The smell of bacon cooking on a weekend morning is sure to awaken even your sleepiest family members. Cooking bacon on the stove, though, is messy. Not only do you have to drain the grease from the pan, but the grease tends to splatter on the stove adding more cleanup time. If you cook the bacon in the microwave instead, you can still have crispy bacon with minimum cleanup.
The most simple way to cook bacon in your microwave is to use a microwave-safe plate and paper towels. Place a double layer of paper towels on the plate, and arrange 4 to 6 slices of bacon on top of the towels. Cover the bacon with another double layer of paper towels. Set the microwave to cook on high for 4 minutes; if you want crispier bacon, add time in one minute increments until you are happy with the results. Use oven mitts to take the plate out of the microwave, as it will be hot. Discard the paper towels.
A variation on the paper towel cooking method allows you to cook more bacon at once. Place a double layer of paper towel on a plate -- two double layers, or four paper towels is even better, since there will be more grease -- and layer several slices of bacon on top of the towels. Add a double layer of paper towels, and then another layer of bacon. Repeat the layers until you have all the bacon you want to cook on the plate. Cook on high, or maximum power, for 15 minutes or until the bacon is cooked. The plate will be extremely hot, as will the grease-covered paper towels, so use pot holders and allow the bacon to cool for a few minutes before removing it from the plate.
Microwave Cooking Devices
Visit any home goods or cooking equipment retailer, and chances are you'll find multiple gadgets and devices designed for cooking bacon in the microwave. One thing that many of these devices have in common is that they allow for the grease to drain away from the bacon as it cooks, somewhat lowering the fat and cholesterol content. For example, some devices allow you to arrange the bacon vertically so that the grease drains down into a collection pan. If you use one of these devices, follow the manufacturer instructions to prevent damage to your microwave.
You're making dinner when you realize that the recipe calls for bacon -- and you forgot to thaw some. If you have a microwave, you're in luck, since microwaves are ideal for defrosting bacon. To defrost without cooking the bacon, wrap the bacon in plastic wrap and warm it in the microwave at 30 percent power, or use the defrost setting. Set the timer for 1 minute, 30 seconds, and then turn the bacon over. Set the timer for another minute and a half, check the meat and add more time in 30-second increments, if necessary. The defrosting may be somewhat uneven, with some spots completely thawed while others are still cold, but you should still be able to pull the slices apart and cook them as needed.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.