How to Keep Bacon From Shrinking

By Hallie Engel

There's nothing like the smell of bacon frying on the stove -- or the frustration of watching it shrivel and shrink into a charred strip of meat. Although a little shrinkage is to be expected, a few prep and cooking techniques may keep it to a minimum. Rinsing bacon in cold water before cooking, for example, can keep bacon from disappearing before your very eyes.

Crispy Organic Unhealthy Bacon
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A plate of cooked bacon on a towel.

Slow Cooking

Take your time when preparing bacon to prevent it from shrinking into wrinkly scraps. Start cooking bacon in a cold pan and gently heat it up. Slowly rendering the fat decreases shrinkage, but flip it frequently to ensure even cooking. Baking bacon in the oven may also reduce shrinking in the same way; "Cooking Light" suggests popping it in just before you turn the oven on.