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How To Know Bacon Is Cooked

Bacon is quite a popular part of English breakfast. This meat delicacy rose to popularity during the 1770s and has remained a favourite since. Since it makes its way into a lot of dishes, it is important to know whether bacon is cooked to an edible point or not. How to know bacon is cooked? Let’s find out!

Is My Bacon Done? What To Look For?

If your bacon is still pink, it is deemed dangerous to consume. Undercooked bacon will look flat and feel slimy to the touch.

While most cured meat products are safe to consume without cooking, bacon stands out. It packs certain bacteria and parasites that need a heat treatment before the strip of meat can be safe to consume.

If you consume undercooked bacon, you increase your risk of getting infected with trichinellosis. This infection causes painful abdominal problems that can last months.

People have a lot of preferences on the state of doneness of bacon. Some like it chewy while others like it crisp.

Personal preferences aside, one should ensure that the bacon has cooked for a sufficient time to render it harmless.

Here are certain factors to look for when judging the cooked state of bacon.

Texture

To gauge if your bacon is done, lift it from the pan and see if it dangles. If it tangles, it is not done yet. There needs to be a certain level of crispness. Soft bacon will dangle. Check the texture with a spoon to avoid hurting your fingers.

Keep a watchful eye, as they can burn quite easily. If you like your bacon well done, do not cook them until they are too stiff. They will maintain some give until they are taken off the heat. They will stiffen up once they are on your plate.

While cooking time depends on the thickness and size of the strip, you can follow a general rule of up to four minutes on each side. If you want a crispier strip, up the cooking time.

Shape

Once on heat, the moisture in the bacon starts to evaporate. This causes the strip of meat to shrink. Additionally, you will notice the fat render and melt as well. Once it reaches this stage, the bacon’s edges will curl up.

Once the edges curl and the colour starts to turn brown, your bacon is on the right path. It is almost done.

Colour

Raw bacon is pink. You will notice layers of white creamy fat on strips of bacon. When you throw the strips on heat, the fat melts away and the meat changes colour.

Uncooked Bacon

It will start to darken until it hits a reddish-brown tone. Once you notice this colour shift, you should start poking the meat to see if it has reached your desired level of texture. You do not want it to turn an extremely dark colour. Get the bacon off the heat before this happens. Otherwise, the bacon will taste bitter.

It is always better to slightly overcook than undercook your bacon. Just be careful not to burn it!

Moisture

Raw bacon has a slimy feel to it. If the bacon on the heat is still leaving behind residues on your finger, it needs to remain on the heat. Well-cooked bacon will completely dry.

Once you separate the strips and the fat, they will be crisp and light.


How To Cook Bacon?

There are multiple methods to cook bacon. Here are some commonly used methods.

Oven

If you are looking for crisp, well-cooked strips of bacon, you can put them into your oven. To start off, you will need to preheat your oven to a nice 375 degrees before you pop in the bacon strips.

It is a good investment to have a dedicated meat wire rack. Bacon tends to leave a greasy residue on the oven rack even after a good wash. Simply arrange your strips on the rack and place the rack over a baking dish or a sheet pan.

Sizzling Bacon In The Pan!

Arrange it in such a way that any grease drip will be caught by the pan. You do not want to start a grease fire.

Pop the pan into the oven and let it cook for about 12 minutes. If they are thick strips, they may require up to 20 minutes.

Stovetop

Cooking bacon on a stovetop allows you more control over the texture and the timing. However, this method requires your undivided attention.

Grab a skillet or a frying pan and arrange your bacon strips in a single layer. Turn up the heat to a medium and start cooking the bacon as per your liking. This method will have your strips ready in seven to 12 minutes, depending on how thick the bacon is.

Grill

This final method is a great way to cook bacon outdoors. It adds a smoky flavor to your strip of meat. Additionally, you do not have to worry about cleanup. To get nice, crisp strips of bacon on the grill, invest in a good quality cast iron skillet.


How To Know Bacon Is Cooked: The Final Word

Bacon seems tricky to cook, but it really is not. While it is easy to undercook, it is also easy to overcook if you are using thin strips.

To know if bacon is done, you simply have to keep an eye on it. There are certain factors to note that will guide you on whether this delicious slice of meat is ready for consumption or not.

Remember, overcooking bacon is always better than undercooking it!

Chef Matty
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