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Mythbusters Project

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by

Amanda Franklin

on 5 December 2015

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Transcript of Mythbusters Project

Bacon is one of the most popular breakfast foods across North America. Countless experiments have been carried out in hopes to give bacon the maximum amount of flavor and size. Bacon comes in a variety of cuts, sizes, and fat percentages. I decided to conduct an experiment using different cuts and sizes of bacon to see if the known ways to reduce bacon shrinkage were actually accurate and effective. I chose a popular myth found on numerous websites: Would soaking bacon in cold water reduce shrinkage?

Procedure and Materials
Bacon Observations and Measurements
Data & Results
Soaking bacon in cold water before cooking will reduce shrinkage by up to 50%.
The Experiment
Introduction
Observations during experiment:
The piece of bacon that was soaked in cold water stayed significantly longer than the other piece of bacon while cooking but when the bacon was flipped over, it would start to immediately decrease in size.


In trial 1 (with strips 1 and 2), the ending length of strip 1 was 1.5 centimeters MORE than the unsoaked strip (strip 2)
In trial 2 (with strips 3 and 4), the ending length of strip 3 was EQUAL to the length of the unsoaked strip (strip 4)
In trial 3 (with strips 5 and 6), the ending length of strip 5 was 1.8 centimeters LESS than the unsoaked strip (strip 6)
In trial 4 (with strips 7 and 8), the ending length of strip 7 was 3 centimeters MORE than the unsoaked strip (strip 8)

Procedure:
I will perform an experiment using these materials to determine if soaking bacon in cold water will reduce shrinkage while cooking.

create data table to record information
record observations and information about two thin cut slices of bacon and include measurements
heat skillet to 350 degrees using heat source
pour cold water into container and measure water temperature
place one piece of bacon in cold water for 90 seconds
remove bacon from water and place both pieces of bacon on fully heated skillet
simultaneously cook both pieces of bacon on each side for 2 minutes
remove bacon from skillet and record measurements and observations
repeat steps 1-8
repeat experiment (steps 1-9) using thick cut bacon



PEER REVIEW: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1BTPcMJysSf4OkcUnFpchCaEwjXlJZuuM4CFxiqtgHwM/viewform?usp=send_form
Abstract
The Effects of Soaking Bacon in Cold Water
Results part 2
Does soaking bacon in cold water truly reduce shrinkage? Using different cuts of bacon, I conducted an experiment to concur whether this myth was true or false. The results concluded that the myth was in fact false. Within four trials, two resulted in success; the bacon soaked in cold water had shrunk less than the constant bacon (un-soaked piece of bacon). The other two trials resulted in failure; the bacon soaked in cold water was either shorter than the other piece, or the cold water had no effect on how the bacon cooked. The specific cut of bacon had no effect on the results of the experiment.
Mythbusters Project
THE MYTH
What you need:
thin cut bacon
thick cut bacon
cold water
container
skillet
heat source

45 seconds into trial 1; unsoaked bacon on the bottom.
Results of trial 1. Unsoaked bacon on bottom.
45 seconds into trial 3; unsoaked bacon on bottom.
Results of trial 3. Unsoaked bacon on bottom.
Conclusion:

The myth was based on the false conclusion that cold water would delay cooking in bacon, leaving it with a longer length. Lean cuts of bacon that shrink a lot during cooking shrivel up because of high water content in the curing solution used during bacon production. Mass produced brands of bacon that are sold at the local supermarket are notorious for loading up their bacon with extra water. According to the myth, people believe soaking bacon in even more water will cause the water already in the bacon to stay, making the bacon juicier and causing it not to shrivel (as much).

Sadly, the myth is in fact a myth. Soaking bacon in cold water does not reduce shrinkage. The bacon soaked in cold water reduced cooking at first; the bacon soaked in cold water stayed significantly longer than the unsoaked strip of bacon but once flipped over, the bacon shriveled and cooked very fast. In two trials, the bacon soaked in water was in fact longer than the other strip but only by a few centimeters. In the other two trials, the strips of bacon were either the same size, or the unsoaked strip of bacon was longer. Both cuts of bacon have similar results.

While conducting this experiment there is roughly a 50% chance the bacon will be slightly longer if soaked in cold water, but is it really worth the hassle?
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