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Bacon, Lovely Real Bacon Microwaved

I love bacon, real bacon, smokehouse bacon, that will fill your home with its smoky goodness as it cooks. I do have my favorite smokehouses and in my wealthier days just had it shipped up here to River City. Supermarket bacon was never an option...it is pretty horrid stuff. The precooked microwave bacon? Even worse. Well, this is just to tell you I did find a supermarket bacon the other day which intrigued me. I could smell it as soon as I entered the store. They were giving out samples in what passes as the butcher shop part of the store.

Anyway, I tried the stuff, couldn't resist and found it quite tasty, so I bought it. The brand is North Country Smokehouse out of New Hampshire and it is lovely real bacon, apple wood smoked and the most expensive bacon in the case per pound. I do not know if this brand represents a real smokehouse or not but it does have a lot of old fashioned qualities to it., so I declare it lovely real bacon.

On to the recipe:

I am a fan of microwaved bacon because I like it easy with no muss or big cleanup. Here is what I do., especially with supermarket bacon.

1 Use a paper plate designed for microwave cooking. Line plate with white paper towel and put as many strips of bacon as will fit or desired. Cover with another paper towel to avoid splatter.

2 Microwave on high for 1 minute per strip of bacon. Remove top cover. If it is not crisp enough for you repeat microwaving for 1 minute or so for 4 to 5 strips.

3 Remove to a second paper plate lined with towel and repeat as needed.

4 Pretty simple, but it is a good way to do real lovely bacon in the microwave with no muss or fuss or mess in the microwave.

Any brand of precooked microwave bacon? Forget about it. You can do good bacon juat as easily in the microwave and enjoy full bacon goodness.

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  1. Grey, you are right on concerning good bacon, and micro bacon.

    Funny thing is, if not sad, is that they have the general public fooled into believing there is Microwave Bacon, and regular types---that regular cant be micro'd its insane.

    I had this conversation with a friend who is otherwise intelligent. It was a real 'Duh; moment for him. I explained what I do, which is about 99% what you do. He almost didnt believe me, I sarn near had to do a live demo for him. Turns out it was hus wife that really was the fool, wasting the money and convincing him about the micro product.

    One note, I have a couple old, unmatched dinner plates that I will place one under the original paper plate--which will soak thru of course. But it prevents the re-do of paper plates and all, Its easy enough to quickly was and dry the dinner plate when it has cooled down.


    1. There's only two of us so I rarely make more than 4-6 pieces of bacon at a time. I typically almost always microwave it. Like mtomto, I use a dinner plate under the paper towels and just wash it when I'm done.

      My microwave seems to be pretty powerful as a minute per slice is too much in mine. I usually do 4 slices for 3 minutes.

      Making Bacon sandwiches for dinner tonight actually, so will be firing up the microwave shortly! This is one of the very few things I actually use the stupid thing for. :-)

      26 Replies
      1. re: ziggylu

        Ziggy--I use a paper plate, sometimes the thin kind sometimes the fancy kind whatever I have (always have something in the house), on top of the dinner plate because it helps in absobung the grease as opposed to the bacon sitting in a super greasy towel or making all the extra grease to begin with. Bacon between 2 or three towels top and bottom.

        Micros vary of course. I go 3 minutes at 80% for 5 pcs thick sliced quality product, then do a little more on high if I want it crisper.

        1. re: mtomto

          Huh. I have been microwaving my bacon for years and didn't know I was supposed to use a paper plate. Or, that their were "special" paper plates for microwaving. (Is that like the "special" bacon for microwaving?) A dinner plate and paper towels has always worked fine for me and my bacon gets crisp, too. But, I will try it. The only downside of microwave bacon is you don't have that lovely bacon grease to add to something else!

          1. re: MazDee

            Au contraire! I put the bacon on a plate and cover it with a piece of parchment or another plate, inverted, with a popsicle stick to keep the cover elevated just a bit.. It renders the grease and crisps up just fine, Once it cools down a little I save the grease into the refrigerator jar. Frugal as I am, I saved the round ceramic tray from my previous microwave when it died. There's a good lip on it, so I fill it with strips (halved so as to maximize room), which means about a half a package. I cover it with parchment and nuke. The cooked bacon keeps well in the fridge for a good week, indefinitely in the freezer.

            1. re: greygarious

              Exactly GG! Why let those paper towels soak up that lovely bacon grease? I use a bacon tray, similiar to this one:


              I've had it for more than a decade and we use it every weekend. Sat & Sun are bacon breakfasts!

