Ultimate bacon face-off: Thick-cut or crispy? | The Tylt

Ultimate bacon face-off: Thick-cut or crispy?

Cafés, dinners, and brunch restaurants around the world will open with a chorus of sizzles and pops today in celebration of International Bacon Day. Love for bacon may cross international borders, but how it’s cooked remains a source of great contention. Some breakfast aficionados will rejoice when a plate full of burnt ends and crispy edges arrives at their table, while other meat-lovers argue thick-cut bacon is not only the better choice, but it’s better quality. What do you think? 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Ultimate bacon face-off: Thick-cut or crispy?
#OnlyThickBacon
A festive crown for the winner
#AlwaysCrispyBacon
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Ultimate bacon face-off: Thick-cut or crispy?
#OnlyThickBacon
#AlwaysCrispyBacon
#OnlyThickBacon

As meat purveyors know, the best kind of thick bacon is not floppy, but chewy. Whether the slice comes in at an eighth of an inch thick or a fourth of an inch, the most important component to thick bacon is that the fat does not completely burn away when cooked. Lovers of thick-cut bacon enjoy a lasting dance with their meat, where flavor and texture take the lead.

Cook’s Illustrated looks to certified meat expert and professor, Joe Sebranek, to verify whether or not thicker cuts of bacon actually hold flavor better. According to Sebranek:

Smoke is applied to intact, unsliced bellies...A thicker slice has more of the surface area where smoke is deposited included with the slice.

The Cook’s team put it to the test:

Sure enough, the thinnest strip of the lot, at 1/15 inch, had so little smoke flavor that tasters likened it to ‘lunch meat.’ They also decried it for tasting ‘blah,’ since its thinness meant that it had too little of any of the flavors that make bacon taste good.
#OnlyThickBacon

Backed by science or not, neither side is backing down. The debate has even flared up between partners. MyRecipes.com followed this food critic and her husband, Anne and Kevin, as they argued between thick and crispy: 

Kevin: Here’s what it comes down to. You like your bacon extra crispy, verging on crunchy. You want to hold one end of the bacon and have it stay straight like a ruler. I, however, believe the ideal bacon is flaccid and pliable. I seek ribbon curls of pork in my life.

Anne: On the B.C.I. (Bacon Crispness Index), I want somewhere between a 9.5 and 10. You want no higher than a five.

Kevin: I understand everything’s subjective and a matter of personal porcine preference. You think bacon should be fried to a shatter, that’s your prerogative. I think the deeper issue here is fat.

Anne: It’s true. Bendy, rubbery fat is texturally repellent to me, especially white bacon fat. You bite it and extra grease oozes out of it. My tongue says, 'Oops, I ate the wrong part.' It feels like a mistake.

Kevin: Not a mistake. It feels soooo right.

Anne: Eww.

#AlwaysCrispyBacon

Even so, classic crispy bacon comes with the satisfying crunch that so many brunch-lovers seek, and it’s a thing of beauty to find the perfect piece. Whether you dig through the trough in the buffet line for that crisp-but-strong, caramel-brown, perfectly-ribboned slice, or you have a sixth sense for when to turn your bacon at home, everyone knows there is a just-right element to crispy bacon. It has less to do with the smokiness factor of the meat, and everything to do with the experience of consuming it. 

For these fans, crispy bacon simply goes better with breakfast: 

#AlwaysCrispyBacon

Some even argue that crispy bacon is better for the soul: 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Ultimate bacon face-off: Thick-cut or crispy?
#OnlyThickBacon
A festive crown for the winner
#AlwaysCrispyBacon