Does Crispy Bacon Have Less Calories Than Soft Bacon?

Bacon is a beloved breakfast food for many, but it’s also high in fat and calories Some claim that cooking bacon until it’s crispy and crunchy reduces the fat and calorie content by rendering out more grease Is this fact or fiction when it comes to calories in crispy versus soft bacon? Let’s sizzle through the evidence.

Why Bacon is High in Fat and Calories

Before determining if preparation method affects calories, it helps to understand why bacon is high in fat and calories in the first place.

  • Pork belly is used to make bacon, which consists of 55-65% fat

  • Curing and smoking adds flavor but doesn’t remove significant fat.

  • A 1 oz serving of pan-fried bacon contains 42 calories from fat, or about 70-80% of total calories from fat.

  • The high fat percentage makes bacon calorie-dense – about 153 calories in 2 slices.

  • Omega-6 and saturated fats predominate in bacon, as in other red meats.

So bacon starts fatty and the cooking process and flavors added through curing only increase its rich fat content rather than reducing it.

Does Cooking Method Impact Fat and Calories?

With such a high proportion of fat to start with, can achieving crispy bacon really alter the fat and calorie amounts significantly? Some key research points:

  • Pan frying allows rendered bacon fat to drip off into the skillet instead of remaining in the meat.

  • Oven baking on a rack or wire grid also allows fat to drain away from the bacon.

  • Methods that cook surrounded by fat, like deep frying, would retain more fat in the bacon itself.

  • Cooking to a crispy texture deforms the fatty areas, releasing more fat out. Soft bacon retains more fat within the meat.

  • One study found a 17% decrease in fat for crispy pan-fried vs. soft pan-fried bacon.

  • However, the difference in calories was fairly small – 80 calories (crispy) vs. 92 calories (soft) for 3 oz bacon.

Crispy Bacon Contains Less Fat But Minimal Calorie Difference

The research shows crispy bacon cooked in a skillet or oven does render out more fat, but the calorie difference is fairly minimal:

  • Crispy bacon has 10-25% less fat compared to soft bacon, depending on crispiness level.

  • The calorie difference between 3-5 slices of crispy vs. soft bacon is roughly 30-50 calories.

  • So for a 300 calorie bacon serving, crispy might have 250 calories vs. 275 calories for soft.

  • The percentage of calories from fat is slightly improved in crispy bacon.

  • But both versions still derive over 65% calories from fat.

So while crispy bacon has modestly less fat and calories than soft bacon, both are still high-fat foods. Preparation method creates only a minor improvement in nutritional stats.

Other Factors Influence Fat and Calories

Beyond crispiness, other factors impact the fat and calorie content when cooking bacon:

  • Cut thickness – Thick cut bacon retains more fat after cooking compared to thin or regular sliced bacon.

  • Cooking method – Frying in fat triples the calories absorbed versus oven baking.

  • Portion size – Fat and calories add up dramatically if you eat a whole pack of bacon instead of 2-3 slices.

  • Additives – Curing methods that use sugars or maple glazing add calories on top of the fat.

  • Shrinkage – Bacon can shrink quite a bit when cooking. Weighing it before and after determines actual portion size and calories.

So crispiness isn’t the only factor controlling calories – thickness, cooking method, and portion size also play key roles.

Healthiest Ways to Cook Bacon

If you’re looking to make bacon as healthy as possible, here are some preparation tips:

  • Choose thin sliced or center-cut bacon to reduce overall fat.

  • Cook on a baking sheet in the oven to allow drippings to fall away from the meat.

  • Place bacon on a cooling rack over a baking sheet to maximize fat drainage.

  • Cook until very crispy but not burnt to render the most fat.

  • Blot cooked bacon on paper towels to absorb extra grease after cooking.

  • Weigh bacon raw and cooked to determine true portion size and calories.

  • Avoid frequent bacon as part of an overall balanced diet low in processed meats.

Should You Avoid Bacon for Weight Loss?

Bacon is very high in fat and calories even when crispy. So should you avoid it altogether when trying to lose weight?

  • Nutritionists advise limiting bacon to occasional intake if you’re reducing calories.

  • Bacon is fine in moderation along with more vegetable-based meals. Don’t make it an everyday food.

  • Watch portion size – 2 small slices provides plenty of flavor without overdoing fat, sodium and calories.

  • Avoid extra frying oil, glazes or deep frying that adds significant calories.

  • Choose oven-baked turkey bacon or chicken-based bacon alternatives to reduce fat intake.

  • For low calorie breakfasts, favor boiled, scrambled or poached eggs over fatty bacon most days.

So the consensus is bacon can still be enjoyed occasionally when watching your weight, but should not be a dietary staple.

The Bottom Line

Crispy bacon does contain modestly fewer calories and less fat compared to soft bacon. However, both are still high-fat foods regardless of texture. Limiting portions and frequency of intake remains key to enjoying bacon as part of a healthy diet. So sizzle a couple crispy strips for a treat, but don’t go whole hog on bacon every morning!

does crispy bacon have less calories

Bacon Calories and Fat: Fact vs Fiction

Today I am blowing off steam after yet another uninformed comment about eating bacon. Most people don’t know how many calories and fat are in bacon. For example, my plate has six slices of baked, folded bacon. It’s my go to breakfast, I even carry purse bacon! Read how I make it here.

A plate of six slices of bacon from me has less fat and calories than almost anything else people can make for breakfast. People! This plate of bacon is a 240 calorie breakfast!.

Let’s compare this to what I see my co-workers and friends eating for breakfast:

My plate of bacon: 240 calories, 18g fat, 18g protein, 0g carbs

  • McD’s Bacon Egg MacMuffin has 310 calories, 14 grams of fat, 16 grams of protein, and 29 grams of carbs.
  • Tim Hortons Bagel B. E. L. T: 530 calories, 24g fat, 24g protein, 61g carbs.
  • Big Mac Bacon Hashbrown Wrap: 590 calories, 31 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein, and 54 grams of carbs.
  • The Tim Hortons Wholegrain Muffin has 350 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and 60 grams of carbs.

Need I go on? Do you still want to tell me how bad my breakfast is now?

Here’s the problem. People are reading the nutritional information from a package of bacon. Raw bacon. To get the true bacon calories and fat for my favorite breakfast, check the chart below.

*NOTE*  Cooked bacon means cooked crisp with all fat drained off. Which is the best way to eat it anyways!

I used the oven to bake my folded over bacon at 350 degrees. It turns out perfect and crisp every single time! You can follow the instructions here.

You can tell someone they’re wrong the next time they say you eat too much bacon.

Now, go ahead and make yourself a plate of bacon and show some bacon pride!

How to Cook Bacon So It’s Crispy, Tender, and the Most Perfect Ever


How many calories in a crisp piece of bacon?

Nutrition Facts
For a Serving Size of 1 serving (13g)
How many calories are in Crispy Bacon? Amount of calories in Crispy Bacon: Calories 70
Calories from Fat 45 (64.3%)
% Daily Value *
How much fat is in Crispy Bacon? Amount of fat in Crispy Bacon: Total Fat 5g

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