A Michelin-starred chef who has cooked for royalty has revealed his top tips for frying up crispy bacon.
Jeff Baker, whose restaurant Pool Court in Leeds won the city its first Michelin star in 1995, has previously cooked for the Queen and is now the executive development chef at online butcher Farmison & Co.
He said the secret to getting the perfect bacon rasher is to make sure the frying pan is hot before putting the meat in.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Baker said that the “best way” to cook bacon is “on a medium to high heat pan with a small amount of natural fat, searing it on each side for a minute or so”.
“If the bacon is properly dry cured and cut to a nice thickness, it should caramelise on the edge,” he explained.
Once in the hot pan, the fat will render from the bacon “without dissolving”, creating delicious depth of flavour.
Searing bacon in a hot pan causes the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction that breaks down amino acids and reduces sugar, allowing the browning of food to take place.
According to Discover Magazine, the Maillard reaction releases aroma compounds that are a combination of nitrogen, fat, protein and sugars that give bacon its distinct, savoury smell as it cooks.
However, using different types of bacon can give home cooks different results. Streaky bacon, which comes from the belly of the pig, has more layers of fat running through it compared to back bacon, which comes from the loin.
Because it has more fat, streaky bacon is likely to produce a crispier rasher compared to back bacon.
Baker also suggests that bacon should not be eaten with any condiments, such as ketchup or HP sauce.
He told the newspaper: “In my opinion, if cooked this way the bacon won’t need any sauce to enhance the taste – it’ll be perfect as it is.”