Here’s a mess-free way to microwave bacon (that doesn’t waste any paper towels!). In just five minutes, you’ll end up with both crispy bacon and a container of liquid gold, a.k.a. bacon grease!
I know some of you are leery of using microwave ovens, but I’m definitely in the pro-microwave cooking camp. Microwave cooking is safe, quick, and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. As with the Instant Pot, the microwave shouldn’t be used to cook ALL THE THINGS because other cooking methods may yield better results. That being said, the microwave does cook many things well and fast—including BACON!
Why cook bacon in the microwave?
Although it seems counterintuitive, bacon crisps up beautifully in the microwave oven. Plus, you won’t splatter your stovetop with grease while you’re cooking it. Without a doubt, if you just want a few slices of crunchy bacon, the microwave is the quickest, cleanest, and fastest way to make it!
No wasting paper towels!
When I was a teenager, I regularly microwaved bacon to make after-school BLT sandwiches. I’d arrange the bacon on a plastic plate between a HUGE stack of paper towels and nuke ’em for a few minutes until they were cooked. From experience, I know this method works well, but you end up wasting a ton of paper towels and you don’t get to save the bacon grease.
Also, microwaving in plastic is not healthy because chemicals in the container can transfer or leak into your food. So yeah, that means those plastic microwave bacon racks are probably not a great idea.
The best microwave cooking bowls
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for sturdy and effective glassware to use in the microwave. Recently, I discovered a line of microwaveable containers that I’ve come to love, Anyday bowls. I first learned about them from Chef David Chang’s Instagram posts; as soon as I saw all the fast and easy dishes he was whipping up with them, I was intrigued.
I bought my first set and tried it out. After successfully steam-cooking veggies and chicken in the microwave with my Anyday bowls, I was hooked. In fact, I loved them so much that I bought sets for my mom, my sister, my in-laws, and a bunch of my friends.
As many of you know, when I discover a product I like, I become a crazy evangelist. I start proselytizing so fervently that people assume I’m a paid shill for products like the Instant Pot—but that’s not the case. I kind of just get carried away, which is why you’ll probably hear me talking up Anyday from here on out. (It’s not a paid sponsor but I am an affiliate if you buy them through this link. Also, save 10% off with code: NOMNOMPALEO)
What makes Anyday microwave dishes different?
I know you’re wondering, what makes these Anyday microwave bowls so great? I’ll tell you!
- The bowls and lids are made of glass—a super durable, heat-resistant borosilicate.
- The lids have a platinum-grade silicone rim so they form an airtight and leakproof seal. Also, the silicone knob can be pulled up to create a vent when you’re microwaving. This way, the food can steam and cook in the bowls and not explode!
- All the bowls are dishwasher, freezer-, and oven-safe as well! You can cook in them, store the leftovers in them, and dump them in the dishwasher when you’re done!
- Believe it or not, the stainless metal on the edge of the lid is A-OK! It’s specially designed to be microwave compatible because if the metal is rounded, it won’t arc.
The best way to microwave bacon is in an Anyday dish
I microwave lots of stuff in my Anyday bowls, but one of my favorite things to cook in them is bacon. The beauty of using an Anyday bowl is the lid contains the splatter AND you can use the bacon grease that renders out while it cooks. The large shallow Anyday dish is one I use when I need to cook four slices of bacon—which is normally the perfect amount when I’m making breakfast for two.
My one gripe with Anyday dishes is that I wish they were larger or more rectangular—that way, I’d be able to make more bacon (among other things). I’ll definitely be stocking up once they expand their collection.
Eager to check out these game-changing microwave bowls? You can order some Anyday dishes by clicking here. Save 10% with code: NOMNOMPALEO
How long does it take to microwave bacon?
It depends on the wattage of your microwave, the thickness of the bacon, and the number of slices you’re cooking, but on average, it takes about 60 to 90 seconds for each slice. Also, thin bacon crisps better than thick-cut!
For a 1000-watt microwave, it takes about 4 minutes and 30 seconds to microwave 4 slices of bacon. I intentionally underestimate the cooking time (e.g., 4 minutes for 4 slices) and then continue cooking in 30 second intervals until the bacon is a smidge less done than you like—the bacon will continue to crisp up after you take it out of the microwave.
No microwave oven?
Obviously, if you don’t own a microwave, you can fry bacon on the stovetop or bake it in the oven. In fact, if I’m cooking bacon for a crowd, I prefer my oven method.
How to cook bacon in the microwave
Line a microwave-safe glass container with four slices of bacon in a single layer.
Secure the lid and vent it by pulling up the center knob (if using an Anyday bowl). If you don’t have a glass lid, you can place a microwave-safe glass plate on top of the bowl.
Place the container in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes…
…and check to see if the bacon is done. Keep cooking in 30 second intervals until the bacon is almost completely done the way you like. (Remember: it’ll continue cooking a little outside of the microwave.)
Carefully remove the lid (avoiding the bacon-y steam) and transfer the bacon to a platter.
How do you store bacon grease?
Grab a fine mesh sieve and small jar. Pour the bacon dripping through the sieve and collect the liquid gold.
Store the bacon drippings in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Now, go microwave yourself some bacon!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Crispy Microwave Bacon
- 4 slices bacon
- Line a microwave-safe shallow glass container with four slices of bacon in a single layer.
- Secure the lid and vent it by pulling up the center knob (if using an Anyday bowl). If you don’t have a glass lid, you can place a microwave-safe glass plate on top of the bowl.
- Place the container in the microwave and cook for 4 minutes. Check the bacon for doneness and cook for additional 30 second increments until the bacon is a smidge less crispy than you like. (The bacon continues cooking after you take it out of the microwave.)
- Transfer the bacon to a platter. Strain the remaining bacon grease through a fine mesh sieve into a small glass jar.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.