Recently, I got a free issue of Cooking Light in the mail. (I know, if that sentence doesn’t rivet you to the screen, I don’t know what will).

And apparently they have a little series they do on the last page of the magazine where they address the most common cooking mistakes.

In this issue, the topic was bacon. I like bacon. A lot. So, clearly, I was all in a rush to know what my fatal mistakes were (eating bacon in the first place, probably). How could I make bacon better?

Except . . . except they said that you should bake it, rather than fry it, to get a nice flat strip of bacon. And they mentioned how restaurants do this.

And then they showed this picture:


Perhaps I am a complete freak of nature and you all think the bacon slice on the right looks WAY better (after all, the Cooking Light people seem to think so!) but I would pick the bacon slice they helpfully labeled “so wrong” every day of the week.

Crispy, crunchy, perfect bacon is what I see on the left. On the right, I see a shiny piece of plastic. Nice looking? Maybe. Something that tempts me? Not even a little.

And the fact that restaurants bake their bacon? Reminds me of the fact that whenever I have bacon at a restaurant, I find it a little rubbery and sad. It is always a disappointment. Bacon fried at home is far superior.

Also, Bart agrees with me. Which leads me to believe that either Cooking Light is absolutely misguided or I was lucky enough to marry the one other person who likes the kind of bacon others label “so wrong.”

I choose to believe Cooking Light is misguided. And if you come over to eat and turn up your nose at the way I cook my bacon, well, that’s just more bacon for me. More perfect bacon for me.

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  • Reply Tamsen April 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Oh certainly not misguided:) I like mine a little chewy on the inside still, luckily so does John. Though when his mom visits I have to burn a few pieces like the one shown on the left:)

  • Reply Jenny April 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    the fatal mistake was considering a magazine that has the word "light" after the word cooking.

    Clearly, a piece of bacon simmering in its own greasy oils will be more tasty, crispy, appealing, and, well, just NOT light. (better~)

  • Reply Nicole April 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    When I saw the picture before reading what you'd wrote, I thought, "Oh…I didn't think that bacon looked 'so wrong.'" I completely agree that crispy bacon is better, and that the flatter restaurant bacon only makes the sandwiches a little easier to handle.

  • Reply RA April 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Bacon doneness used to be a source of conflict in our marriage because JG is on your team, on the side of crispy bacon, and I am definitely not. I like my bacon to have some chew to it so that it doesn't shatter when I bite it. Like bacon you'd get in a BLT.

    Happily, JG has figured out how to "undercook" my bacon. Marital bliss is appropriate bacon doneness, am I right?

  • Reply Peaceful Reader April 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Okay we don't eat a lot of bacon at our house BUT I'm with you on this one…the one on the right looks rubbery and very uncrunchy. If you're going to eat bacon it has to be crispy but not crumbly.

    Luckily I can buy locally-raised/expensive bacon at Hansen's Dairy and we make it on the griddle. It's a total treat!

  • Reply Operation Pink Herring April 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Pan fried bacon is the only bacon!

  • Reply Nikki April 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I'm with you. I like my bacon crispy! I don't eat it if it's not crispy.

  • Reply Señora H-B April 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I admit to baking bacon–particularly if I have to cook a lot of it or I'm using it to make BLTs. There's no risk of getting splattered with grease and you can get it super crispy like the 'so wrong' bacon on the left.

    That being said, I love a curly, crispy, strip of bacon as much as the next person.

  • Reply Lisa April 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I'm also with you — I love bacon that's fried to crispy oblivion. I rarely if ever bake bacon, even if Cooking Light says it's "so right!"

  • Reply fluentbrittish April 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I like crispy bacon. My bacon always looks like the stuff on the left.

  • Reply Elsha April 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Definitely misguided. I like my bacon VERY crisp. Usually I microwave it, because I can't seem to manage to get it as crisp as I want in a pan without burning it.

  • Reply Elizabeth April 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Ah yes. In our house we also like our bacon a little burnt, just like Elvis.

  • Reply G April 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    If fried crispy bacon is wrong, I don't want to be right.

  • Reply Tina's Blog April 29, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    How could bacon ever be too done? I like the picture on the left better as well. I make myself feel better about how unhealthy it is by making mine in the microwave. I cook it on a few pieces of paper towel which does help soak up some of the grease.

  • Reply Jenae April 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    they are so wrong because fried bacon is so so right. (except i hate the way it smells up my house for three days afterwards)

    on another note my mother always microwaved the bacon. she was embarrassed when i came home from a friends home at age ten and said "mom! did you know you can make bacon in a pan?!"


