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Home » Bacon Basics » How to Microwave Bacon (Without Paper Towels)

How to Microwave Bacon (Without Paper Towels)

Get ready to make amazing bacon FAST with this recipe for how to microwave bacon, without paper towels or any special cooking racks or equipment.

If you’ve ever had microwaved bacon that was tough, dry, overcooked, or perhaps had little pieces of paper towels stuck on it, those days are over!

Here in the BENSA test kitchen, we’ve unlocked the secret to perfectly cooked microwave bacon that you’re going to absolutely love.

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Contents

Click any of these headings to jump ahead:

  1. Why This Recipe is Worth Making
  2. Ingredients You’ll Need
  3. Best Microwave Bacon Cooker
  4. Step by Step Instructions (with photos)
  5. Pro Recipe Tips
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. How to Store Leftovers
  8. How to Defrost Bacon in Microwave
  9. How to Crisp Bacon in Microwave
  10. FAQs
  11. How to Use Cooked Bacon
  12. Microwave Bacon Recipe

Why This Recipe is Worth Making

  • Bacon cooked using this method in the microwave oven comes out crispy and golden brown!
  • The bacon cooks gently at half power and bubbles away in the bacon fat, which prevents it from getting tough or overcooked.
  • No stove needed!
  • No paper towels stuck to your bacon!
  • No risk of bleach or chemicals leaching into your bacon from non-food-safe paper towels.
  • No grease spatters on your clothes.
  • With this method, you can easily save your bacon grease. Just let it cool in the baking dish after cooking and removing your bacon, and strain into a jar or heatproof container.

Ingredients You’ll Need

10 slices of raw bacon on a piece of butcher paper

Bacon – You can cook either regular or thick cut bacon in a microwave; it’s your choice. For this recipe, we used 10 slices bacon that were regular cut. Thick sliced strips may give you more of a chewy bacon.

Optional ingredients – If you want to make the black pepper, spicy or sweet bacon recipe variations (see below) you’ll need one of these ingredients:

  • Black pepper
  • Spicy low-sodium seasoning blend
  • Dark brown sugar

Best Microwave Bacon Cooker

Forget special racks!

A classic glass baking dish is the best microwave cooker. It allows the bacon to cook in the fat, which keeps it moist while cooking so it doesn’t dry out.

I used a 10 x 15-inch glass baking dish for this batch. A 9- by 13-inch glass dish is perfect for center-cut bacon, or you can simply lay regular strips vertically to cook.

Step by Step Instructions

Lay the bacon strips side by side in a glass baking dish. It’s okay if they overlap a little, as they will shrink during cooking.

10 strips of uncooked thick sliced bacon in a glass baking dish.

Put the dish in the microwave oven and set the power level for 50%, or half power. On some microwave ovens that have power level settings from 1 to 10, this will be Level 5.

Cook for 3 minutes at 50% power. Your results may vary based on the thickness of your bacon and the power of your oven, but this is how our partially-cooked bacon looked after 3 minutes in a 1000 watt microwave:

10 strips of partially cooked microwave bacon in a glass baking dish.

Continue cooking at 50% power for 90-second increments, until the bacon starts to brown. If some of the strips cook faster than the others, you can just remove them from the dish. Cook at 50% power in 60-second increments until the bacon is browned and crispy, like this:

Ten strips of golden brown cooked bacon in a glass baking dish.

Use tongs to remove the bacon from the fat. You can now save your bacon grease, if you like. We call it liquid gold, and it’s so good for cooking. (Here are 25 ways to use bacon fat.)

Drain the bacon. Now it’s okay to bring out the paper towels, but if you don’t have any you can cut open a natural brown paper grocery bag, spread the paper with the inside side up, and drain your bacon on the paper.

7 strips of cooked bacon draining on a paper towel

Pro Recipe Tips

The bacon will become crispier as it cools. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before eating or using it in a recipe.

Microwaves have many different levels of cooking power, and bacon comes in varying thicknesses. For best results, start with the lowest cooking time and check the bacon periodically. Once you learn how your microwave cooks, you can make a note and you’ll always be able to quickly make a batch of bacon!

Recipe Variations

Pepper Bacon – Just after draining and blotting, sprinkle the bacon with freshly ground black pepper and pat lightly so it adheres.

Spicy Bacon – Sprinkle cooked, drained bacon with a low sodium spicy mix like Slap Ya Mama Low Sodium Seasoning.

Sweet Bacon – When the bacon has drained and cooled, sprinkle it with a little dark brown sugar to add sweetness.

How to Store Leftovers

My favorite way to store cooked crispy bacon is to wrap it loosely in parchment paper, folding the sides to make a package. Put the package in a zip lock bag and refrigerate.

