We LOVE bacon. So when we gathered our families together for a bacon showdown, we bought four pounds. It was excessive. And awesome.
We wanted to try out a few different methods for preparing bacon. We had our own favorite preparation methods, based on what we thought was easier, but we wanted to see what tasted better. So we busted out a large, rimmed baking sheet, a double-burner griddle, a microwave-safe plate, and our four pounds of bacon, and we set to work.
We found out before even serving the bacon that the microwaved bacon’s appearance was not as nice as the other bacon. It was smaller, and though the more even cooking and the reduced grease on it may have been desirable from a dietary standpoint, it also meant that the flavor was not as pronounced. The microwaved bacon seemed chewier, as well. Only one person was a fan of the microwaved bacon.
The surprise came with the other bacon methods: though I preferred the fried bacon, the overwhelming favorite was the baked bacon. In both flavor and texture, it was the clear winner. It had a nice chew to it, without being excessively chewy, and the bacon flavor was spot-on.
For the baked bacon: Lay the bacon out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Place in a preheated 400F oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Check the bacon, flipping if desired. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, checking to be sure that you don’t overbake the bacon. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. This was a reasonable method, in terms of clean-up: though it required grease disposal and cleaning of the pan, the oven contained the grease spatters, so there was no wiping down of other surfaces necessary.
For the fried bacon: Lay the bacon on a double-burner griddle preheated on medium-high heat. Fry 10-14 minutes, until crisped to your preference. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. This was the most difficult method, in terms of clean-up: the griddle itself was covered in a thick layer of bacon grease, but so was anything else nearby, including the entire stove top. It required grease disposal and extensive scrubbing.
For the microwaved bacon: Lay the bacon in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate covered with paper towels, and place paper towels on top. Microwave 5 minutes. Check the bacon, and microwave in 1-minute increments until crisped to your preference. Transfer to a new paper towel-lined plate to drain. This was the easiest method, in terms of clean-up: just discard the paper towels and throw the plate in the dishwasher. Note that I had to cut the bacon slices so that they would fit on my (large, dinner-size) plate.