April 1

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24 Delicious Ways to Cook Bacon – From Chefs Across the Globe

Bacon is one of the world’s tastiest foods, and it’s also incredibly versatile. There are a plethora of ways it can be cooked to satisfy even the most discerning bacon-lover’s tastes.

Whether you like your bacon thick and juicy or thin and crispy, there are more techniques you can use to cook this staple treat than you may realize—and we’re here to let you in on the 24 most creative.

From tried and true methods like crisping it up in a frying pan, to more unique approaches like poaching or even deep frying, there’s no limit to your culinary creativity in terms of dishing up this delicacy.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking, but these creative ideas can help reignite your love for bacon. Plus, expanding your culinary repertoire will help you hone your skills in the kitchen, so you’ll feel more confident the next time you’re in charge of a meal. No matter which method you choose, the end result is sure to be delicious.

Before we dive into the 25 most creative ways to cook bacon, let’s take a look at how to choose a technique that’s exactly what you’re looking for:


Finding the Right Technique For You


There’s no bad way to cook bacon, but different techniques yield different results in terms of taste, texture, and even health benefits. To make finding your ideal style easy, we’ve broken our list down into a few helpful categories.

Quick and Easy:

If you want perfectly cooked bacon, but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, consider using one of these techniques. The best part is, cleanup is a breeze, so you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your creation, and less time doing dishes!  


Crispy and Crunchy:

For many people, good bacon is all about the crunch. Crispy bacon is perfect on its own, or as a welcome addition to your favorite sandwich. You’ll never end up with soggy bacon when you use these fool-proof techniques:


Decadent and Juicy:

With the right cooking technique, you can ensure your thick-cut bacon comes out juicy, fatty, and moist every single time. Treat yourself to a little extra indulgence with these methods:


Healthy Choices:

Bacon doesn’t have to be a diet-buster.  In fact, when prepared correctly, it can still be a part of your healthy lifestyle. By cutting down on the fat, these methods result in bacon that’s less greasy—and much better for you:


Unique Ideas:

There’s no stove required for these fun methods that use unconventional cooking equipment. It’s worth going the extra mile to cook bacon like never before, and trying new things is always a blast. The result is bacon perfection!

Creative Crowd Pleasers:

Sometimes, even bacon needs a little spicing up. When you want to pull out all the stops, these techniques are sure to leave everyone asking for seconds:


If you don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to jump right into any recipe, and keep experimenting until you’ve tried them all! More than likely, you’ll discover a few new secret weapons in the kitchen, so you’ll be able to whip up perfect bacon whenever the craving strikes.



24 Delicious Ways to Cook Bacon

#1 Oven Baking

oven-baking-bacon

Contributor: Camilo Velasquez of the Baconer

Yes, some of you might yawn at the "boring" technique of throwing your bacon in the oven. With that said, it's still the most practical way of cooking bacon for the masses.

Cooking bacon in the oven also gives you the most evenly cooked results. Cook it anywhere else and your bound to get over-crispy centers with fatty, uncooked edges. 

Pros

  • Perfect for strips, XXL Bacon, and BBQ Bacon Ends
  • Leaves cleanup to an absolute minimum
  • Get bacon to your exact doneness

Cons

  • Cannot leave your post while cooking (without high chance of overcooking)
  • If you overcook, it can be a lot of wasted bacon

Equipment:

  • Baking sheet
  • Tin foil
  • Oven

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F  (375°F for a faster cook)
  2. On a foil-lined baking sheet, lay bacon in a single layer.
  3. Bake until your desired doneness is achieved, about 25-30 minutes
  4. Take out of the oven and place bacon on a plate lined with paper towels. 
  5. Enjoy!

#2 Oven-Baking with Cooling/Cookie Rack

Contributor: Robbie Shoults, Chef and owner of Bear Creek Smokehouse

Using a cooling/cooking rack results in similar bacon to the traditional oven-baking technique outlined above. The ever-so-slight difference coming from the evenness of heat distributed to the top and bottom of the bacon

When you place bacon straight on a baking sheet, it can cook both sides unevenly because the top is being cooked primarily through convection heat, and the bottom is primarily being cooked through conduction heat (yes, this can easily be cured by flipping the bacon periodically). 

