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How to Cook Bacon

W hen it comes to cooking bacon, you have options. Much will depend on how many people you are cooking for, and how you plan to eat the bacon. The larger the group, the more strategic you need to be. How the bacon is being served is also worth considering. Do you need perfectly flat slices for a burger? Read on for an introduction to the best methods for achieving perfect, crispy bacon.

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Best Way to Cook Bacon

What is the best way to cook bacon? Some would say on a hot cast-iron griddle. Others would swear by the efficacy of baking bacon. We’re not picking favorites; each method has a purpose. When you know the options, you can more easily choose the right one for your bacon needs.

How to Fry Bacon

Frying bacon in a pan on the stove top is the most obvious method. This classic technique works best for small batches of bacon.

Start with a large, cold pan and lay out the bacon. We prefer cast iron for bacon, but use the pan you have. The strips can touch each other and crowd the pan a bit, because they will shrink as they cook. When it comes to frying bacon, the key to success is to cook it low and slow.

When you fry bacon, the flame should be kept low, which helps to render the precious bacon fat. Watch the bacon; when it starts to curl, use tongs to turn each slice so that the other side will cook. Keep flipping the bacon strips so that you get even browning, and cook until your desired doneness. Save that bacon grease – it can be used to sauté vegetables and impart a smoky, bacon flavor to everything it touches.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Oven baking is a technique that helps you serve up a lot of bacon. Great for parties, big brunches and burger bashes, this method is used by chefs and caterers because it is so efficient. Using baking pans and some aluminum foil, it’s also a good way to avoid a messy cleanup. If you are looking for large quantities of bacon, read more about cooking bacon in the oven here.

Grilled Bacon

Can bacon be made on the grill? Yes, it can, if done with care. But you can’t just throw strips of bacon on a hot grill; that will create dramatic flare-ups as the fat renders. You will end up with charred bacon, or worse, bacon ash. Done correctly, grilled bacon is smoky, delicious and just the right amount of crispy. Read our tips for grilling bacon here, and start a new backyard tradition.

Microwaving Bacon

Some people swear by this method of cooking bacon. Convenience, speed, and clean-up are the reasons most cited for microwaving bacon. The technique involves a great deal of paper towels to soak up all the bacon fat, which also means you don’t get to save that fat.  There are times when you need bacon in a flash, and that’s what microwave ovens are for, right? Read our article about the best techniques for crispy microwaved bacon.

However you cook bacon, it’s good to let it sit on a few paper towels before serving. Depending on the cooking technique, you will probably have some excess bacon fat clinging to the strips.