People always ask, can you cook bacon in the oven? Of course you can! Oven baked bacon is awesome because it requires very little prep time and very few steps. All that’s really required to start is an oven, a baking pan, and some bacon.
- You can easily bake a whole pack of bacon in oven within just minutes
- No grease splatters all over your stovetop
- While the bacon is cooking you can take care of other things
- Cleanup is easy
- You’ll get perfect bacon every time
What is the best way to cook bacon in the oven?
How to cook bacon in the oven, you ask?
This is the easiest, no-mess ways to bake delicious bacon. In this article, we’re going to review how to cook bacon in the oven, along with the number 1 hack to make it crispy, every time.
This article will have everything you need in order to make oven cooked bacon.
There are 2 Main Ways to cook bacon in the oven.
- The First is on a baking sheet.
- The Second is on a cooling rack.
Why would you want to bake bacon?
Why should you learn how to make bacon in the oven and how long does bacon take to cook in the oven? Here are the main advantages of doing it this way as opposed to pan frying bacon slices.
- It’s quick and easy. If you can arrange bacon on a rack and turn on your oven, well… you’ve just learned how to bake bacon in the oven! It’s that simple.
- You can make more at once. Baking bacon in the oven means you can add the whole pack, or even two packs.
- It’s the best way to cook bacon evenly. No soggy pieces. If you want crispy bacon, this is the way to get it.
- It’s hands off. Pop the pan into the oven and go do something else.
- No splattering. It just won’t happen with oven baked bacon.
- Easy cleanup. There’s no messy cleanup, not having to wipe down your stove top, and nothing to mess with. Just throw away the aluminum foil and you’re done.
How to cook bacon in the oven
The first thing to decide is what type of bacon to roast. There are many types and sizes available, from uncured, cured, hickory smoked, applewood, and thickness, the selections are endless.
For me, it comes down to taste and crispiness factor. The thinner the bacon the more crispy, but also more delicate. The thickness will also affect the time it takes to prepare.
My bacon of choice is natural, smoked, uncured bacon that is of regular thickness (not thin or thick). To me, it gives just the right balance of chewy center, crisp edges, and savory taste.
How long to cook bacon in the oven? It just takes 15-20 minutes and is super easy.
Now is where it gets exciting. There are two methods of cooking bacon in the oven, directly on the baking sheet pan or on top of a cooling rack resting in the pan.
Does bacon cooked in the oven splatter?
No, bacon does not splatter in the oven! The oven cooks much more evenly than a pan, which means sizzling bacon instead of a splattering mess. Yay!
How to cook bacon on a baking sheet pan
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil, making sure it covers up all sides.
- Evenly space the bacon apart in a single layer, be careful not to overlap any part of it or it will stick together.
- Bake until the bacon is crispy, about 15 minutes depending on its thickness. Then, flip them over carefully and cook for another 5. Make sure to keep a close eye on it in the final minutes to ensure that it doesn’t go from crisp to burnt! In just 20 minutes total you’ll have all the bacon you need!
- Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess bacon grease.
- Serve immediately!
How to cook bacon on a cooling rack
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- First, line a baking sheet pan with foil, making sure it covers up the sides.
- Use an oven-safe cooling rack that does NOT have a nonstick coating as that type can break down in the hot oven. Place rack in the center of the sheet pan.
- Arrange the bacon on top of the rack so they’re evenly spaced apart and don’t overlap, otherwise your bacon will stick.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven, no need to flip.
- Take the bacon out and enjoy!
Advantages to cooking bacon in the oven
- Oven baked bacon cooks more evenly
- It gets more crispy (and perfect)
- It’s easier (and you know we love easy)
- How long to bake bacon? Just 20 minutes!
- There’s no splatter
What should you do with bacon fat?
A bonus to cooking bacon on a baking rack or even in a skillet is that the bacon grease drips down and it makes it easy to collect.
Here’s a tip! Save this delicious fat, simply pour it over a container. Make sure to do this while the pan or skillet is still hot and therefore the grease is still liquid.
Once it gets cold then it turns solid and is much harder to collect (and nasty also)
You can store bacon grease on the counter, but many people prefer the fridge just to be safe. You can use it for many savory dishes in place of butter or oil.
With all of that said, my suggestion to you is that you just use it right away. Use it to make scrambled eggs or to roast potatoes. Whatever you decide to do with it, don’t throw it away!
What’s better, Oven Bacon or Skillet Bacon?
This can be a hard question to answer!
