The hardest part about frying bacon is finding that textural equilibrium. Me, I like my bacon on the meatier side—that is, with the fat not fully rendered so some flaccidity remains. My wife happens to like her bacon extra crunchy, almost cracker-like.
Yesterday, I was browsing the excellent The Austin Cookbook by Paula Forbes and came across a tip offered by Joe’s Bakery, an Austin institution since 1962. The restaurant is well-known for its bacon, with a texture that people assume is deep-fried. It’s not. From the book, here is Joe’s Regina Estrada:
Now this was a beautiful epiphany, and seemed like a solution that would satisfy by my wife and my personal bacon preferences. I gave it a try.
There’s not much to it. Take thick-sliced bacon, coat lightly with flour on both sides and shake off excess. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes (or in the freezer for five). Fry as normal—I always place bacon from a cold pan and let the heat gradually come to medium.
Lo and behold! The bacon came out like chicken fried steak. Not too much batter, but enough to give it that added crunch, while maintaining the meat-and-fat tactile pleasures. You need to try this.