              1. re: lynnlato

                this slant-top & reservoir design allows for easier collection and pour-off of the fat, though, if one is going to buy a new one....

                and covering with a paper towel just negates the splatter -- it doesn't soak up so much fat as to make the bacon dry like a strip of cardboard. ;-).

                1. re: alkapal

                  Mine is exactly like the one you linked to - I couldn't find it when I did a search. We've had it so long I thought maybe they didn't make it anymore. Thanks AP.

                  Yes, we cover our bacon w/ a paper towel too. I was referring to those who place a towel underneath the bacon, like the OP described. Which, to me, is a waste of that valuable rendered fat. Mmmmm.

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    lynnlato and alkapal -- bacon sisters! ;-)).

                    i love that rack, and never put towels underneath the bacon, either. no tending, no splatter, and quick and easy!

                    i guess there'll always be three bacon camps -- the oveners, the microers, and the skilleters.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      And regardless of which camp you belong to, you'll always end up with a wonderful result:

                      BACON BACON BACON!!!!!!!!!

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Wassup my bacon sista?! I just got back from the grocery store with bacon and eggs and bread. Hmmm, wonder what I had for breakfast. :)

                        I recently tried fresh, uncured bacon (is that redundant?) which I bought at market from a local organic pig farmer. I have to say I am not a fan of the uncured stuff. I love pork belly, don't get me wrong, but if it looks like bacon and its beside my eggs, I want it to taste like bacon. This did not.

                        The one pitfall to the rack is cleaning it. I do hate cleaning that GD thing. UGH. It's a bear.

                        1. re: lynnlato

                          ::::Sigh::::: I just got into work from 2 hours at the dentist - I'm SO hungry and bacon, eggs and toast sounds SO good! (This was the first post I read on CH <g>).

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Hey LW, look at it this way... bacon, eggs and toast is WAY better for your teeth than, say, candy! :-P I think you should reward yourself with breakfast for lunch!

                            1. re: lynnlato

                              Well, at work all I have is some Stouffer's lasagna. That'll have to do. It's soft and easily chewed.

                          2. re: lynnlato

                            bacon-sista-lynn, try pouring off the fat and wiping it down while it's warm. then i just use a soapy scrubbie or stainless wool, and scrub in the direction of, and "down", the ribs. then rinse. every now and then, i pop it into the lower rack of the dishwasher.
                            poor linda whit! hope your bacon days are looking up, gal. but you must be a glutton for punishment when -- after the dentist visit -- you click on the bacon thread when all you've got is stouffers lasagne. how is their lasagne, anyway? i'm a crazy fan of their spinach souffle.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              The Stouffer's with meat sauce isn't bad - for $2.50, it takes care of the "it's too damn hot to walk to the next building to the cafeteria for lunch" issues. It's crazy-high in sodium, but what frozen meal ISN'T high in sodium? LOL

                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                  Damn straight. Some BAAAACONNNNNN! will be going on my panino sandwich tonight, for sure. ;-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Fried up a whole lb. last night for BLT's for dinner - could one ever get tired of BLT's?

                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      especially with wonderful, juicy, vine-ripened summer tomatoes and mayo.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        BLT&C - gotta have cheese for me.

                                        ::::Sigh::::: I want my panino NOW.

                  2. re: MazDee

                    Like you, I just use a regular dinner plate with several sheets of toweling underneath and one on top to prevent spatters. You can make it as crispy (or not) as you want in the microwave.

                    And now I'm craving something with bacon.

                  3. re: mtomto

                    well, i probably never use a paper plate since I never have them on hand. LOL I typically put two paper towels under and one over. Doesn't seem to be too bad.

                    I was surprised to find at work recently that one of my coworkers ahd no idea it was possible to do bacon in the microwave. She went home and tried it and reported back how well it worked. Like in my house she rarely makes more than a few pieces at a time and is now converted.

                    when I am making more than a few slices, I use a sheet pan and bake it in the oven on either a piece of parchment or a silpat.

                    1. re: ziggylu

                      I use the paper plate too, but once in a while, I cook it on the stove to get the good bacon grease in which to cook my boys delicious runny eggs. I am from the South after all..

                      1. re: suites

                        Same for me. Ran out of bacon grease; been cooking it in a skillet for a while now. The grease sticks to the paper towels and is useless for saving in the microwave.