  • Reply Rachel April 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Should Cooking Light really even be mentioning bacon at all? Seems like an oxymoron to me.

    I do like fried bacon better but in recent years as the number of people my mom has to cook for has increased she has started baking it and it really isn't too bad and makes much less of a mess. She'll sprinkle brown sugar or cayenne pepper on it before baking and it's tasty.

  • Reply The well rounded mom April 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    you can bake it in the oven and still get that nice crunchy bacon, you just cook it a little longer. The benifit to cooking it in the oven of course is you only have to turn it over once and keep your eye on it. On the stove you risk the splater and it needs constant attention. We like to make waffles while the bacon takes care of it self in the oven! try cooking it at 400 till crispy you'll never cook it on the stove top again.

  • Reply Kayla April 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Soul sisters forever. Crispy bacon is the RIGHT bacon!

  • Reply Laurie@The Baking Bookworm April 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I am a self-proclaimed picky bacon eater! I adore bacon (my husband has given himself the title : King of Bacondom) but often when I'm out for breakfast with my friends I won't order bacon because the restaurant totally kills it. Perhaps it's because they bake it? I'm going to ask next time I go! The restaurant bacon looks like the 'right' bacon. Like you, I prefer the 'wrong' way. If that's 'right' then I want to be wrong!

    My husband says I cook bacon perfectly. Thanks honey!! And they say true romance is dead!!

  • Reply Packrat April 29, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    LOL How you do this, I have no idea – ESP or what? You always seem to post about something that I have just done or was seriously thinking of.

    I baked a whole pan of bacon this morning, BEFORE (excuse the shouting since italics don't work) I read your post. I don't normally bake bacon, but there was about a pound and a half that needed cooking before it went bad. It turned out beautifully flat. It was crisp without being burned. And, it did not look like plastic and tasted wonderful.

    Try it sometime. 😉

  • Reply Bethany April 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Restaurant bacon is always TOTALLY gross. Too flimsy and fatty and not good. But we cook bacon a lot around here (way too much), and I actually do use the oven! I lay them side-by-side on a sheet of aluminum foil on top of an edged cookie sheet, and bake at 400 for somewhere between 20-40 minutes until they are perfectly crispy all over. You really gotta watch them though, in order to get them out at that perfect moment. The best part: my house doesn't reek!

  • Reply craftyashley April 30, 2011 at 12:53 am

    I would have chosen the wrong bacon too. The other "restaurant" kind is always too chewy. I KNOW it's basically pig fat, but I do not want to fee like I'm eating pig fat, thankyouverymuch!

  • Reply ssm April 30, 2011 at 1:56 am

    We tried baking the bacon once because I read this on a cooking blog a few years ago. It was awful! Pan fried is sooo much better. I think Cooking Light might like it because the bacon doesn't cook in its own grease? (but that is the BEST part) (and yes, I do save that grease and cook with it all the time) (mmm)

  • Reply Angela Noelle of SK April 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Rad post.

  • Reply BrittWilk May 1, 2011 at 2:44 am

    you're so right about the bacon.

    and ella is so cute!

  • Reply Jessamy May 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I'm totally with you guys. Restaurant bacon just isn't even worth it.

  • Reply Kimberly May 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Totally agree. Some people do like their bacon chewy, but I like mine practically burnt. That said, I have heard (and had success with) if you start with a cold frying pan instead of heating it up before putting in the bacon, the bacon will not shrink so much. This way, you can have extra crispy but still retain some of the size of baked bacon.

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife May 2, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I think both PHOTOS look good. (So good that now my stomach is grumbling.) BUT. I agree wholeheartedly with you that restaurant bacon is always… chewy. And I want a crispy piece of bacon, not chewy. It is not taffy. So! Pan frying it is.

  • Reply Katie Rich May 3, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I am with you. The one on the left looks way better!

  • Reply LeAnne May 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

    I am fried bacon girl…so much better than in the oven. It may not look as 'pretty' but its taste is far superior. I like to cook my bacon on 'the George' as we call it. (George Foreman grill.) Saves you from getting splattered. Plus it does save you on the grease without robbing the bacon of its true taste.

  • Reply Meg May 3, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I'm probably a total weirdo myself… because I really don't like bacon. For some crazy reason, I have a total aversion to breakfast foods and always steer clear! That being said, if I had to choose between the two slices, I would definitely go with the crispy "wrong" version. That crispiness is what makes me think of bacon as… well, bacon!

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