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The Best Way to Cook Bacon

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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: We're re-running one of our favorite tips for mess-free bacon with ease. Here's 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, and hearing it sputter and stutter like a seventh grade boy asking a girl to the movies.

We're trying to help you cook bacon better.

More: Make sriracha maple bacon for a morning (or anytime) kick

Because as glorious as cooking bacon on the stove can be, it's also a mess. There's 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

Here's how: heat your oven to 400° F, put slices of bacon on a baking sheet—as many as you'd like, just make sure they fit in one layer—and slide it into the oven. The bacon will sizzle in its own rendered fat, cooking evenly. Just 15 minutes or so later, you'll have those perfect little pork ribbons—with minimal cleanup.

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

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

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

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Comments (780)


about 19 hours ago Lawrence Keesler

I LIKE your style of bacon, Ms. Lisano! Let me know when you're cooking your next batch. ;)


about 21 hours ago Shelly Miller Lisano

I bake my bacon!! Place it on a wire rack and you don't have to wait for it to drain. I also place a sheet of foil over the top to reduce splatters in my oven!! I also bake it at 375 for a few minutes longer-- the bacon stays a little softer, not as crispy-burnt as when cooking at 400.


2 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Sorry. No microwave in the world can cook it like frying or baking it.


3 days ago QB

Just microwave it.


3 days ago Kerry

That's the way I cook my bacon the only difference is I use a baking sheet but I put a wire rack in the baking sheet,you still have rendered fat but the bacon dosen't sit in the fat.


3 days ago Well Sauced

I always bake my bacon! And sometimes for a little treat I will brush each slice with a mixture of Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Try it!!


about 1 month ago Lawrence Keesler

The host of a B&B we visited baked extra-thick bacon, but she dredged each slice in self-rising flour first. After slow-baking the end result was bacon that retained considerably more flavor [spell that "fat"] and tasted heavenly!


2 months ago Susan

Just based some bacon! Baked on a rack over a sheet pan. Added a little brown sugar just before it was done.


2 months ago Rebecca Leon

This method is fantastic. This was my best bacon experience ever. 400°, cold oven, lined with foil, topped with parchment paper. No cleanup.


2 months ago Lisa Basta

I do the same thing but on the grill. This way, even though the smell is glorious, it does not stay in the house for days.


2 months ago SIU_Avalanche

I line my broiler pan with parchment. After baking and removing the bacon I spread flour and bake some more - creating my roux for quick gravy down the road. Easy, nice and brown, great flavour!!


2 months ago Lisa Salerno

what a great idea.. I sometimes will take the excess fat, pour it and a variety of other ingredients into the food processor, and then use the unwashed pan to make liver brownies for my dogs :)


2 months ago Geoff Suk

Line the pan with oversized foil first and you can just lift the grease and mess out of the pan. No cleanup!


2 months ago Lisa Salerno

cold oven, 400 degrees. on parchment, so I don't have to scrub the pan as hard. perfect.


2 months ago Lisa Moore

As much as I love Food52, I love bacon even more. Here is my recipe for perfectly cooked bacon. Low and slow. I think 400 is way to high in the oven. I prefer cooking in a NON preheated 300 degree oven to prevent bacon shrinkage. Wrap a sheet pan in foil for the easiest clean up. Place a grid rack on top of the sheet pan. Many cookie cooling racks are not oven safe so be sure to check yours! Cook until desired crispness. Save the fat. Ditch the foil. Done. Perfect every time. Paper towels and pig never a perfect combination make. And this latest trend of adding water to a pan to cook bacon is just sillinessin my humble opinion.


3 days ago Mary

I completely agree with your humble opinion!


2 months ago Sandi Busselman Whistler

I cook mine in the oven, on a rack in a baking sheet. Minimal, if any, splatter.
Microwave just doesn't do it justice! Agree with poster who said, bacon is an occasional treat, spend the money for good bacon and do it the oven!


2 months ago Sydney Carter

Oh the impatient! Nuke away if you're eating Oscar Mayer bacon. If you've reserved bacon for a well deserved treat, spend the $$$ buy something otherworldly, then bake or fry to slow caramelized goodness! You are paying for that fat as well so save it to transform the lowliest potato dish to splendid magnificence by the addition of a tsp (Tbs) of this magical elixer! I highly recomend straining out the solids thru a unbleached coffee filter in a jar funnel, this lasts almost indefinitely in the freezer or fridge. A pantry staple in our house.


2 months ago juglide


To me the cleanest and easiest way to cook bacon and get it nice and crisp and flat is to lay down two sheets of paper towel on a large plate, lay down the bacon strips and cover with one piece of toweling. Put in the microwave on high anywhere between 5 and 7 minutes depending on the number of strips and thickness. It comes out perfect every time - roll up the paper towel and throw away.


3 days ago QB

Yep, no fuss, no muss.


2 months ago Jack EE

I use a smoker set at about 350 with maple wood. I have the bacon on a cookie cooling rack, over a piece of doubled up parachment, in a baking tray.
I tried taking about 8 pieces and weaving them into a lattice square, cooking and using the resulting squares for bacon cheeseburgers! Outstanding! Guaranteed a piece of bacon in every bite!


2 months ago Susabella

And then your oven ends up a greasy mess.


2 months ago Kat

I have baked bacon for years but the best part is i place it after on paper towels, let it cool, then plac e it between parchment paper in a ziplck bag and freeze it. This way i have bacon ready at any given time for any recipe. I cook 3 lbs thick smoked bacon at a time.