Occasionally one finds an extraordinary claim being made. This happens in the wilds of the internet quite often. Not so often does it happen that these extraordinary claims are put to the test.
There is a meme making the rounds on the internet that contains one of these claims—that one can reduce the shrinkage of oven-cooked bacon by up to 50% by rinsing the bacon in cold water before cooking.
This claim has been examined, although not tested, by Lifehacker. They kindly assembled a shortlist of the literature on the subject, which we examined in order to determine applicable experimental techniques:
- Cooking Perfect Bacon, by Franalan.com
- Cooking Bacon, by ThriftyFun
- Mastering Man Food: How to Cook Bacon Properly by The Art Of Manliness
- Ditch the Skillet; Fire Up Your Oven to Cook Perfect Bacon by Lifehacker
In the spirit of inquiry, we decided to put this claim to the test in order to demonstrate the principles of the scientific method (Also, who needs an excuse to eat bacon? Is it not true that sharing is caring?).
After a quick review of the literature, we looked at the meme and decided it was a great problem statement, which we could use as the basis for a proper scientific experiment.
Step 1: Question
Is Perfect Bacon Possible?
Seems reasonable enough a question on the surface, but to get results (and real science!) out of the answer, we must establish a few experimental parameters, state a hypothesis, test it, and draw conclusions from our data.