I'm just wondering if there's some obvious things I never learned NOT to do.
Depends on your preference. Some like done where it's limp, others enjoy it crispy. If you don't make it the way people prefer it, that's the mistake.
I'd vote that cooking it to some stranger's taste is the biggest mistake, but I'd argue that for anything you cook. On the more specific side, I'd avoid doing it under the broiler, particularly in a non draining pan, as it will probably catch fire.
I've heard things over the years about bacon grease and keeping the grease away, is that true?
Well, you want to keep it away from an open flame because it's flammable. I've never tried it on a grill, but people are always grilling bacon wrapped hot dogs and the like. I would hesitate to speculate on their motives, but the flame would occur farther down among the coals and with luck be part of the cooking process. Cooking it in a skillet on the stovetop the grease is your friend; I'm assuming you're not eating bacon for health purposes.
I make bacon in the oven on a rack placed over a baking sheet lined with foil at 375 degrees. Keeps the bacon from curling and not cook in the grease. Need to turn it after 5 minutes and then keep an eye on it
to desired doneness. Drain bacon on paper towels.
I would add, if cooking bacon on a stove top, cook at a med-low temp, not high. It will splatter grease less and you can control the doneness more easily.
I have found in the oven on a rack is the best way like Berry Baby mentioned. It is consistent and you don't have to stand over a hot pan to make sure it doesn't burn. You can get something else done while it is cooking.
The biggest mistake is not making enough : )
The biggest mistake is throwing bacon grease away. I filter it through a cheesecloth & store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep forever and is fantastic for eggs, fried potatoes, cornbread & other savory applications. Just remember that it is salty & it will impart off-flavors if used incorrectly (such as sweets).
Makes the best fried eggs.
Not draining it!