But...

 with a cooling rack, both the top and bottom of the bacon are exposed to the same amount of convection heat (due to the new path for convection heat to reach the bottom of the bacon). This allows you to cook your bacon to your desired doneness without having to flip the bacon. 

Pros

  • Cook to your exact specifications
  • No flipping needed
  • Helps drain grease away from bacon

Cons

  • Need a cooling rack
  • Grease drips away from bacon which could result in slower cooking
  • One extra component to wash

Equipment:

  • Baking sheet
  • Tin foil
  • Cooling/cookie rack
  • Oven

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (or 350°F for a slower, more controlled cook) and grab your favorite sheet pan. Line your pan with foil for easy cleanup and place a cooling rack on your baking sheet.
  2. TIP: Cut the strips in half as this size is perfect for BLTs, club sandwiches, or hamburgers.
  3. TIP #2: A great trick is to coat the rack with olive oil spray to keep the bacon from sticking. 
  4. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes (Or until desired doneness)
  5. Enjoy!
  6. TIP #3: Save that precious bacon grease to season your peas, beans, or to season your cast iron skillet for cornbread or biscuits.

#3 Oven-Baking with Tin Folds

oven-baking-bacon-with-tin-folds

Contributor: Marissa Schaumloffel of Over the Spoon For 

This oven-baking technique is great for those who are limited on kitchen supplies. All you need is an oven, a roll of tinfoil and a package of your favorite bacon.

Similar to the results you'll get from a baking sheet with a cooling rack, the convection heat can really get above and below the bacon slices to give you a nice, even cook. 

Pros

  • Limited supplies needed
  • Evenly cooked bacon
  • A new bacon cooking technique for your repertoire

Cons

  • Tin foil is flimsy and can spill if you're not careful
  • Tin folds can take some time to create

Equipment:

  • Tin foil
  • Oven

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

For tin foil folds: 

  1. First fold in the edges of the foil, and then fold the foil back and forth until you have an accordion style “fan.”
  2. Next, open the accordion and pinch all the folds until they are structured and place the foil on a sheet pan.
oven-baking-bacon-with-tin-folds

For bacon-baking

  1.  Place bacon strips across the folds and place sheet pan in COLD oven.
  2. Turn the oven on to 400°F (or 350-375°F for a slower cook) and allow bacon to cook for 20-30 minutes.

#4 Bacon in the MultiCooker (instapot)

While surely not the sexiest method, the instapot is a super easy means of cooking bacon VERY quickly. We all have those days where time is mockingly working against us. Let your instapot do the heavy lifting for you. 

Take your bacon (usually best cut in half), throw it in the instapot, set it on saute, and flip when ready (usually 3-5 minutes). 

Pros

  • Minimum participation in the cooking process
  • Extremely fast
  • Surprisingly good bacon

Cons

  • Can easily burn if you're not paying attention
  • There are better alternatives for flavor

Equipment:

  • Instapot
  • Timer (optional)

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

ff

Our cook made the bacon from scratch (easily do it with sliced bacon in much less time) 

  1. Place the bacon in your instapot (usually best cut in half)
  2. Make sure there is only one layer of bacon
  3. Set your instapot to saute mode
  4. Cook bacon 3-5 minutes on each side (initial preheating will add a little time before the first flip)
  5. Turn the Instapot off and carefully place bacon strips on a plate lines with paper towels.
  6. Enjoy!

#5 Microwaved Bacon

The microwave has been a cooking technique since the moment it was available to the public; you could even buy a special tray for it on TV. It went out of fashion, though, and although cooking on the stovetop is much more enjoyable than nuking your food, you can't deny the microwave oven is a lifesaver, especially when you're in a rush.

Why cook bacon in the microwave?

Because it takes 5-6 minutes and you can practically set it and forget it (well, don't completely forget it). You can also get the bacon pretty crispy if you cook it long enough. 

Pros

  • Very fast cooking
  • Set it and forget it (somewhat)
  • Can make the bacon surprisingly crispy (if you let cool afterwards)

Cons

  • Doesn't do much for flavor
  • Can leave bacon with a rubbery texture while still hot/warm

Equipment:

  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe plate
  • Paper towels

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Take your microwave-safe plate and line it with paper towels.
  2. Cook the bacon on high heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until crispy! No need to flip.
  3. Pat try with another paper towel.
  4. Enjoy!

#6 Cast Iron on Stove

Cast iron has a way of working magic on meat. Yes, it requires a little more attention on your part, but the results are truly worth the extra focus.

