It is one of the most frustrating scenarios in cooking: You are pan-frying bacon and the ends aren't done because the bacon has curled up in the pan as it cooked. You might wonder how the restaurants make that perfectly flat, evenly cooked bacon. There are a few ways to make sure that your bacon cooks flat: You can use a cooking weight or you can cook your bacon in the microwave. Either one will produce flat, uniformly cooked bacon strips.
Heat a skillet over high heat. When water dropped into a pan sizzles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough to add the bacon.
Lay the bacon in the skillet side by side, making sure that no pieces overlap. Lay a cooking weight directly over the bacon, covering as much of the bacon as possible. A cooking weight is a flat piece of iron or steel with a handle that is meant to keep meat flat as it cooks, as well as speed the cooking time. Turn the heat down to medium. The bacon will cook very rapidly with the weight, so the pan should not to be on high heat or the bacon will burn.
Cook the bacon for 1 minute. Remove the weight and turn the bacon. Replace the weight and cook for 1 more minute. Cooking with the weight in these initial stages allows the fatty parts of the bacon to cook flat, which will improve the appearance of the bacon and allow it to cook evenly.
Remove the cooking weight and cook the bacon until it has reached your desired degree of doneness. The bacon should become a little wavy but remain mostly flat in these final stages.
Cover a microwave-safe plate with paper towels. Place the bacon strips side by side on the paper towels, making sure that they do not overlap. Cover the bacon with another paper towel so that any grease that pops off the bacon will be absorbed.
Cook the bacon for 2 minutes. Check the bacon to make sure that it is fully cooked. If it is not fully cooked, cook the bacon at 30-second intervals until it is cooked to your desired degree of crispness.
Remove the bacon from the microwave and allow it to cool before you remove the paper from the bacon with tongs.
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Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.