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 than cooking it on the stovetop and allows you to multitask in the kitchen. If you’ve never baked bacon, give it a try!
So what do you serve your bacon with? Well, everything! Including my poached eggs, soft and hard boiled eggs and fried eggs. And you can’t forget my paleo pancakes (and dipping bacon in that maple syrup – yum).
Cooking Bacon in the Oven
When it comes to the most perfectly crispy, evenly cooked bacon you really can’t beat cooking bacon in the oven. But it’s amazing how many people have never tried it. It seems the stovetop reigns supreme.
Today I’ll share with you why you should change your habits and cook bacon in the oven. And trust me, once you cook bacon in the oven, you’ll never cook it on the stovetop again!
Cooking bacon on the stove creates splatters all over your stove top and produces hot spots on the pan. This means certain pieces of bacon may cook faster than others. And it’s why you might have some bacon slices that accidentally charcoal a bit too much while other slices are still undercooked.
Cooking bacon in the oven cooks all of your bacon slices evenly as the heat surrounds them. They slowly sizzle, don’t splatter and end up evenly cooked. It’s a beautiful thing.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
It’s incredibly easy! Though it always helps to watch a quick video tutorial. Watch the video below!
Oven Baked Bacon – In 5 Steps
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the bacon slices on the baking sheet.
- Cook the bacon for 18-20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you’d like.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Benefits of Cooking Bacon in the Oven
- First, you can cook for a crowd (and sometimes that crowd is just your immediate family). This is key for the holidays or when lots of people descend on your house. It’s also HUGE for helping you keep your sanity in the kitchen with the masses.
- Second, cooking bacon in the oven is way cleaner than cooking bacon on the stove. I’m notorious for getting splatters 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 splatters because the bacon just sizzles until it’s perfectly crispy (or done to your liking).
- Lastly, cooking bacon in the oven allows you to multitask 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 pancakes or waffles.
A Few More Tips
- Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper (or don’t line it at all – but that’s messy). With parchment paper it’s as simple as tearing off a piece, placing the bacon on top and cooking.
- 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 cooling rack (and those buggers are hard to clean).
- 400 degrees fahrenheit works well for both regular and thick cut bacon. Heat your oven and cook the bacon for 18-20 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.
What to do with Bacon Grease? Save it!
If you purchase organic bacon, as I do, definitely consider rendering and saving the bacon grease. Not only does bacon grease 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.
Here’s how to render bacon grease:
- Once you’ve cooked your bacon, remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
- 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 over the sieve and 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 grease 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.
Tasty Recipes with Crispy Bacon
- Bacon Deviled Eggs
- Cobb Salad
- Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro, Lime and Bacon Slaw
- Broccoli Salad
- BLT Salad with Avocado and Sprouts
- Baked Eggs in Avocado
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven (Easy & Crispy)
- 8 bacon slices
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, then place the bacon side-by-side on the tray.
- Cook the bacon for 18-20 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. Then 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 it in the refrigerator for future cooking needs.
- If you don't have a heavy-duty baking sheet I recommend purchasing some. They never warp or bend in the oven!
- Please note that all ovens cook slightly differently. It's best to keep an eye on the bacon past the 10 minute mark so you can ensure it's cooked to your personal preference.
Recipe originally published December 2016, but updated with new photos and information.