Cooking Bacon Explained: Do You Need Oil or Butter?

Even after cooking lots of bacon I still like to find other ways to do it. Also to make sure I’m not missing out on more flavorful bacon. You will want to know this bacon hack I found along the way.

Pan frying bacon is to me the easiest and quickest way to do it. You can pan fry bacon and have it ready in no more than 10 minutes. 

I always use a non-stick pan without adding any oil or butter. But in case you don’t have a non-stick pan or prefer something else, should you add oil or butter to prevent sticking?

When frying bacon you don’t usually need to add oil or butter to your pan. The fats within the bacon provide enough grease to prevent sticking. You can use butter or oil in case you’re using a leaner bacon like center cut or turkey.

If you do decide to use an oil or butter. Then there are a few things you might want to know first. Along with the best way to cook bacon with or without butter or oil.

Do You Need Oil To Cook Bacon?

 Cooking bacon can be a slightly messy endeavor. Although bacon can be cooked quickly, an important part is preventing a dirty stove top and cleaning up afterwards.

This is due in large part to the amount of grease that bacon unleashes. Which while cooking will splatter and must be disposed of properly when all is said and done.

Bacon grease is not the enemy though, as it provides a lot of the flavor we crave from our bacon friend. 

It’s also the reason why you don’t need to add oil when frying bacon. In fact you can cook other foods using this rendered fat. 

Bacon fat when heated melts down into a liquid. This is called rendering and it prevents the bacon from sticking to your pan.

The fat also happens to solidify when it cools down. So never pour bacon grease down your sink drain. You can keep it in a jar or pour it into aluminum foil and throw it away.

So in most cases you don’t need oil to cook your bacon. If you are still having problems with the bacon sticking, There is one thing you can try before using oil.

Start with a cold frying pan and before you begin cooking. Take a slice of bacon cold and rub it along the inside of the pan.

When you do this you are coating the pan with grease and fat from the bacon slice. This should help to prevent the bacon from sticking.

Now if you are using bacon meat with less fat. Like center cut bacon, which is normal bacon with the fat removed. It is also a slightly different cut that is closer to the bone then the belly.

Center cut bacon has about 30% less fat. It should cook the same as a regular cut. But in case you find yours is sticking more. Then you can try adding some cooking oil to your pan.

I would recommend a neutral flavor oil as opposed to olive. You can read about cooking oils and how to use each one here.

Now let’s presume you would rather use butter. Maybe because butter is cheaper or it’s commonly used to fry eggs with.

Let’s go into the differences between using butter and oil for cooking.

Can You Cook Bacon With Butter Instead of Oil?

You might think that butter would be a reasonable substitute for oil when frying bacon. Since eggs are typically fried with butter, would the same be true for bacon?

Butter consists of mostly fat so not only does it provide a lot of extra flavor but it’s very greasy. Preventing foods from sticking to a frying pan.

Bacon on the other hand is slightly different. This is because of how bacon should be fried.

Unlike eggs where you want the pan to be heated before you start frying. Bacon is best added into a cold pan.

Then turn on the heat and begin frying. The reason is as we mentioned you want the fats to begin to render. 

Rendering bacon fat takes a minute or two. So you want it to happen before the meat begins to crisp up. 

That way the grease pools up enough to prevent the sticking. It doesn’t take much heat but it takes longer than it takes for butter to melt

The problem is with butter and using a cold pan. The only way to do it is to coat the bottom first. Still you will be left with some excess butter.

Add in your bacon slices and you will end up with a buttery mess. Which could prevent bacon meat from cooking evenly.

So in the case of frying bacon butter is not a great substitute for oil. But the good thing is you typically don’t need either one to fry bacon.

Bacon Frying Hack (No Oil or Butter Needed)

As I mentioned earlier I like to find different cooking hacks every once in a while.

 In this case it’s a bacon frying hack. Which I think suits this post perfectly.

If you want to become great at making bacon, read how to master bacon cooking.

Instead of using butter or oil, you can add something to the pan that helps cook bacon even better.

Frying bacon it’s not always easy. Bacon can go from perfectly done to burnt or over crispy very fast.

That is probably why we looked at oils or butters to the bacon. But you can actually fry bacon using water.

This is the bacon food hack, adding water into your frying pan makes for a perfect bacon that’s easy to replicate.

Bacon frying hack is also very easy to do, here is how.

Place your bacon in your frying pan just like you normally would. Make sure to start with little to no heat.

Next pour in enough water just to cover the top of the bacon. Turn on your heat to medium high until the water begins to boil.

Let the water simmer completely until it has boiled away. Then turn your heat down on your stove and continue to cook the bacon until it is well done.

The hack works because when the water reaches a boiling temperature. The heat is high enough that the bacon fat will have rendered completely.

Water also adds a little bit of moisture to the meat. This way you don’t have to render the fat first and worry about overcooking the bacon afterwards.

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