Twist Your Bacon For A Better Air Fryer Batch

If you're a believer that bacon enhances nearly every dish, you're likely familiar with how to cook bacon in a variety of different ways, from the skillet to the microwave. Baking bacon in the oven is popular for achieving extra crisp results, and the air fryer is gaining fans for achieving similar outcomes even faster and with less oil.

However, if you typically lay the bacon flat in a single layer before air frying, consider an alternative method: Twist the slices into spiral shapes before placing them in the air fryer. This approach allows you to fit more bacon in the air fryer at once, making it a great hack for cooking larger batches. It also ensures that each piece is evenly cooked and looks more appetizing.

While it requires a bit more prep time, twisting the bacon creates a fun shape that's very versatile. The bacon spirals can be enjoyed on their own as a salty, smoky snack or canapé, dipped into soft-boiled eggs for a next-level breakfast, or even used to garnish a salad.

Twisted bacon has a crisp edge and chewy center

One key advantage of twisting bacon before putting it in the air fryer is that you can cook more at once. This method also produces bacon with a greater variety of textures than when cooking slices flat. The twist shape allows the bacon to crisp up on the outside while remaining deliciously chewy in the middle.

To prepare the dish, simply twist each bacon slice into a shape, place them in the air fryer basket without overlapping, and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight to 12 minutes, depending on the bacon's thickness. Avoid twisting them too tightly; a looser spiral allows air to circulate for evenly cooked bacon sticks.

While any bacon thickness works for twisting, regular or slightly thicker cuts yield a chewier, less crumbly result than thin bacon, though they may require a slightly longer cooking time, perhaps an extra minute or two. If the bacon is too thick, it may be difficult to twist, or it might start to unwind while cooking. Remember, the bacon twists will continue to crisp up as they cool down, so remove them from the air fryer just before they're completely firm if you prefer to avoid an overly crunchy result.

Try candied or spiced bacon twists for a next-level snack

What's better than crispy bacon twists? Candied crispy bacon twists, that's what. Either coat or glaze the bacon twists in a mixture of your favorite sweet syrup and sugar before putting them in the air fryer to ensure a delightful sweet-salty sensation with each bite.

For a spicier snack, add some hot sauce to the above mixture, or try brushing each bacon slice with a mixture of sugars and spices — such as a dash of paprika and chili powder — before twisting and air frying them. For a simpler option, a sprinkling of ground black pepper will add a hot, peppery twist. Or, combine both spicy and sweet flavors with a splash of bourbon to make spicy candied bacon.

If you're concerned about the air fryer smoking when cooking fatty meats like bacon, consider placing a slice of bread in the drip tray underneath the bacon tray or basket. This can help absorb any excess oil that drips down. Then, simply discard the bread once you've finished cooking.