Whether you fry it on the stove, bake it in the oven or cook it in the microwave, get perfectly cooked bacon with these easy instructions.

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Whether you prefer crispy bacon or chewy bacon, we can all agree that bacon makes everything better. From Bacon-Wrapped Zucchini Fries to Bacon, Tomato & Farro Salad, bacon adds a delicious saltiness and smokiness to every dish. While we don't recommend eating bacon every day (check out four dietitian-approved tips for eating bacon), there's definitely a time and place for the flavorful ingredient. Learn how to cook bacon, including methods for cooking on the stove, in the oven and in the microwave.

How to Fry Bacon on the Stove

The classic approach consistently yields perfectly crispy strips. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and as crisp as desired, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip halfway through. Remove with a slotted spoon and soak up extra fat on a paper towel-lined plate.

How to Bake Bacon in the Oven

Cooking bacon in the oven allows you to cook more of it at a time, plus you'll produce no grease stains or burns on your stovetop. Place an oven rack in the center position, and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and lay the bacon down in a single layer. (For extra-crispy bacon, place a metal cooling rack over the baking sheet, then place the bacon on the rack.) Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 to 25 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra fat before serving.

How to Cook Bacon in the Microwave

In a rush? Put two layers of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, then place up to eight slices of bacon on the paper towels, making sure the strips don't overlap. Cover the bacon with two more layers of paper towels, and cook on high for 4 to 6 minutes. (Microwave cooking times may vary.) Transfer the bacon to a fresh paper towel-lined plate to absorb extra fat.