Bacon lovers add bacon to almost every dish. But is a chewy version safe to eat?
Chewy bacon is safe to consume as long as it is handled and stored right, as well as cooking at the safe minimum internal temperature for bacon is 145 °F (62.8 °C). Turkey bacon, on the other hand, has to reach at least 165 °F (74 °C) to kill pathogenic microbes.
So, should you only get back bacon (which is a type of chewy bacon) and not regular bacon if you want your bacon to have that chewy goodness? Discover the answer below!
Is Chewy Bacon Safe to Eat?
Chewy bacon is safe to eat provided it has been cooked at the safe minimum internal temperature for bacon is 145 °F (62.8 °C). Read more about whether
Bacon cooks pretty quickly. It can be easily undercooked or overcooked. But if you like your bacon still chewy, you need to cook it at low heat.
While some people like their bacon crispy, others like theirs chewy. In the US, bacon is cooked and served crispy. In other countries, they serve it chewy or softer compared to the US.
But which texture of bacon is better? Read our article that aims to settle the debate by presenting a comprehensive analysis of the pros and cons of both chewy and crispy bacon.
Both are equally delectable. However, others think that chewy bacon is undercooked and might not be safe.
A popular type of chewy bacon or bacon that is cooked to not be crispy, is back bacon, also known as Canadian bacon or rashers (source: Masterclass). Chewy bacon, unlike crispy bacon, has a stretchy texture and will not crumble in your mouth.
Back bacon has more meat than fat. Regular bacon or American bacon is pretty much the opposite. It has more fat than meat.
Because it has more fat when the fat renders as you cook, the tendency for the bacon is to turn crispy. There may be time for it to be chewy but the chances are small.
Back bacon has more meat. Cooking it on low to medium heat will make it softer or chewier. This has led some people to wonder if chewy bacon is safe to eat when it’s soft.
With this said, you can still achieve a chewy bacon with regular bacon by baking it at 375 °F (190.6 °C) for 5–7 minutes on each side (source: Miss Vickie).
Chewy bacon is safe because the safe minimum internal temperature for bacon is 145 °F (62.8 °C) (source: USDA). This means that as long as the heat from baking or pan-frying reaches this temperature, the bacon should be safe. But do remember to cook bacon on all sides.
Bacon is made with pork. Pork can harbor the following microbes that can put your health at serious risk and get you sick:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Toxoplasmosis gondii
- Yersinia enterocolitica
It can be during handling, storing, or cooking, that bacon can be contaminated with any of these microorganisms, which is why cooking it to the safe internal minimum internal temperature for bacon is 145 °F (62.8 °C) is crucial.
Is Turkey Bacon Supposed to Be Chewy?
Turkey bacon is naturally meaty and not too crispy when freshly baked, which makes it chewy. An overly-chewy turkey bacon is an indication of overcooked turkey bacon.
Some people like a chewy bacon, but turkey bacon that’s too chewy is not really appetizing because it also has a burnt taste (source: A Table Full of Joy).
Turkey bacon also needs to reach this safe internal temperature of 165 °F (74 °C) to destroy pathogenic microbes and make it safe for consumption.
How Do I Know When Chewy Bacon is Done?
Your bacon should be chewy when most of its fat has rendered or oozed out of the bacon strips. Only most of its fat. You want a little fat left on the bacon strips to make it chewy.
You can tell by the color of the bacon turning into a dark mahogany hue. You can also do a taste test to better confirm (source: Live Strong).
A bacon that’s still pink or red can be chewy, but it is still undercooked. You should cook the bacon further to make it both chewy and cooked.
If you want to still have that chewy quality in your bacon, you can twist them before cooking. In fact, this technique is viral on TikTok (source: Metro UK).
While crispy bacon is the go-to choice for many, there is a growing demand for chewy bacon that offers a unique mouthfeel and flavor. Check out our article that will provide you with comprehensive instructions on how to make chewy bacon using various cooking methods, including the microwave, stove, and more.
Chewy bacon is just as delicious as crispy bacon. But always remember to cook it, having in mind the safe minimum internal temperature to avoid getting sick.
We hope you found this article helpful!