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How To Tell If Turkey Bacon Is Done (And How Long To Cook It)

Quick Answer

This works largely the same as regular bacon since both still contain at least some amount of fat.

When cooking turkey bacon, if you notice that the strips have curled at their edges and if they start to look shriveled with its color changing to a deep red brown, chances are it is done and can be safely eaten.

If you remove the slices and they are crisp enough to lay firmly without dangling when lifted up, then the turkey bacon has definitely been cooked thoroughly.

There are so many nutritional and tasty benefits when choosing turkey bacon over regular pork bacon.

Not only is it much lower in calories, it still retains that delicious smoky, salty and meaty flavor that we all know and love so much, making it an incredible alternative.

Part of the beauty of turkey bacon is the amount of ways you can eat it whether it’s part of a smoky BBQ morning sandwich or as an essential part of a juicy burger, that rich and crunchy taste is one that is hard not to find so addictive.

Just like pork bacon however, it is crucial that any home cook knows how to tell if their turkey bacon is done.

Turkey Bacon

Since if it is not thoroughly cooked it can lead to some unpleasant health complications if you don’t sizzle it just right. 

So that you can know what to look out for next time you decide to sizzle up some smoky turkey bacon, below is everything you need to know about how to tell when your delicious turkey bacon is ready to eat. 

Key Signs To Tell When Turkey Bacon Is Done

There are some clear signs to look out for when keeping an eye on your turkey bacon so that you can tell instantly when it’s ready to serve. 

Shape

Definitely the clearest indication that a piece of bacon is ready to snack on is when it starts to curl up, specifically at the edges.

It will also be much smaller in size overall due to how the bacon will shrivel from losing its fat content. 

Texture

When you bring the turkey bacon strips out from the oven or skillet, you’ll want the bacon to be at least somewhat crispy in texture. 

You can experiment with this depending on how you like your bacon, however the general rule of thumb is that each strip needs to have enough of a firm body to be lifted up with tongs without dangling at all. 

Just like regular bacon, keeping a close eye on the texture of the turkey bacon when you flip it around is always crucially important, if you notice that it isn’t as weak and is starting to firm up, it’s almost there. 

Color 

When turkey bacon is being cooked, its pinky hollow color will gradually shift to reddish brown due to the prolonged exposure to the heat. 

You preferably want to take the slices out as soon as you notice the red color is starting to turn into a deep brown. 

If the bacon cooks for too long and starts to look more black or with black stripes running down each piece, it can cause the pieces to taste bitter and generally unpleasant to eat.  

How Long Should Turkey Bacon Be Cooked For?

There are a few ways to cook turkey bacon which can differ quite a bit to traditional bacon due to the lower fat content.

Therefore, it can take a little longer with some cooking methods than others which does at least make this crispy treat very flexible so that you can prepare it for exactly when you need it. 

Oven

The oven method of cooking turkey bacon is by far the most common, specifically for how easily it heats up each and every strip evenly and also because of how hands off it is, doing all the sizzling for you. 

Turkey bacon needs to be cooked at 400 degrees fahrenheit in the oven for up to 10 minutes, you can opt to cook it for a shorter time however if you want it to be a little less crunchy. 

The strips are then flipped over and cooked for a further 5 minutes, making for a pretty fast cooking method serving up some red and crispy turkey bacon strips in no longer than 15 minutes. 

Skillet

There’s no shame in going with the trust ol’ classic, and luckily it works much the same as cooking regular bacon with a pretty speedy cooking time. 

When you simply heat up a slice of turkey bacon over a skillet on a medium flame, the closer exposure to the heat means they will cook up much faster, usually being ready in no more than 10 minutes. 

If you are using a skillet, just make sure that you flip the bacon over at least 3 times throughout the 10 minute period so that you can be sure it’s cooked thoroughly so you don’t end up with any cold spots. 

Microwave

Maybe this is something you gave a quick thought, but suddenly realized that surely it wouldn’t be that easy. 

We’re here to tell you that it is, you really can cook turkey bacon in a microwave, and there’s not many reasons not to. 

A regular home kitchen microwave can usually fit around 4 slices at a time with a microwave at 100% power.

Adding any more slices to the point where they start overlapping, even a little bit, can cause some really unpleasant cold spots to appear when the food is finally good to serve. 

Because of the tremendous amount of heat that the food is exposed to, turkey bacon can be ready in less than 3 minutes. 

The best way to keep an eye on how it’s doing is to cook in 30 second intervals, or 20 if you are really precise about the crispiness of your bacon. 

Remember to flip the slices every so often with each of the intervals to make sure all sides are piping hot. 

When you notice that distinct reddish brown appearance and the crunchy texture that’s cooked to your liking, feel free to remove the bacon.

Why Does Turkey Bacon Change Its Shape When Cooked?

Why Does Turkey Bacon Change Its Shape When Cooked

While it doesn’t contain as much fat content as regular bacon, what gives turkey bacon it’s savory and juicy taste is the far smaller amount of fat content.

Because of this, when any type of bacon is cooked and the fat is rendered out of it, each slice changes its shape, giving you a clear indication as to when it’s ready to eat up.

This also causes the meat to be much lighter when you remove it and a lot crispier than when you put it in. 

Ways To Serve Turkey Bacon

You don’t just need to serve turkey bacon on its own or paired up with a few eggs when it’s finally done sizzling away.

There are some easy ways you can make this delightful treat even more tasty with just some simple ingredients. 

1. Brown Sugar

Before placing the bacon in the oven, try layering some maple syrup and brown sugar on top of each slice.

The sugars will start to caramelize, permeating the meat and giving it a delicious hint of sweetness that goes a long way when you and your guests finally try it. 

2. Turkey Bacon Wrap 

An easy way to mix as much flavor with some delicious turkey bacon as possible, use a soft corn tortilla wrap as the outer coating to bring the turkey bacon pieces and other ingredients all together. 

In terms of what ingredients are mixed in with the turkey bacon, it’s completely up to you however, a must is always using some lettuce to add some of that much needed crunch.

It also never hurts to also throw in some of your favorite veggies to ramp up that nutritional value. 

3. Cheesy turkey bacon pasta

You’ll have a tough time finding many people who would rather miss out on enjoying a delicious bowl of cheesy pasta every now and again.

However when mixed with some lightly crisped turkey bacon bits, it makes the whole dish so much more delicious. 

Feel free to add in some onions, tomatoes, cucumber and any other foods that may be your classic go to’s when it comes to pasta. 

Bell peppers and avocados are always a delicious option however as they add a tiny amount of bitterness which is also very sweet, especially when mixed with some warm pasta and the meaty, smoky flavor of well cooked turkey bacon. 

Summary

You really can’t go far wrong when choosing turkey bacon as a late evening snack or even as a hearty breakfast option. 

Just always make sure to keep an eye on the color, shape and texture of each slice as it’s being prepared as the last thing you want is it to be undercooked and needing to be thrown out. 

Once you see that reddish brown color start to emerge and the shape of the slices starting to become more curved in appearance, this is a clear sign your turkey bacon is in the clear.

Jess Smith