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What setting do you cook bacon on an electric stove?

When cooking bacon on an electric stove, choosing the right temperature setting is key to getting perfect results. Cooking bacon requires rendering out the fat while crisping up the meat without burning it. Finding the ideal heat level for your electric stove’s burners will help you make delicious bacon every time.

How High Should You Set the Heat for Bacon?

Most chefs recommend using a medium to medium-high setting for cooking bacon on an electric stove. Here are some general guidelines for temperature settings:

  • Medium (5-6 setting): Best for thick-cut bacon that needs to cook low and slow. The lower heat renders out the fat thoroughly without overcooking.
  • Medium-High (7-8 setting): Ideal for regular sliced bacon. The higher heat crisps up the bacon nicely while rendering out just the right amount of fat.
  • High (9+ setting): Only recommended for very thin bacon slices that cook quickly. The high heat crisps up the bacon rapidly before it overcooks.

Keep in mind that all stoves heat differently, so temperatures may vary. Get to know your electric stove’s burners and make adjustments as needed. It’s easy to go from perfectly crispy bacon to burnt bacon quickly on high heat. Starting lower and increasing the temperature gradually is safer.

Preheating the Pan Helps

Preheating the pan before adding the bacon helps ensure even cooking. Place the bacon pan on the stove burner and turn to medium or medium-high heat. Let it preheat for 2-3 minutes until hot. The preheated pan will crisp up the bacon faster and more evenly than adding it to a cold pan.

Use a Bacon Press or Weight for Even Crisping

For evenly crisped bacon, use a bacon press or another weight like a heavy skillet. The press helps the bacon cook flat with better heat contact instead of curling up. Here’s how to use a bacon press:

  1. Preheat the pan before adding the bacon.
  2. Lay bacon slices flat in a single layer.
  3. Place the bacon press or weight directly on top of the bacon.
  4. Cook while pressing down occasionally until bacon is desired crispness.

Cook Time Depends on Thickness

How long you cook bacon depends on the cut thickness. Here are general guidelines for electric stove cook times:

Bacon Cut Cook Time
Regular sliced 5-8 minutes
Thick sliced 10-12 minutes
Thin sliced 2-5 minutes

The best way to test doneness is by eye. The bacon should turn deep golden brown with slightly crispy edges when done. Track cook times and make adjustments as needed for your stove and preferences.

Tips for Perfect Bacon on an Electric Stove

Follow these tips for foolproof bacon every time you cook on an electric range:

  • Choose the right thickness cut for your tastes – thin, regular or thick.
  • Use a heavy nonstick or cast iron skillet to distribute heat evenly.
  • Preheat the pan for 2-3 minutes before adding bacon.
  • Lay bacon flat in a single layer and use a press to keep it flat.
  • Cook on medium or medium-high heat based on cut thickness.
  • Flip bacon halfway through – once the bottom crisps up.
  • Remove bacon before it overcooks and let drain on paper towels.

Troubleshooting Bacon Cooking Problems

If you run into any of these common bacon cooking issues on an electric stove, try these fixes:

Problem Solution
Bacon won’t get crispy Increase heat, use a press, cook in smaller batches
Bacon curls up Use a bacon press, start with cold pan, blot grease
Bacon is burned or overcooked Lower heat, watch it closely, reduce cook time
Bacon sticks to the pan Use a well-seasoned nonstick pan, lower heat

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

While stovetop is the classic bacon cooking method, the oven works well too. Here’s how to cook bacon in the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a baking rack.
  3. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness.
  5. Rotate pan and check frequently to avoid burning.
  6. Remove when bacon reaches desired crispness.

Cooking bacon in the oven takes longer but requires less hands-on time. The even heat of the oven can help prevent burning. Just be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet to catch the grease.

How to Cook Bacon on a Griddle

Using an electric griddle is another hands-off approach for cooking up perfect bacon. Follow these tips for griddling bacon:

  • Preheat griddle to 375°F.
  • Use a little oil to grease the griddle surface.
  • Cook the bacon in a single layer, turning as needed.
  • Adjust temperature higher or lower as needed.
  • Cook to desired doneness, removing slices as they finish.
  • Drain bacon on paper towels before serving.

A griddle makes it easy to cook large batches of bacon evenly. The wide cooking surface provides plenty of room. Just watch closely to avoid overcooking.

How to Microwave Cook Bacon

Believe it or not, the microwave can also produce crisp, tasty bacon in minutes. Here’s how:

  1. Place bacon slices on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels.
  2. Cover with another paper towel to prevent splattering.
  3. Cook on high power in 30 second bursts until bacon is crispy.
  4. Remove paper towels and drain bacon on fresh paper towels.

Microwaved bacon won’t be exactly the same as pan-fried but it can be a quick weeknight shortcut. Adjust cook times based on your microwave power.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Cooked Bacon

Got leftover cooked bacon? Here are some storage and reheating tips:

  • Let bacon cool completely before storing.
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
  • To reheat, wrap in a paper towel and microwave in 30 second bursts.
  • You can also reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through.

Storing cooked bacon in an airtight container helps retain crispness. For best results, reheat just until warmed through rather than recrisping which can dry it out.

Serving and Using Leftover Bacon Fat

When bacon is cooked properly, there’s often leftover bacon fat in the pan. Here are some serving ideas and uses for that liquid gold:

  • Drizzle over cooked Brussels sprouts or green beans for flavor.
  • Add to roasted potato or sweet potato recipes.
  • Use for cooking eggs, popcorn or scallops.
  • Mix a tablespoon into mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.
  • Save and freeze to use later for cooking.

Bacon fat adds a smoky, savory flavor punch. Refrigerate for a week or freeze for months. Be sure to strain out any browned bacon bits before storing.


Cooking bacon on an electric stove comes down to using the right temperature setting for your chosen cut, preheating the pan, and watching closely to avoid overcooking. Medium to medium-high settings work best for most bacon styles. While the stovetop is the classic bacon cooking method, the oven, griddle or microwave can also produce delicious results. Now that you know how to cook bacon on an electric stove, it’s time to sizzle up some breakfast!