How to Tell When Bacon Is Done?

Last Updated on April 16, 2023 by Lauren Beck

Bacon is a beloved breakfast staple that can also be used in a variety of dishes. However, cooking it to perfection can be a challenge. 

In this article, we’ll go over how to tell when bacon is done and provide tips for cooking it just right.

How to Tell When Bacon Is Done?

Determining when bacon is done can be tricky, but there are a few ways to tell if it’s ready. 

The most reliable method is to look for visual cues, such as the color and texture of the bacon.

Signs Your Bacon is Done

Here are a few signs that your bacon is done:

  • Color: When bacon is fully cooked, it should be a golden brown color. If it’s still pink or gray, it needs to cook longer.
  • Texture: Fully cooked bacon should be crispy and easy to break apart. If it’s still chewy or rubbery, it needs to cook longer.
  • Smell: When bacon is done, it will have a delicious, smoky aroma. If it smells raw or burnt, it needs to cook longer.

How to Cook Bacon?

Cooking bacon is simple, but you can use a few different methods. Here’s a basic overview of how to cook bacon:

  • Preheat your oven or stovetop to medium-high heat.
  • Lay the bacon strips in a single layer on a baking sheet or frying pan.
  • Cook the bacon until it’s done, flipping it occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • Remove the bacon from the heat and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to cool.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Bacon

  • Use a cast-iron skillet for even cooking and crispy bacon.
  • Place the bacon on a cold pan to prevent sticking.
  • Cook bacon in the oven for a hands-off approach and perfectly crispy bacon.
  • Add a tablespoon of water to the pan to prevent splattering and curling.
  • Try adding different seasonings or glazes for a unique flavor.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Bacon?

The cooking time for bacon can vary depending on the method used and how crispy you like it. Here’s a rough guide for how long to cook bacon:

  • Oven: 15-20 minutes at 400°F (204°C)
  • Stovetop: 8-12 minutes on medium-high heat
  • Microwave: 4-6 minutes on high power

Methods for Cooking Bacon

Here are a few popular methods for cooking bacon:

  • Oven: Place bacon on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until crispy.
  • Stovetop: Cook bacon in a skillet on the stovetop, flipping occasionally.
  • Microwave: Cook bacon on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels.

Can Meat Thermometer Tell When the Bacon Is Done?

crispy bacon in a pan

A meat thermometer is not necessary for cooking bacon, but it can be used to ensure that it’s fully cooked. The internal temperature of fully cooked bacon should be 165°F (74°C).

Is It Safe to Eat Partially Cooked Bacon?

No, it is not safe to eat partially cooked bacon. Partially cooked bacon can contain harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.

What Is the Secret to Crispy Bacon?

The secret to crispy bacon is to cook it slowly and evenly. Use a cast-iron skillet and start with a cold pan to prevent sticking [1]. Cook the bacon on medium heat, occasionally flipping until it’s crispy and golden brown.

How Do You Make Bacon Chewy Not Crispy?

To make bacon chewy instead of crispy, cook it at a lower temperature and for a shorter amount of time. Cook the bacon in a skillet on low heat, occasionally flipping until it’s cooked through but still chewy.

Can You Reheat Cooked Bacon?

Yes, you can reheat cooked bacon by placing it on a microwave-safe plate and microwaving it for 10-15 seconds. 

You can also reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop or in the oven at 350°F (177°C) for a few minutes. However, be careful not to overheat the bacon, as it can become tough and rubbery.

Can You Eat Bacon Without Frying It?

Yes, you can eat bacon without frying it. Here are a few alternative methods for cooking bacon:

  • Baking: Place bacon on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until crispy.
  • Grilling: Cook bacon on the grill for a smoky flavor.
  • Air fryer: Cook bacon in an air fryer for crispy bacon with less mess.


Bacon is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Knowing how to cook it properly is essential for achieving the perfect texture and flavor. By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can cook perfectly crispy or chewy bacon every time. Remember to check for visual cues like color and texture to determine when your bacon is done, and always make sure to cook it fully to avoid foodborne illness.


Lauren Beck
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