How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
How to cook bacon in the oven: the best easy, hands-off way to cook perfect crispy 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’re making bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast or cooking bacon to use in your favorite recipes, baking bacon in the oven is quick and easy.
Baked bacon is the perfect side for French Toast and the best topping for a baked potato. It’s delicious with Buttermilk Pancakes, Waffles and Hard Boiled Eggs. Crispy bacon adds a pop of salty flavor to soups, quiche, deviled eggs, salads and sandwiches.
We love oven bacon because:
- It’s easy and hands-off. You don’t even need to flip the bacon!
- There is no mess. Line the baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper 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.
What Kind of Bacon is Best?
There are so many types of bacon to choose from. They vary in thickness, the amount of fat, and the flavor. You can choose from cured or uncured bacon, Applewood smoked bacon, hickory smoked bacon or turkey bacon.
Thick bacon will turn out more chewy and thin bacon will be crispier after baking.
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 the ends off of the bacon slices yourself if you want leaner bacon.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (or parchment paper) for easy clean up. You can fold up the edges of the foil to catch the bacon grease.
- Lay the bacon slices in a single layer on the foil. 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.
- Bake Bacon at 400° F until it is cooked the way you like it. The cook time will depend on the thickness of your bacon slices and how you like your bacon cooked. I find that it typically takes between 12 and 20 minutes.
- After cooking, place bacon between a few paper towels on a plate to absorb excess grease.
What Temperature do you Cook Bacon in the Oven?
I’ve tested different oven temperatures for cooking bacon and have found 400° F to be best. Any hotter and you risk burning your bacon. If your bacon is really thin or you like it more chewy, bake at 375° F.
How Long do you Cook Bacon in the Oven?
The cook time depends on the thickness of the bacon, as well as how well done you like your bacon. I recommend that you begin checking on the bacon after about 12 minutes in the oven, or 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 baking time. At 400° F, bacon takes between 12-20 minutes.
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.
Do you Need to Flip Bacon?
You do not need to flip the bacon during the cook time. 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 it on a Wire Rack?
Some recipes recommend placing bacon on a wire 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 have found that bacon turns out perfectly crispy without a rack.
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. Often with cooking the simplest way is the best and that is certainly the case when it comes to cooking 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 3-6 months. Place the uncooked bacon in a zip-top bag, squeeze out any excess air, and seal the bag before placing it in your freezer.
Place the frozen bacon in the refrigerator to thaw overnight before cooking.
You can also freeze cooked bacon! For food safety, it’s best to freeze bacon as soon as it is cool after baking. First flash freeze the bacon by placing it in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or plate and freezing for a few hours. Once frozen, transfer the bacon to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Storage & Reheating
Cooked bacon can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. There are many ways to reheat bacon:
- In the microwave. Start with 20 seconds at high power and then add more time as needed in 15 second intervals until hot.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, cooking a few minutes per side.
- In a 350° F oven. Place it on a lined baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until hot.
- In an air fryer for a few minutes at 350° F.
More Bacon Recipes
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). Fold the edges of the foil up a bit to contain the bacon grease.
- 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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