Sous vide bacon is indulgent and tender, and when finished by searing to perfection, you’ll experience that tantalizing crisp exterior. You only need a few ingredients and tools of the trade, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying the best bacon ever. Finish by searing for one minute whenever you’re ready to serve.
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Why Sous Vide Bacon Works
Sous vide bacon is incredible because it achieves a perfect balance of tender crispiness. Such uniformity is hard to replicate with other cooking methods.
The controlled sous vide process ensures that every bite is packed with flavor. Meanwhile, the slow-rendering fat creates a heavenly texture. The result is flavor-packed bacon with an irresistible quality that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Here are a few reasons why it works so well:
- Tender and Juicy. Sous vide cooking allows the bacon to cook gently and evenly, resulting in a tender and juicy texture. The water bath’s low and controlled temperature helps render the fat slowly. The result is bacon that retains its moisture and doesn’t become overly dry or crispy.
- Consistency is Key! With sous vide, you can achieve consistent doneness and texture throughout the bacon. Each slice cooks uniformly, ensuring that you don’t end up undercooking some parts of the bacon while others are overcooked.
- Ultra-Flavorful. Cooking bacon sous vide in a sealed bag preserves the natural flavors. Since the bacon cooks in its own juices, the flavors intensify to create a rich, flavorful, and delicious result.
- Reduced Shrinkage. Sous vide bacon tends to experience less shrinkage than bacon cooked using traditional methods. This means you get more bacon to enjoy without it significantly reducing in size during the cooking process.
- Convenient. Sous vide bacon can be prepared in advance and requires minimal hands-on attention. Once you place the bacon in the water bath, you can attend to other tasks. This convenience comes in handy when preparing breakfast or cooking in larger quantities.
- Thick-Cut Bacon – Thick-cut bacon works better than thin for this recipe. The thick-cut uniformity ensures that the bacon cooks evenly during the sous vide process. Plus, it holds up better during the long cooking time.
- Flavorings (Optional) – You don’t have to flavor your bacon, but you can experiment with different marinades, dry rubs, infusions, or glazes to customize the recipe.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
The Best Equipment for Making Bacon Sous Vide
A sous vide station is essential to create sous vide bacon. The best part is, once you have the necessary tools of the trade, you can enjoy effortless and consistent sous vide results on all your favorite foods. I’m talking sous vide ribeye, lobster tail, glazed carrots, and even soy sauce ramen eggs! Here are the essentials:
- Precision Cooker – A precision cooker is the heating element in sous vide cooking. Any kind will do, but if you’re in the market for one, the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker is our recommendation for ultimate precision and quality.
- Container – Along with a precision cooker, you’ll need a container to hold the water and whatever you’re cooking. In a pinch, a large metal stockpot will do. But as you enter the wonderful world of sous vide, you’ll eventually want to upgrade. I recommend a rectangle food-safe polycarbonate plastic-lidded bin.
- Vacuum Sealer (Optional) – A vacuum sealer is handy and convenient. It allows you to quickly and easily remove as much air from the sous vide cooking bag as possible. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a resealable plastic food bag and the water displacement method.
- Sous Vide Cooking Bags – Use the corresponding vacuum seal bags if you have a vacuum sealer. Otherwise, a Ziploc bag is the perfect solution for the beginner sous vide chef.
- Prep the sous vide station. Preheat your sous vide water bath to 145°F (62°C) and place the pound of bacon (or more) into a sous vide bag.
- Seal it up. Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or a water displacement method. Make sure to remove as much air as possible.
- Submerge and cook. Submerge the sealed bag of bacon in the preheated water bath, and cook for at least 8 hours.
- Drain the rendered fat. Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the bag from the water bath. Open the bag and drain off any excess fat.
- Sear strips of bacon. Preheat a skillet or grill over medium-high heat. Sear strips of bacon for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until it reaches your desired crispiness.
- Absorb excess grease and serve. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any remaining grease. Serve the sous vide bacon while still hot.
The best part about making your own bacon is that you can get creative and flavor it the way you like.
Try marinating the bacon before placing it in the sous vide bag. You can use simple ingredients like maple syrup, soy sauce, honey, brown sugar, garlic, herbs, or spices. Mix and match your favorites and let the bacon marinate for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Then, transfer the bacon to the sous vide bag to start cooking.
