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How to Cook Bacon in the Oven – Best & Easiest Way

Eating bacon is one of my favorite things to do of all time. I mean honestly, who doesn’t love bacon?! And from this love I’ve discovered the best way to cook it!  Yes, we’re going to show you how to cook bacon in the oven and why it’s the best way! 

how to cook bacon in the oven

I am very excited to write this recipe because once I found out how to cook bacon in the oven, my life changed! I always knew that you could make oven cooked bacon, but I always cooked it on the stove and figured why would I want to change the way I was used to doing it if it was working well that way?

Well, I’m here to tell you that this was the best change I’ve made in a long time, and now it’s the only way I cook bacon. I will never go back. It’s easy to make and delicious, and best of all it doesn’t leave you or your house a mess!

What is the Best Way to Cook Bacon?

Since everyone loves bacon, including me, it’s so easy and so much fun to write this recipe to share with you, because the best way to cook your bacon, is in the oven. 

If you are like me and have made bacon for years on top of your stove, you will enjoy trying this method of baking bacon in the oven because there are so many benefits to doing it this way rather than cooking it on the stove.

Benefits of Cooking Bacon in the Oven

how to cook bacon in the oven

Once you learn to bake your bacon, it will be obvious to you why many people have been doing it this way for years. I never knew how many reasons there would be to cooking bacon in the oven, and now that I’ve learned about them, I want to share them with you.

 Here are just a few of the benefits of cooking bacon in the oven:

  • First of all, using your oven means no more standing at your stove while the bacon cooks, and getting that strong bacon smell all over you!
  • All of the bacon can be cooked at once instead of in batches. That in itself makes it so much easier.
  • The bacon doesn’t have to be turned over as it cooks. This frees you up to do something else while your bacon is cooking.
  • The bacon cooks more evenly in the oven because when it cooks on the stove it only gets heat from the bottom. But when it gets cooked in the oven it receives heat from the top and the bottom which allows more consistency.
  • It lays flat in the oven while it’s cooking instead of on the stove where it curls up and it’s almost impossible to keep the slices flat. As a result, you end up with flat, crispy bacon.
  • The clean up is easier because all the grease stays in the baking pan, whereas when you cook it in the frying pan the grease goes all over the stove, and all over the person doing the cooking. Trust me, I have a lot of experience in this one!

As a result, it’s so much easier to clean.

Is Baking Bacon Healthier than Frying?

how to cook bacon in the oven

You may wonder how healthy oven-baked bacon is in comparison to bacon fried in a pan on the stove. It’s easier to clean, but is it healthier?

When you think of baking other meats in the oven rather than frying them, typically baking is always healthier. The same is true of baking bacon because the grease drips off if you use a baking rack. When you fry bacon it sits in its own grease, and too much of that is never a good idea.

Bacon is allowed on so many diets, for instance, Keto/low carb, Gluten-free. And since everyone loves bacon, it’s a nice compromise to be able to eat such delicious food, especially when you have to give other foods up. 

That doesn’t mean you should go hog-wild. (see what I did there?) Even if you are doing the Keto diet, you shouldn’t be making bacon the #1 ingredient in your diet. Do yourself a favor and don’t consume the whole pound yourself in one meal. Share it with others or spread it out to multiple meals or days. 

Different Types of Bacon

There are different types of bacon. It’s all cut from a pig but depending where on the pig it comes from and how it’s cooked will depend on how it tastes.

American-style Bacon – The best-known bacon is American-style Bacon. It is often cured pork belly or known as side bacon. It’s look is long thick strips with sections of fat. They have flavors of applewood, mesquite, and hickory.

My favorite type of American Bacon is Oscar Mayer. I love it because of the flavor of it and it’s so consistently good. I prefer the thick-cut but the regular cut is super good too.

Canadian Bacon – Then there is Canadian Bacon which is part of the pork loin which is cut from the back of the pig. It’s round and thin and resembles ham more than it does bacon. You may see it with eggs benedict or even in Hawaii on pizza.

Pancetta – Then there is Pancetta which is also cured of the pork belly and is common in Italy. Pancetta in Italian actually translates: “little belly,” so this makes sense since that’s where this cut of meat (and bacon) comes from. They season it with pepper and other spices. It comes in cubes or strips and they serve it with pizza or pasta.  

