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Home » How to Cook Bacon » How to Cook Perfect Bacon on a Stove Top

How to Cook Perfect Bacon on a Stove Top

If you’ve got a frying pan and some bacon strips, you can cook perfect bacon on a stove top. This easy cooking method is a great option for those times when you need some delicious bacon NOW!

When you’re a bona fide bacon lover, there’s nothing quite like the enticing aroma and irresistible crispiness of perfectly cooked bacon. It’s crazy good served hot out of the skillet, and it also adds such amazing flavor to so many favorites like sandwiches, pasta recipes, and breakfast casseroles.

So grab your favorite frying pan and let’s make a batch of incredible stovetop bacon. Whether you’re a seasoned bacon chef or just starting your bacon culinary adventures, we’ve got you covered with simple tips and tricks to achieve bacon perfection. 

Eight slices of golden brown cooked bacon on a piece of brown paper.

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Contents

Why You’ll Go Hog Wild for the Stovetop Method

Fast and easy: Do you need bacon NOW? Pull out your skillet, arrange some bacon strips in the pan, and you’ll be enjoying the incomparable flavor of tasty bacon in about 10 minutes.

More control: Cooking bacon on the stove allows you to regulate the cooking process more than cooking bacon in the oven or microwave. You can monitor the bacon and adjust the heat and cooking time to achieve the perfect level of crispiness.

Aroma: This might be the best reason of all to cook bacon on the stove. There is just nothing like the heavenly smell of bacon cooking to make a home feel cozy!

Ingredients and Substitutions

A pound of thick sliced bacon on a piece of butcher paper.

To make this recipe, all you need is BACON (and love, of course!)

Feel free to use your favorite: thick sliced, regular sliced, smoked, unsmoked, cured, uncured — the choice is yours!

Equipment Needed

You’ll need a large skillet for cooking bacon. (Read more about our favorite frying pan for cooking bacon.)

For this post, we cooked bacon on the stove in two of our favorite pans:

Square Cast Iron Skillet

Pros: Cast iron has excellent heat retention, and the square shape is perfect for maximizing the bacon cooking surface since the strips are roughly rectangular.

Cons: The corners of the pan may not heat up quite as quickly on a round burner.

Round Nonstick Frying Pan

Pros: The surface of a good nonstick skillet prevents the bacon from sticking to the pan while frying, and the shape promotes even heating of the pan on a round burner.

Cons: You may need to move the bacon around the nonstick skillet while cooking to make sure the ends cook evenly.

Other Helpful Bacon Cooking Tools

  • A nonstick spatula for flipping.
  • Tongs for lifting the bacon from the pan.
  • Paper towels for draining. (You can also use a brown paper bag in a pinch.)

Check out all of our Bacon Cooking Essentials in our Amazon Store!

Step by Step Instructions

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to cook bacon in a skillet:

Six bacon slices uncooked in a square cast iron skillet.

Place the bacon slices in a cold skillet. Make sure the strips aren’t overlapping too much.

PRO COOKING TIP: Using a cold pan allows the bacon to heat up gradually and cook more evenly.

Turn the heat to medium.

Cook the bacon until the bottom is browned and crisp to your liking, about 4-6 minutes.

Use tongs or a heatproof spatula to flip the bacon over and cook until the bacon is browned and crisp on both sides, about 3 to 5 more minutes. Thick sliced bacon may take a little longer to cook.

PRO COOKING TIP: If you prefer flat bacon, you can use a spatula or bacon press to press down on the bacon while you’re cooking it.

Five crispy bacon slices cooked in a square cast iron pan.

Transfer the crispy strips of bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess grease.

5 strips of cooked bacon draining on paper towels.

Let your perfect crispy bacon cool for a minute or two before serving. Enjoy!

PRO COOKING TIP: We always let the bacon fat in the pan cool to room temperature and save the bacon grease for recipes like Bacon Gravy, Warm German Potato Salad, and Bacon Aioli.

By the way, did you know that you can use bacon grease to season your cast-iron skillet?

Our Favorite Bacon Grease Container

Save every precious drop of bacon drippings, also known as “Liquid Gold,” with this charming container and strainer.

–> Check It Out on Amazon

Cooking Bacon in a Round Pan

The simple steps are very similar, but you may need to watch the bacon more carefully and move it around the pan.

Arrange the raw bacon in a cold skillet. We’ve used a nonstick skillet for this batch.

Six raw bacon strips in a nonstick skillet.

Set the heat to medium. This will help cook the bacon to perfection without overcooking it.

Allow the bacon to sizzle in the skillet until the bottom turns golden brown and starts to crisp. Depending on the thickness of your bacon, this usually takes about 4 to 6 minutes. (Very thin bacon may take less time.)

Watch the bacon and move the slices around the pan, if needed, to help the ends cook evenly.

Then gently flip the bacon over using tongs or a spatula to ensure that both sides cook evenly.

Let it cook for another 2 to 4 minutes until it reaches a beautiful golden-brown crispiness on both sides. (If you’re cooking thick sliced bacon, it will take a little longer to cook.)

Six strips of bacon in a nonstick skillet.

Use tongs or a spatula to transfer the strips from the hot pan to a double layer of paper towels to drain, and enjoy your crispy, delicious bacon!

10 Tips for Perfect Stovetop Cooked Bacon

Here are our best hints for cooking your bacon to crispy perfection.

