Somedays I really feel deeply disconnected from the “meals content material” touring throughout social media, nearly to the purpose of doubting my very own powers of notion. Yesterday was such a day. On Fb, I noticed individuals coo over an clearly mealy, pale tomato earlier than watching a lady retailer recent blueberries and onerous boiled eggs in the identical hermetic container. Then I attempted a well-reviewed, widespread TikTok bacon hack, and I used to be able to sue the world.
Proponents of the hack declare dusting bacon with flour earlier than baking it “absorbs a few of the additional grease, which helps the strips maintain their form,” and that it “prevents the bacon from curling up on itself, leading to an extra-crispy texture with out sacrificing the juiciness.”
This appeared faux to me—like an answer in quest of an issue, particularly since I’ve by no means had a problem with my bacon curling within the oven (however extra on that in a bit). I used to be unclear on how coating bacon in a grease-absorbing powder would assist it keep crispiness, as it will naturally end result within the grease hanging out on floor of the meat, reasonably than dripping away.
I opened a bundle of just lately bought bacon and arrange a facet by facet comparability with 4 floured strips (cooked on prime of parchment, as urged by the evaluation I learn), and 4 un-floured strips (cooked on prime of foil, as is my customized).
I set my sheet pan of bacon in a chilly oven, then set it to 400℉ and let it bake for about half an hour, solely 5 minutes longer than it took the oven to succeed in its goal temperature.
How a lot flour is an excessive amount of flour?
Haters will say I purposely tanked the check by loading the bacon up with an excessive amount of flour, however I used to be simply following instructions. In accordance with TheKitchn’s evaluation, I ought to “consider within the energy of flour,” and “extra flour equals extra crispy juicy goodness.” As an alternative of sprinkling it on in clumps, I dusted every strip utilizing a high-quality mesh sieve, which resulted in a finer, extra even software.
This was an excessive amount of flour, however any flour might be an excessive amount of flour. Even the calmly floured parts had a duller taste and gummier texture than the bare bacon. Nothing in regards to the expertise made me wish to attempt it once more with much less flour, largely as a result of the un-floured bacon was just about good.
The un-floured bacon was crispier, and simply as flat
The piece of bacon I’m holding in my hand within the above photograph was not floured. And but it laid simply as flat because the floured bacon. It was additionally crispier. The bacon that had been dusted with flour didn’t snap as readily, and was coated with a gummy, uninteresting layer of flour and bacon grease, with become a paste in some spots.
The flour additionally dulled the taste. The un-floured bacon was noticeably saltier, meatier, and smokier, which is smart as a result of it didn’t have a layer of flavorless flour absorbing its grease to create a flavor-muting paste.
Find out how to make flat, crispy bacon with out flour
The key to flat bacon has nothing to do with grease retention or absorption, however all the things to do with temperature. Whether or not you prepare dinner your bacon in a pan or in an oven, a chilly begin will guarantee it cooks evenly and flatly. We’ve mentioned this earlier than, however simply to re-cap:
Mainly, whenever you toss streaky bacon right into a extremely popular setting, it seizes, curls, and cooks earlier than the fats has any time to render out. This implies gummy, not crispy bacon.
Fats wants time to render, and bacon has quite a lot of fats. Whenever you slowly warmth the bacon, it gently renders out, with none seizing, and it’s the seizing attributable to sudden temperature adjustments that makes bacon curl.
All you must do to bake up a giant pan of flat and crispy bacon is lay it on a flat floor (resembling a typical sheet pan) and place it in a chilly oven. Set the oven’s temperature to 400℉ and let the bacon gently warmth up together with the rising temp of the oven. Even for those who begin your bacon in a pre-heated oven, it can nonetheless bake up fairly flat, with out an excessive amount of curling, so long as you don’t pre-heat the pan. (Air isn’t a really environment friendly warmth conductor, however steel is.) The fats will slowly render out, forsaking flat, crispy strips of bacon, all with none gimmicks (and positively with out any flour).