                  4. re: ziggylu

                    I've found that the time it takes to microwave bacon is dependent on the thickness of the bacon. Regular supermarket thin-sliced bacon takes less than a minute-per-slice as you noted.

                    Thick sliced bacon can take from 1 -2 minutes. I usually start with one minute and then add 30 - 60 seconds as needed. And yes, I have occasionally burned the **** off a slice if I assume how long it will take.

                    Unless I'm making 4 or more slices in the MW, I rarely bother with a paper plate. Just several layers of paper towels underneath and one or two on top. It is worth noting that if I do use a paper plate, I make sure that it's one of those absorbent plates; not one that has been coated with a shiny lacquery finish.

                    I love the easy clean-up.

                  5. Hi,
                    I have a microwave bacon cooker, that was like $7 at walmart that keeps the bacon raised up out of the fat and I cover with a paper towel for splatters I've had it for about five years now, I bought my Dad one since he had no idea you could do bacon in the microwave either and it saves the fat so you can pour it into a jar to save.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: tidecreek

                      ditto, ditto, ditto.
                      this design is the best. it allows good drainage into a collection tray, and it's easy to clean. http://www.thekitchenstore.com/011172...

                      on the tray, once loaded up with the slices of bacon, i cover over -- not under -- the bacon with a paper towel to prevent splatter.

                      before i had the tray, i used paper towels on a plate, above and below the bacon. i think the technique of towels underneath takes away TOO much fat, making the bacon a little dry or "wooden." some people may need to do that, but it's just an observation.

                      even if you don't want to buy a tray, try making the bacon on a regular microwaveable plate, with no paper towel underneath the bacon, but just on top. it's like a cross between frying in its own fat and micro-convenience and speed.

                      (ps, someone actually makes bacon that is "especially for microwaving"? i've never seen it, but credit its inventor. i'm surprised (NOT) that people buy it. ;-)).

                      fyi, kunzler's bacon is the best one i'm finding at giant, it's thick-slice and you can get it with a pepper crust. i stock up when it's on sale -- which isn't too often. http://www.kunzler.com/ourProducts.asp i'd like to find their franks and other meats. kunzler is good quality from amish country.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        now I want one of those!

                        Imho, best bacon you can buy is Nueske's http://www.nueskes.com/products/Bacon...

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          hi chef june, i reiterate, this tray is superb. plus, you get the benefit of having a neat reservoir of the bacon fat, which you can easily pour off into your bacon fat "jar."

                          1. re: ChefJune

                            I totally agree. Their slab bacon is nothing short of heavinly.

                      2. We get the bacon from Costco- I tried thick cut bacon from the grocery store and it tasted... odd.
                        If I make it in the microwave, I feel sad and empty all day- like I cheated, Plus, then I can't use my kick@ss iron piggy press to keep the slices nice and unfurled.
                        It's a nice trick to learn, though...My Mom taught me how- she did it with multiple paper toweling and pressed between 2 glass plates.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Boccone Dolce

                          Are you getting the Kirkland brand bacon??


                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                              Up here in TO the blue package Kirkland brand is the less salt variety. Simply taking your word for it, I bought the red (regular) package and didn't bother to read the rest of the packaging. When I got home I saw those awful words. "Smoke flavour." As in, not smoked but with liquid smoke in the cure. It's okay but I won't be buying it again.

                              Don't know if it's the same down there.


                        2. Section of the Wall Street Journal , lined top and bottom w/ paper towel. No paper plate required. The layers of newspaper absorb the grease nicely.

                          I didn't know "microwave" specific bacon existed.

                          1. I like the ease and lack of mess with microwaving as well - but have often wondered why a dear cat of ours who absolutely adored bacon cooked in a frying pan would not touch it out of the microwave!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: buttertart

                              Good point, kitty may have a point!!

                              I used to microwave bacon but now find it better in the oven, on parchment, at 400 convection. You still have to turn the bacon to crisp both sides, but no mess in the microwave to clean up! They are no self cleaning microwave ovens out yet, that I know of! Until there are, I'm sticking with my convection oven, it does a great job and I don't have to clean it!!

                            2. Great replies so far to my little microwave bacon post. I just cooked up a new batch and varied it a bit as I wanted to do the whole batch all at once in the microwave rather than in batches.

                              This time I did a layering technique: Microwave approved plate, double layers of paper towel with four strips of bacon per layer, topped with more paper towel until all the bacon is loaded. Timing was 1 minute per slice which resulted in perfectly cooked bacon, but I wanted a little more crisp. Three minutes more gave the result I was looking for.