Turkey Bacon – There is another type of bacon that some people like and that is Turkey Bacon. It’s about 60 % less fat than regular pork bacon. If you are going to buy this I would suggest the Oscar Mayer brand which is the only one that I would make if I wasn’t making regular pork bacon. 

What Ingredients are in This Recipe?

how to cook bacon in the oven

We’re going to keep the ingredients really simple for you. All you need is 1 pound Bacon, that’s it!

What You Need

Here are some instruments you need for cooking bacon in the oven:

  • Baking pan
  • Rack
  • Parchment Paper or foil
  • Tongs
  • Paper Towels

What Temperature to Bake Bacon at?

There are many different temperatures that you could cook your bacon on in the oven. It depends on how quickly you want your bacon to cook. From experience, I feel that 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature to bake bacon at. 

If you cook it on 425 it could start burning if you aren’t watching it closely and if you cook your bacon on 350 or 375 it may be a little too chewy unless you like softer bacon. You will have to try it and pick your favorite temperature depending on how you like it, but 400 is a good starting point.

How Long to Cook Bacon in the Oven?

how to cook bacon in the oven

We think the ideal temperature to cook bacon in the oven is 400 degrees, and at that temperature, it takes 20 minutes to cook perfectly.

Here is a chart of different choices for cooking your bacon in the oven. It will depend on how crispy or not that you want your bacon to be. The thickness of your bacon will depend on cooking time because thick bacon logically takes a little longer to cook than thinner sliced.

Here are a few examples to give you some guidelines:

If you cook bacon in the oven at 350 degrees:

  • Bake it for 22-27 minutes

If you cook bacon in the oven at 375 degrees

  • Bake it for 20-25 minutes

If you cook bacon in the oven at 400 degrees

  • Bake it for 18-23 minutes

If you cook bacon in the oven at 425 degrees

  • Bake it for 15-20 minutes

Again, we think that 400 is the perfect temperature to cook bacon at but use your discretion.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven

how to cook bacon in the oven

Now that we know the basics, it’s time to make baked bacon! There are two ways to bake bacon in the oven and we are going to explain both of them to you:

  1. Cooking Bacon on a Baking Sheet Pan
  2. Baking Bacon on a Cooling Rack

The first thing you need to do is decide on how well done you would like your bacon cooked. This is going to play a big factor in deciding which of these two methods is going to be best for you.

  • Baking bacon flat on a sheet pan is going to give you more tender bacon
  • Baking it on a cooling rack will make your bacon come out crispier.

The choice is up to you and we are going to explain them both…

How to Cook Bacon on a Baking Sheet Pan

The first thing that you need to do is figure out which baking sheet that you have that would be the best for cooking your bacon.  The best baking pan, in my opinion, is a baking sheet that can fit the entire pound of bacon on. It’s a metal pan and measures 13×18. 

Line your sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil because it keeps your bacon from sticking to the pan and it is easier to clean up afterward. You can use either but the one that’s my choice is the parchment paper.

Next, lay out the slices of bacon on the paper or foil, trying not to overlap your slices if possible. I usually lay 10 slices up and down and 2 slices at the top going the other direction.

how to cook bacon in the oven

Place them in the oven, set the timer, and keep your eye on it as it gets close to the suggested time.

how to cook bacon in the oven

When it’s done to your amount of tenderness then use your tongs to remove the slices of bacon and place them on some paper towels to soak up any excess grease.

how to cook bacon in the oven

Enjoy!

How to Bake Bacon on a Cooling Rack

In this method, we’re still going to use a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and after, the next step is to place your rack on top. This is where you will lay your bacon.

how to cook bacon in the oven

Layout your slices of bacon the same way as above, trying not to overlap them.

how to cook bacon in the oven

Place the rack in the oven and set the timer and keep your eye on it. Because it’s elevated up off the sheet and the air is circling above and below the bacon, this makes it dry out quicker.

Make sure that your bacon does not overcook!

how to cook bacon in the oven

When done, remove the slices with your tongs and drain any excess grease onto paper towels. Enjoy!