You could also add flavor with dry rubs. Before placing the bacon into the sous vide bag, blend your favorite herbs and spices and massage them into the bacon. Then, proceed to sous vide as usual.
Another simple way to flavor the bacon is to add infusions to the sous vide bag. Include sliced citrus or sprigs of fresh herbs in the sous vide bag and cook them along with the bacon to create subtle hints of their flavor.
Sous vide bacon is tasty on top of burgers, crumbled over mac and cheese, or stuffed into a classic BLT sandwich. However, the exquisite tenderness really shines when you eat the bacon on its own. Pair it with some eggs, and you’ve got an over-the-top delicious breakfast.
If egg bites aren’t your thing, you can still create nutritious and tasty sous vide eggs in whatever style you prefer—hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or poached!
Once you remove the bacon from the water bath, you can either sear it and serve it immediately or store it later.
Before storing the bacon, make sure that it’s cooled completely. You never want to add hot food to your fridge or freezer because it can alter the internal temperature. This temperature fluctuation can create a temperature danger zone where bacteria can grow on all the stored food.
Don’t forget to drain off the excess rendered fat before storing the bacon. You can pour the fat through a fine mesh strainer into a lidded jar. Store the jar in the fridge. Then, use the bacon grease when cooking to flavor sautéed veggies, homemade biscuits, or in your other favorite recipes that call for fat.
Place the sous vide bacon into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a week or more; don’t worry it’s been pasteurized. Or, place it in a sealable freezer bag and store it in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
Read about the best ways to thaw bacon here.
There are a lot of ways to reheat bacon. The key of course is how to do so while keeping the bacon crispy without drying out. Find out the three best ways to reheat bacon from a fellow chef here.
Sous Vide Bacon: Par-Cooked for 1 Minute Bacon
- 1 Container (polycarbonate or stock pot)
- 1 Vacuum Sealer optional, can use a resealable plastic Ziploc bag and the water displacement method
- 1 pound 450 grams thick-cut bacon. Can cook more or less bacon using these instructions. Whatever fits your container without overcrowding is your capacity.
- Preheat your sous vide water bath to 145°F (62°C).
- Place the pound of bacon into a sous vide bag.
- Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or a water displacement method, removing as much air as possible.
- Gently place the sealed bag of bacon into the preheated water bath, ensuring that the bacon is fully submerged.
- Cook the bacon sous vide for at least 8 hours. The longer cooking time will render more fat and make the bacon extra tender. If you take the bacon out early, the shorter cooking time will yield slightly chewier results.
- Once the cooking time is up, carefully remove the bag from the water bath. Then, open the bag and drain off any excess fat. Either finish, refrigerate, or freeze. Use an ice bath before refrigerating or freezing.
- To finish, preheat a skillet or grill over medium-high heat. Remove the bacon from the bag and place it on the hot surface.
- Sear the bacon for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side or until it reaches your desired crispiness.
- Remove the bacon from the skillet or grill and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any remaining grease.
- Serve the sous vide bacon immediately, and enjoy!
And if you’re curious about the healthier but still tasty alternative to pork bacon, read our guide to beef bacon. We get into all things beef bacon including how it differs from pork bacon and how to make your own bacon.
And if you have any questions regarding how to tell if bacon is bad, read this.
Sous Vide Bacon FAQs
By cooking bacon in water with the sous vide method, you’ll achieve uniform results that are tender and delicious. The consistent temperature cooks the bacon evenly throughout the muscle and fat. You’ll end up with bacon that’s flavorful and meets the perfect balance of crisp and tender. No chewy gristle here!
When you sous vide bacon, the consistent temperature cooks the muscle and fat to the same even level of doneness throughout. Plus, the long cooking time results in more of the fat rendering, and it will flavor the meat deliciously. You can even save the remaining fat in the vacuum seal bag for your cooking.
You can sous vide bacon for 8 hours up to 48 hours; it’s all going to depend on the temperature you’re cooking at. We like 145°F (62°C) for 8 hours. The longer the bacon renders in the sous vide water bath, the more tender and melt-in-your-mouth it’ll become.