Learn to bake perfect crispy and delicious bacon in the oven with no splatter mess to clean up. Super easy, just pop it in the oven and do something else for a while—perfect bacon every time.
You will never fry bacon on the stovetop again. Learn to "fry" in the oven—perfect every time.
How many times have you stood at the stove cooking bacon? You splatter everything, plus those annoying "burns" on your hands. It wrinkles and rolls up. You have a hard time getting the ends to uncurl and cook. And if you're cooking for company, you are missing all the action.
But it is unnecessary to go through all that, just put it on a tray and bake it. You can preheat or not preheat, cook a little or a lot, you end up with perfect bacon every time.
I initially thought the taste would be different if oven-baked. Nope, it tastes the same. Your days for frying bacon are now gone.
A very high five. How could great bacon be anything else?
Bacon is salt-cured meat that is from pigs. That “curing” is done by soaking in salt, nitrates, and occasionally with some sugar and smoke.
Various cuts of pork are used for bacon worldwide, but it is mostly the belly or side belly in the USA.
Generally, the bacon will have about 50% fat and needs to be cooked at a higher temperature to render the fat.
Thinner bacon will cook faster and tend to stick more, so parchment paper may be preferred to foil. Bacon with more sugar will also tend to stick more.
I usually use thick-sliced Hormel Black Label bacon. But this will work with the bacon of your choice. Just get the bacon you love.
400° is the most common suggested temperature. I usually use 400° convection. But I have used as low as 350° up to 450° in conjunction with baking other dishes simultaneously.
You can use convection if you want. Remember 400° convection is approximately equivalent to 425° conventional oven.
The bacon can go into a cold oven but add some time but has a lot of variability between ovens.
18-20 minutes is generally about right for medium thick bacon in a 400° oven. It will vary by the thickness and type of the bacon, exact oven temperature, and your desired level of browning—cook to the crispiness you want and never by time, so always check it a few times early.
Thinner bacon will cook a bit faster, while thick bacon will take a few extra minutes to get to your perfect results. Some brands of bacon are cured differently, and time may vary,
Use a rimmed half sheet pan (18 by 13 inches). It will hold 8 to 10 slices of bacon which is about ½ pound or a bit more.
Use a sheet of extra-wide aluminum foil to help with cleanup. It will do just fine directly on the pan, but easy clean-up is always good.
If you have sticking issues, like bacon cured with sugar or thinner bacon, put a layer of parchment paper on the foil or use a "non-stick" type foil.
No, many will suggest a rack, but I don't see that it is needed, and it adds to the cleanup work.
Refrigerated for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in a microwave wrapped in a paper towel. Cooked bacon can also be frozen for up to a month.
Yes, strain and refrigerate in a glass container with a lid. Great for frying an egg or use it to add more flavor to sauteed or roasted vegetables and other places where you want to add a hint of bacon.
Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional. Or start with a cold oven and add a few minutes. You can use a lower or higher temperature if needed for other dishes and but it will affect the cooking time.
Line an 18-inch × 13-inch rimmed sheet pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil (heavy-duty preferred) and turned up edges. Place bacon close together but not touching. 8-10 pieces, about ½ pound, will usually fit. If you make thinner bacon or have issues with sticking, then parchment paper on the foil will help.
Place in the middle of the oven and check occasionally. Time will vary with the thickness of the bacon and your taste. Most bacon will take about 18-20 minutes. Thinner bacon will cook faster, and thick bacon may take a few minutes more, so check a few times early.
Cook to the crispiness you want. I like my bacon very crispy, so I usually bake for 20-22 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 8-10 slices bacon
- aluminum foil - to cover tray
- parchment paper - if needed
- Preheat oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional. Or start with a cold oven and add a few minutes. You can use a lower or higher temperature if needed.
- Line an 18-inch × 13-inch rimmed sheet pan with a large sheet of aluminum foil (heavy-duty preferred) and turned up edges. Place bacon close together but not touching. 8-10 pieces, about ½ pound, will usually fit. If you are cooking thinner bacon or have issues with sticking, then parchment paper on the foil will help.
- Place in the middle of the oven and check occasionally. Time will vary with the thickness of the bacon and your taste. Most bacon will take about 18-20 minutes. Thinner bacon will cook faster, and thick bacon may take a few more minutes, so be alert check it a few times early if you are unsure.
- It is done when you reach the crispiness you want. I like my bacon very crispy, so I usually bake for 20-22 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- A half-pound of bacon or a bit more will usually fit an 18-inch × 13-inch sheet pan.
- You do not have to preheat the oven. It just takes a bit longer.
- I have done this with oven temperatures from 350° to 425°. With or without convention. Just adjust time some.
- Thinner bacon cooks faster. Very thick bacon will take a few minutes longer.
- Thinner bacon and bacon with more sugar and will tend to stick. Use a layer of parchment paper if you are unsure or have a problem.
- No flipping or rack is needed, although some people will use them.
- It is done when it looks done to your taste.
- I generally do two sheet pans at a time in a convection oven. I rotate them 180-degrees and switch the top to bottom at 10 minutes.
- Cooked bacon is good refrigerated for 4-5 days and frozen for one month.
- Reheat bacon in a microwave covered with a paper towel for about 8-10 seconds per piece. If frozen, thaw first.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally published October 8, 2011, and updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.