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cooking CRISPY BACON

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i'm looking for a foolproof way to cook bacon to a crispy crunchy (but not rock-hard) perfection. i don't like my bacon to be chewy or soggy. so far, the oven has not worked for me.
the best i've had is at Grain D'or in san francisco - the BLT sandwich has layers of crumbly, crispy thin bacon. they use this plastic contraption in the microwave. i'm not sure if the bacon was already cooked beforehand and then microwaved. do you know what this would be? and have you used it to any success?

much thanks!

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  1. We always have our bacon crisp but not burnt. We use a large saute pan with a lid - keep it on medium heat until much of the fat is rendered, then turn it up to finish. This requires attention - and don't do it naked - or at least, without a splatter screen. I've never met a shortcut for bacon that works.

    8 Replies
    1. re: applehome

      Cooks Illustrated's oven cooked bacon is by far my favorite way. (And I'm from the South!) I recently discovered this method after years of slow cooking it in a skillet. I find ovencooked far surperior.

      1. re: Becca Porter

        That would certainly get rid of the naked problem. I'll habve to try it.

      2. re: applehome

        I cook bacon in the oven:
        400 degrees, 10 minutes,turn,
        5 minutes, take out the done ones and move around the remaining to put the less done bacon on the edges of the pan,
        5 more minutes, everything should be done now.

        1. re: Daisy's

          Well I tried to cook bacon in my convential oven for the 1st time today and found that when I opened the oven door to turn the slices, smoke came pouring out. I've never had a smoke issue when frying up bacon in a pan. What did I do wrong?

          Needless to stay I finished up the bacon in the pan but do admit it was the best & crispiest bacon I ever made at home.

        2. re: applehome

          I use my George Forman grill - comes out great every time.

          1. re: applehome

            ha! i walked in to the kitchen one sunday morning to find my boyfriend frying bacon with his shirt off trying to dodge the grease splatters. it was funny for me to read that someone else had done the same thing (except fully naked - ouch!).

            *sigh*...boys

            1. re: applehome

              I cook mine in the oven @400 on a wire rack over a jelly roll pan. Works fine.

              Normally, btw, the recommendation is to start with a cold pan, not a preheated one.

              1. re: Karl S.

                Yes, the wire rack ensures optimum crispiness, and eliminates the need to turn.

            2. We always used the microwave while I was growing up, mom had a pyrex pan with a plastic sort of grill thing in it -- all the fat dripped away and you were left with that crumbly bacon, not chewy at all. I think you could achieve the same thing by draping it over a couple of chopsticks laid across a glass/pyrex container. I don't know cooking times, probably depends on the amount of bacon and power of the micro. Just watch it the first couple of times and experiment. I find this one of the few things a microwave does better than an oven or stovetop.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jessi

                I have a micro bacon cooker I picked up in a target. It is 3 t-bars in a pan. You hang the bacon fron the bars & the fat drips in the pan. How crispy the bacon gets depends on how long you cook it. One of the best things about cooking the bacon in the micro are the great drippings you get. They are almost pure white, no burnt little bits to strain out.

              2. I always cook my bacon in the microwave and it comes out crispy, not chewy, and generally perfect for my tastes. I don't have any gadgets to do this. Just layer a plate with paper towels, place the bacon, and layer more paper towels over that. I usually make 4 pieces at a time and put it in for 4 minutes. Works every time. Mmmm now I really want some bacon. :-)

                2 Replies
                1. re: Wendy8869

                  This is exactly how we do it. It usually takes 3 or 4 layers of paper towel, both under and over the bacon.

                  No pan to clean - just throw the paper towels away!
                  Experiment to see how many minutes it takes to get it just the way you like it. Easy and delicious!

                  1. re: Sylvia G

                    Agreed on the microwave. I've done the skillet, cast iron, and the oven numerous times, and the microwave is by far the most consistent, quickest, easiest, most no-fuss method. You'll have to experiment a little depending upon the number of slices you're cooking and the strength of the microwave, but I generally put 4 slices on a microwave-safe plate (lesson learned the hard way) layered with 3 - 4 paper towels with an additional 1 - 2 on top, the nuke it for 3 minutes. Mmmm bacon.

                    :)
                    BK

                2. I like the paper towel / microwave option for up to 6 slices at a time. I usually check it after 2 minutes and then go in 30 second increments after that depending on number of slices and thickness of the bacon. If I am doing a lot more bacon I will use the oven.

                  1. Anne,
                    Our family, like you, prefer bacon crispy-crunchy.I think after years of trying to get it right, I've done it! Start the bacon out on a rack in a cookie sheet. Put in cold oven and turn to 400. When oven comes to temp., check bacon to see if grease has drained off and bacon has started to cook on edges. If so, remove, put on paper towel lined micro safe plate,cover with another paper towel and mico for a few min. Check it to see if it needs more crisp and adjust time. Everyone loved it this way, hope you do too.