Camilo Velasquez, owner of The Baconer (a company completely devoted to all things bacon) outlined his method for perfect cast iron bacon.

Pros

  • Results in marvelous flavor
  • Cast iron seasoning can contribute some new flavors
  • Bacon grease can season cast iron for future use

Cons

  • A little more time consuming than some alternatives
  • Projectile grease can make a mess (control your heat!)

Equipment:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • Stove

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Water

Steps:

Compliments of the Baconer

  1. Lay a single layer of bacon in a cold skillet with juuuust enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet
  2. Set heat to medium-high and completely cook off the water
  3. Lower to medium heat and brown the first side
  4. Flip and fry the second side to desired crispiness
  5. Enjoy!

#7 George Foreman Grill Bacon

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

If George Foreman could see us now! This technique is a quick and easy method of cooking bacon using a portable device. A classic method for cooking bacon quickly, with a slightly crispy texture, deep caramelization and bold flavor.

If you've got a George Foreman grill lying around, it's worth a try. Despite cooking the bacon a little unevenly, a lot of bacon enthusiasts like those outer edges fatty and barely cooked.  

Pros

  • Portable Device
  • Quick and easy
  • Deep caramelization for flavor worth pursuing

Cons

  • Cooks unevenly
  • George Foreman grills can be a pain to clean

Equipment:

  • George Foreman grill

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Preheat a George Foreman grill, ensuring that the bacon fits the grill and trimming if needed.
  2. Place the sliced bacon on the preheat grill and close the lid.
  3. Grill the bacon for roughly 5 minutes until cooked through with deep grill marks.
  4. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess fat.
  5. Enjoy!

#8 WaffleMaker Bacon

All you need to cook bacon is a heat source, and there's no more stable and reliable heat-inducing appliance than a waffle maker. Let's face it, we hardly use our waffle maker, anyway, so why not put it to work?

Here's what you want to do...

Waffle makers comprise a top and a bottom, and they're both nicely coated with thick Teflon or other non-stick material; that's already encouraging! That means your bacon won't stick. This also means you need not add any cooking oil to it.

There's a problem, though. A waffle maker will cook your bacon in some parts and not others precisely because it's designed to cook the waffle's holes. This means you'll need to move your bacon around periodically. 

Pros

  • Portable Device
  • Extremely simple
  • Very quick cooking
  • Simple cleanup

Cons

  • Cooks unevenly
  • Need to reposition bacon periodically to encourage even cooking

Equipment:

  • WaffleMaker

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Place your bacon strips in your waffle maker and cook for around two minutes (assuming it has only one heat setting)
  2. Open the waffle maker and move the bacon to cook the bits that weren't in contact with the grill.
  3. Cook for approximately two more minutes and serve (cook for longer if you want crispy bacon).
  4. Enjoy!

#9 Broiled Bacon

bacon-broiler

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

Broiled bacon is great for those who like the very outer edge of their bacon on the verge of "burnt". The fatty parts of the bacon also become crisp and caramelized very quickly which helps contribute a good amount of flavor compared to other techniques. 

Using the broiler is a solid way of cooking bacon very quickly for a large group of people. Keep in mind, the bacon cooks EXTREMELY quickly. If you're known to be a space cadet while cooking, we recommend steering clear of this technique. 

Pros

  • Very simple method
  • Cooks very quickly
  • Great when cooking for the masses

Cons

  • Inside meat can become increasingly dry
  • Less crisp and more chewy than pan-fried bacon
  • Cooking is somewhate uneven

Equipment:

  • Oven (w/ broil option)
  • Baking sheet
  • Tin foil

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

bacon-broiler
  1. Set the oven to broil at medium heat. The bacon will cook quickly at the high heat of the broiler, burning at the edges without achieving crispness or caramelization.
  2. Place strips of bacon onto a baking tray lined with aluminum foil.
  3. Transfer the tray to the oven and cook for approximately 3 minutes
  4. Remove the broiled bacon from the oven and serve

#10 Skillet/Griddle with Steak Weights 

Image taken by Aleka of Bite Sized Kitchen

Contributor: Aleka of Bite Sized Kitchen 

I know what you're thinking, why the steak weights? Well, if you're familiar with cooking bacon over the stove, than you understand the tendency for bacon to overcook in the center and undercook on the ends. 

