We first came across this hack in a viral video by Roice Bethel, the brains behind @noflakeysalt. The Instagram post, which has garnered more than 1 million likes since last June, starts with Bethel saying, “If you want perfectly crispy bacon, you need to boil it; I know that sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it does.”
He says bacon is comprised of muscle (the dark part) and fat (the white part), and explains that muscle cooks quickly, but fat takes a longer time to crisp. He then places bacon strips in a cold pan and adds just enough water to cover them.
“The water prevents the temperature from getting too high, which gives the fat time to render out,” he explains. “So, the meat and the fat finish cooking at the same time. Once the water completely evaporates, the bacon gets nice and crispy, the meat is not overcooked or burnt, the fat is perfectly rendered.”
The comments are, understandably, divided. Many commenters note that they’re devout bacon bakers, and that the oven gives them stellar, consistent results with no fuss. Some, however, sing out in support of Bethel:
“This is a fact. Works every time and flavor is the same.”
“I’ve tried it and it does work!”
Others…not so much:
“I tried this…like shoe leather. Terrible.”
“Big momma neva added water & she cooked it right err time. Y’all can have this….”
“Boil out all the flavor, got it.”
“IDK mane, this seems like a great way to have a grease fire.”
We see Bethel’s reasoning, and his results looked impressive…but isn’t moisture the enemy of crispness? We tried our hand at this unconventional method to find out if it’s the real deal.