Bacon can be one of the most frustrating things to cook in a frying pan. A pan can allow too much excess grease to pool up, resulting in soggy, limp bacon. The strips also tend to stick together, giving uneven results that make the cooking process frustrating. Luckily, you can get perfectly cooked bacon on the griddle and it's the best way to cook lots of bacon all at once.
The Blackstone griddle is our favorite for cooking up breakfast and brunch recipes. These top-performing flat-top grill designs open up a world of opportunity. They offer a large cooking surface and excellent temperature control systems ideal for making griddled bacon, perfectly fried eggs, crispy sausage, and the fluffiest pancakes.
Griddle Preparation for Bacon
The first thing to do is get the griddle ready. Start by making sure it is absolutely clean and well-seasoned. Bring the griddle surface up to high heat. Put just enough high smoke point oil on the griddle to create a thin layer. This will be anywhere from a few teaspoons to a tablespoon depending on the griddle size.
Use a paper towel and heat-resistant gloves to wipe the oil completely onto the surface of the griddle. Wipe in a back and forth, then up and down motion rather than in circles. This motion distributes the oil more evenly.
Reduce the temperature of the griddle to medium heat. A surface thermometer should read around 375 degrees. The griddle is now ready for cooking bacon.
Cooking Bacon on a Griddle
One of our tips for cooking bacon: before you head to the griddle, separate each slice of bacon and pile them neatly on a plate or a baking sheet. This step makes putting each bacon strip on the griddle faster and helps the bacon cook evenly.
Lay bacon strips so that the strip begins near you and finishes away from you. Bacon releases saturated fat quickly that can burn you if it splashes. Lay the strips so they are not overlapping and continue cooking for three to five minutes on each side, flipping once or twice to get the desired crispiness.
Some people like their bacon on the chewy side, while others won't touch it unless it crumbles to dust. Most people are somewhere in between, and a golden, light brown color is the perfect indication the bacon is cooked. Use paper towels or a scraper to remove excess fat and drain it into the grease trap.
How Do You Keep Bacon Flat on a Griddle?
Bacon strips tend to curl or bubble up on the griddle. Curly or bubbly bacon won't cook properly. There are a few ways to solve this problem and help bacon cook faster.
You can use a spatula to gently press down when cooking bacon. You don't want to press hard because you will force the sizzling fat out and end up with dry bacon. Just barely hold the bacon in place for a moment to encourage browning.
A griddle press is an awesome tool for making bacon. A griddle press is typically a heavy cast-iron plate with a handle. The Blackstone bacon press is an excellent example of a griddle press for making bacon. It has a flat bottom and a heat-resistant silicone handle. The press is large enough to handle two thicker rashers of bacon at once.
Preheat the griddle press on the cooking surface before pressing the bacon. The press will work like a convection surface with the griddle temp bacon cooks evenly. The trick is to just rest the press on the bacon rather than pressing it like when making smash burgers.
What Temp Do You Cook Bacon on a Griddle?
It can be tempting to get the griddle searing hot to cook bacon, but bacon cooked properly should not be burned. High temperatures on a griddle can exceed 450 degrees, which will melt too much fat and make dry bacon.
Instead, the perfect bacon griddle temp is medium heat. You can also use a two-zone method with medium-high heat on one side and the other side on low or no heat. This will let you keep bacon warm that has already cooked while you are cooking more bacon. It is a particularly handy trick when cooking thicker and thinner bacon slices at the same time.
Serving Bacon on a Griddle
When the bacon is finished cooking, remove it and place it on a clean, dry plate. Allow the bacon to rest for a minute or two so the excess grease drains off, then transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Putting the bacon straight onto paper towels traps grease near the bacon and makes it soggy. You can also use a wire rack and skip the paper towels altogether.
Storing Leftover Bacon
The best way to store cooked bacon is in a resealable bag or container. Keep it in the refrigerator to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. You can reheat leftover bacon on a griddle on low heat or in the microwave.
Bacon on a Griddle: How to Know When It's Done
Bacon needs to be fully cooked in order to be food safe. That means a temperature of 165 degrees or higher. A meat thermometer is useless with bacon, so you will want to use your sense of smell, sight, and touch to determine when the bacon is done cooking.
We have found that perfectly crispy bacon should be taken off the cooking surface just before it stops being slightly limp. Bacon will continue cooking after you remove it from the griddle. Pulling it just before it is at the desired crispiness gives you perfect crispy bacon.
A mistake we have seen too many times is cross-contamination from raw bacon. Raw bacon can potentially harbor numerous types of bacteria that can make you sick. Be careful not to reuse tongs that have touched the bacon. Wash your hands with hot water and soap between handling bacon and other cooking instruments. It is best to treat bacon like raw poultry – particularly turkey bacon.
Bacon Grease Storage
A downside of using many griddles is that you will likely lose or contaminate the bacon grease. We like to use a fresh, clean disposable grease trap when making bacon so that we can keep the renderings. Bacon fat is wonderful for adding flavor to dishes and is an excellent product for greasing cast iron pans before cooking.
Many of us remember the can of bacon grease grandma used to keep by the stove. Despite that memory, science says that bacon grease should be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer to prevent spoilage. Stored in an airtight container, bacon grease can last three to six months in the refrigerator. It can be frozen and will last indefinitely.
A Fun Way to Make Bacon on a Griddle
Here is a fun little thing we came up with a few years back to make the perfect bacon for hamburgers. Rather than fry each slice individually, make a bacon square. This trick works best with a bacon press, but can be done with a spatula when necessary.
Start by taking three strips of uncooked bacon and cut them in half. Lay three cut strips side-by-side. Start by folding the middle strip back, then place one of the remaining strips across the two strips right at the edge. Fold the middle strip over the top of the new bacon strip. Then, fold the two outside strips over the first strip and lay another strip across the bacon before folding the outsides down again. Finally, fold the bottom strip up and place the last strip of bacon across, then return the center to its original place.
When you are done, you will have a square of bacon roughly the size of a slice of cheese that has a basketweave pattern. We usually do this on a piece of parchment paper that makes it easier to place on the griddle.
Using a press helps the bacon to cook evenly because the press cooks both sides at once. When it is cooked, you have an easy-to-serve bacon flat. This works great for a thin rasher of bacon that would cook too quickly on its own.
Time to Get Frying
A griddle is the best way to fry bacon in bulk. It takes a bit of practice to get the timing right, so get out there and fry up some bacon. Keep an eye on how long it takes and what temperature works best for you and you'll turn out professional diner-quality bacon on your griddle every time.