The Basic BLT

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques You Will Use Over and Over

From Scratch

By Michael Ruhlman

Published 2019

  • About

Let’s start with the simplest version of the second simplest sandwich (first: PB&J, natch). But make it good. Buy good, thick-cut bacon. So many varieties are available at grocery stores and online. I like a moderately thick cut, but you’ve got to cook it right for this kind of sandwich—which means so that it’s crisp enough to crack when you bite through it; if it’s too chewy, the sandwich becomes difficult to eat and you can pull out a whole slice of bacon without meaning to. I find white grocery store sandwich bread perfectly fine for a BLT, but if you use a flavorful bread, your sandwich will be that much better. Just be sure it’s easy to eat. If the bread is a rustic country loaf cut too thick, it can be difficult to eat without tearing apart the sandwich. It shouldn’t be too thick, or the other ingredients can get lost. Proportions are critical to an excellent sandwich.

But in the end, it comes down to common sense and what you like.


  • 6 to 8 thick slices good bacon
  • 4 (½-inch/1-centimeter-thick) slices white, whole wheat, or multigrain bread
  • Mayonnaise as needed
  • 2 to 4 crisp iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 to 4 (½-inch/1-centimeter-thick) slices ripe tomato


Sauté the bacon until it’s crispy. You should be able to break it with a gentle snap. Let it drain on paper towels.

Toast the bread until it’s very toasted but not burnt. Spread a goodly amount of mayonnaise across one side of each piece of toast.

Lay the lettuce on two of the toast slices so that it covers the bread and mayonnaise.

Salt the tomatoes aggressively. Put them on the lettuce. Top the tomatoes with the bacon. Put the remaining mayo-spread toast slices on the bacon. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and serve.