What is the Best Way to Cook Bacon?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2018
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There are a number of different ways to cook bacon, depending on how the bacon is to be used and the tastes of the cook. Many people have a personal taste for a particular style of bacon, preferring it to be crispy or chewy, and others are concerned about health issues, so they may adopt cooking practices that are designed to drain as much fat from it as possible. Cooks can also choose from traditional bacon made with pork and products such as turkey bacon, which tend to be lower in fat and have a lighter flavor.

One of the most common ways to cook bacon is in a frying pan on the stove. The stove can be set to medium heat to allow the pan to warm up before adding the strips of meat. No oil or lubrication is needed, because the fat in the bacon will render out as it cooks, keeping it from sticking to the pan. Cooks can choose to drain the fat from the pan partway through the cooking process to reduce the amount that ends up in the finished product, or they can leave it in the pan. The texture can be adjusted with changes to the cooking time to yield crispy, crumbly bacon or more chewy bacon. Typically, the bacon is drained on a towel after cooking so that it will not taste greasy.


Some cooks like to use a bacon press, a kitchen implement that is used to push the meat against the bottom of the pan. These presses encourage the meat to stay flat and cook evenly, and they tend to yield a crispy product, which can be desirable. If a bacon press is not available, the flat end of a heat-proof spatula can be used.

It is also possible to grill bacon. This method tends to result in crisper bacon, because as it cooks, the fat drains away and sears the outside. Grill presses can also be used for people who lack access to a conventional grill. The meat may also be baked in a 400°F (204°C) oven until done, a process that usually takes around 10 minutes if the oven is at full temperature when the bacon is inserted. Baked bacon should be prepared on a rack to allow it to drain as it cooks.

People may also opt to cook bacon in the microwave. To microwave bacon, strips should be wrapped in a paper towel and cooked on high for three to four minutes, or until done. Microwaved meat can tend to be a bit soggy and chewy, but for people who enjoy this texture, it can be a great cooking method.


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Post 9

Useful tips, thank you! I will save the fat by putting water in the pan. Wish me luck.

Post 8

We love to add bacon to our burgers and it would be easy to cook both of them on the grill at the same time. I imagine it wouldn't take nearly as long to cook the strips of bacon as it would the burgers.

Since I like crisp bacon no matter how I eat it, I would prefer to cook the bacon separate and than add to the burger instead of wrapping the burger in the bacon and grilling them together.

This really does sound like an easy way to cook bacon and the clean up would be a breeze too. I also think I buy a grill press and use when it is too cold to

grill outside. I love bacon that is crisp and flat and using the end of the spatula just doesn't do that great of a job.
Post 7

The only time I like bacon cooked in the microwave is when the bacon is already pre-cooked. This never tastes the same as baking it yourself, but if I am in a hurry, this is an easy way to go. I wrap the pre-cooked pieces of bacon in a paper towel and microwave them for a minute or two.

You never get the crispy bacon texture when you cook it in the microwave, but it is better than no bacon at all. I will also cook turkey bacon in the microwave and have never been able to get this bacon very crisp no matter how I cook it.

Post 6

@anon286417 -- This sounds like a great tip. I always cook my bacon in a pan on the stove and have never tried adding water to the pan. We like to have a big breakfast on the weekends and I am going to give this a try. I don't use any kind of press so my bacon usually curls up at the edges and this sounds like it would keep the bacon flat while cooking.

Post 5

@anon292210 -- I love to cook bacon in the oven because it stays flat and I use a rack so the grease drains away from the bacon. It really doesn't take any longer than frying it on the stove as long as you have your oven warmed up.

Another advantage to cooking bacon in the oven is that you don't get grease splattering all over your stove and counter. Before I started cooking this in the oven, I rarely made bacon just because I got tired of the mess. For me, this is the best way to cook bacon and it also gives me the crispy texture I like.

Post 4

My first job was in a restaurant. At 5:00 every morning we made a few trays of bacon for the breakfast crowd. We baked them in the oven, not on a tray. It was for about 10-12 minutes. I don't remember the temperature, but the bacon was always flat, not curled, and the texture was just right.

Post 3

Add water to your frying pan. By the time the water evaporates completely, the bacon will have cooked perfectly and remained relatively flat without using a press. Use about 1/4 cup for four to six pieces, adjusting accordingly for amount of bacon being cooked.

Post 2

@ Anon39288- I used to work in the restaurant industry, and cooking bacon at low temperatures is common. Most of the restaurants I used to work at, par-cooked bacon in a 325 degree oven. We would then refrigerate the bacon, using it as needed.

When an order called for bacon, we would deep-fry the par-baked bacon. This process would produce the crisp bacon that did not crumble. It also ensured that bacon was hot on every order, and it did not have the chewy, microwave bacon taste.

Post 1

To minimize fat content, shrinkage, burnt/undercooked areas, US style "streaky" bacon (from pork bellies) should be baked at around 200F - 225F to the cook's preferred consistency.

This method reduces/eliminates carcinogens produced by high temperature treated nitrate preservatives, and renders the fat without shrinking the strips.

In taste tests, baking is preferred by most testers.

Baking time can run over 1 hour, depending upon crispiness desired.

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