                              Bacon used: North Country Smokehouse apple wood smoked with maple cure. Thick cut 12 oz package.

                              Accessories: Vanity Fair microwave approved dinner plates. They seem more plastic than paper to me but work fine for many microwave applications. Paper towel was a white generic.

                              I love the idea of doing this with newspaper and paper towel and can't wait to try it.

                              Anyway I am a happy camper. The entire house smells like a smokehouse, my senses are reeling with the three strips I could not resist trying and the rest of the cooked bacon is in freezer bags ready to go for future use. In this case it will be for bacon cheese burgers, another favorite of mine.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Greyghost

                                greyghost, i don't "get" microwaving and freezing bacon, when you can just microwave as needed. i keep bacon in the freezer *before* it is cooked.

                                and i would *never* microwave with newsprint!! it's a chemical potpourri from the inks to the paper components and bleaches, i'd venture. if someone wants to use it, be my guest. but i'd not even consider it.

                              2. I lay a whole pound of bacon out on a cookie sheet with edges (bun pan) and bake it at 350* until it is nearly done. Drain it on newspaper covered with paper towel and blot the top with more paper towel. Keep in refrigerator in plastic bag. To use, wrap a couple of slices in a paper towel and microwave for one minute. The mess is only once and you can have hot fresh bacon very fast.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: Querencia

                                  I did the pound-on-the-sheet-pan method until seeing Jacques Pepin raving about microwave bacon. IMO, it really IS better than oven-baked because it renders even more evenly. As posted above, I can do a half pound at a time, and save the fat for future use. Less mess, too.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    I don't feel like I have any mess with my method. See above. You pour off the fat. You throw away the parchment. End of story. Don't even need to wash the sheet pan most times. Much less than wiping down my microwave after every batch.

                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                      i don't see how you should be getting a big mess in the microwave. you're covering the bacon completely, right?

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Agreed, alkapal, I've had no mess with covered bacon in the microwave - just poured the fat off the round tray and washed it. When oven-baking bacon on parchment, it left grease on the big sheet pan, which then needed to be washed in the sink, where its size is a hassle. And it spatters inside the oven.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          i hate to heat up my oven if i don't have to. also, i don't like splattering grease there.

                                          my microwave tray (shown above, highly recommended) helps keep a clean microwave oven because it is rectangular and the bacon fits into the tray without flopping over the edges. a paper towel covers it perfectly.

                                        2. re: alkapal

                                          Like I said previously, i have a self cleaning oven. And you can pour the grease off of the parchment, it never has to touch the sheet pan.

                                          The microwave trays are okay, I guess. But even with paper towels or plates covering the bacon, you still need to wipe down the entire inside of the unit, for not only condensation is landing on those surfaces. There are still grease spats that cover the microwave.

                                          And, if you have a turntable, a rectangular tray will not work, and will end up cooking the bacon unevenly.

                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                            so you have used a microwave bacon tray?

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              Yes. a round one, probably about 7+ years ago before I had my kids. Again, it's something left over to clean. But I think I would just pop it in the dishwasher.

                                              Anyway, I guess I just like the oven method better. And on Saturday & Sunday ams, it seems to work out right for us, since it takes 20 minutes or so, before the rest of breakfast is ready. It's just such a nice hands-off method to use. My microwave now is so powerful, I tend to overcook things, and I prefer my bacon, at least about 1/2 lb of it, to be slightly undercooked so I can use it in recipes and finish it off freshly.

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Isn't it possible to use your bacon tray on a microwave turntable? I was all set to go out searching for the Nordicware, but that would be a problem.

                                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                                  Yes, it is. And I have. My main point is that it is something leftover to clean. And you still need to clean your whole microwave.

                                    2. OK so I am confused. How do you get the crispy rind thing if you microwave your bacon? I always do mine on a griddle...

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: greedygirl

                                        gg, you're in England, yes? American strip bacon is definitely different than your bacon. I think you call it streaky bacon, or streaky rashers? So we don't have a crispy rind so much as the entire strip gets crispy (depending on how well cooked it is).


                                        1. re: greedygirl

                                          greedygirl, we are referring on this thread to "streaky bacon" without the rind. some people do find bacon with a rind, but typically that isn't what is sold in grocery stores, but butchers' shops -- and even then not typically.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            No rind! Yes, sounds like a completely different product. I always buy dry-cured smoked back bacon from the butcher. Can't imagine that working in a microwave. But even the streaky bacon has a rind, I think.

