Bacon is a popular breakfast food that can be cooked in different ways. Some people prefer their bacon to be nice and crispy, while others like it a bit chewier. If your bacon didn’t turn out as crispy as you’d hoped the first time around, you may be wondering if you can simply recook it to get that desired crispiness.
Can you recook bacon to make it crispier?
The short answer is yes, you can absolutely recook bacon to make it crisper. While freshly cooked bacon is usually crispiest, bacon that has been cooked once and then cooled can be returned to the pan to revive and intensify its crispness.
How to recook bacon for maximum crispness
Here are some tips for reheating bacon to make it as crispy as possible:
- Use a skillet or pan – Recooking bacon in the oven may dry it out. For best results, use the stovetop and a skillet or pan.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan – Cook bacon in a single layer, without overlapping, to allow maximum heat contact.
- Cook over medium-high heat – Use a medium-high or high heat setting for crisping up. Lower heat may lead to soggy reheated bacon.
- Fry for 1-3 minutes per side – Monitor closely and adjust cooking time as needed. Just a minute or two per side is usually enough.
- Blot excess grease – For those who want it super crispy, use a paper towel to blot grease after reheating.
- Finish in the oven – For an extra crunch, finish off in a 400°F oven for 5 minutes after pan-frying.
Why does reheated bacon get crispy?
There are a couple of reasons why reheating previously-cooked bacon can give it a crisper texture:
Bacon loses some of its natural moisture when it is cooked initially. Reheating bacon provides a second round of heat exposure that further dries out the bacon, resulting in a crisper end product.
Rendering of fat
The first cooking allows some of the fat in the bacon to render out. Recooking gives the remaining fat a chance to fully render and caramelize, creating crispy edges and a snappy texture.
Pros of recooking bacon
There are some advantages to cooking bacon twice if you prefer it extra crispy:
- More control over crispness – Get the exact texture you want by adjusting the second cook time.
- Crisp bacon without burning – Recooking means you’re less likely to burn or blacken the bacon in pursuit of crispiness.
- Makes large batches crispy – It’s hard to get crispiness cooking large quantities at once. Recooking in smaller batches solves this.
- Can crisp up old bacon – Bacon that’s been in the fridge a while can be revived with a second sizzle.
Cons of recooking bacon
There are also some downsides to keep in mind:
- Not as full flavored – Reheated bacon won’t have quite the same smoky, salty flavor as freshly cooked.
- Time consuming – You have to cook it twice, which takes more time and effort.
- Can dry out – It’s easy to over-crisp and dry out the bacon during the second cook.
- May need more fat – Getting crispy reheated bacon may require more added oil or bacon grease.
How to store and reheat cooked bacon
To get the best results when crisping up bacon for the second time, follow these storage and reheating guidelines:
Storing cooked bacon
- Let cool completely first – Don’t cover hot bacon or it will steam and lose crispness.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container – This prevents odors from escaping and the bacon drying out.
- Use within 4 days – For optimal freshness and reheating quality.
- Freeze for longer storage – Freeze in an airtight bag for up to 2 months.
Reheating cooked bacon
- Use a skillet or pan, no oven or microwave – The stovetop maintains texture best.
- Reheat thoroughly – Heat on medium until hot and sizzling, about 1 minute per side.
- Blot grease after reheating – For extra crispness, blot with a paper towel to remove excess grease.
- Avoid reheating more than once – Bacon texture will degrade with multiple recooks.
How to know if reheated bacon is safe to eat
When handling and cooking any meat product, it’s important to follow food safety guidelines. Here are some tips for ensuring reheated bacon is safe to eat:
- Use bacon stored properly in the fridge – Don’t reheat bacon left out at room temperature.
- Check for off odors or sliminess – Don’t eat bacon with an off smell or unusual texture.
- Cook until steaming hot – Reheated bacon should sizzle and steam; color alone doesn’t indicate safety.
- Serve immediately after reheating – Don’t let reheated bacon sit out or partially cook in advance.
- Discard if moldy – Bacon with signs of mold should be thrown away.
FAQs about recooking bacon
Can you microwave reheated bacon?
It’s best not to microwave bacon after initial cooking. The microwave can make reheated bacon tough and rubbery rather than crispy. Use the stovetop instead for the highest quality results.
Is reheated bacon bad for you?
Properly stored and reheated bacon is not inherently bad for health. However, like fresh bacon, reheated bacon should be enjoyed in moderation due to its high saturated fat and sodium content.
Does reheating bacon cause cancer?
There is no evidence that the act of reheating bacon increases cancer risk. any cancer concerns with bacon relate to compounds that form when meat is initially cooked at high temps. Taking care not to overcook or burn bacon minimizes potential carcinogens.
Can you recook bacon from frozen?
Bacon can be safely reheated straight from frozen. Allow extra time to thaw and cook through. Be sure to heat until sizzling to ensure any bacteria are killed prior to consumption.
Does reheating bacon make it salty?
Reheating does not make bacon noticeably saltier. However, any moisture lost during the second cook can concentrate flavors like salt. Blotting grease after reheating helps minimize excess saltiness.
The best way to reheat bacon for crispy texture
Based on the pros, cons, and safety considerations, the ideal method for reheating bacon for crispiness is:
- Cook bacon initially using the preferred method. Allow to cool.
- Place bacon in a single layer in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
- Reheat for 1-3 minutes per side, adjusting time to reach desired crispness.
- Blot with paper towels to remove excess grease, if desired.
- Enjoy immediately for the crispiest results.
With the proper technique, you can easily revive and intensify the crispiness of cooked bacon. So if your first batch didn’t turn out quite crispy enough for your taste, go ahead and give it a second sizzle!