Is there anything better than the smell of bacon cooking? We don't think so… Learn how to cook bacon five different ways and never get splattered by unruly bacon grease again!

Cooked bacon in a bowl from Shelf Cooking.

Ah, bacon… A favorite of, well, basically everyone! Whether you are team floppy or team crispy, we've got a cooking method you will love.

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Stick it on a sandwich, toss it in a pot of soup, or keep it simple with classic bacon, eggs, and pancakes. However you eat it, learn how to cook bacon five ways and get every single penny out of this pricey pork cut. Let's get cooking!


When it comes to cooking the BEST bacon, there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

  • Low and Slow – In general, no matter how you cook it, low and slow is the key to perfectly cooked, flat bacon. Cooking bacon too quickly, too hot, causes it to curl up. Low and slow makes it easier to layer on sandwiches!
  • Save the Bacon Grease – Don't you DARE toss that bacon grease! Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic… But seriously, that stuff is gold! Store it in a mason jar in the fridge and it will keep for months. Use it to season green beans, add flavor to soups, or use it in place of butter or oil any time you want a boost of flavor. Yum-O!
  • Batch Cook It – No matter how you cook it, bacon requires a bit of clean up due to the leftover bacon grease. The good news is, cooked bacon lasts for months in the freezer! Batch cook a bacon haul and have some ready to eat whenever you get a hankering.

Okay, now that the basics are out of the way, let's get to the good stuff!


Cooked bacon on a baking sheet from Shelf Cooking.

One of our favorite ways to cook bacon is in the oven. It's less messy and you can walk away while it cooks! Here's how to do it:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Next, line a baking sheet with foil and lay the bacon in a single layer.
  3. Cook for 15-25 minutes, or until it's done to your liking.

Now, enjoy that bacon-y goodness. Remember, save that bacon grease in a jar before it cools!

Pro Tip: Add a cooling rack to the cookie sheet before you add the bacon to keep it out of the grease as it cooks!


A classic method for cooking bacon, this is probably how you remember your grandma cooking it! Though it's not the easiest method in our opinion, it's still a great way to cook bacon. And really, can you beat nostalgia?

  1. Place a single layer of bacon in a skillet and add a little water to the pan. (This helps stops grease splatters and pops!)
  2. Turn the heat on low-medium and let it cook, turning often until it's cooked to your preference.
  3. Layer the cooked pieces on a paper towel or a brown paper bag to absorb the extra grease.

And there you have it—classic stovetop bacon! We can hear the sizzle now. Be sure to grab yourself a good pair of tongs before you skillet fry bacon. This makes turning so much easier!


Hand turning microwave on from Shelf Cooking.

Learning how to cook bacon in the microwave can save you tons of time and energy, especially if you only want a few pieces cooked! Keep reading and see just how easy it is.

  1. Place your bacon slices on a plate in between two paper towels. The one on the bottom will absorb grease and the one on top prevents splatters. Trust us, don't skip this step or you will be cleaning your microwave next!
  2. Microwave your bacon slices on high for 3-4 minutes. Check for doneness and add time if you like it crispy! No need to flip.
  3. Ta-da! Perfectly cooked bacon every. single. time.

Because you can only cook as many slices as you can fit on a plate, microwave bacon will only save you time if you are making a small batch. You also won't be able to save the bacon grease so keep that in mind when choosing this as a cooking method!


For all the air fryer fanatics out there (yeah, we see you…) this bacon is going to knock your socks off! If you dig your bacon crispy, this may just become your go-to method.

  1. First, lay the bacon single layer inside the air fryer rack. Try not to overcrowd the rack.
  2. Next, air fry the bacon at 350°F for about 7 minutes.
  3. When done, check for desired crispiness and add 2-3 more minutes if needed.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease and devour!

If air frying in batches, be sure to clean out the grease pan each time!


No, that wasn't a typo… Seriously, you can really cook deliciously crispy bacon in your waffle maker! Simply cut the bacon into pieces that fit in your waffle maker, lay them on, close it up, and turn it on. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes before checking for doneness.

Not only does this allow you to walk away for a few minutes, but it also prevents any grease splatter! The only downside? Getting all that grease OUT of your waffle maker. A damp dishrag is the easiest way!


Bowl of potato soup with bacon bits on top from Shelf Cooking.

We all know how amazing bacon is on its own. Here are a few ways to mix it up and get creative with it!

  • Bacon Bits – Make your own bacon bits to add to soups and salads.
  • Deviled Eggs – Add it to the filling for your hard-boiled eggs.
  • Avocado Toast – Put it on your avocado toast and drizzle with our delicious homemade balsamic glaze.
  • Make Bacon Butter – Add two slices of bacon to a cup of butter and blend. Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to take it to the next level!
  • Bacon Waffles – Sprinkle bits on your waffles before you add the maple syrup.
  • Maple Bacon Ice cream – Yes, it is as good as it sounds…

Now that you know how to cook bacon five different ways, and our best bacon tips, you are a certified bacon genius! Now, add that pack of scrumptious bacon to your next grocery order and show off your new skills. You got this!

Do you have a tried and true method for cooking bacon? Share it with us in the comments below!

image with text that reads "how to cook bacon", from Shelf Cooking

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