For The Crispiest Bacon, Reach For The Most Basic Pantry Ingredient

It's an age-old debate: Which cooking method produces the crispiest bacon? Options include the classic stovetop skillet (which itself divides into cast iron versus non-stick), oven baking on a sheet pan, microwaving, using an air fryer, grilling, and even cooking bacon in water (yes, that's a thing). Surprisingly, the answer may not lie in a method, but rather in an ingredient you probably already have in your kitchen. It's not peanut oil for deep frying or a coating of rice cereal; it's plain, simple flour.

Whether you like to fry your bacon in a pan or crisp it in the oven, sprinkling some flour over the strips can both enhance crispiness and prevent the bacon from curling up as it cooks. If you prefer your bacon to retain a bit of chew, this technique might not be for you. But if you like your BLTs loud and your breakfast sandwiches with a snap, you may never cook bacon without flour again.

Increase the crisp with flour

When it comes to crispy, crunchy food, some of the best dishes are coated in flour before cooking. Consider chicken, green tomatoes, catfish, and onion slices. Applying flour to bacon produces similar results without the need for additional oil or deep frying. Essentially, the flour dries the surface of the bacon, allowing for maximum crispiness, while also preserving the food's flavor. Since bacon is already quite fatty, it essentially deep-fries itself, resulting in an extra crispy texture.

But the benefits don't stop there; the flour also absorbs some of the grease in the pan, preventing the bacon from curling up and helping it maintain a flat shape. This leads to more even cooking and reduces the likelihood of burnt or undercooked spots. As for the amount of flour to use, dredge the bacon as you would any other food you're deep frying at home, and shake off the excess. Then, cook the bacon as you normally would, and place the cooked pieces on a plate or pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.

Pan-frying and all-purpose flour aren't your only options

All-purpose flour is just one option for coating and dredging bacon. You can also use gluten-free flour, wheat flour, rye flour, or any other type you regularly have in your pantry. Whether you prefer to pan-fry, oven-fry, or use a griddle, your bacon should turn out noticeably crispier than what you're accustomed to making. The flavor should remain the same; you shouldn't taste any raw flour, which means you can still dip your bacon into runny egg yolks, drench it in maple syrup, or even dip it in chocolate, if that's your thing.

While it's not necessary to season your flour — remember, bacon is already quite salty — that doesn't mean you can't. If you enjoy peppery bacon, consider adding a generous amount of black pepper to the flour. For those who like some heat, toss in a bit of cayenne pepper. If you prefer a sweet kick, add some brown sugar to the flour and mix well. You can also experiment with Italian seasoning, Cajun spices, or even dried dill if you want to try something really out of the box.