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              Now we're talking bacon. Back bacon is my favorite - the smoked one with a bit of fat still attached. Not the (to my taste) rather nasty peameal cured unsmoked bacon which some Americans have recently seemed to decide is the real Canadian bacon. Yes a uniquely Canadian product, but not the back bacon my family considered the good stuff, eaten on occasions like family weekend breakfast. The strips were for weekday use.

                                          2. re: greedygirl

                                            Exactly! You don't! Microwaved bacon is tough and chewy...why isn't anyone adressing this?

                                            1. re: nonna

                                              If your microwaved American-style bacon rashers are tough and chewy, you have not cooked them for long enough. I will state, unequivocally, that my microwaved bacon is far crisper and less fatty than either stove-top or oven-baked. The fat renders more completely in the microwave than in the other methods, especially because microwaving on a flat plate, with parchment or paper towel on top but without paper towels underneath, allows them to cook in their own fat (as in making cracklings, they come out best if they cook in fat and are not drained until they are done).

                                              1. re: nonna

                                                "Microwaved bacon is tough and chewy..."

                                                No, it's not. American-style bacon crisps up very nicely in the microwave. I wouldn't do it otherwise. As gregarious said, it's far crispier and much less fatty then when it's done in a skillet (I've not cooked bacon in the oven, so I have no comparison).

                                            2. Sorry Ghost, I just don't agree! First of all paper towels are not created to be used for cooking. I have found that there can be a taste to some brands. Some paper towels are bleached white and that can leave a taste that can transfer to your food. But more importantly microwaving the bacon (IMHO) leaves it tough - not super crispy - the way it comes out of the frying pan or the oven. I have found that simply lining a cookie sheet with aluminum foil ,laying the bacon out and cooking in either a convection or a regular oven is the easiest and most tasty way to cook the bacon. It takes longer than cooking it in the microwave but it is well worth the little bit of extra effort!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: nonna

                                                You're right, nonna. Unless it says "for microwave" on the package, I would assume the paper towels are bleached or somehow otherwise processed to not be COOKING
                                                FOOD ON IT!

                                              2. FYI on the comments re: microwave safe paper plates and towels. You do have to be aware of this as, many kinds of recycled content paper plates and towels actually may contain metal particles which will cause bad things to happen in the micro. Especially if you consider the combination of hot grease soaked paper and sparks! Yikes! Also, some of the dyes used in printed paper towels can also cause sparking.

                                                That said, I really prefer baking in the oven on my cake/cooling racks. I line the cookie sheet with foil to collect the grease, the rack means I don't have to turn the bacon and right around the time I'm ready for the eggs, and toast, pancakes or waffles to go to the table the bacon is done perfectly. Perfectly flat, and that magical combination of crispy and chewy. Finding a happy medium in microwave just hasn't worked for me. Plus I can cook enough for everyone in the oven at once time and not have to bring the bacon out in stages. Also, if I need to slow down the bacon so that everything is ready at the same time, it's easy to just turn down the heat and coast to the done point.

                                                But for a quick and easy 3-4 pieces, you betcha, go with the microwave. No matter how the pig parts get cooked, they still make for a happy mouth.

                                                1. (FWIW, I tried this the other day and posted it separately.) This method is only good for serving one person at a time, but it turns out a good bacon&egg sandwich without heating up a stove or using a toaster:

                                                  Caveat: my waffle maker is a bare-bones nonstick that makes 2 square waffles at a time. The only control is plugged/unplugged. A red light comes on, a green when it reaches temp and when the waffle is supposedly done.

                                                  Last night I put 5 half-strips of bacon onto the cold appliance and turned it on. When the green lit, it was cooked but not completely rendered so unplugged it. After 5 min or so, the bacon was perfectly crisp and evenly browned. I plugged it in again and used the bacon for a waffled grilled cheese sandwich on soft oatmeal bread, with the bacon grease making the outside nice and crisp.

                                                  There was still some residual bacon fat in the grid this morning. This time I plugged it in and did not put 3 half-slices on until it was heated up. They were on one side of the appliance - when half-done I moved them to the other side and poured a beaten egg (XL) where they had left their rendered fat. The egg and bacon finished simultaneously. There was still grease in the grid. Put the bacon&egg and a slice of cheese between 2 slices of bread and waffled that - perfect breakfast sandwich, cool kitchen!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: greygarious

                                                    Wow, you're a waffle making stud!! ;)