The 10 Best Microwave Bacon Cookers
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in March of 2017. There are two kinds of meals: those that include bacon, and those you choke down bitterly while slowly getting angrier and angrier. If you never want to suffer through a subpar brunch again, these microwave cookers will let you whip up a few rashers in a flash, without sacrificing deliciousness. Many collect extra grease, too, so you can save it for other cooking needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 15, 2020:
We're happy to see this category continue to evolve as people warm to the idea of microwaving bacon. That means that old models are being streamlined and innovated to be more hardwearing and efficient, but there's still an inherent fragility for items that predominantly use plastic for high-heat applications. That's why we brought on the Midnight Sun Pottery Blue and Mud Pie Circa, two ceramic options that are durable and attractive, making for a nice departure from standard plastic units. Like any stoneware, they will get extremely hot in the microwave, so always handle them (and any of the items on this list) with care, beware of hot drippings, and use a towel or pot holder to move them. It's also best to let your food rest in the microwave for a minute or so to avoid bubbling grease.
Also joining the list today is the WowBacon P9 Model, a more streamlined version of the WowBacon Improved that has corrected some common complaints. If you're less worried about aesthetics and mostly concerned with safety and the final result, this one is a solid option that keeps your microwave clean and cooks consistently good bacon.
Items like the Joie Piggy Tray and Prep Solutions by Progressive Grill are easy to store and use, but neither is built to last a lifetime by any means. They offer budget-friendly price tags and dishwasher safe construction to make up for their durability issues. These are best for people who want to use them semi-often or sparingly, rather than every other day.
We kept the Joseph Joseph Stackable around for its versatility and convenience, but know that you can't make a huge amount of bacon in this, more like a few strips for one person. If you routinely make generous servings, the Emson Wave Cooker can help you there, although its skewers can't take much abuse.
June 03, 2019:
For our latest update, we prioritized items that were efficient, relatively simple to clean (many are dishwasher safe), durable enough to repeatedly withstand high temperatures over a long period of time, and safe (no hot grease dripping all over). Many of the models we included were designed with runoff disposal in mind, which is helpful both for reusing it later and to ensure you're not stuck with a huge mess.
We felt that the Lekue Maker could do with an upgrade, and we thought the equally attractive Oxo Good Grips Crisper was an ideal substitute, thanks to its flexible, removable silicone covers, kickstand, and stay-cool handles. When the Waveware Grill became unavailable, we chose the WowBacon Improved to supplant it. Further to that, we gave it a high spot, as its convenience is unmatched. It's extremely easy to clean, makes no mess, cooks healthier bacon, and can be used to make everything from mac and cheese to mini cakes.
For something simple, reliable, and budget-friendly, consider the Nordic Ware Tray, the Presto PowerCrisp, and the Prep Solutions by Progressive Grill. If you cook for multiple people, go for the Emson Wave Cooker or the Joseph Joseph Stackable.
Microhearth Grill Pan If you're a dedicated microwave cooker and bacon lover, then it's worth investing in something like the Microhearth Grill Pan. Versatile and compact, it features a durable body capable of withstanding scorching temperatures, a nonstick metal pan with a raised base to keep food separate from runoff, and a ceramic-coated lid with a standing handle. It can prepare everything from proteins and vegetables to hot-pressed paninis and is especially convenient for a dorm room or RV. microhearth.com
ButcherBox Carnivores who can't get enough pork as well as other meats might want to check out ButcherBox, a subscription service that delivers high-quality cuts to your door every month. You can pick between curated and custom boxes with 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood. The company has also been known to toss in a free pack of bacon as a promotional gift every so often. They source from trusted partners who sustainably harvest fish and humanely raise livestock and poultry. butcherbox.com
Why Microwave Bacon?
Many also trap the grease for you, so if you choose to save it, you can pour it directly from your tool of choice into a jar for storage.
When you think of cooking bacon, your microwave is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. While there are countless methods available, the microwave does present some unique advantages over its competition.
For starters, cooking a plate of bacon in the microwave takes just a few minutes. If you're like most people whose morning routines are a constant battle against the clock, every second counts. Depending on how thick your bacon is, it can take up to 10 minutes to get crispy in a skillet. It takes even longer in the oven, usually 15-20 minutes. While it depends on how much bacon you're cooking at once, what contraption you're using, and the power of your microwave, one minute per slice will usually do the trick.
