5 Ways to Cook Perfectly Crispy—or Chewy—Bacon

Our test kitchen shares the easiest, tastiest, and tidiest method for every strip situation—from the oven to the microwave.

For a Crowd, Fire up the Oven

An 18-by-13-inch baking sheet will hold eight to 10 slices. Line it with aluminum foil and then parchment paper for quick cleanup. Arrange slices 1/2 inch apart. Bake at 400°F for 14 to 15 minutes for chewy bacon or 16 to 18 minutes for crispy bacon. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

For a Single Slice, Zap It

When you just need a salad topper or breakfast side, a microwave lets you walk away while the slice cooks. Line a microwave-safe plate with three paper towels. Add 1 slice of bacon and top with three more paper towels. Invert another microwave-safe plate on top to create a spatter-catching lid. For chewier bacon, cook on medium power for 5 minutes. For a crispy slice, microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

For Turkey Bacon, Start With Some Oil

Since turkey bacon is lower in fat than its porky counterpart, a little oil makes a big difference on the crunch front. Heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a skillet over medium. Add slices in a single layer and cook, flipping occasionally, until cooked to your liking, about 6 minutes. Remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

For Candied Bacon, Use a Wire Rack

"Billionaire's bacon" or "pig candy" will be the star of your brunch spread. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire rack. Combine 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tsp. chili powder, and 3/4 tsp. ground ginger in a small bowl. Place 8 slices of thick-cut bacon on the rack. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar mixture. Bake at 400°F until sugar starts to bubble, about 15 minutes. Flip slices and top with the remaining sugar mixture. Continue cooking until caramelized and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.

For Bacon Bits, Freeze First

Use thick-cut bacon; for easier slicing, grab a package with stacked, not shingled, strips. Freeze the package for 20 to 30 minutes. Once firm, cut bacon into ½-by-¼-inch pieces. Place in a deep skillet or Dutch oven and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until fat is foaming and bacon is crispy for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

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