As with anything else you’re baking or prepping in the kitchen, you cannot attain the perfect results if you don’t start out with the perfect ingredients.
Of course you could simply walk into any grocery store or shop off your normal food delivery website…and find plenty of bacon options….low-quality.
Curing bacon takes time and money to the manufacturer…so most bacon is highly processed in order to speed up this process and to make the bacon cheaper…both in quality and in price.
You want to make sure that your bacon has actually been created using only high quality pork…how are you supposed to get the perfect bacon if you start out with imperfect pork?!
Finding perfectly good bacon…I mean great bacon…can actually be a real challenge.
Be willing to splurge on the bacon you choose because honestly you shouldn’t be eating bacon that often—if at all. Buy the highest quality you can find…thick cut, such as this bacon from Wild Pastures.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Making the perfect BLT requires buying not only the highest quality, thick cut bacon you can find, but also the perfect tomatoes and lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is the classic choice because it has that perfect crunch and texture…but crisp, fresh romaine hearts would probably be a better choice. Stay away from lettuces that provide little crunch—such as spinach, spring mix, and arugula.
Obviously in order to have the perfect BLT, you must also have the perfect tomatoes…nice juicy ripe ones…that are firm and full of flavor.
So which tomato should you choose?!
Look for plump, heavy tomatoes that are about 3 inches in width…preferably an heirloom beefsteak.
Better yet, only make a BLT when tomatoes are “in peak season”—June through September.
Honestly you could use whatever bread you like, as long as the bread is not so flimsy that your whole sandwich falls apart after the first bite. Perhaps your bets would be sourdough and rye because these two breads will add extra flavor.
Without mayo, your sandwich would totally fall apart…right?!
Sure you could go all out and make your own homemade mayo…but honestly how many of us are actually gonna do that? Flavored mayo actually takes away from the flavor of the tomatoes.
Instead grab the largest jar of Hellmann’s that you can find…you’re gonna want enough to slather mayo on both the top and the bottom slices of bread.
Cook the bacon….The perfect bacon for BLT’s us evenly crispy with no flabby parts…bacon that doesn’t end up in a crumbly mess when you take your first bite of your BLT…yet cooked enough that it’s not chewy.
You can cook the bacon however you’d like—stove, oven, or microwave. I personally like to bake mine.
To cook bacon in the oven, first preheat oven to 400°F. Place a rack layered with the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake about twenty minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
Bacon can be cooked up to one week ahead and refrigerated. Let sit out at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the BLT ingredients.
Lettuce…Wash, dry and cut into thin shreds.
Tomatoes…Slice tomatoes into 1/3″ thick slices. Place the slices on a layer of paper towels in order to absorb some of the moisture and prevent a soggy sandwich. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Toast: Toast bread until light golden brown.
Spread 1tbsp mayo on each slice of bread. Place one romaine lettuce leaf on one slice of bread, folding it as needed to fit neatly on the bread. Top with the seasoned tomato slices in a single layer, cutting them in half as needed to fit in a single layer. Tear three bacon slices. Place on top of the tomatoes in two layers. Close the sandwich with the second slice of bread mayonnaise-side down. Layering the tomatoes in-between the bacon and lettuce will keep the tomato juices from making the bread all juicy.
Gently press down on the top of the sandwich to compact slightly. Cut diagonally in half with the serrated knife. The teeth on a serrated knife will keep your tomato slices without smashing or mangling them.