Why You Should Be Weaving Bacon Before You Cook It

Bacon is perhaps one of the most beloved breakfast foods in the country. While it is not necessarily renowned for its health benefits, fans of the fried meat feel that its rich, savory flavor makes it more than worth the indulgence. And the salty cured pork isn't just reserved for the mornings — it is a popular addition to all kinds of meals, from a side dish to a topping on burgers and salads to the main event in a sandwich like a BLT. In fact, it seems pretty likely that many major aficionados of the meat would add it to just about any meal if they could.

However, there is one thing that makes bacon less than perfect: the preparation process. Some find the strips can be difficult to cook evenly, with some pieces coming out more chewy while others are more crispy. Furthermore, strips do not often lay flat inside a sandwich, which can make it difficult to distribute all the delicious goodness evenly across the bread. The different pieces can also sometimes spill out when one goes to take a bite, leaving a disappointing bacon-less hole in a sandwich or burger. Fortunately, there's an easy solution for this bacon conundrum.

Bacon should be allowed to rest before cooking

To avoid uneven bacon and subpar sandwiches, some cooks recommend preparing the bacon in a specific way to prevent spillage and ensure all the bacon pieces are cooked evenly. According to Lifehack, weaving the strips together and placing them in the oven is actually the best way to cook bacon. Layering the bacon like this and then baking it not only helps the meat cook thoroughly and evenly on all sides, it is also the best shape for evenly distributing it across every bite of your sandwich.

Although frying bacon may be the more traditional way of cooking it, true bacon aficionados know there is much more to cooking bacon than simply tossing the strips in the frying pan. But whether you choose to use a skillet or not, do not put the bacon straight from the refrigerator onto the frying pan. Allowing the strips to rest and soften before cooking will allow the meat to cook more evenly, according to Lifehack.

Laying bacon flat in the oven ensures the best results

However, if you do decide to eschew the pan in favor of the oven rack, there are still a few important things to note. Bacon in the oven cooks best when it is laying flat, so Love Food recommends laying the strips out evenly and then covering them with a rack to ensure they remain flat throughout the cooking process. While cooking times will vary according to your individual oven, it is also important to remember that the longer the bacon remains in the oven, the crispier it will be. So those who like a softer piece might want to take their bacon out as soon as the timer goes off, but those who really like a crispy strip of bacon should leave their pieces in for up to three to five minutes longer than the suggested time.

While bacon can always be prepared in the microwave for a faster cooking time, a waffle maker can also come in handy if you are in a pinch and you still want the same even, crispy result that you would achieve in a regular oven. When it comes to cooking bacon, the waffle iron works in much the same way as a conventional oven. Simply lay the strips flat, allow them to cook until crispy on both sides, and voilà.

Weaved bacon can be cooked and distributed more evenly

There are endless hacks out there to help home chefs achieve that delicious, perfectly cooked strip of bacon. Thinly sliced strips can be marinated in maple syrup to give them that delicious blend of sweet and savory that we have come to know and love as Vermont-style bacon (via Lifehack). Those who prefer less grease can cook their strips on an incline, allowing the excess fat to drip off. But of course, the ultimate bacon cooking hack, no matter which device you choose to cook it on, is weaving the strips together.

Many fans of this method insist that once you give the weaving method a try, you won't go back. According to Food Republic, the trick to achieving a perfect weave is to first lay the strips against each other vertically on a baking sheet, with the fatty sides all facing the same way. Then flip every other strip in half, and lay another piece of bacon perpendicular to it before flipping it back down. Then, do the same to the alternate column, and repeat, laying interlacing perpendicular strips across all the bacon columns. Finally, put the bacon weave in the oven and let bake for about 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees F, although times may vary. Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, simply take it out and enjoy your perfectly cooked square of bacon.