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The secret to sizzle-perfect bacon

Have you tried the oven?

No, we're not trying to deprive you of one of life's greatest pleasures: cooking bacon in a hot cast iron skillet, watching it curl into crimped little ribbons, smelling it waft up in fierce, meaty clouds, hearing it sputter and stutter like a seventh grade boy asking a girl to the movies.

We are trying to help you cook bacon better.

Because as glorious as cooking bacon on the stove can be, it's also a mess. There is grease all over the kitchen, and all over you. And because a pan is only so big, making a heaping plate of bacon is something that takes a while — and will leave you smelling like a high-end dog toy.

Instead, you should bake your bacon.

Heat your oven to 400° F. Put your slices of bacon on a baking sheet — as many as you'd like, just make sure they fit into one layer — and slide it into the oven. The bacon will sizzle in its own rendered fat, cooking it evenly. And 15 minutes or so later, you will have those perfect little ribbons — with minimal cleanup.

Bonus points: Carefully pour the hot bacon fat into a jar, and store it in the fridge. Use as you would lard or butter.

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: The best way to cook bacon.

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