  1. Choose the right skillet: Opt for a heavy-bottomed skillet, like cast iron, which helps distribute heat evenly and prevents burning.
  2. Pat the bacon dry with paper towels before cooking. Removing the excess liquid will lessen the chances of spattering.
  3. Start with a cold skillet: For best results, arrange the bacon strips in a cold skillet before turning on the heat. This helps the fat render slowly and evenly.
  4. Arrange bacon strips evenly: Lay the bacon slices in a single layer in the skillet.
  5. Avoid overcrowding the skillet, which can lead to uneven cooking and prevent the bacon from getting crispy. Cook bacon in batches if needed, rather than crowding the skillet.
  6. Cook over moderate heat. Set the heat to medium or medium-low to prevent the bacon from cooking too quickly and becoming overly crispy or burnt.
  7. Avoid spatters. Use a splatter guard or partially cover the skillet with a lid to minimize mess and keep your stovetop clean.
  8. Flip the bacon when the underside is browned with tongs or a fork to cook both sides evenly. This helps achieve a crispy texture throughout.
  9. Cook to desired crispiness: Adjust the stovetop cooking time to achieve your preferred level of crispness. For chewier bacon, cook it for a shorter time; for crispier bacon, cook it a bit longer.
  10. Drain the bacon: Once the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess fat from the crisp bacon.

How Long to Cook Bacon on Stove?

The cooking time for bacon on the stove can vary depending on the thickness of the bacon, the desired level of crispiness, the pan you use, and the heat setting of the stove.

As a general guideline, it usually takes around 8 to 12 minutes total to cook regular sliced bacon on the stove in a skillet over medium heat.

How Long to Cook Turkey Bacon on Stove Top?

five strips turkey bacon on a black skillet.

The cooking time for turkey bacon on the stove is similar to regular bacon, but it may require slightly less time. Turkey bacon is generally leaner than traditional bacon, so it tends to cook faster.

Preheat a non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium heat. There’s no need to add any oil or butter since turkey bacon contains less fat and won’t stick as easily.

Lay the turkey bacon slices in a single layer in the skillet. Make sure they’re not overlapping to ensure even cooking.

Let the turkey bacon cook for a few minutes on one side until it starts to brown. Flip the slices using tongs or a spatula and cook the other side.

Keep a close eye on the bacon as it cooks. Turkey bacon has a lower fat content and can become dry or crispy if overcooked.

Once the turkey bacon is browned on both sides, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool.

The cooked turkey bacon can be enjoyed on its own, as part of a sandwich, crumbled over salads, or incorporated into bacon recipes.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

The Leftover Bacon t-shirt is a strong seller in our Bacon Lovers Store.

Is leftover bacon even a thing? If so, we haven’t experienced it yet!

Nonetheless, if you find yourself with some of this rare commodity, wrap the cooked bacon strips loosely in aluminum foil or wrap (we like parchment paper or Press ‘N Seal), place in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 2 or 3 days.

You can reheat the refrigerated cooked bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until it’s hot and just starting to sizzle, about 2 minutes on each side.

For more storage information, see our post about how to store cooked bacon.

How Long is Cooked Bacon Good For?

In general, you can store cooked bacon tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for about 3 days. In our experience, however, the flavor is best if it’s eaten within the first 24 hours.

For more information, check out “How Long Does Cooked Bacon Last in the Refrigerator?

We Live for Your Ratings and Comments!

If you enjoy this recipe, we’d be thrilled if you clicked on the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below and left a rating! We love reading your comments, too!

Printable Recipe Card

How to Cook Bacon on a Stove Top

Eliza Cross
Are you craving some tasty bacon RIGHT NOW? Cooking bacon on a stove top is the quickest, easiest way to make delicious bacon for breakfast or your favorite recipes.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Bacon Basics
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 354 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound sliced bacon

Instructions
 

  • Place the bacon slices in a cold skillet. Make sure the strips aren’t overlapping too much. Turn the heat to medium.
  • Cook the bacon until the bottom is browned and crisp, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Use tongs or a heatproof spatula to flip the bacon over and cook until the bacon is browned and crisp on both sides, about 3 to 5 more minutes.
  • Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess grease. Cool for several minutes and serve.

Notes

To store leftover bacon: Wrap the bacon in foil or plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate for up to 2 or 3 days.
Reheating instructions: You can reheat the refrigerated cooked bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until it’s hot and just starting to sizzle, about 2 minutes on each side.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 26gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 1270mgPotassium: 377mgVitamin A: 28IUCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
Keyword bacon cooking methods, breakfast, cooked bacon
Did you make this recipe? We love seeing what you made! Be sure to leave a review, and show us your bacon creations on Instagram! Tag us at @BensaBaconLovers!

Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help.

If you post your creations on social media, tag #BENSABaconLovers so I can share! Thank you for your support. – Eliza

Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.

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A pile of golden brown bacon cooked in a pan on the stove.

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About Eliza & BENSA

BENSA was founded by bacon expert Eliza Cross, author of more than a dozen cookbooks. She has written three bacon cookbooks including the award-winning Bacon Beans and Beer, the bestselling 101 Things to Do With Bacon, and the popular sequel 101 More Things to Do With Bacon. Learn more about BENSA...

5 thoughts on “How to Cook Perfect Bacon on a Stove Top”

  1. 5 stars
    Served this with breakfast this morning and it did not disappoint! Turned out perfectly crisp yet juicy and so flavorful!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This was exactly the instructions I needed to make a nice, crispy bacon! Thanks for all the tips which led to my best batch of bacon ever.

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this post is a bacon lover’s dream come true! The step-by-step instructions and helpful tips make it so easy to cook perfect bacon on the stove-top. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. 5 stars
    I’ve always struggled with getting my bacon just right, but thanks to this post, I finally achieved crispy, golden perfection! The clear explanations and beautiful visuals really made a difference.

    Reply

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