Never fry bacon on the stovetop again. Learn to "fry" in the oven—perfect crisp bacon every time with no splatter mess to clean. Just cook it in the oven and do something else for a while—perfect bacon every time.
How often have you stood at the stovetop cooking bacon in a skillet? You splatter everything, plus those annoying "burns" on your hands. The bacon strips wrinkle and roll up. You have a hard time getting the ends to uncurl and cook. And if you're cooking for company, you miss 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, cook a little or a lot, and end up with perfectly crispy bacon every time.
👨🍳How to make perfect bacon in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 400° convection or 425° conventional oven.
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil. No rack is needed and if you have sticking problems, add a piece of parchment paper.
- Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer, not touching or overlapping on the tray. You can batch cook two trays at once if using convection by rotating the trays upper to the lower rack and 180°.
- Bake until the bacon reaches the desired color—about 20 minutes.
- Drain on paper towels.
⏰How long to cook
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 faster, while thick-cut bacon will take a few extra minutes to achieve perfect results. Some brands of bacon are cured differently, and time may vary.
🌡️What oven temperature to use for this recipe
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 time, but it has a lot of variability between ovens.
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 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.
No, it is not needed.
While you can cook turkey bacon in the oven like pork bacon, it is thinner and much leaner. Cooking time will be 8 to 12 minutes—pay close attention.
The bacon fat can be strained and refrigerated in a glass container with a lid for 3-6 months. Great for frying an egg or using it to add more flavor to sauteed or roasted vegetables and other places where you want to add a hint of bacon.
If unstrained, the fat can turn bad quicker as the food particles decay.
❄️Storage of Leftovers
Refrigerate 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.
This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the 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, 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 the 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-cut 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 it for 20-22 minutes. Drain on paper towels on a plate.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven - Step by Step
- 8-10 slices bacon
- aluminum foil - to cover tray
- parchment paper - if needed
- Preheat the 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, 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 the 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-cut 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 it for 20-22 minutes. Drain on paper towels on a plate.
Your Own Private Notes
- 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 the time some.
- Thinner bacon cooks faster. Very thick bacon will take a few minutes longer.
- Thinner bacon and bacon with more sugar 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.