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Love Bacon That Has All the Crunch Without the Crumble? Us Too! Here’s the Secret

Once you try this, you'll never cook bacon any other way!

Who doesn’t love the savory, salty flavor of bacon? It’s delicious on its own or as an addition to your favorite dish. That said, it can be difficult to whip it up just right. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution for the perfect flavor and texture — all you need is a little water! It sounds wacky, but adding some water to your frying pan will help bacon cook up both crispy and tender rather than hard and crumbly since it retains more moisture. Also, by the time it starts to boil, the fat will be almost completely rendered, so you’re less likely to burn the meat while the fat cooks off.  “And since the bacon cooks more gently, the slices remain flatter too,” says Woman’s World food director Julie Miltenberger. “That makes them extra perfect for adding to BLTs or club sandwiches.”

How to cook bacon in water

To cook bacon in water, start by adding just enough water to cover the strips completely, then cook over high heat until the water starts to boil. Next, lower the temperature to medium and wait for the liquid to completely evaporate. Finally, brown the bacon on low heat until it reaches desired crispiness. The result: a crunchy bite that has retained its moisture and won’t crumble on your plate. 

If you’re in a rush and need to cook up bacon extra fast, The Kitchn recommends adding less water — just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, not the meat. Regardless of how much water you add, the method also takes some of the saltiness out of the meat, which can be a good thing for those watching their sodium intake.

How to prevent bacon grease splatters

Cooking bacon in water is a surefire way to reduce grease splatters and prevent the possibility of painful burns. For even more protection, you might want to invest in splatter shield, like the Frywall Splatter Guard ($21.95, Amazon), which stops oil splashes in their tracks. Or you can skip the stovetop entirely and bake your slices in the oven. The breakfast experts at Pillsbury recommend heating your oven to 400 degrees and letting the slices cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. It’s a great technique for those times when you have a full table of hungry folks to feed and need to cook up a big batch at once. Whichever way you go, you’ll be happily chowing down on some yummy bacon.

How to store leftover uncooked bacon

Recipes often call for only a few slices of bacon, and although bacon freezes well, it’s not easy to pull out a few slices once the package has been frozen into a solid block. Next time, try this — it’s the trick Julie uses in our test kitchen: Roll up uncooked bacon slices individually, then arrange them side by side in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. Now, when you want just a slice or two, you’ll be able to grab just what you need without defrosting the whole package.

Try these delicious bacon-filled recipes

Now that you know how to cook bacon in water, here are some of our favorite recipes using those crispy bits. (Plus, this Bacon Pancakes recipe is worth trying.)

Monster Tot Bacon Grilled Cheese

Chicken BLT Casserole

Creamed Corn and Bacon Bread Bowl

BLT Breakfast Pizza

Also, check out our story on how to make a Denver omelet if you’re looking for a dish to serve with your crispy bacon!

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