Why You Should Start Flouring Your Bacon

Disclaimer: Lovers of soft bacon need not take heed to the following tip. Lovers of crispy bacon, take note because there is a way to make your already crispy bacon even crispier.

As indicated by this (hopefully) humorous opener, bacon lovers are split into two camps. There are those who prefer their bacon soft, and there are those who prefer their bacon crispy. According to Miss Vickie, Soft bacon lovers tend to enjoy the fatty sweetness and the lack of an overly roasted flavor crispy bacon lovers prefer. The uniting force here is the bacon itself, which is almost universally acknowledged as one of the greatest things mankind has ever invented. Unfortunately, we must depart now from our soft bacon friends to talk about why you should be flouring your bacon.

It is a method very typical of Southern cooking. You take something that is already tasty, like catfish or ribs, dredge it in seasoned flour, and shallow fry it until it is beautifully crispy, per Bon Appétit. The same is true with bacon, only there is no need for extra seasoning. Why and how exactly does this work? Well, it all has to do with a process called browning.

Add flour for crisp and held shape

Browning, also known as the Maillard reaction, removes excess fat and gives a flavorful brown crust on the exterior of whatever meat you're cooking. This allows for deeper, more complex flavors and improved texture to the meat. Adding flour to your bacon not only starts the browning process, but helps dry the meat's surface for maximum crispiness, and protects the exterior of the meat (via Le Creuset and Bon Appétit). PureWow also explains that using flour on bacon absorbs excess grease and helps stiffen the bacon so the slices hold their shape and don't curl in on themselves.

If you've got a gluten sensitivity but want to try this trick, there are plenty of options. Using different flours, such as sweet rice or rye flour, Bon Appétit explains, will change the character of the bacon while still giving you that sought-after crunch. For example, cornstarch gives you a flaky slice of bacon with a distinct crunch. Also, allowing the flour-dressed bacon to refrigerate overnight between to sheets of parchment paper stiffens the slices and removes a few extra steps from whatever meal you're using the bacon for.