How to Cook Bacon in the Microwave

Crisp Bacon With Less Mess and Hassle

Crispy microwaved bacon on a white plate

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Frying bacon on the stovetop may seem like the simplest way to cook this favorite breakfast meat, but cooking bacon in the microwave is actually easier. It also creates far less mess than using a skillet. When cooking in the microwave, there is no need to flip the bacon; it also won't stick to the pan and tear (one of the most frustrating things about frying bacon). Better yet, it's ready in minutes and will be perfectly cooked, with that crispy saltiness we've all come to know and love.

One thing to keep in mind is that it's rather easy to burn bacon in the microwave, so watch it carefully to avoid overcooking. Also, the bacon will continue cooking as it cools for a few minutes, becoming crisper and a little darker.

What You Need

Before you get started, ensure you have a microwave-safe plate that is big enough for the bacon. You will also need microwave-safe paper towels (read the label to make sure the paper can be used in the microwave). The ideal amount of bacon to microwave at once is six slices; any more than that and you will have to increase the cooking time.

Steps to Microwave Bacon

Microwaving bacon is easy, though there is a correct way to do it. Simply follow a few steps and you'll have delicious bacon in just a few minutes.

Line a microwave-safe plate with microwave-safe paper towels.

Paper towel on a plate
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Arrange six bacon slices side by side on the towels. Make sure the bacon doesn't overlap or the slices won't cook evenly.

Six slices of bacon arranged on a paper towel and plate
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Cover the bacon with another microwave-safe paper towel to prevent splattering.

A plate is positioned over the slices of bacon
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Microwave the bacon for 3 minutes on high power and rotate the plate so the bacon cooks evenly. Cook for another minute.

Check the bacon; it should be an even golden brown color. If it still looks transparent, cook it for another 30 seconds, watching carefully.

Cooked bacon on paper towel
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Remove the bacon from the plate and let it rest on a fresh paper towel for 2 to 3 minutes to drain off the excess fat.

Six slices of microwaved bacon on a clean paper towel
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Use the bacon immediately.

A few pieces of microwaved bacon with an egg and two pieces of toast
The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Buying Bacon Made for the Microwave

There are versions of bacon made specifically for cooking in the microwave; they are often found in the processed meat section of the supermarket. Follow the package directions carefully and make sure you understand the cooking, rotating, and standing times to get the best results.

There is also a shelf-stable, fully cooked bacon that is found in some grocery stores and online. It is ready to eat right out of the package, but you can microwave it before serving to heat it up and make it crispier.

Bacon Microwave Trays

If you prefer this method of microwaving bacon, you may want to consider buying a microwave bacon tray. These trays are designed to drain the fat while the bacon is cooking. Some are open-topped and still require placing a paper towel on top of the bacon, while other designs include a cover that will keep your microwave clean and splatter free. They typically are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.