Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 602 Comments

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Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: Why you should bake your bacon.

Bacon from Food52

No, we're not trying to deprive you of one of life's greatest pleasures: cooking bacon in a hot cast iron skillet, watching it curl into crimped little ribbons, smelling it waft up in fierce, meaty clouds, hearing it sputter and stutter like a seventh grade boy asking a girl to the movies.

We are trying to help you cook bacon better.

Because as glorious as cooking bacon on the stove can be, it's also a mess. There is grease all over the kitchen, and all over you. And because a pan is only so big, making a heaping plate of bacon is something that takes a while -- and will leave you smelling like a high-end dog toy.

Instead, you should bake your bacon.

Bacon from Food52

Heat your oven to 400° F. Put your slices of bacon on a baking sheet -- as many as you'd like, just make sure they fit into one layer -- and slide it into the oven. The bacon will sizzle in its own rendered fat, cooking it evenly. And fifteen minutes or so later, you will have those perfect little ribbons -- with minimal cleanup.

Bonus points: Carefully pour the hot bacon fat into a jar, and store it in the fridge. Use as you would lard or butter. 

What's your favorite way to cook bacon? Let us know in the comments! 

Jump to Comments (602)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (602)

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3 days ago Margie House

I bake 10 to 12slices (sometimes more) lay an individual slice on paper towel fold it over lay another slice, fold and repeat until all bacon is in. Put in large zipploc bag and put in freezer, then that out what need and microwave 10-15seconds. Only have 1 mess to clean up for a bunch meals.

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3 days ago Leticia Williams

In the microwave on paper towels, takes about 7 or 8 minutes on high

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3 days ago RockHill Farm Lubec Maine

Just before it's done cooking, lightly dust tops of each slice with sugar to your taste. You will thank me later. Powdered sugar works good also.

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4 days ago Susan Trowbridge

Cooking bacon in your oven is not a mess. And I do it because I get don't like grease popping on me. If you want your house to smell heavenly, buy Maple flavored bacon. Anyone who comes over always asks did you find a new air freshener. I laugh and tell them we had maple bacon for breakfast.

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4 days ago Jesus Garcia

This is the only way I cook bacon...but to make cleanup even easier...parchment paper

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5 days ago Carolyn Bounds

Thanks Phyllis...that oven method I tried and it takes too long and the mess! I give a minute for each slice on my microwave plate ...a paper towel under the bacon and one over it...grease is absorbed and NO MESS! Nice crispy bacon ;)

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5 days ago Phyllis Bremner

I cook my bacon in the microwave on a plate (usually the one i'm going to eat from) in between 2 layers of kitchen paper, soaks up all the grease & no mess.

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5 days ago Jamie L. Bonett

All that grease on the stove top ends up in the oven, smoking and stinking. Takes much longer to clean up. A splatter screen over my skillet on the stove top contains most of the mess. You SAY baking is minimal clean up, but I'm looking at your pan and know from experience the inside of your oven isn't much better after bacon, especially at 400° F. I do bacon at 325° F and still get a horrible mess in the oven. Low and slow on the stove top with one surface to clean as opposed to hot and splattery in the oven with SIX surfaces to clean.

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6 days ago Shari L Burgess

Elevate the bacon by using a small rack layer the bacon over the rack and make sure its long enough to fit over a deep baking pan and let the bacon cook at 375 it will cook through and it won't sit in it's own fat. Then remove the rack and place the bacon on a brown paper bag to drain whats left of the oil then blot it with a paper towel. Yummy no greasy bacon makes beautiful sandwiches.

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5 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Just tried this method. Used a cookie cooling rack and a cookie sheet. Put the oven to 275 and left for about an hour ( it WAS thick cut, though ) came back and it looked pretty dark, almost burned, but not even close. It may have gotten so dark because it was honey bourbon smoked. Baked to perfection!

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5 days ago Jamie L. Bonett

I used to think thick cut was better. It doesn't get crispy like traditional bacon, so if you like your bacon crispy like I do, stick with the regular cut (it's less expensive, too).

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6 days ago Lisa Parker

I only ever cook my bacon on the Foreman

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10 days ago alan

speaking of grills, there is the DeLonghi indoor electric grill which comes with a glass lid and a built in drip tray.

you plug the device into a power outlet and add 1/2 cup of vinegar water to the tray. then lay cold strips across the grills while they warm to medium heat. place the lid on top and go about your business.

after a while you will discover some delicious cooked strips of bacon.

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10 days ago Catrin54

Use my side burner on my grill. Love it!! Keeps the mess and lingering smell out of the house.

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10 days ago Chippy55

In the oven, and as a bonus you can save the drippings, why you ask? Simple: 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings is the secret ingredient to potato salad and in spaghetti sauce. I always brought Mom's potato salad to picnics when I was growing up and my pals always said it was the best (I never it was the secret ingredient till much later).

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6 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

I put a little bacon grease in my home cooked pinto beans when I puree them for mexican food. Yummy

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10 days ago Ella

This has to be the most informative blog ever. I have always made a mess of my bacon. My daughter loves it when my husband makes it though. I never started with a cold pan and it never cooked evenly. I can't wait to try some of the below techniques! Thanks so much!!

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11 days ago Charlie

I used to cook bacon on a cookie sheet as stated, the I added a rack under the bacon on the cookie sheet. Starting with a cold oven I put the bacon in and start the oven. After ten minutes I flip the bacon and wait another ten minutes. Perfect bacon in my oven (ovens vary) and the fat drips below the bacon making it healthier. But I still prefer the bacon without the rack (don't tell my cardiologist).

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15 days ago John Purdum

I have been cooking in the oven for a few years now and love it. I use a Pampered Chef jelly roll pan, no need for foil and I cook a whole pound double-up style for a thicker slice. 400 for 15 to 20, pouring off the fat at 15 and then checking on it until the doneness that I like.

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15 days ago Brianne Copenhaver

The best way I have found to cook bacon is using my nuwave oven. The grease drips down into the tray, the bacon is perfect!

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17 days ago Cal

I 've tried the oven method and like it better than frying, however, cooking bacon in the microwave is so much better. (Spray the bottom of pan with cooking spray, place paper towel on top, layout bacon, cover with another paper towel then cook in microwave. Length of time is dependent upon wattage of microwave. Our time approx. 10 minutes. Using the microwave helps reduce extra heat in the house.) The grease drains, the slices are almost the same length and it is (imo) crisper.

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17 days ago Barbara Manning

I prefer cooking my bacon in the oven it cooks more evenly more crisp and like you said no greases mess everwhere.

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18 days ago Brandy StPierre-Bisbee

Line your cookie sheet with foil and you can just roll up the grease. Clean pan.