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The Best Way to Cook Turkey Bacon

Package instructions are always either too vague or inconsistent. We knew we could do better.

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When cooking turkey bacon, we found that the package instructions either were vague and inconsistent or called for preparing the strips in a dry (no fat) skillet, which yielded bacon that was tough and leathery. So we experimented with different approaches to come up with a foolproof method that produced the crisp, deeply browned results we were after. 

Don’t Cook Turkey Bacon in the Oven

We tried cooking the strips of turkey bacon on an aluminum foil–lined baking sheet in a 400-degree oven, a method we often use when cooking pork bacon, but the results were not good. The lean strips coupled with the dry heat of the oven, yield bacon that was dry and leathery. 

Why You Need Fat to Cook Turkey Bacon

Compared to regular bacon, turkey bacon releases very little fat during cooking. Four strips of pork bacon will yield about 1 tablespoon of fat, while some turkey bacons didn't produce a single drop. Having some fat in the skillet will ensure the turkey bacon makes full, even contact with the heat and will yield crisper strips. But don’t worry— it won’t be greasy. We found that the amount of fat in the skillet after cooking was virtually the same amount that we started with. 

How to Fry Turkey Bacon

With the following method, the browned, crisp-tender results rivaled pork bacon enough that by the end of testing, we made a couple of turkey bacon converts.

1 Preheat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet (traditional or nonstick) over medium heat until shimmering

2 Place 4 strips in skillet and cook, turning strips every 2 to 3 minutes and adjusting heat as necessary, until bacon is deeply browned and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes.

3 Transfer strips to paper towel–lined plate and serve.

Bottom Line: If you want your turkey bacon to be browned, crisp-tender like pork bacon, fry on the stovetop and don’t skip the fat.  

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