Steaks weights compress the ends of the bacon and help force the curling ends back to the heat of the skillet.

Curious to know how effective this is?

Just ask Aleka from Bite Sized Kitchen, her and her family have used this technique in their restaurant for over a decade to produce high quality bacon for their customers. 

Pros

  • Evenly cooked bacon over the stove
  • You can swap out the steak presses for anything that’s flat, heavy, and can handle the temperature.
  • Great flavor

Cons

  • Requires a good amount of cooking space
  • More items to clean

Equipment:

  • Skillet/Griddle
  • Steak weights (or anything flat that can handle the temperature)

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Place the bacon strips on medium-high heat over a skillet or griddle.
  2. Set the steak weights perpendicular to the bacon ends so that each weight compresses 3-4 pieces of bacon (Check out the image above)
  3. After a few minutes, flip once to finish them off although they will will likely be 90% finished cooking at this point
  4. Start pulling the bacon off and set on a plate with a few paper towels for grease absorption.
  5. Enjoy!

#11 Earthenware in the Oven

Contributor: Ania Louka, who writes about eating while reading and reading while eating. 

Earthenware is unique in that it heats slowly and releases the heat just as slowly—so cooking with it makes the bacon crisp on the outside and heavenly light on the inside. Making the bacon this way let’s it cook inside its own fat for a longer time, resulting in a juicy and delicious dish!

If you are used to fried, crispy bacon, then the larger, juicier pieces in this recipe might not sit right with you. Also, it’s a more time-consuming method than others, as it takes anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes to cook right.

Pros

  • Retains flavor and aroma very well in such a small cooking vessel
  • Crisp on the outside, light and moist on the inside

Cons

  • Usually have to cut the bacon into small pieces to fit
  • Requires earthenware
  • Not great for crispy bacon lovers

Equipment:

  • Earthenware
  • Oven

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Water
  • Peppercorns (optional)
  • Laurel leaves (optional)

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Cut the raw bacon into medium-sized chunks (you want them juicy and nice in the end, so don’t make them too thin) and put them into the pot, filling half of it.
  2. Add a little bit of water (3-4 Tbsp) and some peppercorns. Stick a couple of laurel leaves (if desired) between the bacon pieces and put the pot into the oven, with the lid on.
  3. After about 20-25 mins (depends on your oven) check to see if the bacon is cooked—the fat will be translucent, the edges a bit brown. Open the lid (take care since it’s super hot and mind the steam!) and put the pot back in the oven for another 10 mins.
  4. When the bacon looks nice and brown, it’s ready to eat!
  5. Serve over earthy, roasted potatoes and don’t forget to dip chunks of bread into the luxurious fat!

#12 Bacon Lardons

bacon-lardons

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

A mixture of small crisp bacon bits with small fatty bacon bits for the best of both worlds. The fat still has a light chew with deep caramelization over the meat. Crisp cubes of bacon with concentrated flavor and salt, perfect for salads or pasta.

Keep in mind, this will create a mixture of crunchy and fatty pieces. If you prefer one over the other, this may not be the bacon cooking strategy for you. 

Pros

  • Fatty and crunchy pieces of bacon
  • A great addition to salads, pastas, and red meat. 
  • Easily store and save for later dishes

Cons

  • Works best as an addition rather than a main course
  • Requires thorough cleaning of the cutting board when cutting raw meat

Equipment:

  • Cast iron or stainless steel pan
  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

bacon lardons 2
bacon-lardons
  1. Slice thick cut bacon into ¼-inch cubes.
  2. Place a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan on medium heat and add the bacon lardons.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown all sides.
  4. Once the lardons are crisp and golden brown transfer to a plate lined with a kitchen towel.
  5. Enjoy!

#13 Low and Slow

bacon-low-and-slow

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

The low temperature of the "low and slow" method allows the fat to render evenly, producing a bacon which is crispier with less grease. It requires minimal effort as the bacon can be left without worrying about quickly burning. 

This technique takes longer than most methods of preparing bacon and the results are slightly less crisp than when bacon is cooked on the stove over a medium heat.

