Let's be real. No self-respecting bacon lover is going to pass up this beloved staple just because of the way it might look. However, the reality of good- versus bad-looking bacon is that the latter can curl too much, shriveling into a brittle bite rather than becoming the plump, crispy strip we know and love.
Creating bad-looking bacon is just one of the risks of cooking your bacon in a frying pan. As Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, says, the reason for this risk can be summed up in one word: physics.
"The thing about bacon [is] it's got fatty areas and parts of muscle/tissue areas. When that heats up, those two different substances actually expand and contract at different rates," Potter explains. "[The heat is] actually causing that side to shrink and buckle. It has to do with the direction of the heat."
In other words, because heat only comes from one side in a frying pan, the bacon ends up curling. So, to get flatter, better-looking, still-crispy bacon, Potter suggests swapping that pan for a baking sheet.
"If you cook it in the oven, the heat actually hits that bacon from all directions, kind of uniformly, and it comes out flatter," Potter says. "If you put it in a pan... it's going to curl up and crinkle a lot more."
Feeling hungry? Enjoy your bacon at any meal with recipes from Oprah.com:
Breakfast: Bacon-Parmesan Biscuits
Dessert: Maple Bacon Cupcakes
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