What Temperature Should Bacon be Cooked to?

Bacon is not like regular raw meat that needs a thermometer to pinpoint when the meat is cooked because bacon is cured. When meat like bacon or ham is cured or smoked, it is prepared for preservation by salting, drying, etc to slow down the spoilage process. 

You could actually eat it as is but it’s much more palatable cooked more.

So if you cook your bacon a little bit, or medium and tender or crispy there is no internal temperature that bacon has to be brought up to.

Cooking Bacon on a Baking Sheet Pan vs. Cooling Rack

The best thing that I can say about the difference between cooking it directly on the sheet pan vs elevating it on a cooling rack is that it depends largely on how you like your bacon cooked.

I’ve tried it all kinds of ways and settled on my favorite. My family likes the bacon best if I line the baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the bacon right on the paper. When you cook it right on the sheet it tends to cook a little quicker, but it also lays right in the grease as it cooks. My family likes that because they like their bacon just a little more tender than if you use the baking rack. 

When you elevate your bacon on the baking rack it tends to be slightly crispier, especially if you use the regular thickness. 

Both ways are good with me, but if you are looking for less cleanup, then bake it right on the paper. If you do this you won’t have to wash the rack which will save you a bunch of time.

Best Tips for Cooking Bacon in the Oven

how to cook bacon in the oven

Because we have made bacon in the oven so many times, I am going to share some important tips with you to make your new experience go smoothly:

  • Use aluminum foil or parchment paper to line your baking sheet to make clean up easier.
  • If you are looking for less clean up then skip the baking rack.
  • Using a rack is going to leave you with crispier bacon, so if that’s how you like it, this is the best way.  Also, the more spacing you leave between the pieces of bacon, the crispier it will come out.
  • Once you get close to the estimated cooking time, keep a close eye on the bacon as it can burn easily if you leave it too long.
  • Make extra bacon ahead of time and put it in a baggie or container and that way you can take out 1 or 2 pieces at a time for breakfast, or top off your salad…etc
  • Don’t throw your bacon grease away. Keep it in your refrigerator and use it to fry things with.

How to Make Oven-Baked Bacon Crispy

Some people like tender bacon and some people like crispy bacon, it’s all a matter of taste. I think we can agree however that the worst thing to do is to make burnt bacon or bacon that is too soggy. So let’s see how to make your bacon to just the right amount of crispness when doing it in the oven.

First of all, using a rack on top of your baking sheet is going to give you crispier bacon 100% of the time instead of cooking it flat right on the parchment paper so by using the baking rack, your bacon will be a little crispier because it’s up out of the grease so the grease actually drips off the meat.

It only makes sense that the thinner your bacon is the quicker that it will cook up and so the thinner cuts of bacon will cook up to be crispier than thicker cuts, so choose according to the way you like it.

When you are placing the bacon on the rack make sure to space the slices of bacon out evenly trying not to overlap them over each other because then the slices will not cook evenly. Your oven baked bacon would, therefore, be crispy on the outside and soggy underneath.

Of course, you need to make sure to watch your bacon as it cooks in the oven so that it doesn’t overcook and become too crispy.

How to Make Bacon More Tender

Some people, like some of my family members, prefer tender bacon over crispy bacon, so here are some suggestions for how to make your oven-baked bacon more tender than crispy.

I would suggest if you want your bacon to be more tender, then cook it a little less.

Cook it on the baking sheet without a rack so that way it will stay more tender.

Cook it at a lower temperature for the same amount of time or cook it at the same temperature for a little less time. My suggestion would be to try it at several different temperatures ways to be able to find what works best for you.

How Much Bacon Can I Make at Once in the Oven?

how to cook bacon in the oven

While you are baking the bacon in your oven you may only want 2 or 3 pieces. After all, one or two people don’t eat a pound of bacon all at once. From my experience just go ahead and bake the whole pound all at once. You can easily fit the whole pound on a good-sized baking sheet and that way.

You could also make a second pound in the oven at the same time if you want to. If you decide to do two at the same time, put the second pound of bacon on another baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Your 2nd sheet of bacon will not cook quite as quickly as the top sheet does so after you take the other one out of the oven, move the 2nd sheet up to the top rack to complete the last few minutes of baking.

