Baking bacon in the oven is easy! For perfectly crispy results, set the oven temperature to 350°F. Bacon cooks more evenly at a lower temperature.
Baking bacon (try to say it three times fast!) has been a lifesaver for me. It’s not that using a skillet is difficult. But it does require constant attention and frequent turning of the strips.
I’m astounded that most packages still give pan-frying instructions as the first option. I haven’t fried bacon in years.
Perhaps it makes sense to pan fry if you cook 2-3 slices. But for anything more than that, baking is best.
But SHOULD you bake bacon in the oven?
Yes! Absolutely. When cooked this way, it bakes evenly and comes out beautifully crispy.
I tried it for the first time when we hosted a brunch and I wanted to cook two packages. The only way to do that without going crazy was to use two rimmed baking sheets and bake instead of frying.
It worked! The bacon came out beautiful – tasty and crispy and just perfect. So ever since then, I’ve been using this method.
How to bake bacon in the oven?
Many recipes will instruct you to heat your oven to 400°F. This is not bad advice. But from 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, five minutes later the edges are burnt.
Baking at 350°F also enables you to use parchment paper rather than foil, if you’re concerned about exposing your food to aluminum.
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 parchment paper and arrange the slices directly on the parchment paper.
For crispy bacon, I find that 20 minutes at 350°F is ideal. Although you could bake for longer if you like it extra crispy. On the other hand, if you prefer it a little soft, try cooking it for 15 minutes.
What type of pan should I use when baking bacon in the oven?
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 causing a grease fire.
Should I flip the slices midway through cooking?
There’s no need to do that. They will cook beautifully and evenly, especially if you use a lower temperature and a wire rack.
How much bacon can I bake in the oven?
One rimmed baking sheet fits one 8-oz package, which is about eight slices. If you need to cook more than one package, simply use two or three baking sheets.
How to prevent grease splatters?
If you use a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F, it actually 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.
What to do with leftovers?
After baking bacon in the oven, you can keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. Reheat them, covered in a paper towel, in the microwave on 50% power.
You can also eat the leftovers cold – seriously, it’s very good. Kind of like eating cold deli meat, but even better!
What to do with the grease?
Whatever you do, 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 after baking bacon in the oven is up to you. You can mop it with paper towels and throw them in the trash.
Or strain the grease through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass jar. Then seal it and keep in the fridge for later use.
You can use the grease 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.
Isn’t bacon unhealthy?
For your own body, and your own family, you should do what you feel comfortable with. And if you’d rather avoid bacon, that’s just fine.
A fresh unprocessed alternative: pork belly
If you can find pork belly slices at the store, those are also wonderful when baked. They make a great alternative to baking bacon in the oven.
They do take more time since they are quite thick. But they are delicious, and they are probably healthier since they’re not processed or cured.
Bacon In The Oven Recipe
- 8 oz bacon (about 8 strips)
- Preheat 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 the bacon slices directly on parchment paper instead of using a rack.
- Bake until the bacon is as crispy as you want it. I bake for 20 minutes.
- If you didn’t use a rack, place the baked bacon briefly on paper towels to drain, then serve.