When preparing BLTs or umami-packed sandwiches, a substantial amount of bacon is required. And not just any bacon, but the kind that can be layered and holds its shape. Here’s how to prevent producing soft, chewy bacon that separates from the sandwich upon the first bite.
For the flattest, crispiest bacon, J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats suggests sandwiching the flesh between two baking sheets before baking. Line the baking sheet’s bottom with aluminum foil and place parchment paper on top.
Place the bacon segments on the paper, avoiding as much overlap as possible. On top of the bacon, place another sheet of parchment paper, and then the second baking tray. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. After a fast pat with a paper towel, the bacon will be super-flat, super-crispy, and ready to be placed on a sandwich or burger.
Some believe that baking bacon on a wire rack is the best method to remove excess fat from the strips as they cook. While this does produce crispy bacon, it’s a nightmare to clear up the meat particles that become lodged between the wires.
However, baking them between baking pans exposes the meat to direct heat on both sides, gathers all of the fat in a single, easily-disposable location, and produces ultra-crisp, arrow-straight bacon strips. This method is also effective if you want to plait your bacon first.