Pros

  • Super juicy bacon
  • Less chance of burning due to distractions
  • One of the most flavor packed results on our list

Cons

  • Less crisp (this could be a good thing)
  • Time consuming

Equipment:

  • Nonstick pan

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

bacon-low-and-slow
  1. Place the bacon into a cold cast-iron skillet and set on the stove at a low heat.
  2. Cook the bacon slowly for 7 minutes.
  3. Flip the bacon and cook for a further 7 minutes to ensure even caramelization.
  4. Remove the bacon from the pan once crisp and golden brown.
  5. Enjoy!

#14 Air Fryer Bacon

Compliments of the Forked Spoon

Contributor: Chef, Recipe creator and photographer for the Forked Spoon, Jessica Randhawa.

Cooking bacon in an air fryer is a fantastic way to decrease the fat content of your bacon. Some may ask, "why would you ever want to reduce the fat in your bacon?" Well, some could argue that less fattening bacon can be a justification for being able to eat more bacon 🙂

We'll let you be the judge 

In a basket style air fryer, the hot air flow can cook the bacon evenly while the fat drips to the tray below the basket. It is an entirely different and tasty bacon experience, unlike that of bacon cooked in a pan or oven bacon.

Pros

  • Crispier bacon due to the fat being drained away
  • Set it and forget it (once you know your preferred cook time)
  • An overall healthier alternative 

Cons

  • Not as juicy or flavorful
  • Limited by the size of your air fryer

Equipment:

  • Air fryer

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

Compliments of the Forked Spoon

Compliments of the Forked Spoon

  1. Set you air fryer to 400°F
  2. Place as many slices of bacon as you can fit
  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes (thinner bacon) and 10-12 minutes (thicker bacon)
  4. Enjoy!

#15 Poached Bacon

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

Poaching is a healthy and simple method of cooking bacon which helps extract some of the salt content out. An interesting technique that hasn't seemed to find its sole purpose in the kitchen yet, but we're open to suggestions. 

This technique offers a limp structure with a flabby, dry texture and light chew. The bacon has a weak flavor which is diluted by the water while the fat is unrendered and soft.

Again, healthier, but not nearly as flavorful. Experiment and see if this is worth the effort for you. 

Pros

  • A unique way of cooking bacon that can offer advantages in the right context
  • Extract salt to make this variation potentially healthier

Cons

  • Water takes a lot of the flavor away
  • Texture becomes gummy
  • Fat is unrendered and soft

Equipment:

  • Sauce pan

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Place a wide pan on the stove at medium heat and fill with 2-inches of water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Lay the strips of bacon into the simmering water and poach for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bacon from the water and drain on a kitchen towel.
  5. Enjoy!

#16 Steamed Bacon

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

A healthier technique for cooking bacon which can be easily scaled up, steamed bacon has a lighter texture and flavor than crispy bacon. The steam also prevents the bacon from drying out.

Keep in mind that any healthy alternative bacon-cooking technique is going to result in less bacon flavor. In this case, you'll notice a resulting light pink bacon with a floppy texture (take a look at the finished image above). 

Pros

  • Can be scaled up to cook for the masses
  • Healthier
  • Steam prevents bacon from drying out

Cons

  • Floppy texture
  • Less flavor
  • Light pink color (gives the appearance of a raw piece of meat)

Equipment:

  • Sauce pan
  • Steamer basket

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Water

Steps:

  1. Place a wide pan on the stove at medium heat and fill with 2-inches of water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil then lay a steamer basket into the pan lined with a steamer mat or parchment paper pierced with holes.
  3. Lay the sliced bacon into the steamer and cover with a lid, cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Rest bacon on paper toweled surface for drying/cooling
  5. Enjoy!

#17 Cast Iron Over a Campfire

Contributor: Melanie Musson, the foodi and travel writer who is currently writing for TheTruthAboutInsurance.com

There is nothing better than waking up from your warm sleeping bag to the smell of sizzling campfire bacon. 

It's one in a million. 

