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Can You Make Better Bacon in Water?

What is the best way to cook crisp, tender bacon?

Today, let's investigate a new method for cooking bacon on the stove that I'm seeing suggested as a technique that will change your life.  It's frying your bacon in a pan with a small amount of water. 

Is cooking bacon with a bit of water in the pan a better way to make bacon?

How to Cook Bacon in Water

Bacon on a plate.

This is a simple, relatively fast way to make perfectly cooked bacon every time. Whether you are looking to impress your guests with a decadent breakfast or just want to enjoy a delicious bacon treat, this technique is the perfect solution.
Cooking bacon in a little water fits into my preferred "low and slow" stovetop method because the water helps to moderate the heat of the pan in the early stages of cooking.  This video shows how I usually cook bacon.

How I Cook Bacon and Eggs on the Stovetop

First, let's talk about the traditional methods of cooking bacon. The most common way, and the one I use most, is to fry the bacon in a pan on the stovetop. This method is quick and easy, but it can be messy and time-consuming, as you have to flip the bacon and watch it closely so it doesn't burn.

Another common method that many swear by, is to cook bacon in the oven. This is a great option if you are cooking a large amount of bacon, but it can take a long time and the results can be inconsistent. I find that between the oven preheating and the bacon cooking, this method takes more time than I have to cook bacon.

The Reasons to Cook Bacon with Water

This method is quick, and easy, and produces perfectly cooked bacon every time. The water helps to keep the bacon from burning and creates a consistent, crispy texture. You do need to watch it and flip the bacon, so the time it takes seems to be the same as the traditional method.

The water prevents the bacon from sticking to the pan, which can be a common issue when pan-frying. 

As the water heats and circulates throughout the pan, it prevents hot spots and uneven cooking.

It is also much cleaner and seems less messy than traditional pan-frying methods. The water helps to keep the grease from splattering all over your stove.

Cooking with water is ideal for busy people. Unlike oven-baking, which requires preheating and takes up to 20 minutes to cook, this method takes only 10-12 minutes from start to finish.

The Water Method Tips for Success

This method is simple:
Step 1: Get your pan ready. Choose a large, heavy-bottomed pan that can hold all of your bacon without crowding it. Choose a pan that heats evenly for the best results.

Step 2: Add water to the pan. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. The amount of water you need will depend on the size of your pan. 

Step 3: Add the bacon. Choose medium-thick bacon. Place the bacon strips in the pan and let the water come to a simmer. Let your bacon warm a bit for easier separation of your slices. 

Step 4: Cook the bacon. As the water simmers, the bacon will cook. You will see the bacon start to change color, brown, and become crispy. Turn the bacon for even browning.

Step 5: Drain the bacon. When the bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispiness, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

Video Comparison: Frying Bacon in Water vs Traditional Frying 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cooking Bacon in Water

What is the best cut of bacon to use with this technique? 
Choose a medium thickness for your bacon. Thicker bacon will take longer to cook. A thinner cut of bacon may cook too quickly and become too crisp.

How long does it take to cook bacon in water?
The amount of time it takes to cook bacon in water will vary with the thickness of your bacon.  When cooking a few slices of bacon it will take less time than the oven method.

Should you try cooking your bacon with water? 
The water-based technique for cooking bacon on top of the stove works very well, as you can see in the video. It is quick, and easy, and produces perfectly cooked crispy bacon. 

What's My Recommendation?
While I found the water technique took the same time to cook the bacon as the traditional method, the grease in the pan spattered less and made less mess than the traditional pan-frying method.  This reason alone makes this a good way to prepare your delicious bacon. You should give it a try.

bacon how to cook bacon, best way to cook bacon
Yield: 8
Author: Donna Urso
Bacon Cooked in Water

Bacon Cooked in Water

Cook time: 15 MinTotal time: 15 Min
This method of cooking bacon with water is relatively quick and less messy than traditional stovetop cooking.



  1. Step 1: Get your pan ready. Choose a large, heavy-bottomed pan that can hold all of your bacon without crowding it.
  2. Step 2: Add water to the pan. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. The amount of water you need will depend on the size of your pan.
  3. Step 3: Add the bacon. Place the bacon strips in the pan and let the water come to a simmer. Let your bacon warm a bit for easier separation of your slices.
  4. Step 4: Cook the bacon. As the water simmers, the bacon will cook. You will see the bacon start to change color, brown, and become crispy.
  5. Step 5: Drain the bacon. When the bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispiness, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel to drain.
Give this technique a try and see how it works for you.


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