Bacon. It's literally the best food in the world. Even people who don't prefer bacon secretly love bacon. That's why even the vegan crowd will source bacon-flavored stuff. But it's not the easiest thing to prepare. It's often a hot, splattery, messy process, and even then, results are not guaranteed. But if you'll try these methods, it'll be better.

First off, if you're going to pan-fry bacon, follow the directions. Start with a room temp pan and bring the bacon up to heat. Flip if you want to, or don't. But as you continue cooking bacon in that pan, the grease builds up, and you're eventually trying to deep-fry bacon while making a huge mess.

If you have to do a whole pound, start with that same room temp skillet, cut your bacon strips into three or four sections, and toss it all in the pan. Your strips will be shorter, but the result will be better.

Hot Take: Adding a little water to your cold pan actually helps render the bacon fat, making for some pretty amazing bacon... but it's a method for doing just a handful of strips, not a whole package.

If you want to really cook a ton of bacon, go for the oven. It's ridiculously easy, and getting through three or four pounds will only take an hour or so. The best tip I can give you is to have the correct pan.

Sure, you can line a baking sheet with parchment and cook those strips, but if you're doing more than a single serving, it's going to get messy and cumbersome. Instead, pick up a bacon pan. They can be expensive or cheap, but typically, a stainless roasting rack set in a regular baking tin will do fine.

Skip the cheap chrome baking racks. They don't last long, are priced high for what they are, and are a major PITA to clean. Stick with solid stainless.

All the same, when my mother cooks oven bacon, she breaks all the rules. She just layers a whole package or two in a regular cookie sheet, cooks at 425, and halfway through, she'll turn all the bacon. While I had major reservations about undercooked pork and the fact you're not supposed to let the strips even touch each other, I can't argue with her because it turns out amazing.

As you cook your bacon, you're going to get a lot of grease. Whether you save it or not is up to you, but dealing with it can be daunting. After every batch of bacon, pour that grease off into another container. I remember my dad trying to pour bacon grease into pop cans when I was a kid, but my method is better. Grab a big bowl and line it with aluminum foil. It's easy to pour in, and after it cools in the fridge, easy to toss, but why would you toss perfectly good bacon grease?

You should keep it to cook with later because everything tastes better with a little bacon. Just pour it through a coffee filter into a mason jar. You could also just pour it through a flour sack towel, but why ruin a perfectly good flour sack towel?

Bacon is a challenge if you let it be. Don't. Dominate your bacon game, and drop some off. I'd like to compare recipes, provided your ingredient is bacon.

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