But campfire bacon isn't just beloved for its staple place in the camping meal-plan. There's actually some pretty solid logic to why this technique results insuch outstanding bacon....

when done correctly 🙂

Pros

  • Adds an extra smoky component
  • Even heat when done correctly (look at steps below)
  • Unbelievable bacon

Cons

  • Requires a campfire

Equipment:

  • Campfire 
  • Cast iron pan
  • Cooking grate

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. Split your logs into sections about three inches wide and an appropriate length to fit easily into your fire ring. Arrange the logs like a log cabin inside the ring.
  2. Inside your “cabin,” place kindling and make a tepee of smaller pieces of wood. The tepee will help start the fire, and then the fire will establish itself in your log cabin.
  3. Keeping the wood pieces of your cabin on the narrower side allows you to add more as needed without drastically changing the temperature.
  4. Once the fire is going, set your cooking grate a couple of inches from the flame. This measurement does not need to be exact. Basically, you don’t want flames lapping over the side of your griddle, or they’ll ignite your bacon grease.
  5. Your griddle will heat up quickly, but let it sit over the fire for at least 10 minutes before adding your bacon. Initially, the fire makes the griddle too hot for proper cooking, but then it settles to an appropriate temperature. It’s hard to wait, but it’s the best way to avoid burning your bacon.
  6. If your griddle has a whitish-gray appearance, it’s too hot; Let it sit over the fire until it looks black and has a sheen appearance.
  7. Cooking over a fire is an art, and it may take a couple of tries to get it perfect, but the reward is worth the effort.

#18 Smoking Your Own Bacon

Contributor: Shawn Hill of TheGrillingDad.com

Ever bought applewood smoked bacon from the store? Most of us are pretty familiar with the added smoke component of bacon. But what about hickory or cherry smoked bacon?

Truth be told, most of us are only familiar with the typical grocery store varieties.

Smoking your own bacon is the ultimate means of controlling every variable so you can create bacon to your standards. Shawn Hill of TheGrillingDad.com is going to take us through his tried-and-true process of smoking the best bacon possible. 

If you have any questions or just want a more thorough walkthrough, Shawn created a comprehensive guide to making bacon at home

Pros

  • Control every aspect of your bacon
  • Experiment with different flavor pellets
  • Choose the thickness of each slice

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Requires a smoker (homemade option below)
  • Usually entails some trial and error

Equipment:

  • Smoker
  • Flavor pellets
  • Brining Bag
  • A solid chef's knife

Ingredients:

  • Pork Belly
  • Brine (this will vary on your preference)

Steps:

  1. You'll start by buying the right type of pork belly. I always recommend going with an organic hog (no hormones or antibiotics added). You can go to a local butcher shop or Whole Foods and get it by the pound.
  2. If it comes with the skin, you'll want to remove that before moving forward.
  3. Put the brine ingredients (this can range from a simple salt and pepper with water brine to brown sugar, maple syrup, and salt brine. It's all a matter of taste) and the pork belly into a large zip lock baggy and taking all of the air out.
  4. From there, you let it sit in the fridge for 3-5 days (flipping each day to ensure the ingredients touch all parts). 
  5. Rinse it, then dry it. Now the fun part--smoking it! 
  6. Set your smoker to 175°F and choose your wood (hickory is my go-to choice, but applewood is also very popular for bacon.
  7. You'll let it smoke for around 2-3 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
  8. Once it's reached the target temperature, you'll want to wrap it and let it rest for at least 4 hours. This lets the flavor really set in.
  9. From here, you can slice it to your preferred thickness. For me, I love thick bacon.  
  10. Once sliced, you can fry it or bake it. BUT...for me, I like to put it back on the grill at high heat and continue cooking it all outdoors.

#19 Bacon on a Salt Block

Contributor: Ania Louka, who writes about eating while reading, and reading while eating 🙂

The Himalayan Salt Block is a versatile cooking utensil that will transform your cooking experience—and your kitchen.

So, what exactly is it? A pink salt crystal mined in the Himalayas, that people have used for ages to cook on! It imparts its saltiness on the food and can be used anywhere—on the stove, in the over, over the grill.

If you're salt-sensitive, maybe steer clear of this bacon-cooking technique. But if you think a little more salt might bring out some more flavor, a salt block might just be the perfect cooking platform. 

Pros

  • Adds more salt to amplify flavor
  • A very unique way of cooking bacon
  • You have to try it at least once

Cons

  • Can add too much salt (if salt-sensitive)
  • Somewhat of a pain to clean up

Equipment:

  • Salt block
  • Oven, stove or grill

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. The Salt Block needs special attention, so before you heat it, make sure it’s completely dry to avoid cracking and breaking! Also, since bacon is already salty, use oil on the block to prevent the bacon from turning too salty.
  2. Apart from that, it’s super easy to use—heat it over the stove and put on the slices of bacon, just as you would do with a regular frying pan. If the block cracks a bit and turns white—don’t worry, that’s only natural.
  3. Fry the bacon until it’s as crispy as you like it (it might be our imagination and a tad of heightened expectations, but cooking the bacon on salt turned it crispier than usual!) and… you’re done!
  4. Let the (very, very) hot salt slab cool down before washing it (otherwise it might break) and rub it clean without any detergent.
  5. Tip: while you have the block all nice and hot (and bacon-y), why not fry an egg to go with your crispy bacon?
  6. Enjoy!

