The Best Ways to Cook Crisp, Perfect Bacon

Bacon, one of life's greatest blessings, must be cooked perfectly every time.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Irresistible, crispy, light bacon is attainable for every novice cook—whether you cook your bacon in an oven or on the stovetop. Here are the best tips to cooking perfect bacon at home

 

WHEN USING A STOVETOP:

 

1 Start with a cold pan.

This may seem counterintuitive, since almost every meal starts off in a hot pan. Bacon will clump together or curl up into balls if it starts in a hot, smoking pan, so lay out your strips before turning the gas on.

 

2 Leave little space in between.

Bacon shrinks considerably as it cooks, so feel free to crowd the pan a little more than you usually do. You’ll get more cooked, quickly. A bacon breakfast waits for no one!

 

3  Don't put oil!

Bacon is extremely fatty—there is no need to go over the top and cook it in oil. Keep the burner low and wait for the bacon to release its fat. You won’t even have to worry about bacon sticking to your skillet! Remember to drain bacon on paper towels once cooked through.

 

WHEN USING AN OVEN:

 

1  Use high heat.

Turn your oven up to 400°F. Bacon needs a lot of heat to crisp up in the oven. Lay your strips out on a baking pan lined with foil—this helps it cook quickly. Leave it for around 20 minutes, and then use a fork or a pair of tongs to lift bacon strips off the pan to drain on paper towels.

 

2 Use a wire rack.

Thick-cut bacon cooks well in the oven, but needs some help if crispy bacon is your jam. Lay your strips over a wire rack placed over a baking tray so that the heat hits all parts of the bacon, making it light and crisp.

 

3 No flipping. 

Let your oven do the work and leave your bacon be. You can start your eggs on the stovetop while your bacon crisps up in the oven! 

 

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