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8 Mistakes Everybody Makes When Cooking Bacon

Everybody loves bacon—but not when it's underdone or way too crispy! We're here to help you master the art of baking bacon.

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streaky bacon on the wooden chopping boardShutterstock/Matthew Bechelli

Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Bacon

With so many different bacon brands at the grocery store, and even more at your local butcher or farmers market, it can be difficult to tell what option is best. To help you out, we taste-tested 6 popular brands. Here’s our go-to bacon!

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Happy young woman choosing meat from glass cabinet in grocery storeShutterstock / stockfour

Mistake #2: Cooking Too Much

If you’re making bacon for one or two people—why not pick up a slice or two at the butcher counter instead of the big packs? It will not only be fresher than the pre-packaged strips, but it won’t ever go to waste in your fridge.

(But really, there’s always something to make with bacon!)

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Bacon and Egg on English Muffin BreakfastShutterstock/Brian C. Weed

Mistake #3: Taking Things Day by Day

Mornings a little hectic at your house? When you’re doing your weekly meal-prep on Sunday, it doesn’t have to be only for lunch and dinner! There are so many ways to meal prep breakfast, too (like these tasty on-the-go recipes), so make your bacon in advance. Just pop your pre-cooked slices in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to crisp each morning.

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baconShutterstock/Africa Studio

Mistake #4: Only Using the Stove

Baking bacon is a breeze, especially when you have other dishes cooking on your stovetop. This will save you from grease splatters and the clean-up from cooking in the oven couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or simply want to make your own morning easier, using your oven is the way to go.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to baking bacon.

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A Background of American Style Bacon in a PanShutterstock/P Maxwell Photography

Mistake #5: Cooking Cold Bacon

In order for the meat and fat in your bacon to cook evenly, they have to be at the same temperature. The fat retains the cold longer than the meat, so letting it sit at room temp for 15 minutes before you start cooking will help produce a more evenly cooked piece of bacon.

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Raw American Style Bacon in a Frying PanShutterstock/P Maxwell Photography

Mistake #6: Crowding the Pan

The bacon needs room to breathe. When you crowd the bacon, it will leave you with a mess of tangled strips of floppy bacon instead of the perfectly crisp strips you know and deserve. So spread that bacon out!

Use your perfectly cooked strips of bacon in our Top 10 bacon recipes.

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Bacon strips or rashers being cooked in frying panShutterstock/Joe Gough

Mistake #7: Cooking In a Hot Pan

While it might seem like the right thing to do, cooking your bacon at too high a temperature from the start can lead to over-cooked bacon with the fat not adequately rendered, leaving you with a slightly under-cooked and slightly burnt strip. Nobody wants that, so start it low and slow, and bring up the heat as needed.

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baconShutterstock/Anna Hoychuk

Mistake #8: Throwing Out the Fat

Before you clean up, don’t even think about throwing out that bacon fat! That sizzly combination of oil and rendered fat in your pan is perfect for frying potatoes, adding to soups for a boost of richness or making cornbread. Store your fat in a silicone ice cube tray for easy removal later on.

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