How to Cook Bacon & Sausage Like a Pro

Jul 4, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. ET
Full English breakfast
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Bacon, eggs and sausage: the breakfast triumvirate. You just can't go wrong with these three morning meal staples — unless you cook 'em wrong. 

If you're a total noob in the kitchen, you've come to the right place. Ahead, we'll teach you how to make bacon and sausage like a pro. As for eggs, well, you're just SOL, aren't you? (Just kidding; we have a tutorial right here for you.)

Have your oven, stovetop or microwave prepped? Armed with a few simple tips, you can have expertly cooked bacon and sausage in your home kitchen any day of the week. Let's do this.

More: 14 Delicious Breakfast Recipes That Include English Muffins

Bacon

Hands down the best way to cook bacon is in the oven; this method yields the most dependable results. But that doesn't mean you can't cook these irresistible pork strips on the stovetop or in the microwave, especially when you're facing a real time crunch. 

Let's start with how to make bacon in the oven.

How to cook bacon in an oven

The oven-cooking method allows you to cook most or all of a package of bacon at once and is the best method for large quantities. 

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Baking sheet
  • Foil
  • Bacon
  • Metal cooling rack (optional)
  • Platter lined with paper towels

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Spread the bacon out in a single layer on the baking sheet so that the strips are barely touching.
    Tip: For extra-crispy bacon, top the foil-lined baking sheet with a metal cooling rack. Put the bacon on the rack. All the grease will drip down to the foil below, giving your bacon extra crunch.
  3. Cook the bacon until it is deeply browned and reaches your desired degree of crispness, for about 15 to 20 minutes. (There is no need to flip the bacon during cooking — both sides will cook evenly.) Transfer the bacon to a paper towels-lined platter to drain.

How to cook bacon on the stovetop

If you're more of a frying pan- or skillet-wielding home chef, then give the following directions a go, courtesy of the always-reliable Food Network. Keep in mind you can cook six to eight slices at a time using a skillet, so if you're hosting a larger group, it'd be best to opt for the oven-cooking method.

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Bacon
  • Skillet or pan
  • Platter lined with paper towels

Directions:

  1. Don't cook the bacon straight from the fridge; let it sit out for 15 to 20 minutes to get it to room temperature.
  2. Lay the strips directly onto the cold skillet (don't preheat it), and make sure they do not overlap. (This helps the fat render slowly, for consistently cooked strips.)
  3. Cook over medium heat. Turn the strips as needed until they reach the desired crispness. This should take anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes.
  4. Drain well on a paper towel-lined platter.

How to cook bacon in the microwave

OK, cooking bacon in the microwave should be reserved for days when you just need to make a few — and in a hurry. No judgment if you do use this method, though. Below, we've gathered Rachael Ray's instructions from Food Network.

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Microwave-safe plate 
  • 4 sheets paper towel
  • 8 slices bacon (or fewer)

Directions:

  1. Place 2 sheets of paper towel on the microwave-safe plate.
  2. Lay up to 8 slices of bacon on the paper towels. Just like you would when cooking on a stovetop, make sure they do not overlap. 
  3. Place 2 more sheets of paper towel on top of the strips.
  4. Heat in the microwave on high for 4 to 6 minutes.

More: Breakfast Salads Are a Thing, & Yes, You Should Be Eating Them

Sausage

To start, breakfast sausage needs to be cooked through, brown on the outside and not too greasy. And this is easy to achieve with the following instructions.

How to cook sausage on the stovetop

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Sausage shaped into links or patties
  • Large sauté pan

Directions:

  1. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan. When the water begins to simmer, add the sausages in a single layer and simmer until the water is cooked off and the sausages begin to sizzle in their rendered fat. 
  2. Continue cooking the sausages until they're deeply browned on 1 side, for about 5 to 10 minutes (depending on their thickness). 
  3. Flip the sausages over and continue cooking on the other side until they're browned. 
  4. Remove them from the pan immediately and serve.

How to cook sausages in the oven

Would you rather cook sausages in an oven? No problem. Livestrong has a set of instructions that should help you out.

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Sausage shaped into links or patties 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Place the sausages in a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the sausages. This helps to ensure they'll get a nice, brown crust.
  3. Bake the sausages for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them once or twice during cooking. If the sausages are thick, be aware that they may take up to an hour to cook. 
  4. After 15 minutes, test the sausages for doneness by piercing them with the tip of a knife or the tines of a fork. Look for clear juices or cut into one sausage to make sure it is thoroughly cooked with no pink remaining.

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