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Bacon is one of the tastiest and most versatile foods there is. Equally at home in sweet and savory dishes, bacon brings a satisfying, umami-filled crunch to recipes.

Plus, there are a surprising number of ways to cook it! The different cooking methods each have their benefits, from even cooking to extra crispiness to easy cleanup.

Next time you’re makin’ bacon, why not switch it up and try one of these methods?

Broil

Ever tried cooking bacon under the broiler? The high heat cooks the bacon evenly to a lovely crisp finish. It’s quicker than some of the other methods, and it has the added benefit of avoiding the grease splatter that comes with pan frying.

Broiling is also a good way to make several strips of bacon at once. It’s perfect when you’re making these Pork and Bacon Burgers for the whole family!

pork burger with bacon cut in half

How to Broil Bacon

  1. Move the top oven rack to about 3” from the broiler.
  2. Pre-heat oven to broil.
  3. Place bacon on a sheet pan and cook for about 5-6 minutes, turning at least once.
  4. Watch closely! Using the broiler can turn the bacon from crispy to burnt very quickly.
  5. Drain slices on absorbent paper towels before serving.

Pan-Fry

Pan-frying is often considered the “standard” method of cooking bacon. It gets bacon nice and crispy, and you don’t have to watch it quite as closely for potential burning as broiling bacon.

It also saves the fat in the pan so you can re-use it for other recipes, like these Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

How to Pan-Fry Bacon

  1. Lay bacon slices in an ungreased or lightly greased frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Cook 8-12 minutes, turning often to achieve even crispness.
  3. Drain slices on absorbent paper towels before serving.

Bake

Baking is one of the easiest ways to cook bacon — especially if you’re making a lot!

When you cook bacon in the oven, you lay the slices on a rack in a shallow pan. This lets the fat drain as it cooks, leaving your bacon less greasy. You could put two pans in the oven at once if you’re expecting friends for brunch!

And since air is able to circulate around the slices, the bacon cooks evenly without the need to turn it mid-way through cooking. As a mostly hands-off method, baking allows you to multitask by preparing your other ingredients while the bacon is in the oven. For example, you could have your bacon baking while you prepare the toppings for Bacon Cheeseburger Tacos.

pile of bacon on a plate

How to Bake Bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Lay slices of bacon on a roasting rack in a shallow pan to catch the drippings.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until bacon is crispy.

Microwave

Yes, you can microwave bacon! This is the fastest way to cook bacon. And unlike the other methods, it has minimal cleanup. Just put the plate in the dishwasher!

Microwaved bacon is often not quite as crispy as the other methods. That bend makes it great for wrapping around other foods like asparagus, jalapenos, or dates. Try microwaving the bacon for this Candied Bacon Wrapped Shrimp recipe from Coleman Natural.

How to Microwave Bacon

  1. Place 4 slices of bacon on a microwave-safe plate and cover completely with paper towels. You can add up to 2 more layers on top as long as you cover each layer with additional paper towels.
  2. Cook on HIGH for 4 minutes, or 1 minute per piece of bacon.
  3. Then cook an additional minute at a time until you almost reach the crispness you prefer. Bacon will become more crispy as it cools.
  4. Remove carefully from the microwave as fat may have pooled on the plate, and transfer bacon strips to a paper towel lined plate.

Air Fry

Cooking bacon in the air fryer results in crispy, evenly cooked slices. This method only takes about 8-10 minutes, and it allows some of the fat to drain off of the meat.

The bacon does tend to curl up a bit in the air fryer, so this method is best for bacon crumbles rather than on a sandwich when you want your bacon to lay flat.

Try the air fryer for the bacon in these Keto-friendly Bacon-Cheeseburger Tacos or this Cheesy Bacon Sweet Potato Casserole.

Sweet potato casserole close up

How to Air Fry Bacon

  1. Lay bacon in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  2. Set air fryer to 400° F.
  3. Give the basket a shake occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking.
  4. Check bacon at 5 minutes and rearrange if necessary for even cooking.
  5. Cook for 8-10 minutes, depending on your crispness preference.

Get Sizzling

One ingredient, five different cooking methods! These bacon cooking techniques all have their own benefits, and they can help you get perfect bacon for any recipe.

Crispy, fast, or with less fat — there’s a technique for every kitchen and every preference!