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You Can Definitely Make Bacon In A Slow Cooker, But Should You?

cooked bacon on cutting board
cooked bacon on cutting board - Apomares/Getty Images

Slow cookers are a great appliance when you want to prepare a meal with minimal hassle and fuss. The combination of low temperatures and extended cooking times are also ideal for making challenging cuts of meat far juicier and flavorful. You can even cook other foods with these devices, such as bacon. However, if you're feeling an urgent hankering for bacon, a slow cooker might not be the best option.

Slow cookers cook things slowly (it's right there in the name, after all). That goes for all foods, no matter how thick or robust a cut of meat might be. Bacon is relatively thin when compared to chuck roasts and other items one typically prepares in a slow cooker. That means whipping up a batch of bacon can take three hours or even longer. On the other hand, cooking bacon in a frying pan can take a maximum of 15 minutes, and that's only if you're a fan of well-done breakfast meats.

Read more: 11 Things You Didn't Know You Should Be Doing With Bacon

Slow Cooker Bacon May Not Be The Most Appealing

corn chowder with bacon
corn chowder with bacon - Rudisill/Getty Images

An extended cooking time is not the only issue you'll face when attempting to make bacon in a slow cooker. According to Reddit, bacon quality is another issue to consider, specifically when making a soup that features bacon as an ingredient. According to the poster, the bacon "basically fell apart in the soup when I stirred it," which led to concerns about it not being fully done.

Per the comments, it's likely that the bacon was fully cooked (after all, the poster stated that it simmered in the appliance for a whopping nine hours). The real issue was the quality of the bacon, which was essentially cooked "in a boiling cauldron," as one person put it. If crispiness is non-negotiable, the bacon should be cooked prior to being added to the slow cooker. Or, as another commenter suggested, the bacon should be added to the soup about halfway through the cooking time instead of at the beginning. Otherwise, you'll get the very essence of bacon in your soup but will be lacking the texture that makes bacon so appealing.

Does Bacon In A Slow Cooker Ever Make Sense?

fried bacon in pan
fried bacon in pan - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Despite the many possible issues that can arise when making bacon in a slow cooker, the ingredient features in a variety of slow cooker recipes. However, most recipes, such as the bacon avocado breakfast casserole and the black-eyed peas with bacon require the bacon to be cooked in a pan before being added to the slow cooker.

It also helps to remember that there are many different styles of bacon out there, and some are a bit more robust than others. When compared to the bacon that Americans know and love, which tends to be thinly sliced, Irish bacon is meatier with a greater portion of fat. Even still, Irish bacon is probably not hearty enough to warrant preparation in a slow cooker, a device known for making short work of tough cuts of meat. With this in mind, it's probably best to cook bacon using conventional methods and stick with established slow cooker recipes to get the most out of the appliance.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.