I don’t know the best way to cook bacon (I’m a reformed vegetarian who is now mostly pescatarian). Turns out, our 8-year-old Spring Onion likes hot dogs, and most recently, bacon and burgers. Hubby B—an omnivore—bought bacon today and SO wants breakfast for dinner tonight. I’ve never cooked bacon. B has made bacon in his youth and suggests nuking it but I thought baking it is best? SO is requesting “not too chewy/floppy and not too crispy.” Please help me!
There’s basically three ways to cook bacon: stovetop, oven and microwave. Each have their pros/cons.
This video details how to do each.
If you want easy cleanup, then microwave is the way to go.
If you want the most control over doneness/crispness, then stovetop is the way to go.
If you want a goldilocks approach – ease of cleanup and control over doneness – then oven is probably your best bet.
Good luck and don’t stress.
Cuz even bad bacon is better than good okra for most folks.
I bake it on a rack over a sheet pan. No need to flip. Take it out when it’s the crispiness you want.
Another vote for the oven, on a rack, parchment liner in the pan. You can cook about a pound at a tim (which I could eat all of). I think it’s less messy than stovetop, or at least it’s a mess you can ignore longer.
ETA Don’t forget to strain the fat!
Oven: Place on parchment lined sheet pan, then in a preheated 350° oven for 25-30 minutes. Really good with a lite brush of maple syrup
Stovetop: Start the bacon in a cold CI pan. Add some water, about a tablespoon or two. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is crisp tender, flipping after the first side has crisped. The timing will depend on the thickness of the bacon.
I put foil on a baking sheet and start the bacon in a cold oven that is set for 410˚F. I usually flip after 7 min or so & do another 5 - I like my bacon pretty crispy, tho
Thank you HOs! Can I do it in a toaster oven or will it cause a grease fire in there? (I’m making only 4 strips for SO so it seems wasteful to fire up my gas oven for such a small amount.)
Then do it in a pan… toaster oven will not cook it evenly.
I don’t know about the toaster oven, but the microwave works for a few slices.
Yes, this precisely.
Don’t do toaster oven.
Four slices calls for microwave.
Microwave would be my 1st choice for doing 4 slices. Use a microwave safe plate lined with a paper towel. Plop the bacon on the paper towel & put another sheet on top. Nuke for maybe 3 min. Check doneness, nuke in 30 second intervals until done to how you like it, easy & cleanup is too: just toss the grease saturated paper towels
Keep in mind that timing for any of these methods will vary GREATLY depending upon the thickness of the bacon. Personally, I prefer stovetop for ultimate control over final texture. Microwaved bacon always tastes dry and chewy to me, although I do sometimes cook an entire package of bacon on the stovetop until almost done, store in the fridge and pull out individual slices to nuke for very quick yet “freshly cooked” bacon.
Also, don’t throw away the grease (yet another reason to choose a method other than the microwave). Keep it and use it for roasting vegetables or making eggs. Or popcorn. Or anything, really.
Stove top for me too.
For a non-bacon-eater this may be TMI, but each method yields a different texture.
There is a presumption of “crisp” in many methods (and responses), but I did not grow up eating crisp bacon, and while I enjoy it sometimes, I actually prefer it “juicy” — especially when it’s thick-cut or especially good bacon.
For this outcome, the pan method where you start the bacon with just enough water to cover is the way to go. The water reduces the splattering (almost completely - you can use a splatter screen or lid towards the end if not, though I don’t). The water also keeps the bacon moist, which is the way I most often want it.
Here’s a description (I’m midway between “full water” and “just a couple of tbsps” which evaporate too quickly imo):
Same. Juicy bacon is the way. Water in the pan makes all the difference. It also nukes well if you cook it this way to begin with.
Well, my credibility will be shot…I went against everyone’s sage advice and cooked it in my little toaster oven (which probably isn’t so happy). Four strips of good ol’ Oscar Meyer fit just-so in it. There was some spattering in there and I opened the door a few times to vent out the fumes. And I rotated the pan once (but didn’t flip the strips), so that 2 were crispy and the other 2 were less crispy. SO was very excited about dinner. He gobbled up all 4 strips before even touching his pancakes, which I ignored while tending to the bacon so the edges got very crispy. He declared that he liked the less-crispy strips. Dinner was a success — thanks to all of you and the confidence you instilled in me.
PS I’ve posted about a recent pork tenderloin episode and about my comical Thanksgiving turkey stories. I’ll add this one to the larder. I’m much more competent in the kitchen than I appear. Lol.
I know you mean Spring Onion when you write
SO, but my brain always reads it as “significant other” first
Glad it worked out! Given that he liked it less crisp, try the water method sometime. You can make a whole batch and freeze it, bec cooking bacon by the serving is a PITA, lol.
Don’t know if you have a sous vide setup, but that’s an easy way to cook a package too. Then just brown for a minute or two (with a tbsp or two of water to reduce splatter) before serving.
I always cook bacon in my toaster oven, 375 convection for 10 minutes, flip once and then another 5 minutes or so, depending on the bacon.
Foil line the pan for easy cleanup (plus I think it cooks faster). If salt or chemicals are a concern, look for uncured bacon. May cost a little more but less junk in it. Deli bacon is good too.
Brussel sprouts roasted in bacon fat are worth saving the pan drippings for.
Agree with this!!
Yes, you can. Just be sure the grease drains into a pan, and you empty the pan between batches. If you have any concerns, put some water in the drip pan.
BTW, if you want the strips to stay flat, the oven/MWO option is easier than frying, IMO.
Keep the finished bacon warm, and you’ll get an A.