How to Make Bacon in the Microwave
Plus, our secret for extra-crispy results.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
Cooking bacon in the microwave is easy, mess-free and hands-off. It's best for when you want to cook small batches; the most you can microwave at once is 4 to 6 slices. If you’re having the family over for brunch and you need more than a pound of bacon, we recommend the oven method for cooking bacon. But when you’re craving a BLT, the microwave can be your best friend.
What You Need to Cook Bacon In the Microwave
- Large microwave-safe plate that will fit 4 - 6 slices of bacon without folding them
- Paper towels or microwave bacon cooker
How to Make Bacon In the Microwave
1. Line the plate with paper towels. Place four sheets of paper towels on the plate.
2. Arrange the bacon in a single layer. Place the bacon slices on top of the paper towels in a single layer, making sure the pieces don’t overlap. The bacon won’t cook and will be soft and mushy at the overlaps.
3. Top the bacon with paper towel. Top the bacon with two more sheets of paper towels and put the plate in the microwave. The bacon should be fully covered with paper towels – none should peek out, otherwise it’ll spatter.
4. Microwave the bacon on high for 1 minute per slice.
How Long To Cook Bacon In the Microwave
As we mentioned above, cook bacon on high for 1 minute per slice. So 6 slices of bacon would take about 6 minutes.
However, all microwaves aren't created equal, so you should take a look at the bacon halfway through cooking to see how quickly it's cooking. If it looks almost done, don't cook it the full amount of time. We say it all the time, and it’s especially true here: you can always add time to the cooking in small increments, but you can’t un-cook burnt bacon.
If the bacon needs more time after cooking it for 1 minute per slice, microwave it in 30 second increments until it looks almost cooked (a little carry-over cooking will happen after it’s removed from the microwave).
How to Get Crispy Bacon In the Microwave
We're going to be honest: bacon cooked in the microwave is never going to be as crispy as skillet- or oven-cooked bacon. However, with the method detailed above, you can get pretty darn close.
And here's another trick. Instead of immediately lifting freshly microwaved bacon off the plate, leave it on the paper towels for a minute or so. The bacon will continue cooking for a few seconds after the microwave shuts off, and the bacon will get crispier as it cools down.
How to Make Bacon In the Microwave Without Paper Towels
If you don’t want to waste paper towels, you can arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on a microwave bacon cooker. Most of these specialized plastic-ridged pans come with a lid that will keep your microwave from getting spattered with bacon fat. They have the advantage of saving on paper towels, but you’ll have to dispose of the bacon fat that collects in the bottom of the pan. Cool it and put it in the compost or the garbage -- or strain it through a fine mesh strainer and save it in the fridge for up to three months, then use it to make something like Crispy Bacon Fat Brussels Sprouts. Whatever you do, don't pour it down the drain.
How to Cook Turkey Bacon In the Microwave
You'll need the same supplies to cook turkey bacon in the microwave: a microwave-safe plate and paper towels. And the steps are the same, too. The difference is in timing. Turkey bacon is usually thinner than regular bacon, with the fat more evenly distributed. You won’t see streaks of pure fat in turkey bacon, and the slices tend to be smaller, causing turkey bacon to cook more quickly than pork bacon, so adjust the timing accordingly. Start with 1 minute for every 2 pieces, checking often to avoid burning.
Recipes Using Cooked Bacon
Mashed potatoes are great when you add cheese, milk, butter, cheddar and green onions. Add some crumbled bacon too and they become excellent.
By definition, a quiche has a crust. We say the heck with that—make this quiche with bacon and spinach crustless to save time.
Crumbled bacon brings gives this classic appetizer modern, crispy-savory flair.
These delightful French hors d'oeuvres are bite-sized, addictive puffs. Fill them with bacon, and they'll be gone in a flash.
You can make your own crust for this bacon, green chile and pepper jack cheese quiche, or save time and use one from the store. Either way, microwaving the bacon will save you time and clean up.