When you cook bacon in a skillet, it’s only receiving heat from the skillet below, because bacon tends to curl up, you get well-done parts, and more undercooked parts.
In the oven, bacon cooks from all sides all the time (especially if you use an oven friendly cooling rack).
If you prefer softer bacon, then you should go with the skillet.
If you prefer crispy bacon, then the oven is the way to go!
How do you cook a lot of bacon at once?
You can easily cook an entire pack of bacon at once if you bake them in the oven. Doing this on a skillet would take a long time and could smoke up your house (I do it all the time).
Why spend 30 minutes manning a skillet and getting grease burns flipping bacon if you can just put them all in the oven for 20?
How do you cook bacon without making a mess?
The best way to cook bacon without making a mess is to bake it, just like we outline here.
Can bacon be made ahead of time?
Yes! Bacon is versatile in the fact that once it’s cooked, you can keep it around for a while. It may not taste as good, but it won’t be bad for you.
Can you cook bacon in the microwave?
Yes, you actually can.
If you only need a few pieces of bacon for a burger, sandwich, or salad, this may be the best way for you.
- Line a microwave safe plate with 2-3 layers of paper towels.
- Lay out the bacon strips without overlapping.
- Cover them with 2 more paper towels.
- Cook in the microwave on high to desired crispiness, probably around 4-6 minutes.
- Pull them out and enjoy!
Since the bacon strips are wrapped within the paper towels, there’ll be no grease to dump.
Why are nitrites and nitrates added to bacon?
Sodium nitrite (with an “i”) and sodium nitrate (with an “a”) are salts that are often added to cured meats. Sodium nitrite also acts as an antioxidant.
Both are food preservatives to help extend the shelf life of meat, reduce bacteria and toxins like botulism, and add a pink or red color to the meats.
Uncured bacon without the added preservatives are readily available in the market, however, they tend to have a shorter shelf life and must remain refrigerated.
How do you cook bacon in the oven without a rack?
Yes, you can! But there’s a catch. You MUST create a “rack” with aluminum foil in order to catch the bacon fat. And any puncture in that will cause the grease to burn and will create a smoke cloud big enough to engulf your entire kitchen! Seriously!
I would suggest that you DO NOT cook bacon in the oven without a rack.
Can you make air fryer bacon?
Here’s the deal with air fryers. I have an air fryer countertop oven that I absolutely love. I make steak in it all of the time! However, it can sometimes begin shooting out a cloud of smoke that is impossible to stop.
It tends to do that with fattier cuts of meat or if it’s not cleaned properly.
Basically, the meat is heated and the fat drips down on the bottom pan, which is then immediately superheated, then burns and creates a cloud of smoke that your appliance will shoot out of the back. It’s very annoying.
The same thing happens with bacon. There are some ways to mitigate the smoke, but all involved a lot of work and risk of burning yourself.
However, if you’re looking to cook a lower fat bacon like Vegan bacon or Turkey bacon, it should work just fine.
What are the different types of bacon?
- American style bacon
Bacon, as we know it best in the United States, is often cured pork belly, otherwise known as “side bacon.” It’s characterized by long thick strips with streaks of fat. Many bacon varieties in the U.S. are smoked with hickory, applewood or mesquite and pan-fried to be served with eggs and toast at breakfast.
- Canadian bacon
Unlike side bacon, Canadian bacon is pork loin cut from the back of a pig. Because it’s a different cut, Canadian bacon often resembles ham more than it does the smoked bacon you may be accustomed to eating at breakfast. You may already be familiar with Canadian bacon though—it’s one of the key ingredients in classic Eggs Benedict and Hawaiian pizza.
Pancetta is cured pork belly that is common in Italy. It’s often spiced with pepper and various other seasonings. You can get it in strips or cubes to fancy up your pizza or pasta.
What’s the most innovative bacon cooking appliance?
Interestingly enough, there are special “bacon makers”, or in this case, it’s “bacon master”. The kitchen appliance company, Smart Planet, makes one.
The bacon master delivers perfect crispy bacon every time and does so with minimal smoke and almost no cleanup.
It may make a fun gift, but at the end of the day, it’s an extra kitchen appliance to worry about when your oven does everything you need.
Wrapping up with baking bacon!
Cooking your bacon in the oven is hands down, the easiest, cleanest, and most time friendly option when it comes to cooking bacon. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to frying bacon on a skillet again.
We at Easy Kitchen Appliances hope that you’ve enjoyed this article and that it’s been useful for your baking bacon in oven needs. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.