#20 Double Smoked Bacon

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

Not enough smoke in your bacon? Try smoking it again with this DIY smoking technique. Double smoking helps to develop a complex and intense smoky bacon flavor. Also, the low heat and smoke lightly renders the fat creating a moist surface with a soft meaty chew.

This is a slower process than most techniques for cooking bacon and is easier with specialized equipment. Smoked bacon does not have the favored crispness of cooked bacon with a soft firm texture instead.

Pros

  • Offers a complex and intense smoky flavor
  • Texture that falls perfectly between chewy and crispy
  • Can do with minimal equipment

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Usually requires some trial and error

Equipment:

  • Wood smoking chips
  • Aluminum foil
  • Blowtorch / oven grill
  • Deep oven tray
  • Wire rack

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

With Smoker:

  1. Preheat a smoker to 200F.
  2. Place the slices of bacon onto a tray and transfer to the smoker.
  3. Smoke the bacon for 30 minutes.

Handmade Smoker:

  1. Cover a deep oven tray with aluminum foil and place the wire rack inside the tray.
  2. Create a small basket using aluminum foil and fill with wood smoking chips, place into the oven tray alongside the wire rack.
  3. Lay the sliced bacon on the wire rack and cover with a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  4. Using a blowtorch or oven grill, light the wood chips to produce smoke then cover the baking tray with a second large sheet of aluminum foil.
  5. Seal the baking tray to prevent smoke from escaping and create a tented shape to allow airflow.
  6. Re-light the wood chips after 10 minutes.
  7. Smoke the bacon for 45 minutes until firm and heavily smoked.

#21 Deep Fried Bacon

Sometimes you just need a lot of bacon, and that's where your deep fryer can come in to save the day. Cook a dozen bacon strips at the same time and watch them come out juicy and crispy. The oil helps keep the bacon moist while also hot enough to crisp it up. 

The secret here starts with really hot oil; that way, the bacon is flash cooked, leading to a beautiful, crunchy bacon. Keep in mind, deep frying anything requires a fair amount of prep and clean up work. Also, frying safely requires using the right oil at the right temperature. Here's a guide to deep frying safely. 

Pros

  • Very crunchy bacon (but not dry)
  • Can cook a lot at the same time
  • Even fattier bacon

Cons

  • Can become overly greasy
  • Time consuming prep and clean up 

Equipment:

  • Pot that can safely heat 3-4” deep layer of oil
  • Cooling rack 
  • Baking sheet / large plate
  • Paper towels

Ingredients:

  • Frying Oil (Usually vegetable, canola or peanut oil)
  • Eggs, salt/pepper, and all purpose flour (optional ; onlywhen battering)

Steps:

Without batter: 

  1.  Heat your oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Throw in your bacon and fry for 5 minutes or until crispy.
  3. Transfer bacon to cooling rack with paper toweled surface underneath (a plate or baking sheet will work).
  4. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

With Batter: 

  1.  Whisk some eggs, dip the bacon in the egg and then in a flour mixture seasoned with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the bacon into the frier and fry for about 3-4 minutes or until golden.
  3. Transfer bacon to cooling rack with paper toweled surface underneath (a plate or baking sheet will work).
  4. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

#22 Rose-Style Bacon

Contributor: Mackenzie, food writer with Food Above Gold

Rose bacon makes for an incredible crowd pleaser. Great for parties, catering events, or as a gift. Use them on the end of fake flower stems, assemble on a breakfast quiches, or use as a garnish on almost anything!” 

This method does take some time, but ultimately, what art doesn’t.  

Pros

  • Layers of bacon for each bite
  • Makes an incredible display
  • Impressed your audience

Cons

  • Time consuming
  • Learning curve for making roses as real-looking as possible. 

