Update: You might want to check out some of the how-to videos we’re doing on Bacn.com. We’ve done some general bacon cooking tips along with cooking on an electric stove and cooking a lot of bacon at once.

This seems like an entirely simple thing to do, right? You just put bacon in the pan and cook it up. Well, not necessarily. There are a few tips to follow if you want your bacon to turn out just right.

Ummm ... yum?!

I personally like my bacon cooked so its firm, succulent and slightly malleable. Crispy bacon can be good as well and these instructions can be used to get there too, just cook a bit longer.

First of all, don’t be in a hurry. Cooking bacon can take time and you want to stick with “slow-and-low”. Just like how bacon is cured/cooked during its first pass (before it heads to the store) you want to do the same with your bacon when you put it in your pan.

I start cooking the bacon by turning the stove up to just shy of medium (I use a gas stove but this should work on an electric one just fine as well). Let the pan heat up just a little bit before putting on your bacon. Be careful of course when placing the bacon in the pan. After a minute or two, I turn the pan down to medium low. Its actually really, really close to low and then flip the bacon. During this time, I keep the bacon covered so that the meat gets an even cooking.

Note: too much bacon in the pan here

One of the most important things I can recommend here is to not put too much bacon in the pan at once. In the picture you see five slices of thick bacon in a pan. You an see that the heat is causing the moisture in the bacon to escape and sit in the pan. This is bad. Water in the pan means you’re effectively boiling the bacon and you end up getting parts of the bacon that cook better than others. If you do get water in the pan like this you can just drain it out and return the pan to the stone. I try to cover about half of the bottom of the pan’s surface as a general rule.

Over the next several minutes (in my case about 10 total) I’ll flip the bacon to ensure an even browning of the meat. Again, this is covered the entire time.

How do you decide when the bacon is done? Well, as I said earlier, I like the bacon browned and cooked enough that the bacon will hold its shape but not be hard/crispy in your mouth when eating.

Note: it looks slightly burnt but its not

I remove the bacon and put it on a paper towel to cool. I pat the top with another paper towel to remove any excess grease and then serve. You can see the final product at the top of this post.

If you like your bacon crispier, you can just continue to cook it in this fashion for about 5 minutes longer.

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19 Responses to “How to cook bacon”

  1. Fletcher’s Classics Stak Pack with Pepper Crust – Bacon Geek Says:
    October 26th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    [...] you follow the cooking bacon tips you can make some fantastic bacon that is the perfect compliment to eggs and toast or even in [...]

  2. Will Norris Says:
    October 27th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    For those of us who don’t consume quite the quantity of bacon you do, freezing the bacon may be important to keep it from going bad. Is this blasphemy? Is it okay to freeze? If so, what are your thoughts on defrosting technique?

  3. kveton Says:
    October 27th, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Absolutely you can freeze it and you’ve just given me an idea for another post … :-)

    Seriously though, when I make my own bacon I’ll have close to 10 lbs of it so freezing is the only option. To defrost, you have to be patient; put it in the fridge for a day or two and it will slowly return to its smoky unfrozen goodness. I’ll dig around a little more and see what I can find.

  4. Jade Says:
    October 27th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    The easiest and best way to cook bacon that I discovered is with a Cuisinart Griddler. It is basically a panini grill, with a set of flat plates for top and bottom. The space between the plates is enough to heat the bacon from both sides, and keep it flat, without crushing it. The grease drains off, but leaves a little to fry it in.

    It’s fast, easy, and you can preserve the grease for other use. They come out perfect every time.

  5. kveton Says:
    October 27th, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks so much Jade!! We’ll have to get one for a review on Bacon Geek! Thanks for the comment!

  6. beerick Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 8:50 am

    when I make bacon I like to grind pepper into the pan as it is heating, before I add the first round. It helps to keep the delicious strips from sticking to the pan before they self-baste, and adds to the peppery deliciousness. After the initial peppering, I’ll just grind some onto the top of that and subsequent rounds.

  7. Michael Sigler Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    I never knew that about putting too many strips in at once. Any recommendations for cooking large amounts quickly? I tend to do my scrambled eggs and bacon at the same time and both get cold pretty quick….though I also sometimes cook the eggs in a bit of bacon greese. Yumm.

  8. kveton Says:
    October 29th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I have a large electric skillet that I use plus a large pan … yes, I’m two-fisting it effectively there. Its really the only way I’ve found to be able to do this. Cooking bacon quickly (IMHO) is an oxymoron.

  9. SharonG Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Scott – can you add information on…how to touch bacon?

    Like, for those of us who know nothing whatsoever about cooking meat, and how to safely cook meat in the kitchen.

    I grew up a vegetarian, and never learned, and I get a little of the heebyjeebies about invisible microorganisms. But I want to make some bacon! So any tips to put those fears to rest would be helpful.

    Thanks!

  10. TiEsQue Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Great site, Scott.

    IMHO nothing compares to a cast iron skillet for pan frying pretty much anything, including bacon. You might need a 20″ for bacon, though.

    And don’t forget to save the grease. Chicken & biscuits fried in bacon grease is the bomb. Refried beans and fried rice with bits of bacon, cooked in bacon grease on a cast iron skillet…oh yeah!!

  11. Lorin Says:
    January 24th, 2009 at 5:56 am

    Can you cook bacon the day before a brunch party?

  12. admin Says:
    January 24th, 2009 at 11:50 am

    @Lorin: I wouldn’t recommend cooking it the day before. The quality of the bacon after a night in the fridge is just not so good.

  13. Julie Neil Says:
    January 27th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Someone asked about cooking bacon in quantity. I cook it in the oven, and it comes out perfectly every time. Use a jellyroll pan, with a tightly spaced cookie cooling rack on it — spray them with Pam or whatever. (The pan must have sides to prevent an oven fire!) You can fit about 1 lb. — don’t go crazy or there will be too much grease. We cook it at 375 for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how crisp you like it. No need to turn it. It works best with thicker bacon, thinner tends to stick to the rack. But it makes perfect bacon, both crisp and chewy, and you don’t have to blacken it to get it crisp.

    This also works really well for bacon-wrapped mushrooms …

  14. Organic Eating Daily Says:
    March 5th, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Amazing. An entire site devoted to bacon, the King AND the Queen of all meats. Just did a post today on how to use a Meat Thermometer, if your readers are interested. Meat Cooking Temperature Chart for lovers of meat!

  15. Tom Says:
    July 17th, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    When I need a large amount of bacon cooked, I line a cookie sheet with foil, load on the bacon, and put the pan into the oven and broil it. Comes out nice and flat. Of course I use the thick sliced bacon

  16. Marlen Birts Says:
    October 27th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    You will probably find that it’s not precise enough and is regulated over too high a temperature range. Cooking takes place over a range of 100-250F and a degree of inaccuracy of + or – 10F is not critical. Cooking thermometers will reflect this.

  17. Mona Riek Says:
    December 14th, 2010 at 6:08 am

    woh I enjoy your blog posts, saved to favorites ! .

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  19. Almeda Kufalk Says:
    September 13th, 2011 at 11:51 am

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