Is Microwave Bacon Healthy?

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Bacon is one of the most beloved breakfast foods out there. The savory and salty cured pork just seems to make everything better, from breakfast sandwiches to burgers and more. But cooking bacon can be messy and time consuming on the stovetop or in the oven. This leads many people to turn to the microwave to cook their bacon quickly and easily.

But is microwaved bacon actually healthy?

Cooking bacon in the microwave does change some qualities of the end product. There are some advantages and disadvantages to microwaving bacon compared to frying or baking it.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cooking bacon in the microwave. We’ll look at how it impacts nutrition, safety, taste, and more. Read on to learn the pros and cons of microwave bacon so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you!

Key Takeaways

1. Microwaved bacon retains more B vitamins but also has slightly higher cholesterol than oven-cooked bacon. The nutrient profile is still high in sodium and saturated fat.
2. Microwaving pre-cooked bacon is safe as long as it reaches 145°F internally to kill bacteria.
3. Microwaved bacon is often chewier and less crispy than fried bacon. But you can get crispy results with high-power microwaves and special trays.
4. There is minimal difference in fat and calories between microwaved and pan fried bacon. Don’t rely on it as a lower calorie option.
5. Advantages of microwaved bacon include speed, less mess, and fewer carcinogens. Downsides are less flavor and inability to reuse bacon grease.
6. Use paper towels under and over the bacon when microwaving to minimize splatter. Microwave for 1-2 minutes per slice.
7. While microwaved bacon has some advantages, it is still high in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Eat it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

How Does Microwaving Impact the Nutritional Value of Bacon?

Bacon is high in fat, sodium, and cholesterol no matter how it’s cooked. But the cooking method does impact the final nutrient profile.

When bacon is cooked in a microwave, it retains more of its thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 than bacon cooked in a conventional oven. This is because microwaves cook food very quickly, minimizing nutrient loss.

Microwaved bacon also has lower levels of nitrosamines compared to pan-fried bacon. Nitrosamines are potentially carcinogenic compounds that form when bacon is cooked at high temperatures. The lower heat of the microwave leads to less nitrosamine formation.

On the other hand, microwaved bacon has slightly higher levels of cholesterol compared to oven-baked bacon. This is because the rendered fat drips off more readily in the oven.

Overall, cooking bacon in the microwave offers some advantages for retaining B vitamins while minimizing potentially harmful compounds. But nutrition-wise, it’s still high in sodium and saturated fat.

Nutrition Facts for Microwaved Bacon

Here is the nutrition breakdown for a slice of microwaved bacon, according to the USDA:

Nutrient1 slice (8g)% Daily Value
Total Fat3g5%
Saturated Fat1g5%
Total Carbohydrate0g0%

As you can see, even a single slice of bacon is high in sodium and provides a decent amount of cholesterol and saturated fat. The percentage of calories from fat is also quite high at 75%.

While microwaving may provide some advantages over other cooking methods, it does not drastically change the nutritional profile of bacon. Moderation is still key if you want to incorporate bacon into a healthy diet.

Is Microwaved Bacon Safe to Eat?

Next, let’s talk about food safety. There are some concerns around microwaving raw meats since the microwave can sometimes leave cold spots where bacteria could survive.

However, bacon is fully cooked and cured before you buy it. This process kills any dangerous bacteria. So microwaving it just reheats the already cooked meat, which is safe.

As long as you microwave the bacon to an internal temperature of at least 145°F, it will be safe to eat. This doesn’t take long given how thin bacon slices are.

It’s best to use a food thermometer to confirm the inner temperature. But if the bacon looks sizzling hot and is crispy, it has likely reached a high enough temperature to kill any bacteria.

To microwave bacon safely:

  • Place strips of bacon between paper towels on a microwave-safe plate
  • Microwave for 1-2 minutes per slice
  • Check temperature and crispiness; microwave longer if needed
  • Let bacon rest 1 minute before eating

As long as you follow proper microwaving technique, bacon is perfectly safe to eat. The precooking and curing process ensures that, as does reaching a high internal temperature.

How Does Microwaving Impact the Taste and Texture of Bacon?

Beyond nutrition and safety, the taste and texture of bacon can change depending on the cooking method. Frying gives bacon crisp edges with a chewy middle, while baking makes it uniformly crispy.

Microwaving produces bacon that is limper and chewier compared to frying. The rapid heating leads to less crisping and caramelization that enhances flavor.

However, today’s microwaves are much more powerful than old models. Using a high watt microwave (1000+ watts) can produce crispy bacon with good texture.

Special microwave bacon trays are also available with slots to drain grease away for crisper results. If you want your bacon extra crispy, try putting the cooked strips under the broiler for 1-2 minutes after microwaving.

While the taste and texture of microwaved bacon may not be identical to fried, you can still achieve good results. Powerful, modern microwaves help mimic the crisping and browning reaction.

Does Microwaving Reduce Fat and Calorie Content?

