Usually when you cook something in a pan, they are limited by the size of that pan. This is somewhat true with bacon, but not as true as you might think. Most of the images we see of fried bacon show the strips neatly arranged and evenly spaced, but you can really stack it if you like, even crossing the strips on top of each other, for great results.
I saw this movement for the first time Matty Matheson’s Instagram history. I don’t remember what he was doing, only that he had a pan full of bacon – I mean just packed up. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo; it was posted on her story, not on the grid, and has since disappeared.) I’ve since tried this pig maneuver myself, and I’m happy to report that it works enough good.
This is a casserole of jowl bacon that I cooked for last weekend’s breakfast sandwiches. (Usually I cook my bacon, but I wanted to fry the eggs in the same pan.) As you can see, the bacon doesn’t have much room: there are strips on strips, and only part of the bacon touches the pan. In fact, it was not a problem. I started the bacon in a cold pan and let the fat drain slowly over medium-low heat. The strips narrowed as the fat came out of the meat and entered the pan, creating enough room (and enough fat), so that ultimately each piece was shallow fried in a lot. of hot fat.
A large amount of fat in a small saucepan is good – you can swirl the fat around the bacon and crisp the top and bottom of each strip at the same time. It means less flipping, which some people – like me – really enjoy.
If you’re worried about the bacon sticking, don’t. It’s bacon. It’s inherently non-stick, thanks to all the grease. (The only time I have problems with bacon stuck to anything is when I make very thin strips on a rack, and that’s a very different scenario.) So the next time you’re going to fry a pan of bacon, don’t worry about giving it space – wrap it in there, start with a cold pan and cook over medium-low heat. You will end up with evenly cooked bacon, super crispy and lots of leftover fat, perfect for frying lacy fried eggs with crispy edges. It’s a bunch of crispy stuff, that’s what I’m saying.