How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
The best way to make perfect crispy bacon! How to cook bacon in the oven: the easiest, most hands-off way to cook bacon. No flipping, no mess!
If you’ve ever spent time standing at the stove flipping pieces of hot bacon while trying not to get bacon grease all over the place, you are going to love this easy method for cooking perfectly crispy bacon! Whether you want to cook some bacon and eggs for breakfast or meal prep a batch of bacon to add to sandwiches and salads throughout the week, cooking bacon in the oven is the way to go.
I’ll give you the tips you need to cook bacon in the oven and get perfectly cooked bacon every time. Learn how to bake bacon that is crisp and evenly cooked.
Why Cooking Bacon in the Oven is the Best Way
- It’s easy and hands-off. You don’t even need to flip the bacon!
- There is no mess. Line the baking pan with foil for easy clean up.
- You can cook a lot of bacon at one time, instead of batch after batch in a skillet on the stove.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
You’ll start by lining a rimmed baking sheet pan with foil. The foil traps the bacon grease for easy clean up.
Lay the slices of bacon side by side on the pan. It’s okay if they are touching a little bit, since the bacon will shrink as it cooks. You just don’t want the bacon slices to be stacked on top of each other.
I’ve tested different temperatures for cooking bacon and have found 400 degrees Fahrenheit to be best. Any hotter and you risk burning your bacon. If your bacon is really thin or you like it more chewy, you might try 375 degrees F.
How long do you cook bacon in the oven?
The time that it will take your bacon to cook will depend on the thickness of your bacon. I recommend that you begin checking on your bacon after about 12 minutes in the oven, 10 minutes if your bacon is thin sliced. Bacon can go from perfectly crispy to burnt very quickly so watch it closely as it nears the end of the bake time.
Bacon is done when it is a rich golden brown color. You can bake your bacon a minute or two longer for crispier bacon. Cook bacon for less time if you want chewy centers and crisp edges.
Place your bacon between a few paper towels after it is done to absorb the excess grease.
Do you need to flip bacon?
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way to cook bacon because you do not need to flip the bacon. The only exception is if your bacon is very thick cut. In this case, you may want to flip the bacon after it has been in the oven for 12 minutes to ensure that both sides cook evenly.
Should I bake bacon on a rack?
Some recipes recommend placing bacon on a cooling rack placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet to bake it in the oven. In theory, this sounds like it would result in crispier bacon but I haven’t found that to be the case.
When you cook bacon directly on a (foil-lined) baking sheet, it crisps up plenty as it cooks in the bacon grease that is released. Plus, who wants to scrub a cooling rack that’s covered in bacon grease every time they cook bacon? Not me. So often with cooking the simplest way is the best and that is certainly the case when it comes to cooking bacon.
What kind of bacon is best?
There are so many types of bacon to choose from. The main variations are the thickness of the bacon, the amount of fat, and the flavor. You can choose from cured, uncured, applewood smoked bacon, hickory smoked bacon or turkey bacon.
Thick bacon will turn out more chewy and thin bacon will be more crisp.
Center-cut bacon has less fat because the fatty ends have been trimmed off of the bacon. You often pay a premium price for center-cut bacon, so you might want to consider trimming off the ends of the bacon slices yourself if you want leaner bacon.
Can you freeze bacon?
Sometimes I want to cook half a package of bacon rather than the full package. You can freeze uncooked bacon for up to 3 months. Place the uncooked bacon in a zip-top bag, squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag before placing it in your freezer.
Place the frozen bacon in the refrigerator to defrost overnight before cooking.
Tips for cooking bacon in the oven
- Line your baking pan with foil for easy clean up. Use a rimmed baking sheet pan and fold the foil up the sides of the pan to catch any grease.
- After cooking, place bacon between a few paper towels to absorb excess grease.
- Store extra cooked bacon in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like to cook bacon ahead of time to add to breakfast sandwiches. (Warm the bacon in the microwave or in a skillet.) You can also crumble cooked bacon on top of soups and salads. Yum!
Best Bacon Recipes
- Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs
- Easy Breakfast Casserole with Hashbrowns
- Best Creamy Potato Soup
- Breakfast Sandwiches
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 8 slices bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F*.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for easier clean up).
- Lay bacon slices in a single layer on the foil.
- Bake in the oven for 12-20 minutes, until bacon is cooked how you like it. (Thicker bacon will take longer to cook and thin bacon will cook faster.) Begin checking on the bacon at 12 minutes and watch it closely as it nears the end of the cook time because it can go from crisp to burnt quickly.
- Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to absorb excess grease. Serve.
- Cooled bacon may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Recipe can be adapted to cook more or less bacon. The cook time will be the same.
- For chewier bacon, bake at 375 degrees F.
- You do not need to flip the bacon. The only exception is if your bacon is very thick you may want to flip it after 12 minutes to make sure that both sides cook evenly.
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