There are a number of different ways to cook bacon, depending on how the bacon is to be used and the tastes of the cook. Many people have a personal taste for a particular style of bacon, preferring it to be crispy or chewy, and others are concerned about health issues, so they may adopt cooking practices that are designed to drain as much fat from it as possible. Cooks can also choose from traditional bacon made with pork and products such as turkey bacon, which tend to be lower in fat and have a lighter flavor.
One of the most common ways to cook bacon is in a frying pan on the stove. The stove can be set to medium heat to allow the pan to warm up before adding the strips of meat. No oil or lubrication is needed, because the fat in the bacon will render out as it cooks, keeping it from sticking to the pan. Cooks can choose to drain the fat from the pan partway through the cooking process to reduce the amount that ends up in the finished product, or they can leave it in the pan. The texture can be adjusted with changes to the cooking time to yield crispy, crumbly bacon or more chewy bacon. Typically, the bacon is drained on a towel after cooking so that it will not taste greasy.
Some cooks like to use a bacon press, a kitchen implement that is used to push the meat against the bottom of the pan. These presses encourage the meat to stay flat and cook evenly, and they tend to yield a crispy product, which can be desirable. If a bacon press is not available, the flat end of a heat-proof spatula can be used.
It is also possible to grill bacon. This method tends to result in crisper bacon, because as it cooks, the fat drains away and sears the outside. Grill presses can also be used for people who lack access to a conventional grill. The meat may also be baked in a 400°F (204°C) oven until done, a process that usually takes around 10 minutes if the oven is at full temperature when the bacon is inserted. Baked bacon should be prepared on a rack to allow it to drain as it cooks.
People may also opt to cook bacon in the microwave. To microwave bacon, strips should be wrapped in a paper towel and cooked on high for three to four minutes, or until done. Microwaved meat can tend to be a bit soggy and chewy, but for people who enjoy this texture, it can be a great cooking method.