Do I Have to Flip Bacon in the Oven?

You may be used to making bacon on the stovetop which you have to use a fork or tongs to flip it over so that you can evenly cook your bacon slices on both sides. 

Happily, when you bake your bacon in the oven you will not have to flip it over during the cooking process. In the oven, it cooks on both sides at the same time, making it a whole lot easier for you. This also means you don’t run the risk of burning your hand while frying, something I’ve done hundreds of times sadly.

Variations on Oven Baked Bacon 

Cooking bacon in the oven is pretty straightforward. The only variation is to bake it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. I prefer using parchment paper. I think it does a better job of making the bacon cook more evenly than the foil does.

If you are using the rack you definitely will want foil or parchment paper under it. Line the baking sheet with the foil or paper and then use a baking rack to elevate the bacon up off the pan. Some people swear by using the rack. I prefer the first way without the rack, but it’s up to you.

How does Rachael Ray Cook Bacon in the Oven?

Many people in the food industry people are talking about Rachael Ray cooking bacon in the oven. You may have also read that she loves to cook it this way and she calls it her “hands-off method.” Her method is very similar to what we’re describing to you as well.

When it comes out of the oven, it’s evenly browned up, perfectly crisp and flat. Plus the fat will drip away. So here you have perfect bacon, without all the mess and grease all over your stove. 

She bakes it in the oven at 375 degrees on a slotted broiler pan or wire rack on top of a baking sheet for 15-18 minutes. 

Every oven is a little bit different so for your oven, it may take a couple of minutes more or less.  

What to Do with Bacon Grease?

how to cook bacon in the oven

I’m sure you have wondered what to do with the leftover bacon grease after cooking your bacon. It certainly does not belong in the garbage or down the drain. 

Sometimes it can be used in preparing other foods if you are looking to add more flavor to your meal.  We really like adding some of the leftover bacon grease to foods such as veggies. This is also helpful if you need to increase the fat for a low carb diet.

After the bacon pan has cooled off enough to handle, just pour it into a cup or plastic container and stick into your refrigerator to chill up. You can store it in your refrigerator for several months and then you can use it to fry things. 

How to Render Bacon Fat

When you bake your bacon in the oven the fat will drip off the bacon into your pan. When you are done cooking your bacon and remove the bacon from the pan, then pour the fat into a jar or container and place it into your refrigerator for future use. That’s called rendering the bacon fat.

How to Safely Dispose of Bacon Grease

If you decide that you don’t want to save your bacon grease, don’t ever throw it down your sink drain. It will clog your sink pipes and create a big problem.

Instead, just wait for it to cool off and then when it’s cooled off it starts to congeal so it will be easy to wipe out of the pan and throw it away, or chill it in a bowl or cup in your refrigerator and then when its hard just throw it directly into the garbage. This is more environmentally friendly than sticking it in a plastic container and throwing the whole thing away.

How to Store Bacon Grease

When your bacon grease cools off you can pour it in a glass jar with a lid or a plastic container with a lid. If there is more room in your storage container, the next time you bake bacon in the oven you can save that grease too and add it to your first batch to top it off.

How to Reuse Leftover Bacon Grease for Cooking

Having a jar or container of bacon grease in my refrigerator has been a staple for years.

Anything that you would fry with oil you could replace with bacon grease. 

My husband makes crab cakes and melts some of the bacon grease, and adds it to them instead of using butter. This concept helps people who can’t eat dairy by using it as a replacement for butter.

We use it to fry our eggs instead of using butter. You could use it to make popcorn on the stove instead of using vegetable oil. Wow…bacon flavored popcorn!!!

You could also use it to add a touch of flavor to soups and stews…. to coat your steaks before grilling or to your roast before baking….

I use it sometimes to add to olive oil to fry things in like chicken or eggplant or zucchini…etc

Sometimes I also use it to stir fry veggies. They come out really well this way giving them much more flavor than usual.

Another thing that bacon grease goes well with is seafood, brush it on your fish to give it extra flavor, and sprinkle some of those extra bacon bits on top of your fish or mix it with your baked scallops.

