How to Cook Bacon


Nothing beats the smell of bacon in the morning! Luckily, there are several techniques you can use to cook it. Try frying your bacon in a skillet for a traditional approach. You can also bake it in the oven or use a microwave if you're in a hurry. Watch out for hot grease while you're cooking and be sure to let your cooked bacon drain on paper towels before digging in!

Part 1
Frying Bacon on the Stovetop

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

1
Letting your bacon come to room temperature before frying helps the meat cook evenly and at the right speed. Take your bacon strips out of the fridge and place them on the kitchen counter for 5-6 minutes before you start cooking.[1] If you throw cold bacon into a hot pan, it won't release its grease properly, causing it to scorch.

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

2
Make sure each strip is laying flat and try to avoid overlapping the edges so the bacon will cook evenly. If you need to, fry your bacon in batches. It's usually best to fill the skillet with strips rather than attempt to cook 1-2 pieces at a time—this usually causes the meat to burn.[2] Cast iron pans, nonstick skillets, and griddles work best for this, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

3
The skillet will heat up after several minutes, causing the bacon to release its grease. The grease allows you to fry the bacon perfectly, so be sure to wait for it! You'll know it's ready when the bacon starts sizzling and making slow, crackling sounds.[3] Make sure to keep an eye on your bacon—your appliance may cook at a faster rate than conventional.

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

4
You can start your kitchen timer when you hear sizzling. Let the bacon sit undisturbed in the pan as it fries. You'll know the strips are ready to flip when they crisp up and start to curl. Tip: Place a mesh or wire screenon the top of the skillet toprevent grease from popping andspattering. You can pick up oneof these tools at most big boxand home improvement storesTip: Place a mesh or wire screen onthe top of the skillet to preventgrease from popping and spattering.You can pick up one of these tools atmost big box and home improvementstoresTip: Place a mesh or wire screen on the topof the skillet to prevent grease frompopping and spattering. You can pick up oneof these tools at most big box and homeimprovement storesTip: Place a mesh or wire screen on the top of the skillet to preventgrease from popping and spattering. You can pick up one of these toolsat most big box and home improvement storesTip: Place a mesh or wire screen on the top of the skillet to prevent greasefrom popping and spattering. You can pick up one of these tools at most bigbox and home improvement stores

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

5
Use tongs to flip the bacon over and continue frying it. You don't need to touch or move the bacon after flipping it! Let it fry for another 7-8 minutes until it reaches your desired crispiness.[4] If you like chewy bacon, fry it for 6-7 minutes. If you like extra crisp bacon, aim for 9-10 minutes.

Frying Bacon on the Stovetop on How to Cook Bacon

6
Fold several paper towels and place them on top of a large plate. Transfer the cooked bacon strips to the plate and let them drain for a few minutes before enjoying them. Remove any excess grease by gently patting the bacon with another paper towel. Draining the bacon also gives it time to cool off a bit. Bacon right out of the pan is very hot!

Part 2
Cooking Bacon in the Oven

Cooking Bacon in the Oven on How to Cook Bacon

1
Make sure you have a rack in the middle of your oven with plenty of space above it. If you need to, adjust the rack to the center of your oven.[5] Take your bacon out of the fridge to start warming up as you work.

Cooking Bacon in the Oven on How to Cook Bacon

2
Pull off a sheet of aluminum foil and spread it over the bottom of your baking sheet. Curl the foil around the rimmed edges.[6] This prevents grease from escaping the pan, which can potentially start a grease fire.

Cooking Bacon in the Oven on How to Cook Bacon

3
Arrange the bacon strips so that they're close together but not touching. Make sure each piece of bacon is resting flat against the surface of the baking sheet.[7] The bacon strips will shrink as they cook, so they can be very close together.

Cooking Bacon in the Oven on How to Cook Bacon

4
Slide the baking sheet onto the rack and close the oven door. You don't need to flip the bacon as it cooks. The end result will be perfectly flat and evenly cooked bacon![8] If you want your bacon to be extra crispy, let it bake for 20-22 minutes total.

Cooking Bacon in the Oven on How to Cook Bacon

5
Fold several paper towels and lay them on a flat surface. Use tongs to transfer the bacon strips to the paper towels and let them drain.[9] Don't leave the bacon on the hot baking sheet to cool. If you do, the strips will continue to cook for 1-2 minutes and might scorch. Draining the bacon on paper towels keeps the meat crispy.

Part 3
Using a Microwave

Using a Microwave on How to Cook Bacon

1
The paper towels will help soak up the grease as the bacon cooks. If you put the bacon directly on the plate, it will end up grease-logged and chewy.[10]

Using a Microwave on How to Cook Bacon

2
The bacon strips shouldn't be overlapping, but you can put them close together. Lay another paper towel gently on top of the bacon to prevent grease from splattering.[11]

Using a Microwave on How to Cook Bacon

3
Close the microwave door and set the cook time. For example, if you have 4 slices of bacon, set your microwave's timer for 4 minutes. You don't need to flip the strips over or do anything at this point.[12]

Using a Microwave on How to Cook Bacon

4
Check the bacon and continue cooking in 30-second bursts if you want it to be crispier. Keep in mind that the bacon will continue to cook briefly after you remove it from the heat, so take it out right before it reaches your desired crispness.[13]

Using a Microwave on How to Cook Bacon

5
Be sure to remove the bacon from the paper towels right away so they don't stick to it as they cool down. Use tongs to transfer them to a regular plate without draining the first. Give them a few minutes to cool and then dig in![14] The paper towels soaked up the excess grease as the bacon cooked, so you don't have to worry about draining them with this technique.

Part 4
Customizing your Bacon

Customizing your Bacon on How to Cook Bacon

1
" Put your strips of bacon in a bowl and cover them with real maple syrup. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes before proceeding with your preferred cooking method.[15] The caramelized sugars might make a mess as they cook, but the resulting bacon will be worth it!

Customizing your Bacon on How to Cook Bacon

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Let the bacon sit out until it reaches room temperature. Rub both sides of the bacon strips with brown sugar (dark or light) and wait 4-5 minutes before cooking them as you normally would.[16]

Customizing your Bacon on How to Cook Bacon

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Pour the into the pan or skillet with the meat before you start frying it on your stovetop. The water will evaporate as you cook, leading to crispier, easily crumbled bacon that's perfect for salads, baked potatoes, and casseroles.[17]