Bacon. It’s arguably the most important part of an all-American breakfast and it’s the star of some of our favorite side dishes and appetizers. Not only is bacon extremely easy to cook, it provides the perfect amount of crispy saltiness to all kinds of recipes. The trick? Make sure you cook your bacon to perfection before you add it to the plate. Read on for some no-fail tips and tricks on how to cook bacon.
How to Cook Bacon in 3 Ways
There’s more than one way to cook up a pan of bacon. Before you get started learning how to cook bacon, get familiar with the most popular cooking methods.
In the Skillet
The skillet is probably the most traditional way to cook bacon–and for good reason. Although it can be messy (every tried to clean grease splatters off a stovetop?), cooking bacon in a skillet can yield perfectly crisp, crumbly slices. Cast-iron skillets work best, but you can use any pan or non-stick skillet you have on hand. Here’s how to do it:
Before you begin, take your bacon out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes and let it come to room temperature. This allows your bacon to cook and crisp evenly since it’s not going into a hot pan straight from the cold fridge.
Heat your pan for 5-10 minutes and then add your bacon, crisping the sides on medium heat for 8-10 minutes until it’s your desired crispness. Line a plate with a paper towel and place the cooked bacon on top to remove excess oil. Note: No need to put oil in the pan beforehand, since the bacon already has a large amount of natural oils.
In the Microwave
Want to cook your bacon faster? Try the microwave! The only downside is that bacon doesn’t get quite as crispy when you cook it this way. But it still gets the job done if you are in a rush, don’t want a mess, and don’t even have time to preheat the oven. Simply line a plate with paper towels, place your bacon in a single layer, and cook in the microwave for 4-5 minutes.
In the Oven
Cooking bacon in the oven is another way to avoid making a huge mess. Here’s how to do it: Preheat the oven the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your bacon on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure the bacon slices aren’t touching. You’ll want to cook your bacon for 35 to 40 minutes, checking often to see if it has gotten crispy enough. Cooking bacon in the oven allows you to be creative with glazes and spices, since it has more time to cook through the flavors.
Types of Bacon
You might be surprised to learn that not all bacon is created equally! Here are a few examples:
American-style bacon. This traditional type of bacon comes from the pig’s belly. It’s usually served in a thin layer. You’ll find it on breakfast plates or wrapped around bite-sized appetizers.
Slab bacon. This thick-cut bacon is popular on sandwiches and it’s great to use chopped in side dishes.
Canadian bacon. This type of bacon comes from the back of the pig and it has less fat than American-style bacon.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers with a Balsamic Glaze
Now that you know how to cook bacon, let’s put your new skill to the test! This recipe for Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers has a balsamic glaze to add a sweet and tangy twist. You’ll need the following ingredients: