I’ve always been a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to cooking. A curmudgeon, even. So when a friend introduced me to ChefSteps a couple of years ago, I approached this new-fangled, science-based approach to cooking with a few liters of skepticism. After a prolonged internal conflict and a persistent guilty pang of hypocrisy, I finally decided to give it a shot. And now I'm a lost cause—completely hooked. I own three immersion circulators and the 46-pound set of Modernist Cuisine, among other giant, science-driven cookbooks. Fast forward two years, and an interesting email shows up in my inbox: "Bacon Like You’ve Never Cooked It Before." It went on to claim that “bacon can be better. Like, much, much better. How, you ask? Why, with sous vide!” Hmm. I've learned to suppress the eyerolls that are caused by such lofty statements, but I pulled out the immersion circulator and a pound of bacon and got to work on sous vide bacon.
So, how does it work? In my particular case, I used a thick bacon that tends to be a bit on the stringy side regardless of cooking method. The sous vide cooking process completely eliminated this and turned the bacon into something akin to a slow-roasted pork belly, but in crispy yet tender strips. For me, this is the perfect balance for the world's best food.
I recall a recent article on a great website wherein a married couple debated the correct texture for bacon. My guess is that after trying this method, they may finally be able to agree.