The saying goes that everything tastes better with bacon, and I’m inclined to agree, but does how you cook and serve it make any difference, and will it pay to buy a more expensive cut?
Whether it’s stuffed between two slices of fluffy white bread with a good dollop of ketchup (sorry, brown sauce fans!), wrapped around a sausage for your Christmas Day pigs-in-blankets, or sat alongside a fried egg, baked beans and all the trimmings for your full English, for me, bacon really is the star of the show.
I personally think the wonderful sizzling sound as it cooks and the resulting smoky, meaty aroma is one of the best alarm clocks around. The smell of it can definitely help to drag me down to the breakfast table in the morning.
But what do you look for when buying your bacon and how do you like to cook it? These days, you can buy smoked or unsmoked bacon, in a range of thickness, cures, cuts, and saltiness, and cook it in the aforementioned ways and more. All of these can affect the flavour.
Or perhaps you like to check the provenance and welfare of your bacon. Outdoor bred vs outdoor reared? Red Tractor vs RSPCA-assured?
Our expert panel recently blind taste tested 10 premium brands of bacon and they agreed that fat content, saltiness and the thickness of the cut could all affect how much they liked it.
There’s also debate around cooking methods when it comes to bacon. Some people swear by frying bacon, others prefer to grill it, and some even microwave it.
One of our expert panel members suggested cooking it in the oven on a very low heat (130°C) for half and hour. When I tried this method, it produced bacon that was crispy yet succulent, and not at all dried-out.
How do you cook your bacon?
Grill it (46%, 725 Votes)
Fry it (27%, 423 Votes)
I don't eat bacon (17%, 266 Votes)
Microwave it (7%, 106 Votes)
Other (3%, 53 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,573
So what do you look for when buying bacon? Smoked or unsmoked? Back bacon or streaky? And how do you like to cook and eat your bacon? Grill or fry? Sandwich or roll? Ketchup or brown sauce?