How to Cook Bacon

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Wondering how to cook bacon? We’ve got all the answers!

Everything’s better with bacon, right?

Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork that’s usually smoked before you buy it. Its high fat content brings tremendous flavor.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Photo

Whether you want some strips to go with your scrambled eggs, bits to mix in your pasta, or crumbles to add to your dip, it’s important to know how to cook bacon! We’re going to cover various ways to do that.

But, whether you use a stove or oven, did you know it’s best not to preheat it before adding raw bacon? Bacon needs to cook slow, so the fat renders out gradually and produces an even result.

Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Image

How to Cook Bacon on the Stove

  1. Add bacon strips in a single layer, to an ungreased, unheated pan on the stove.
  2. Cook over low heat, turning over with tongs when the bacon starts to curl.
  3. Continue flipping over the bacon as needed to brown and crisp both sides.
  4. Place cooked bacon on a paper-towel-lined platter to absorb the grease.
  5. Store leftover bacon in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it for up to three months.
Brown Sugar Jalapeño Bacon Pic

How to Cook Bacon in the Microwave

  1. Line a microwave-safe plate with two layers of paper towels. Place bacon strips in a single layer on the paper towels. Cover with two more layers of paper towels.
  2. Cook the bacon for 3-4 minutes, until just cooked through. Wear oven mitts when removing the plate from the microwave, as the dish will be very hot.
Crack Dip Pic

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

Cooking bacon in the oven is perfect for a large batch.

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil for easier cleanup. Parchment paper also works well.
  2. Lay the bacon slices out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. For crispier bacon, you can place a cooking rack on your baking sheet and place the bacon on the rack, so the air will circulate around it.
  3. Place the bacon in a cold oven and then heat it to 400 degrees F. Bake for 25-35 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your bacon. Thicker bacon will take longer than thin.
  4. Lay the bacon on a paper towel-lined platter to drain and cool.
Crack Dip Image

How to Save Bacon Drippings

Did you know you can save bacon grease for use again? You’ll need to discard any remaining bits of meat though, since they’ll burn if cooked again.

Once your bacon is cooked, strain out the solid bits by pouring the drippings through a sieve and into a metal container. If you want to use a glass jar, make sure the grease is no longer hot, so the glass doesn’t shatter.

Store bacon grease in the refrigerator for at least a month. You can use it in place of oil or butter when cooking.

How to Get Rid of Bacon Grease

Never pour bacon grease down your drain, or it will eventually clog your pipes. Let the grease solidify at room temperature or the refrigerator, then toss it in the trash.

Now that you know how to cook bacon, try making Brown Sugar Jalapeno Bacon, Bacon Peanut Butter Banana Bread or this Paleo Butternut Squash and Bacon Soup. Enjoy!

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Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".