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How to Cook Bacon

How to Cook Bacon for Ultimate Crispness

Bacon, the gateway meat (aka the most tempting of all meat products for vegetarians), comes in all sizes and flavors—from thin, smoked, and mapled to thick-cut and laced with black pepper. You’ll find it made from pork (the classic), turkey (lean), or even pea and soy protein, but one fact remains constant across all types: Bacon satisfies.

While 70% of bacon is eaten at breakfast in the United States, it’s a clever jumping-off point for many unctuous meals throughout the day: the classic BLT, bacon-wrapped dates, bacon-y carbonara, and every manner of fish or fowl wrapped in bacon and sage—to name a few.

To enjoy bacon at its best, learning how to cook it well is essential. Read on for four mini-lessons on how to cook bacon.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven or Microwave

Crispy bacon lovers may prefer the bacon oven-roasted on a rack, as all the fat renders out onto the tray below. Lay the bacon on a rack-lined baking tray, keeping about 1/2 inch between the pieces so that nothing overlaps, then bake at 400° F for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve. (Scrape off and save the rendered fat to give smoky flavor to a number of other dishes—more on that, below.)

You can mimic this effect by cooking bacon on a paper towel-lined plate (three layers of paper towels above and below the bacon work best), in the microwave on high power, for 4 to 6 minutes. Let it cool about 5 minutes before serving. Microwave bacon will be slightly chewier, but ultra tidy; just toss the paper towels.

How to Cook Bacon in an Air Fryer

For the cleanest, crispiest bacon of all, use an air fryer. Cook at 350° F for 7 to 9 minutes, or 10 to 12 for thick-cut. The air fryer is perfect for small-batch preparation; most will hold only about a half-dozen pieces at once. Drain off extra fat if you’re batch cooking, and drain or blot any excess fat from your bacon on paper towels. (Want a real thrill? Twist bacon lengthwise before air frying for magic-wand-like bacon that will delight all ages.)

How to Cook Bacon on the Stove

For those who like a little give in their side of belly meat, cook bacon in a cast-iron pan until crisp, with some softer edges, spooning off any additional fat into a jar or metal bowl as you go. Start with a cold pan, turn up the heat to medium, and cook the bacon low and slow, with a splatter guard if available, to your liking. Use tongs to remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel before serving.

Best HelloFresh Recipes With Bacon

We have dozens of recipes using bacon (not to mention our pork recipes collection). You already know it can work for breakfast, so enjoy some of our dinner recipes with bacon:


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