The chiller way to chop bacon.
Our Test Kitchen Manager Derek Laughren is a bit of a bacon pro. He taught us how to cook flat bacon—and now he’s showing us how to more easily, more efficiently chop bacon so that your bacon chops are cleaner (no wrestling with bacon fat connecting pieces) and your cutting board and knife end up cleaner and less mucked by fat, too:
“If you need a uniform dice on bacon (or pancetta or any meat, really), you can make it easier on yourself by throwing it in the freezer until it firms up. It won't slide around on you, which means cleaner cuts, less time spent, and more fingertips intact.”
So stick your bacon in the freezer just until it firms up. It took our batch about an hour, but it could've been sooner (we forgot about the bacon; how could we? We were probably eating cake).
If you keep bacon in the freezer so you’re never far from a BLT, we salute your planning skills; but before cutting, let the totally frozen bacon sit on the counter until it's just firm to touch. Chopping rock-hard bacon will dull your knife.
Then, chop the bacon with a sharp knife into whatever shape you need. (If you need slices, you can also use scissors.) The result is a uniform dice or slice, which means pretty bacon in salad or pasta or on pizza.
But even if the bacon will end up unidentifiable in a stew or loaf of bread or frittata, it still behooves you to firm up the bacon in the freezer prior to it meeting a knife. The time it takes to firm up the bacon in the freezer could be roughly equal to the time it would take to pull bacon cubes apart and scrub and scrub your cutting board.
And now you can spend that inactive time considering how to eat more bacon.
We have a few more bacon cooking tricks up our sleeves, so be sure to check back. Do you have any to share?