How I Microwave Bacon

April 15, 2014 10:06 – 10:06

A few weeks ago, I mentioned on Facebook that I microwave bacon, rather than cooking it in a skillet. Someone expressed surprise, never having heard of cooking bacon that way. So, I thought a short article on nuking bacon was in order.

I start with a clean microwave-safe plate. My plates say “Microwave-safe” on the bottom (your plates probably don’t even talk). In fact, they’re oven and dishwasher safe, as well. These are necessary features for most kitchen items I buy.

Then, I tear off two paper towels—one for the bottom and one for the top. I leave them connected, though. It makes clean-up easier. When I open a new package of bacon, I cut the entire pack in half with a knife—so that when I cook bacon, I’m dealing with demi-slices rather than full slices. This makes optimal arranging easier.

I drape the paper towels so that one is over the plate, and the other is standing in reserve off to the side. I then arrange the bacon on the bottom paper towel, as shown here. I typically cook three whole (six halves) pieces of bacon. You can do more at once, but I find that crowding makes cooking less predictable and more uneven.

Next, I fold the top towel over to cover my bacon, so to speak.

For the six halves, I set the microwave to 90 seconds on full power. My microwave has a turntable, so I let the microwave do the job of ensuring that the electrons are distributed evenly.

Tip: I put the plate into the microwave slightly off-center, so that no piece of bacon is in the exact center of the microwave. This way, the rotation is more evenly distributed, reducing the likelihood of over-cooking any given piece of bacon.

After 90 seconds, I let the bacon stand for about a minute or two. At this point, I’m usually busy cracking and scrambling the eggs, or letting a little bit of butter melt into the frying pan. Letting the bacon stand allows the bacon to cook a bit more using the residual heat stored in the bacon grease.

Depending on the thickness of the bacon (I prefer thin slices rather than thick slabs), the bacon will be 50-75% cooked at this point. For the kind of bacon I use, another 30 seconds on high finishes the job. I again let it stand for about a minute, after which, it looks like this:

While it’s doing its last stand, I’m cooking my eggs (scrambled this morning) or getting the egg portion of an omelet ready for the bacon (if I’m making an omelet). If I’m feeling especially virtuous, I might take another paper towel and press it into the bacon to remove additional grease. Soaking up more grease and letting the bacon sit a while longer make is easier to crush the bacon if you’re using it over a salad, or otherwise need bacon bits rather than large pieces. As you can see, however, over 90% of the grease has already been taken up by the paper towels use in the cooking process.

Final step: enjoy your bacon!

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