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Cooking Bacon 101

Here at Henderson's we LOVE bacon. And really, what’s not to love? This perfect salty, meaty treat pairs well with just about anything. But whether you prefer it chewy or crispy, the true magic really is in how you cook it.

We’ve told you what to cook our bacon with in various recipes, but now we’ve stripped it back to basics with the top five ways we recommend you cook your bacon (depending on the purpose and how many people you’re serving). Our qualifications for these instructions? Well, we make the best bacon in town, we should know how to cook it.

First up, the classic pan-fry:

This is perhaps the most commonly used method for cooking bacon, and definitely a good option for the Henderson’s Streaky Bacon. Simply place the bacon in a frying pan over medium heat and cook it until crispy, flipping it occasionally to ensure even cooking. You can use a non-stick pan or add a little oil or butter to prevent the bacon from sticking. Some people prefer to start with a cold pan and gradually heat it up to render more fat, while others start with a preheated pan for a faster cooking time.

From here, crunchy or chewy? It’s up to you, just leave the bacon in the pan till it is cooked to your version of perfection. Once you’ve got the bacon just the way you like it, pop it onto a paper towel to drain away any excess grease (top tip: leave the grease in the pan for your eggs or hashbrowns to cook them in all that salty goodness).

Oven baking:

Got a bigger group coming over, or too much happening on the stove? You’re in luck, oven baking is an easy, hands-off way to cook your bacon that allows you to cook a large batch at once. Simply arrange the bacon strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminium foil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. You can also add some brown sugar or maple syrup for a sweet and savoury flavour.

An NZ favourite - The BBQ:

Another crowd pleaser that packs on the flavour and is perfect for those hot sunny days.  Bacon can also be barbecued for a smoky and charred taste. Preheat your barbecue to medium-high heat and lay the bacon strips across the grates, making sure to keep them from falling through. Cook the bacon for about 2-3 minutes per side or until crispy and browned. Our favourite way to serve this up is with eggs your way, or simply add it to a sausage and bread combo to elevate your snag.


This method may be the easiest out! Lay the bacon in a single layer on the base tray of the airfryer. Set the airfryer to 200C and cook for 6-10 minutes depending on your preference. If you’re cooking in batches, the first batch will always take a little longer as the airfryer heats up.

A trick for super crispy bacon:

This one may seem weird, but trust us, it does work. Start the bacon in a cold pan. This allows the fat to render slowly. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the bacon is crispy and the water has evaporated. Flipping after the first side has crisped.

Rule of thumb:

No matter how you choose to cook your bacon, be sure to drain off excess fat and dispose of it properly to avoid clogging your drains. You can tell that the bacon is fully cooked when it turns from light to golden brown meat and the fat is golden when hot and cools to a creamy white (this is called rendered). Enjoy your perfectly cooked bacon on its own, as a breakfast staple, or as a delicious addition to your favorite recipes.

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