Could This Clever Trick Really Keep Bacon from Shrinking?
Part of the reason bacon tastes so good is because of its high fat content, but that also means that it shrinks significantly when you cook it. How much it shrinks depends on how fatty it is and what method you use to cook it. Bacon cooked on the stovetop shrinks quite a bit more than bacon that's baked in the oven.
DIY blog Franalan tested a Pinterest tip that claimed rinsing bacon under cold water before cooking it could reduce the shrinkage by up to 50 percent. Yes, we just wrote about how you shouldn't rinse raw meat, but this is a little different. First, it's bacon. More importantly, this is for a purpose that has nothing to do with removing bacteria.
When Fran tested this trick, she ran water over the bacon and cooked it on a foil-covered tray in the oven. Her bacon didn't seem to shrink much, but without any kind of control group, there's no way to tell if rinsing it had any effect or if it didn't shrink much because she baked it.
A few other sites have tried the experiment with mixed results. Katherine on Agoosa tested it on the stovetop and said that not only did her bacon shrink just as much as usual, it tasted funny, too.
Lifehacker's Melanie Pinola tried it with rinsed and unrinsed bacon side by side, cooked both in the oven and on the stovetop. While the rinsed bacon did shrink about 10 percent less and cook flatter, she decided it wasn't worth doing because the rinsed bacon didn't taste as bacon-y.
Overall, this trick sounds like it's probably more trouble than it's worth. It doesn't make that big a difference, and you're stuck scrubbing out your sink to get rid of all that bacon slime afterwards. What do you think?
Have you tried rinsing bacon before cooking it? Let us know how it turned out in the comments.