Cooking bacon in the oven is easy, and it's quickly become my favorite method, especially when cooking for a crowd.
For perfectly crispy results, set the oven temperature to 350°F. Bacon cooks more evenly at a lower temperature, and even with this slower method, it should be ready in about 30 minutes.
I'm astounded that most bacon packages still list pan-frying instructions as the first option. I haven't fried bacon in years!
Perhaps it makes sense to pan-fry it if you cook only a few slices. But for anything more than that, I do believe that the oven is the best - and certainly the easiest - method. And when cooked this way, the bacon cooks evenly and comes out beautifully crispy.
This one is easy! You'll simply need 8 ounces of bacon. That's typically one package. I like to use medium-thickness slices. Not too thick and not too thin. If you use any other thickness, you'll likely need to slightly adjust the cooking time.
Note that some packages contain 12 ounces of bacon. If you use one of these packages, you'll need to use two sheet pans.
If you wish, you can sprinkle the bacon slices with spices before baking them. But that's completely optional. Tasty options include freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Maybe a bit of cayenne if you like your food spicy.
It's easy to cook bacon in the oven! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack.
Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the wire rack.
Place the pan in the preheated 350°F oven and bake the bacon for 30 minutes.
Pull the pan out of the oven. Use tongs to transfer the bacon slices to a plate, then serve. If you use wire racks, there's no need to place the bacon on paper towels to drain it.
Here are a few tips for you for making this recipe a success:
A wire rack is helpful
I like my bacon crispy, so I arrange it on stainless steel wire racks that I got on Amazon (I do line the pan with foil for easier cleanup).
The wire racks can be washed in the dishwasher, so cleanup is easy. But they're not mandatory. You can simply line your pan with foil or parchment paper and arrange the slices directly on them.
Use a rimmed baking sheet
Whether you use a wire rack or not, you should definitely use a rimmed baking sheet to prevent grease from dripping onto the oven floor and potentially causing a grease fire.
How to prevent grease splatters
If you use a rimmed baking sheet and set the oven to 350 degrees F, the bacon shouldn't splatter too badly. But if preventing splatters is important to you, a simple method is to loosely cover the bacon while it cooks with a sheet of parchment paper.
How to use up bacon grease
When you're done cooking, you'll have bacon grease in the bottom of your pan. Please don't pour it down the drain or it will clog your sink!
What you do with the grease that's left in the pan is up to you. You can simply mop the grease with paper towels and throw them in the trash.
If you'd like to use the grease (it's very tasty), strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass jar. Then seal it and keep it in the fridge for later use.
You can use it in any savory recipe that requires fat for cooking. It's especially good when cooking eggs, so I often use it when making fluffy scrambled eggs.
Frequently asked questions
Many recipes will instruct you to heat your oven to 400°F. This is certainly an option, but in my experience, bacon cooks more evenly when the temperature is set to 350°F.
A lower temperature is also more forgiving. At a higher temperature, bacon tends to burn quite easily. One moment it's slightly underdone, and five minutes later the edges are burnt. Setting the oven to 350°F helps prevent this from happening.
For crispy bacon, I find that 30 minutes at 350°F is ideal. On the other hand, if you prefer your bacon a little soft, start with just 20 minutes, then check to see if it needs more time.
Oven temperatures and personal preferences vary, so you'll need to experiment until you know what works best for you using your own oven.
There's no need to do that. It will cook beautifully and evenly, especially if you use a lower temperature and a wire rack.
One rimmed baking sheet fits one 8-ounce package, which is about eight slices.
If you need to cook more than one package, simply use two or three baking sheets. The bottom or upper pan will likely cook faster than the middle one. Simply monitor all pans and remove the ones that are ready from the oven.
If you can find pork belly slices at the store, those are also wonderful when baked. They make a great alternative to bacon. They do take more time since they are quite thick, and you need to season them well. But they are absolutely delicious!
Another good option, if you can find it (or order online) is duck bacon. I bake it too, and while it's not as fatty or crispy as pork bacon, it's meaty and flavorful.
And finally, beef bacon is so good. It comes from the belly of the cow, also used to make pastrami. It's perfect for bacon because it's well-marbled and it has a great beefy flavor that the smoking process highlights.
Most of us serve bacon for breakfast with eggs. It goes particularly well with scrambled eggs, and you can cook the bacon first, then use the bacon fat to cook the eggs.
Bacon can also be used in lunch and dinner dishes, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 4 days. Reheat them, covered in a paper towel, in the microwave at 50% power.
You can also eat the leftovers cold. Seriously, cold leftover bacon is very good. Kind of like eating cold deli meat, but even better, because it's bacon. 😍
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Perfect Oven Bacon
- 8 ounces bacon (about 8 strips)
- Spices to taste (optional; you can use freshly ground black pepper, smoked paprika, and/or garlic powder)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack.
- Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the wire rack. You can also arrange them directly on parchment paper instead of using a rack.
- You can sprinkle the bacon with spices if you wish, but this is purely optional. I typically don't.
- Bake until the bacon is as crispy as you want it. I bake it for 30 minutes.
- If you didn't use a rack, place the cooked bacon briefly on paper towels to drain, then serve.