In the morning, nothing beats the mouthwatering aroma of percolating coffee and sizzling bacon. However, the crisp crunch of bacon goes equally well alongside fluffy pancakes or atop a leafy green salad. This versatile treat can be enjoyed in more amazing dishes than you might realize. Plus, cooking up a batch of bacon doesn’t have to be messy or time-consuming. Read on for the three best ways to cook bacon: the traditional method, the less messy method, and the quick method. Then keep reading for nine intriguing ideas for enjoying bacon that don’t necessarily involve breakfast or a sandwich.
12. Bacon Fried on the Stovetop
The traditional method of cooking bacon involves frying it on the stovetop. This method results in bacon perfectly cooked to your own specifications. After all, some like it extra crispy and crunchy while others prefer it soft and chewy. Cooking bacon on the stove carries the risk of mess and burns as the sizzling bacon pops and splatters. To perfectly fry your bacon with the least amount of splatter, start with a cold pan. Use low heat and allow the bacon to cook slowly. Use a pair of tongs to frequently turn the bacon and cook both sides to perfection. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess grease.
11. Oven-Baked Bacon
For evenly cooked, crispy bacon with no risk of grease splatters on your stovetop, give oven-baked bacon a try. Another bonus of this method is you won’t need to stand over the stove turning or tending the bacon. Your oven does all the work! First, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. While it’s not necessary, for extra crispy bacon you can then place a cooling rack on the cookie sheet. Next, place the bacon in strips on the paper or cooling rack, being careful not to overlap. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on your desired level of crispness, in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. Drain your bacon on paper towels and enjoy!
10. Microwave Bacon
If you don’t have time to stand over the stove or wait 25 minutes for your oven to cook your bacon, the microwave method can’t be beaten. To cook bacon in your microwave, first line a microwave-safe plate with paper towels. Use several sheets of paper towels in order to fully absorb excess grease as the bacon cooks. Place your strips of bacon in a single layer on the paper towels, being careful not to allow the strips to overlap. Cover the bacon with an additional layer of two paper towels. Microwave on high for about one minute per slice of bacon. After this time, check for desired doneness and microwave in 20-second intervals until you achieve the desired crispness.Related: 20 Great Tips for Making the Most of Your Microwave
9. Muffin Tin Bacon Cups
If you love bacon and eggs, try cooking them together in delicious muffin tin bacon cups. To make this recipe, first use slices of bacon to line the compartments of a muffin tin, forming circular cups. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes, and then carefully pour off the excess grease. Next, simply crack an egg into the center of each bacon ring and bake for 10 more minutes. Additionally, you can get creative by whipping eggs with cheese and veggies before pouring them into the bacon and baking up some delicious bacon, egg and cheese bites.
8. Bacon Pancakes
If you think bacon and pancakes go great served side by side on your breakfast plate, wait until you try bacon pancake dippers. To make these delights, perfect for dipping into maple or blueberry syrup, first cook your bacon. Next, whip up a batch of your favorite pancake batter and load the batter into a squeeze bottle. Then, squeeze pancake batter onto a pre-heated griddle in a shape slightly larger than a slice of bacon. Press a bacon slice into the batter and squeeze additional batter on top. Continue cooking the pancake as usual and then serve with syrup for dipping.
7. Bacon Jam
For a delicious combination of savory and sweet, try mixing up some bacon jam. Martha Stewart has a recipe for Slow-Cooker Bacon Jam that contains not only bacon, maple syrup, and brown sugar, but also uses brewed coffee in the recipe. Sarah at The Gold Lining Girl has a mouthwatering recipe for Whiskey Maple Bacon Jam. This savory jam is served with crackers and makes a great appetizer for parties. Bacon, maple syrup, and jam. They aren’t just for breakfast!
6. Bacon Bites
Bacon makes a great appetizer when served wrapped around shrimp or veggies. Precook your bacon until it is soft but not yet crispy. You can then make an assortment of delicious appetizers. Slice open a jalapeno pepper, fill with cream cheese, wrap with bacon, secure with a toothpick and bake in the oven for a spicy treat. Or make bacon-wrapped macaroni and cheese bites. Simply bake balls of macaroni and cheese in muffin tins before wrapping them in bacon and crisping again in the oven. Even tater tots can make an intriguing appetizer when wrapped in bacon before cooking.
5. Bacon Dip
Bacon makes a flavorful addition to party dips. Making a delicious bacon dip can be as easy as combining bacon with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayo, and onion. Serve these dips with an assortment of crackers. Or you can seek out bacon dip recipes with unusual flavor profiles. Ree Drummond has an easy Maple Bacon Dip recipe that combines bacon with maple syrup and Greek yogurt and can be used for dipping apple slices.Related: Do You Have to Give up Bacon?
4. Candied Bacon
You already know that bacon and maple syrup go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it makes sense that candied bacon is a real treat. Closet Cooking has a recipe for Maple Candied Bacon that requires only bacon, maple syrup, and brown sugar. If you like a little kick of heat along with the combination of sweet and salty goodness, you can also add a dash of pepper.
3. Bacon Popcorn
As if eating candied bacon by the handful isn’t amazing enough, you can also crumble up the candied slices and sprinkle them over popcorn. Or mix up a batch of maple syrup popcorn and top it with candied bacon for an even sweeter treat. If you prefer a strictly savory snack, pop some corn on the stove in melted bacon fat. Then, sprinkle your popcorn with Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, bacon crumbles, and savory spices.
2. Bacon Pasta Dishes
For a decadent and satisfying bowl of bacon mac and cheese, prepare your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. Then, stir in cooked bacon crumbles. Next, place the macaroni and cheese in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with extra cheese and bake in the oven until heated through. Bacon also makes a great addition to alfredo sauce for topping fettucine. You can also make a simple yet delicious pasta dish by tossing cooked noodles with bacon crumbles, Parmesan cheese, and grilled onions.
1. Bacon Desserts
If you think bacon brownies sound amazing, get a load of Trisha Yearwood’s Potato Chip Bacon Brownies. These brownies have chocolate chips, bacon crumbles, and crushed potato chips in the batter for a delightful combination of savory and sweet. Chocolate chips and bacon are paired again in this recipe for Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies by Allrecipes. Meanwhile, bacon and maple syrup combine to make a delicious treat in The Salty Marshmallow’s recipe for Maple Bacon Cupcakes.Related: What Happens to Your Body 1 Hour after eating Bacon