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I typically cook my bacon in the oven or stove top. A relative of mine saw me do this and recommended using the microwave instead. I have two questions on this:

  1. Is this food safe--does using a microwave kill the bacteria/pathogens in pork?
  2. What are some effective methods to ensuring I get the same results as I would in an oven or on the stove top?
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  • When I started cooking family meals, years ago, I used a microwave cause it was faster and easier. Several years ago, I don't remember why, I cooked bacon in the oven and a frying pan. and I will never use a microwave again unless I'm in a hurry. That's true for everything I cook nowadays.
    – Rob
    Jun 26 '20 at 11:26
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    As a matter of interest, do you know why they recommended the microwave instead? Jun 26 '20 at 11:46
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You can cook bacon that is safe-to-eat using a microwave. The USDA even lists microwaving bacon as a safe way to cook it:

The three main ways to cook bacon are in a skillet or pan on the stove, in a conventional oven, or in the microwave. The length of time to cook bacon depends upon the type and thickness of the bacon, the heat used, and the desired crispness.

That said, I wouldn't expect the same (or even similar) results as cooking bacon in an oven or on a stovetop. Microwaved bacon usually ends up rubbery instead of crispy and brown. You also can't collect the rendered fat and reuse it since you usually microwave bacon on a paper towel.

Serious Eats wrote a great piece on how to cook bacon and advised against microwaving bacon due to the texture, but try it for yourself! Microwaved bacon is perfectly safe to eat and, at the end of the day, only you can decide whether you like it or not :)

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This technique is what I have been using and it works well for me, although it isn't the same as ones cooked on stove or in oven.

You put lay bacon strips on the top of an upside-down bowl (that is microwavesafe and can handle high temperature, so no plastics or normal glasses), has a plate under the bowl to collect the fats (optionally with a paper towel), and cover the bacons lightly with a paper towel. For timing, it depends on too many factors so just try it out with your microwave settings and see.

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My neighbor cooks her bacon in the microwave, but she also likes taking it to fully crisp, rather than leaving it with a little bit of chew to it, so I don't know how well it works if you like it less well done, but works well for crispy bacon.

She's gone through a couple of different 'bacon trays' through the years. Her original one looked like this one from Nordicware, but she now has a round ceramic one. (if your microwave is large enough, I recommend the square/rectangular ones, as you can fit whole strips on it without trying to curve them or needing to cut them down to fit on the tray)

To use the trays, you just lay out the bacon on it, hopefully not overlapping too much, then place a layer or two of paper towels on top of it, and then microwave it for a few minutes. The exact time is a function of your microwave's wattage, the thickness of your bacon, and how you like it cooked, but she usually starts with 6 minutes, and then does one or two minute steps 'til it's done to how she likes it.

If you have a powerful microwave (greater than 1000W), or you're only cooking a couple of strips, start with 4 minutes or even less if both are true)

She also checks how much grease has come off when she's checking how far done it is, and will drain the tray if needed. (into the trash or a clean container if you're saving it ... not down the sink)

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I simply lay out the bacon on 2 or 3 thicknesses of paper towels on a plate, and put 2 or 3 on top, and cook it about 30-60 seconds at a time until it is the right level of doneness. The paper towels will absorb the rendered fat as it cooks leaving it crisp. In my experience a special tray is not needed. If your microwave does not have a plate inside that spins you should turn the plate every 30-60 seconds for even cooking.

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