. Better over done than underdone for me.

                                                                                          1. Chrisp - no doubt about it. Almost what one might claim was burned, but short of actual burning. The fat needs to be slightly crisp, and at least medium brown.

                                                                                            Of course, if it's from Benton, then I give extra points.

                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                            1. Wow, just wow is all I can say. SO and I love bacon but usually just throw it in the microwave. Actually, pan-frying bacon has been on my list of things that I just never want to do alongside washing dishes. However, last night I was in the mood for sauteed cabbage and bacon and wanted to use bacon grease instead of oil to saute the cabbage. I bit the bullet and pan-fried bacon and what a difference it makes. I have read it many times here before that pan-fried does not compare to microwave cooked bacon but I guess I had a hard time believing why that would be the case. I still don't know why, but I am now in the pan-fried bacon believer camp and it's likely off of my list of things I refuse to do. The house smelled wonderful, the bacon was delicious, and my cast iron pan got a good coating of oil.

                                                                                              1. I'm not a particular fan of bacon. But when I do eat it, I hate it to be burnt, and sometimes crispy even overdoes it. I, personally, like my bacon to be chewy.

                                                                                                1. Highly technical term niece and I use is "bendy". NO white fat, but not cooked to point where it breaks... unless I want it to crumble.

                                                                                                  I usually cook it stove top, despite the unavoidable spatters. If cooking a lot (like whole pound at once), I put on rack over baking sheet and into oven.. no real baby-sitting needed. I also like to slice full slices in half... automatic fit for a BLT.