Grill

Jure Gasparic / EyeEm

There’s a right way to do it.

Some grills are blessed with griddles elegantly built in to the whole structure—if you have one of these grills, you can stop reading now and just use that to cook your bacon. For the rest of humanity, our grills consist of a metal grate over a pile of hot coals or gas-fed flames. It’s this group of people (most of us) that must take special care when trying to throw bacon on the grill.

Watch: How to Clean a Grill

It’s the middle of summer—kids are playing in the water hose, friends are coming over with several side dishes, and you’ve been tasked with the duty of grilling burgers for everyone. An idea pops into your head—if you cook bacon to go on those burgers, you’ll be remembered as the best host and (possibly) a grill master. You decide to throw the bacon directly onto the grill grates because you don’t want to go through the hassle of cooking the bacon inside the house. In theory, this is a great idea; however, it can go terribly wrong and end in a grease fire that will make your party memorable for very different reasons.

Putting anything that renders a significant amount of fat (like bacon) over an open flame is a safety hazard—not to mention the mess it is to clean up. A simple solution is to take a piece of aluminum foil that is double the surface area you need for the bacon and fold it in half to create a sturdy aluminum foil surface. Take the sides of this sheet and fold them about ½ inch from the edge, creating a lip that runs the perimeter of the aluminum foil sheet. Finally, fold in the corners so the grease from the bacon will not drip out of the aluminum foil. Place this directly onto the grill grates and use it as a makeshift “pan” for your bacon. Cook the bacon just like you would on the stove and be prepared with a paper towel-lined plate to place the bacon once it’s done cooking. After you’re finished, take off the foil and allow the grease to cool before throwing it away. This method saves you time during cleanup, and it provides you with the ease of cooking your bacon next to your burgers.