Baked Bacon: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Cooking bacon in the oven creates perfectly crispy, delicious bacon. It’s also super easy, creates less mess and allows you to multi-task in the kitchen.
One of the joys of visiting my brother in OC (on top of seeing my niece and nephew, of course) is that I totally get pampered when it comes to breakfast. My brother, who up until a few years ago never really stepped foot in the kitchen, has become quite adept at green smoothies and healthy cooking. And shocker of shockers, he actually admits to having learned a few things from his little sis in the realm of real food and wellness. Wowzers. Proud sis am I!
When I was at his place few weeks ago he whipped up scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. He’d just gotten some shiny new stainless steel pots and pans and wanted to try them out. It was a fab idea, except the largest of his pans is what I’d consider a medium-sized pan. And with three adults and 2 kids, it took quite a while to make enough bacon to feed the hungry crowd.
When I mentioned to my brother that he should cook bacon in the oven, he looked at me a little confused. Like, say what? You mean you can do that? So Alan (if you’re reading this) today’s post and video are for you. Just trust me, oven baked bacon will make all your future egg and bacon breakfasts a million times easier.
Watch the video and learn how to cook bacon in the oven:
In the video above I mention three key benefits for cooking bacon in the oven. So let’s review. First, you can cook for a crowd (and sometimes that crowd is just your immediate family). But with the holidays next week and lots of people likely descending on your house, this is HUGE for helping you keep your sanity in the kitchen.
Second, cooking bacon in the oven is way cleaner than cooking bacon on the stove. I’m notorious for getting spatters all over the stovetop because I probably cook my bacon a bit too hot. But when you cook bacon in the oven you don’t get any spatters because the bacon just sizzles until it’s perfectly crispy (or done to your liking).
And lastly, cooking bacon in the oven allows you to multi-task in the kitchen. Because once you toss that sheet pan of glorious bacon in the oven, you’re free for about 15 minutes to whip up some eggs or make a batch of healthy pancakes.
Here’s a few more tips for cooking bacon in the oven:
Line a large sheet pan with either parchment paper or aluminum foil (or don’t line it at all – but that’s messy). I prefer parchment paper because it’s as simple as tearing off a piece, placing the bacon on top and cooking. With aluminum foil you may have to use two pieces to cover your pan (unless you’ve got the extra wide foil). I also have the clutzy tendency to knick or accidentally tear the aluminum foil, which then dirties my sheet pan underneath with grease.
Big question – should you place the bacon on a cooling rack to cook? I don’t think so. I tried it and the difference is negligible. But then I had to clean a cooking rack (and those buggers are hard to clean).
When it comes to temperatures, 400 degrees fahrenheit works well for both regular and thick cut bacon. So heat your oven and cook the bacon for 10-15 minutes or until it’s reached your desired level of crispiness. I do rotate the pan halfway through, just to ensure even cooking, but that’s it. And remember that your bacon will continue to crisp up once it dries.
How to render bacon fat
When I was a kid I remember being grossed out that my mom would “save” bacon fat in a little tub in the refrigerator. And when friends asked, I just waved it off like “oh, it’s a kiwi thing” – ha. Today, after realizing that fat isn’t the devil we all thought it was in the 90’s, I do the same thing. Not only does bacon fat impart a richness of flavor into braised meats and other dishes, it has a high smoke point which means it’s far more stable to cook with.
So here’s how to render the bacon fat. Once you’ve cooked your bacon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Then, line a fine mesh sieve with another paper towel (you could also use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth) and pour the hot bacon grease into a glass jar. Note, it’s important to use glass and not plastic, as you’ll melt plastic with hot bacon grease.
You can see in the photo above that I had some previous bacon fat already in my glass jar that’s opaque and lighter in color. When I have a new batch of bacon, I just pour this straight on top then cover the jar and refrigerate it.
So what do I use my rendered bacon fat for? Oh, just about everything. It’s what I fry my eggs in and how I sear pretty much any meat. It’s also great for sautéed or roasted vegetables to add depth and flavor.
- 1 package of bacon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Place the bacon side-by-side on the tray, then cook for 10-15 minutes or until it's reached your desired level of crispiness.
- Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the bacon with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate.
- If you're rendering the bacon fat, line a fine mesh sieve with a paper towel, nut milk bag or piece of cheesecloth.
- Place the sieve over a glass storage container and pour the bacon fat from the sheet tray into the sieve.
- Cover the glass storage container and place in the refrigerator for future cooking.
Other healthy cooking videos you might like:
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