For Melt-In-Your-Mouth Bacon, Reach For Your Sous Vide

When it comes to how to cook bacon, there are many methods out there, from frying it in a skillet to roasting it in the oven. You can even use the air fryer or microwave for faster results. But, what about slowing things down — like, really slowing things down — and cooking bacon sous vide?

This method involves cooking the meat slowly and evenly in a water bath at a consistent temperature, followed by a quick sear in a skillet. The main reason would be to achieve what is often considered the holy grail of texture when it comes to bacon: soft and meltingly tender in the middle, and crispy on the outside. While it might require some forward planning, given that the method can take anywhere between eight and 48 hours, the hands-on time is actually pretty minimal, meaning the bacon can just cook perfectly in the background while you get on with other things.

Another big advantage for this method is that you can cook a pack (or multiple packs) of bacon right in the container it came in, making it especially convenient. Then when it's cooked, the bacon can either be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.

The sous vide method yields crisp yet tender bacon overnight

Sous vide bacon is a technique that started gaining popularity a few years back, and has since gained more fans on TikTok, but you should know it takes time. The good news is, you don't have to monitor the process. You can leave the meat to slowly cook in the water bath overnight, then have perfectly cooked bacon in a flash for breakfast.

The method is simple, and involves cooking the meat at 147 degrees Fahrenheit either overnight for at least eight hours or for up to two days. If the bacon is still in its original sealed plastic wrap then it can easily go in the water bath in this packaging; if it's unwrapped, place it in a vacuum-sealed bag. You can cook as many bags as will fit inside, making it great for cooking ahead or feeding a crowd.

It doesn't matter whether the bacon is thick-cut or thin-cut when cooking it sous vide, though thicker tends to work better in terms of texture. Once cooked, remove the bacon from the packaging, and sear the slices for a couple of minutes in a hot skillet. Since the meat is already evenly cooked and tender, this last step is really just to crisp it, and you can either sear it on one side or both sides depending on your preference. Or if you're not using the bacon right away, it will keep in its packaging for up to a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

Sous vide Canadian bacon, ham, and chops work just as well

It's not just regular bacon that benefits from being cooked sous vide. Canadian bacon as well as ham also benefit from the low-and-slow technique, which pretty much guarantees the perfect texture with no chance of over-cooking or under-cooking. 

Canadian bacon slices will take around six to 12 hours in the water bath, and just as with bacon, can be seared for a crisp finish before serving. Or try using the sous vide to warm through a whole cured, pre-cooked city ham in its packaging for three hours before glazing and baking in a hot oven. This works especially well for a festive ham, giving tender and flavorful results with minimal effort and not too much actual hands-on time.

Alternatively, try sous vide pork chops for meat that stays juicy without any risk of becoming dry or tough. Simply season, bag, and sous vide the meat, and then, once cooked, sear it quickly in a hot pan for a golden crust. No matter what the cut, when it comes to pork, try the sous vide for a foolproof crispy yet tender result.