Yes, you can bake bacon in the oven! For perfectly crispy oven baked bacon, bake in a 350°F oven. Bacon cooks more evenly at a lower temperature.
Baking bacon in the oven has been a lifesaver for me. We eat a lot of bacon in this household. You do the math: we are a family of four. If each of us eats 2 slices of bacon per day (which I don’t think is excessive), that’s an entire package of bacon per day. Seven packages per week!
It’s not that cooking bacon in a skillet is hard. But it does require constant attention and frequent turning of the bacon. Plus, if you want to cook 2 packages of bacon at once, baking bacon in the oven is the most efficient way to do it.
But… should you cook bacon in the oven?
Yes! Absolutely. Bacon in the oven cooks evenly and comes out beautifully crispy. I actually learned this method many years ago from The Best Recipe Cookbook by Cook’s Illustrated. So you know this is reliable advice. 😀
I tried it for the first time when we hosted a brunch and I wanted to cook 2 packages of bacon. The only way to do that without going crazy was to use two rimmed baking sheets, and bake the bacon in the oven. It worked! The bacon came out beautiful – tasty and crispy and just perfect. So ever since then, I’ve been baking bacon in the oven.
How long do you cook bacon in the oven?
Many recipes for bacon in the oven will instruct you to cook bacon at 400°F. This is not bad advice, but from experience, bacon cooks much more evenly when baked in the oven at a lower temperature of 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 the bacon 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 bacon slices directly on the parchment.
For crispy bacon, I find that 20 minutes at 350°F is ideal, although you could bake even longer if you like your bacon super crispy. If you like your bacon a little soft, try 15 minutes.
What type of pan should I use?
Whether you use a wire rack or not, you should definitely use a rimmed baking sheet to prevent bacon grease from dripping onto the oven floor and causing a grease fire.
Should I flip the bacon slices midway through baking?
When cooking bacon in the oven, there’s no need to flip the bacon strips midway through baking. They will cook beautifully and evenly, especially if you use a lower temperature and a wire rack.
How much bacon can I cook in the oven?
As for how much bacon you can cook in the oven, one rimmed baking sheet fits one 8-oz package of bacon, or 8 slices. If you need to cook more bacon, use two or three baking sheets.
How to prevent grease splatters?
If you use a rimmed baking sheet and bake the bacon 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 as it bakes with a sheet of parchment paper.
What to do with leftover baked bacon?
You can keep leftover bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days. Reheat it, covered in a paper towel, in the microwave on 50% power. You can also eat bacon cold – seriously, it’s very good. Kind of like eating cold deli meat, but even better, ’cause it’s bacon!
What to do with the bacon grease?
Whatever you do, don’t pour it down the drain or it will clog your sink!
Apart from not pouring it down the drain, what you do with bacon grease is up to you. You can mop it with paper towels and throw them in the trash. Or strain the bacon grease through a fine mesh strainer into a glass jar. Then seal it and keep in the fridge for later use.
Use bacon 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.
But wait, is bacon healthy?
Bacon, even natural uncured bacon, is a highly processed food, so I wouldn’t classify it as healthy. However, I don’t think it’s any worse than other processed meats. The high fat content isn’t an issue in my opinion. Here’s a good, unbiased article on the pros and cons of bacon.
Personally, I agree with the author’s bottom line: bacon in moderation is fine. How do I define moderation? A couple of slices a day. For your own body, and your own family, you should do what you feel comfortable with.
Bacon in the oven: give it a try!
Cooking bacon in the oven is so much easier than pan frying. Frankly, I’m astounded that most packages of bacon 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 bacon in the oven is best.
By the way, if you can find pork belly slices at the store, those are also wonderful when baked in the oven, although they do take more time, since they are much thicker than bacon.
Bacon In The Oven
- 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.