Another great reason to turn to your microwave for your salty morning treats is that it makes cleanup easy. Rather than cleaning up a greasy skillet, frying pan, or sheet pan, microwave bacon racks tend to be small and relatively easy to clean. Many also trap the grease for you, so if you choose to save it, you can pour it directly from your tool of choice into a jar for storage. Just make sure you choose a model that limits the degree to which grease can splatter around the inside of your microwave oven, as that would defeat the purpose.
A Brief History Of Everybody's Favorite Breakfast Meat
The history of bacon dates back nearly 4,000 years to a somewhat surprising point of origin. While consumption of wild pigs goes back almost as far as the beginning of human history, the Chinese had domesticated the animals by around 5000 B.C.E. and began using salt to cure pork bellies by 1500 B.C.E.
By that same time, domesticated pigs had made their way across the Middle East and into Europe. The Chinese salt-curing technique followed the same path, though it didn't fully make its way to Europe until Roman conquests in the Middle East over 1,500 years later. In the meantime, the Ancient Romans developed their own bacon-like predecessor to today's breakfast meat of choice. Called petaso, it was made from pork shoulder boiled with figs and paired with wine.
It was immensely popular right away, and the invention made its way back across the pond to England in short order.
While pork belly and fat were used extensively in the middle ages in Europe, the advent of bacon that looked and tasted like what we consume today didn't come about until several hundred years later. Until the 1500s, the Middle English term bacon or "bacoun" was used to refer to pork in general. Those words came from a variety of Old French and Germanic terms like "bako" and "bakkon" respectively, which referred specifically to the back. However, bacon is made from the belly of a pig, not the back, and it's unclear when these terms shifted in meaning.
Domesticated hogs first made their way to the Americas via Cuba thanks to Christopher Columbus. Fellow explorer Hernando de Soto was the first to bring pigs to the American mainland via Tampa Bay in 1539. While he started with just 13 animals, after a few years his sounder of swine had grown to number over 700. This early pig population set the stage for the explosion in popularity bacon would experience on American soil around 400 years later.
The first person to manufacture bacon on a large scale was John Harris, who set up a processing plant in Wiltshire, England in the 1770s. While it did gain popularity in Europe and the newly established United States for the next one and a half centuries, World War II brought about the beginning of the biggest bacon boom the world has experienced thus far.
Nearly 10 years before the war in 1924, the Oscar Meyer company introduced pre-packaged, sliced bacon to the American market. It was immensely popular right away, and the invention made its way back across the pond to England in short order. This cheap and readily available source of protein became a wartime favorite as many families struggled to keep meat on their tables due to government rationing. The military found several uses for pig fat, and so eating bacon became a patriotic duty. The grease could be returned to one's butcher, who would in turn donate it to the war effort.
For the rest of the 20th century, and in fact to this day, bacon has reigned supreme. Since the 1990s, the bacon craze has spawned fan clubs, clothing lines, and much more. It's even the subject of countless internet memes. Some scholars have even referred to this phenomenon as "Bacon Mania."
Some Tips For Achieving The Crispiest Microwave Bacon
Microwave bacon cookers, while compact, actually enable you to cook more bacon at a time. This is because, unlike other methods, bacon cooked in the microwave does not need to lie flat in order to absorb heat. That means that, while you may only be able to fit four strips or so at a time into your frying pan, you can fit far more bacon in one go into most microwave cookers. Whether you choose a model that stacks the strips side by side or has them draped over a surface is up to you, but either way you'll be able to get your pork belly fix faster and in greater quantities than ever before.
This is because, unlike other methods, bacon cooked in the microwave does not need to lie flat in order to absorb heat.
That being said, haphazardly piling strips of pork on your cooker of choice is not the way to produce desirable results. There are a few keys to achieving maximum crispiness. The first is to ensure, as you would with any method, that no strips are in contact with another. They can be extremely close together, but they just can't touch. The other key to crispy microwave bacon is to keep the meat elevated.
Unlike in a pan, where the grease helps cook the bacon and make it crispy, bacon sitting in a pool of grease in the microwave will get soggy. Most racks are designed with this in mind, and use either a draping method or have built-in drainage to ensure your bacon stays dry as its fat drips away. Just follow the instructions, and make sure to reserve that delicious grease for cooking later on.