Cooked bacon is best eaten within 48 hours.

How to Defrost Bacon in Microwave

Because of its high fat content, bacon freezes well. (According to the USDA, tightly wrapped bacon may be safely frozen at 0 degrees F for up to 4 months.)

If you have a package of solidly frozen bacon that you want to thaw and use right away, here’s how to do it:

  1. Remove any plastic packaging from the bacon.
  2. Wrap the solid frozen bacon with a piece of parchment paper.
  3. Defrost the parchment-wrapped bacon at 30% power. Cook for 2 minutes and check the bacon. If it’s still frozen, cook at 30% power in 1-minute increments until it’s thawed. This method will help the bacon defrost slowly and evenly.
  4. When the bacon has sufficiently thawed so that you can peel the strips apart, you can cook it as usual. Blot away any excess moisture first.
  5. You should plan to cook any bacon you’ve defrosted in a microwave right away. This is because some parts of the bacon may become warm and start cooking during the defrosting process.

How to Crisp Bacon in Microwave

If you have cooked bacon that is limp, the microwave is perfect for reheating it. Wrap it loosely in parchment paper or put it on a microwave safe plate and cook at 50% power until it sizzles.

The exact timing will depend how many strips you’re reheating and the thickness of the bacon. Start with 15 seconds at 50% power per strip, and add additional cooking time as needed.

Here are 6 more techniques for how to reheat bacon.

FAQs

Can you microwave raw bacon?

Yes! It’s easy to cook bacon the microwave until it’s hot, brown and crispy.

How many calories in microwave bacon?

One strip of cooked, drained, microwaved bacon has approximately 80 calories.

How to cook bacon in the microwave with a bowl?

Instructables has directions for microwaving bacon in a glass oven safe bowl.

How to Use Cooked Bacon

Oh, the great things you can make with a pile of perfectly cooked bacon! Use it in one of these tasty recipes:

A pile of microwaved bacon on a crumpled sheet of parchment paper

Perfect Microwave Bacon

Eliza Cross
Learn how to microwave bacon without paper towels with this easy recipe and directions. Enjoy perfectly cooked, crispy bacon in minutes!
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cooling Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Bacon Basics
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 160 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 10- x 15-inch glass baking dish
  • 1 pair tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 10 strips regular- or thick-cut sliced bacon

Optional Ingredients

  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • low-sodium seasoning mix, to taste
  • dark brown sugar, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Lay the bacon strips side by side in a glass baking dish. It’s okay if they overlap a little, as they will shrink during cooking.
    10 strips of uncooked bacon in a glass baking dish.
  • Put the dish in the microwave oven and set the power level for 50%, or half power.
    glass baking dish filled with bacon in a white microwave oven.
  • Cook for 3 minutes at 50% power. The bacon should begin to cook and curl. Your results may vary based on the power of your microwave.
    10 strips of partially cooked bacon in a glass baking dish.
  • Continue cooking at 50% power for 90-second increments, until the bacon starts to brown. If some of the strips cook faster than the others, remove them from the dish. Cook at 50% power in 60-second increments until the bacon is browned and crispy.
    10 strips of brown, crispy microwave cooked bacon in a glass baking dish.
  • Use tongs to remove the bacon from the fat and drain.
    10 strips of cooked bacon draining.

Variations

  • For Black Pepper Microwaved Bacon, sprinkle the cooked drained bacon with freshly ground black pepper and pat lightly so it adheres.
  • For Spicy Microwaved Bacon, sprinkle the cooked drained bacon with low-sodium spice mixture and pat lightly so it adheres.
  • For Sweet Microwaved Bacon, sprinkle the cooked drained bacon with dark brown sugar and pat lightly so it adheres.

Notes

To store cooked bacon, wrap it loosely in parchment paper, folding the sides to make a package. Put the package in a zip lock bag and refrigerate. For the freshest flavor, cooked bacon is best eaten within 48 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 2stripsCalories: 160kcalProtein: 10gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 640mg
Keyword microwave
Tried this recipe? Show us on IG!Tag us at @BensaBaconLovers!

Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this microwave bacon recipe, I’d be thrilled if you clicked the little stars above and gave the recipe a 5-star rating.

You might also enjoy viewing the web story for this recipe.

For more fun ways to cook bacon, try these:

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.

Pin for Later

If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin:

A pile of cooked microwave bacon on a piece of parchment paper.
eliza

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 Microwave Bacon (Without Paper Towels)”

  1. 5 stars
    Umm…mind blown! I have been buying the precooked Costco bacon until I read this post! Now I know I can use my favorite uncooked bacon and cook it in the microwave, too! Who knew!!!

    Reply

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