One proposed benefit of microwaved bacon is that it may have slightly less fat and calories than fried bacon. This is because some of the grease renders out onto the paper towels lining the plate or bacon tray.

However, the difference in fat and calorie content between cooking methods is fairly small. One study found that microwaved bacon had 39 calories and 3.3g fat per slice, while pan fried had 41 calories and 3.5g fat.

While microwaving may absorb a tiny bit of grease, bacon is still a high fat food no matter how it’s prepared. Don’t rely on it as a lower calorie option.

What Are the Benefits of Microwaved Bacon?

Given the information above, what are the main advantages of microwave bacon?

Speed – Microwaving is incredibly fast, with bacon ready in just 1-3 minutes. No need to heat up the oven or pans.

Convenience – It’s easy to microwave a few bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels. Minimal preparation or cleanup required.

Less Mess – Frying bacon leads to grease splatters, while microwaving contains them on the plate. Less cleanup needed.

More B Vitamins – Retains more thiamine, riboflavin, niacin than oven-baked.

Fewer nitrosamines – Lower cancer risk compounds than fried bacon.

While microwaving impacts taste and texture somewhat, the speed and ease are big advantages for many breakfast eaters and bacon lovers.

What Are the Downsides of Cooking Bacon in the Microwave?

There are also some disadvantages to keep in mind:

  • Less crispy than frying; chewier texture
  • Less caramelized, crispy edges means less flavor
  • Can’t reuse bacon grease for cooking
  • Might need special tray for best texture
  • Can spatter if not covered properly

The inability to collect and reuse the delicious bacon fat is a downside for many cooks. You also need to take care to cover and rotate the bacon to prevent hot spots.

Microwaved Bacon Recipe

If you want to give microwave bacon a try, here is a simple recipe:


  • Bacon slices
  • Paper towels
  • Microwave-safe plate


  1. Line plate with 2-3 paper towel sheets. Place bacon slices in a single layer without overlapping.
  2. Cover bacon with another 1-2 paper towels. Tuck towels around slices to absorb grease.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute per 2 slices of bacon. Rearrange and rotate bacon halfway through.
  4. Check doneness and continue microwaving in 30 second intervals if needed. Bacon should be hot and crispy.
  5. Remove bacon from microwave. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  6. Enjoy your microwave crispy bacon!

Adjust cook times as needed based on your microwave wattage and bacon preferences. Add any seasonings or toppings once cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is microwaved bacon bad for your health?

Microwaved bacon is not necessarily bad for you. It actually contains less of the potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines compared to fried bacon. Microwaving also helps it retain more B vitamins than other cooking methods. However, bacon is still high in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol no matter how it’s prepared. It should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can you cook raw bacon in the microwave?

Yes, you can safely microwave raw bacon from its packaged state since bacon is pre-cooked and cured before being sold. The microwave heating will finish cooking the bacon to safe internal temperatures as long as you heat it to above 145°F checked with a food thermometer. Raw bacon can be microwaved between paper towels in 1-2 minutes per slice.

Is microwaved bacon safe?

Bacon is safe to microwave as long as it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F to kill any bacteria. The precooking process prior to packaging means that you are just reheating a fully cooked meat. Use a food thermometer to verify the temperature for safety if concerned. Let bacon rest at least 1 minute before eating.

Why does bacon splatter in the microwave?

Hot grease from bacon can splatter in the microwave if slices overlap or are not properly covered. Lay bacon slices in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels and tuck under slices to absorb grease. This prevents bacon grease from popping and splattering around the microwave interior.

Does microwaving bacon make it healthier?

Microwaving does provide some health advantages compared to frying. It results in less nitrosamine formation, higher B vitamin levels, and perhaps slightly less fat and calories. However, bacon is still high in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol no matter how it’s cooked. Microwaving doesn’t drastically change the nutritional profile of bacon.

Is microwaved bacon crispier?

Microwaved bacon tends to be chewier and limper than pan fried bacon, since the rapid heating doesn’t produce as much caramelization and crisping reactions. However, powerful, high wattage microwaves can cook crisper bacon than older models. Special microwave bacon trays allow fat to drain for crispier results. Finishing in the broiler also helps crisp microwave bacon.

Can you reuse bacon grease after microwaving?

Since the bacon grease drips onto the paper towels when microwaving, it becomes difficult to reuse. You can try pouring the grease from the plate carefully after cooking. However, microwaving doesn’t lend itself well to reusing bacon drippings compared to frying.

The Bottom Line

Cooking bacon in the microwave has advantages like speed and convenience as well as some health benefits. But it also impacts the taste and makes it harder to reuse the bacon fat.

While microwave bacon saves time and minimizes fat a little, it’s still a high sodium and high fat food. It’s healthier to use turkey bacon or eat bacon less frequently. But for a quick weekdays breakfast, microwaved bacon can be an acceptable shortcut.

Understand the pros and cons so you can decide if microwave bacon fits your lifestyle and health goals. Use the right technique and tools to maximize results. And as with any bacon, enjoy microwaved bacon in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!

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