Equipment:

  • Baking sheet
  • Tin foil
  • Tooth picks
  • Cooking rack (optional)
  • Fake flower stems (optional)

Ingredients:

  • Bacon

Steps:

  1. To begin, preheat oven to 375°F and choose a really high-quality thick-cut smoky bacon.
  2. Separate each piece and tightly roll the bacon to form a rosette. Make sure to keep the meaty end of the bacon at the top where the petals are because this will look more like a rose than the fatty side.
  3. To get the look of a freshly bloomed flower, try not to keep the bottom of the bacon completely flush as you roll it. This slight rise will make the flowers look like the petals are spreading out.
  4. Pierce the rosette with a toothpick or two to hold it together and transfer it to a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until the bacon is deep red and crisped.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Want to make the bacon roses even more special? Rub the bacon with brown sugar, cayenne, cajun seasoning, maple syrup, or teriyaki sauce before rolling for an extra boost of flavor!
  7. Enjoy!

#23 Breaded Bacon

Contributor: Max Jones, a Michelin trained chef in the UK

Yes, undoubtedly the most healthy cooking method here (please pick up on my sarcasm). But despite the unavoidable food coma this bacon-cooking technique will put you in, it's a bucket lister for sure.

Breading bacon takes the crisp and juicy nature of bacon and adds that mouth watering crunch that makes us so attracted to fried foods. If you've never cooked bacon this way, I highly recommend doing it AT LEAST once in your life. 

Pros

  • Adds a crunch component
  • The carbohydrate helps to balance the fatty, protein rich nature of the bacon
  • You have to try it at least once

Cons

  • Food coma inducing
  • More dishes to clean
  • The flavor of the bacon can be overwhelmed by the breading

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowl (x3)
  • Sauce pan
  • Kitchen thermometer (optional)

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Cooking oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs

Steps:

  1. Take the 3 mixing bowls and into the first bowl add the flour. Then into a second bowl crack an egg and mix to break up. In the third bowl add the breadcrumbs.
  2. To breadcrumb the bacon, first place a slice into the flour until well covered, shake off excess. Then dip the floured bacon into the bowl of egg and finally into the breadcrumb. Place the breaded bacon onto a plate and repeat for the remaining bacon.
  3. Once the bacon is breaded, place a saucepan on medium heat and add 2-inches of cooking oil, preheat the oil to 350F.
  4. Place the breaded bacon into the oil and cook for 3 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Using a slotted spoon remove the breaded bacon from the saucepan and drain the excess oil on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  6. Enjoy!

#24 Tempura Bacon

Contributor: Andy Chang, a Michelin Star trained chef out of Japan 

There’s a saying that anything deep fried tastes better. So what could be better than deep fried bacon? A beautifully light and crisp tempura batter, compliments the salty and meaty taste of bacon. This is just one of the reasons why you should make tempura bacon.

It offers a new texture and also a Japanese style twist. One delicious way of enjoying it is with Udon (Japanese wheat noodles), an egg yolk, cheese, seaweed and spring onions for an oriental twist on an Italian carbonara!

Pros

  • Adds a unique, crunchy texture to the bacon
  • Offers an umami addition 
  • A MUST try in your lifetime

Cons

  • Food coma inducing
  • More dishes to clean
  • Time consuming

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowls (a few)
  • Cooling rack (optional)

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • 100g Tempura Flour
  • 160ml ice cold water
  • Neutral flavored oil

Steps:

  1. Mix the tempura flour and water together. Don’t worry if there are small lumps!
  2. Pat your bacon dry with some kitchen paper and coat with the tempura batter.
  3. Place in 170 degrees Celsius (~350°F) oil. Using your hand, drip some tempura batter on top of the bacon as it is deep frying. This will create extra crispy parts.
  4. After deep frying, take it out and cool on a wired rack.
  5. Enjoy!

Concluding


Although approximately 70% of bacon is eaten at breakfast, it’s a tasty addition at any meal. Whether you want a crispy side dish at brunch, a flavorful topping for your favorite burger, or you want to make an ordinary salad a little more exciting, the possibilities are endless—especially when you have a variety of cooking techniques at your fingertips.

Once you’ve mastered a few methods, start branching out and experiment with different varieties and styles of this delicious pork product from around the world. From thick, slab-cut American bacon, to its leaner Canadian counterpart, to juicy Irish rashers, you’ll never get bored of bacon! 

Cheers,

Michael

Founder of Robust Kitchen

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