Bacon can be prepared in a variety of ways. It can be pan fried, cooked in the microwave or wrapped around other foods then baked. Bacon comes in numerous flavors and forms ranging from thick cut maple to thin sliced Canadian bacon. Choose a type that appeals to you and how you will be serving it.
The most common way to cook bacon is to pan fry it. To pan fry bacon first you must heat a large skillet then place the strips of bacon in it. It is not necessary to use cooking spray on the pan if it is coated, but you may if you wish. As the bacon begins to cook grease will accumulate and can splatter so be sure to use a lower heat setting and to take care when near the pan to avoid grease fires. Depending on the thickness of the bacon slices, it can take two to six minutes per side to cook. For very crispy bacon, let each side cook longer but not long enough that it becomes charred.
Use tongs, if available, to turn the pieces of bacon over to allow the other side to cook. Remove the pieces as they are finished and place them on paper towels so that the grease may drain off. If the grease levels in the pan become too high, remove the pan from heat and drain the grease carefully using proper disposal methods, then resume cooking. After the bacon has been cooked, serve as it is, or add it to other ingredients for food preparation such as a topping for salads or in a traditional BLT sandwich.
Microwaving bacon can often be faster than pan frying and is good for quick preparation. The bacon can be cooked on a plate lined with paper towels or using a specially designed tray for microwave use. These cooking trays are designed to allow the bacon to cook quickly and drain the grease at the same time, which can shorten cooking time as it often allows much more bacon to be cooked at once compared to pan frying. When using cooking trays, be sure to follow the instructions that came with it for suggestions on cooking times and never leave the bacon unattended.
Wrapping foods with bacon has become more popular recently. Filet mignons are often bacon wrapped, but wrapping other cuts of meat or sometimes fruit or vegetables has become more common. When wrapping bacon around food it is important to consider how the food will be cooked to avoid eating undercooked meat. In some cases, it may be helpful to allow the bacon to partially cook by pan frying before wrapping the food. Bacon is often held in place with toothpicks, or by laying the food on its side to keep the bacon from coming loose while cooking. The bacon will cook quickly when the food is baked or grilled, but to avoid burning the bacon, the item should be turned frequently.