Bacon should never taste bad. Ever. If it does, you’re probably, almost definitely, making one of the following mistakes. Don’t.
1. You’re Using the Wrong Type of Pan
When you’re in a rush, it’s easy to grab whichever pan is on top of the stack. But when it comes to bacon, the pan matters. Nonstick pans heat too quickly, causing the bacon to burn. Instead, just use your juicy, fatty slabs of bacon to grease the pan by themselves. While the ideal pan is a seasoned cast-iron skillet, a regular pan will suffice if you keep the heat low and continue to move the pan while your bacon sizzles.
2. You’re Starting with a Hot Pan
Maybe someone, somewhere, long ago told you that you should always wait for a pan to heat up before cooking with it. WRONG. That might be true for some lesser foods. But it’s not true for bacon. By putting bacon into an already hot pan, you’re forcing the bacon to seal in all of its fat. Instead, put the bacon in a cold pan over low-medium heat and watch your juicy pork slabs begin to slowly melt and then crisp into perfection. It’s more fulfilling for your soul, anyway.
3. You’re Undercooking It
It’s easier to undercook bacon than you might think. We know that waiting for crispy bacon is a struggle. The smell is intoxicating and the thought of you biting down on greasy goodness makes it all the more challenging. BUT WAIT! Wait for the bacon to fully cook; otherwise the outside burns but the inside stays raw. Trust us. Your stomach will thank you.
4. You’re Not Straining the Grease
Baconeers know that leftover bacon fat is not to be wasted. It makes every other food better, especially vegetables. When you’re cooking, strain the fat in a mesh sieve to catch all the bits of meat that might have detached from the slabs. It’s important to get rid of these bits because they’ll burn and ruin the flavor of whatever you choose to cook your bacon fat with. Do this before storing in the fridge.
5. You’re Adding Too Much Salt
By no means are we advocating for not adding salt but be wary that bacon is already salted. Taste and adjust as you cook. Or don’t. We warned you.
6. You’re Not Using Quality Pork
If you’re not using quality pork, then no wonder your “bacon” tastes bad. It’s not bacon in our books. Cook bacon.