The magic of preparing bacon in a cold pan boils down to the interplay of cooking temperatures and the structure of bacon. As TikTok creator @aragusea explains, fat — the white stuff in bacon — starts to render (or melt) at a relatively low temperature, around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, muscle, like the red meat found in bacon and ham — begins browning at a higher temperature, above 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Considering that bacon is a fairly even mix of fat and muscle, it’s crucial to cook these components harmoniously.
Tossing bacon into a hot pan often leads to the meat browning too quickly, while the fat doesn’t get enough time to fully render, leaving you with a somewhat soggy, unevenly cooked, and potentially burnt end product. However, when you start with a cold pan, the gradual increase in temperature allows the fat to melt first. This not only provides natural cooking fat to coat the pan but also ensures the meat cooks evenly in the rendered fat. The result? Perfectly crispy bacon without any undercooked, flabby bits.