These are just a few suggestions and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Diets This Recipe is Good for

how to cook bacon in the oven

You might be surprised to know that bacon is actually good for some diets. Here are some examples of diets that this baked bacon would be perfect for:

Keto/Low Carb – One good thing about being on a low carb diet is that most meats have no carbs. We may have to omit certain foods from our diet but bacon is one of the foods we can say YES to!

Gluten-Free – There is also no gluten in meat and once again bacon is a treat that’s allowed when so many other things are not.

Dairy-Free – It’s just meat, no dairy.

Nut-Free – No nuts either in bacon.

What to Serve with Bacon?

The first thing that comes to our minds to serve with bacon is of course eggs!! This is the perfect breakfast. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs?

I also love to take leftover bacon and crumble it up and put it on a salad.

Another one of my favorite things to eat on a low carb diet is bacon-wrapped scallops, who doesn’t love bacon. It makes everything taste so yummy!

Bacon takes any plain roasted veggies and turns them into one of the best creations when you toss some bacon in it. On our website, we have amazing recipes you can add bacon to like our:

How to Store Oven Baked Bacon 

Once you cook your bacon in the oven, chances are that there will be some leftovers. It’s easy to just put the leftover slices into a Ziploc baggie or into an airtight plastic container. 

Seal it tightly and it will keep for a week in your refrigerator. If your house is anything like our house, it won’t last a day or two, let alone a week, people love bacon too much for that to happen!

Other FAQ’s

Do You Need to Preheat the Oven to Cook Bacon?

Preheating the oven is not necessary to make your bacon come out well. I personally don’t preheat the oven because I just want to get it in the oven to start the cooking process. 

By not preheating the oven, the bacon fat renders slowly and can result in evenly cooked bacon. But without preheating your oven you may have to adjust your cooking time a little so keep an eye on your bacon so that it doesn’t burn.

Does Cooking Bacon in the Oven Still Make Your Kitchen Smell?

You will always know that bacon was cooked in your kitchen, even when you bake it in the oven. However, it does not smell as much as it does if you cook it on the stovetop. Most of the smell is self-contained in the walls of the oven and just a little bit escapes, making this one of the big benefits of doing it this way.

Does Bacon Splatter in the Oven?

Cooking your bacon in the oven instead of on top of the stove saves you a lot of splattering mess. I love bacon so I made the sacrifice and cooked it on the stove for years in spite of the greasy mess.

The stove was a big greasy mess, I was a greasy mess, and always had to use an old shirt to fry it because it was inevitable it would be splattered on, and my hair would smell like bacon so a shower was the next step after cooking our beloved bacon.

I’m so happy to tell you that you will not get the splatter mess in the oven because the grease stays put in the baking tray.  Now I can cook bacon anytime I want to without all the mess and just the good taste of bacon!!

how to cook bacon in the oven

More Keto Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Appetizers then try our:

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party or dinner!

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how to cook bacon in the oven

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven – Best & Easiest Way


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings (1 Slice Per Serving)

Description

Bacon is one of my favorite things to write about….after all, who doesn’t love bacon! Here is our Complete Guide to How to Cook Bacon in the Oven.

Whether you like it crispy or tender, oven-baked bacon comes out amazing every time!


Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Bacon

Instructions

In this section, we are going to explain to you how to make both tender bacon and crispy bacon in your oven.

Tender Bacon

Crispy Bacon

Notes

0 NET Carbs

Make extra bacon ahead of time and wrap it properly and store it in the refrigerator for a week. Use if for breakfast or for a salad topping…etc.

If you are looking for less clean up then skip the rack step. You will get good results without it.

For less clean up make sure to line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. When the bacon is cooked just throw the liner out. You barely have to wash the sheet. If you don’t line the sheet it will need some scrubbing.

If you like your bacon crispy then cook it on a rack over a baking sheet because by elevating it off the tray it will be crispier because its not sitting in the grease.

If you like your bacon tender then cook it directly on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and it will come out more tender.

Once you get closer to the timer going off begin to check it so that it doesn’t burn.

  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: How to Cook Bacon in the Oven, bacon in the oven, oven bacon, how to bake bacon, how to bake bacon recipe, cooking bacon in the oven, bake bacon, oven baked bacon, oven cooked bacon

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