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An easy step-by-step guide on how to bake bacon in the oven. Less mess and better bacon every time!
“This was really good. I am not cooking it any other way now. A bit crispy on the outside and tender inside. Easy clean up and a great time saver.” – Julie
Why You Should Bake Bacon
For years I tried to cook bacon either in a frying pan or the microwave.
Holy greasy mess, Batman! But, I learned a restaurant industry secret a while back: just bake it! I promise you’ll have perfect bacon every time without all the clean-up.
What Kind of Bacon Should I Use?
When cooking bacon in the oven, you can use any type of bacon you prefer. However, the thickness of the bacon can affect the cooking time, so keep this in mind when selecting your bacon. Here are some common types of bacon you can use:
- Regular bacon: This is the most common type of bacon and is usually sliced to a medium thickness.
- Thick-cut bacon: This bacon is sliced thicker than regular bacon and can take longer to cook in the oven.
- Center-cut bacon: This bacon is cut from the center of the pork belly and has less fat than regular bacon, making it a bit healthier.
- Turkey bacon: This bacon is made from turkey meat and is a leaner option than traditional pork bacon. It can also be cooked in the oven using the same method as regular bacon.
When selecting your bacon, look for packages that are well-sealed and have a fresh, pink color. Avoid any packages that have a grayish or brownish hue, as this can indicate that the bacon is old or has been exposed to air.
How to Bake Bacon in the Oven (The Best Way)
Follow these simple steps for how churn out perfectly cooked bacon every time!
Preheat the Oven
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prepare Baking Sheet
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
Place a metal cooling rack on top of the baking sheet. Line the bacon up side by side, making sure the pieces do not overlap.
Bake the Bacon
Pop it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes for thinner bacon and 25-30 minutes for thicker bacon.
Timing will really depend on the bacon but it will likely fall into this range. Just keep an eye on it and bake it to your desired crispiness level.
Let It Cool
After the bacon is done baking, remove it from the oven and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any extra grease.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven Without a Rack
Don’t have a baking rack to put on top of a sheet pan ? No problem. You can still cook bacon in the oven by following these steps:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Lay the bacon slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are not touching each other.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes for thin-cut bacon and about 20 minutes for thicker bacon, or until the bacon is crispy and browned to your liking.
- Use tongs or a spatula to remove the bacon from the baking sheet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.
How to Know When Bacon Is Done
There are a few signs to look for to determine if your bacon is done cooking:
- Color: Bacon should be cooked until it’s golden brown in color. If it’s still pale or pink, it’s not fully cooked.
- Texture: When bacon is done, it should be crispy and easy to break apart. If it’s still soft and rubbery, it needs more time in the oven. (Although my husband may disagree with me on this one!)
- Smell: When the bacon is fully cooked, the aroma will be savory, strong and appetizing…and act as a cologne or perfume on you, as well as a home deodorizer, the rest of the day. 😉
- Grease: As the bacon cooks, it will release fat drippings onto the rimmed baking sheet. When the bacon is done, the grease should be clear and not too dark. If it’s dark brown or black, the bacon is overcooked and may taste burnt. Tip: Save the grease in a glass jar and use it to cook eggs, chicken, and many other dishes to add big-time flavor.
It’s important to keep an eye on the bacon as it cooks to avoid burning it. Cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the bacon slices and your desired level of crispiness, so check the bacon frequently to ensure it’s cooked to your liking. Once you’re confident that the bacon is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
Can You Freeze Cooked Bacon?
Yes! You can easily freeze cooked bacon or raw bacon to use in recipes.
How to freeze uncooked bacon:
Just store the package in the freezer. Assuming the package is still airtight, it should be good up to 6 months. Just let it safely thaw before cooking it.
How to freeze cooked bacon:
Let the bacon fully cool and drain off grease. Place bacon in an airtight container, reducing air exposure as much as possible.
How to reheat cooked, frozen bacon:
Let frozen bacon come to room temperature (this should only take 5-10 minutes). Either microwave for 15-20 seconds or reheat in a toaster oven for a few minutes.
More FAQs Answered
What oven temp should I cook bacon?
The fastest and most effective way to to bake bacon is at 400°F. I recommend placing the bacon on a cooking rack that’s on top of a rimmed baking sheet, to catch all the drippings. Line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
How long to bake bacon at 400°F?
If the bacon is layed out on a cooking rack on top of a rimmed sheet pan, then thin-cut bacon will take 20-25 minutes and thick-cut bacon will take 25-30 minutes.
If you do not use the cooking rack and place the bacon directly on the sheet pan, the bacon will cook faster but will be greasier and messier. Remove it to plate that’s lined with paper towels to drain the grease.
Can you cook frozen bacon?
It is not recommended to cook frozen bacon in the oven or on the stovetop because it can cause uneven cooking and increase the risk of undercooked or overcooked bacon.
If you need to thaw frozen bacon before cooking, the safest and recommended method is to thaw it in the refrigerator. Simply place the bacon in a container or on a plate and put it in the refrigerator overnight. This slow thawing process will help ensure that the bacon is fully thawed and ready to cook evenly.
Or, a faster and safe thawing method for bacon is to use the cold water method. To do this, place the sealed package of bacon in a bowl or clean sink that’s filled with cold water. Change out the water every 30 minutes until the bacon is thawed. This method will likely take 30-60 minutes.
Once the bacon is fully thawed, you can cook it using your preferred method.
Recipes That Use Bacon
Now it’s time to use up that glorious bacon, if there’s any left after snacking. Try some of these popular recipes.
Congratulations! Now you know how to cook bacon in the oven. I’m guessing you’ll never go back to those messier, greasier methods. 🙂
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- 1 pound bacon
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- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Place a metal rack on top of the baking sheet. Line the bacon up side by side, making sure the pieces do not overlap.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes for thin-cut bacon or 25-30 minutes for thick-cut bacon, depending on your desired doneness. That’s it!
Where We Buy Our Bacon: Our favorite uncured, sugar-free bacon is from ButcherBox. Read my honest review of this healthy meat subscription box service. I’ve been getting their boxes for years now!