Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 496 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 (496)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (496)

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4 days ago Jean

My grandma's bacon was always different than anyones when I was growing up. Later in life I saw a man buy a package of sliced salt pork and he dipped it in flour and then fried it in the skillet. Seeing the results of that I tried shaking my bacon in a plastic bag of flour and shake off the excess. Just add a slight coating to the bacon and is really good. I fry my bacon on my George Foreman grill and the grease drains down into the little trough you set under the grill to catch it. I would think the oven would soon be a mess cooking bacon in it abd I "hate" to clean the oven!!!

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7 days ago Kimberly Mcdonald-Spires

It doesn't splatter in oven and doesn't burn as long as you watch it. .

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7 days ago Rexene Olson

Good idea, will try!

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7 days ago Rosalie Cummings

Try sprinkling a small amount of chili powder on the bacon before baking. Another is chili powder and brown sugar. Delicious.

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10 days ago Gary Giles

One additional step will make this even more desirable. Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil and clean up is just to remove and discard in the trash. You can even capture the grease in it if you don't save it.

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10 days ago Marilyn Z

Definitely the oven. While it is cooking, I can get the eggs and toast going. We recently had visitors from New Zealand and they had never had OUR type of bacon and were definite converts. Very different from Canadian bacon they are used to.

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10 days ago Patty

I have been cooking my bacon in the over for ages (hate clean up for sure) but I also use aluminum foil - this decreases the clean up time to just letting the grease cool, wrap up and toss....perfect :)

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11 days ago Alfredo

I sort do the same but I do mine in a skillet but put te cover on it and leave it on till I turn it then After it;s cook niceand straight and as crunchy as you want it

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11 days ago Kim Thompson

My mom showed me how to cook bacon like this years ago. One thing that I do to make clean-up much, much quicker...make sure to spray the baling sheet really good with Pam (vegetable cooking spray), if you don't and don't line with foil, the pan is very hard to clean. We've even left it soaking for hours and still hard to clean. The Pam makes it a breeze!

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11 days ago Rexene Olson

It's a good idea even if you do line your pan! Merry Christmas!!

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13 days ago sue

After recently come back from Canada we loved the way they cooked bacon however haven't been able to master it back here in Australia. There's was very sweet, crunchy and sticky and very moreish (if that is a word). Does anyone know how they cook it as i would love to try and do it at home?

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5 days ago Mary

It sounds like some recipes I have read that called for 1/2 cup of brown sugar in a shallow bowl or plate; press bacon into it to coat. Some recipes called for adding a bit of cracked black pepper, or even cayenne (hot) pepper. (That doesn't appeal to me) Then bake in the oven at 375 F to 400 F for 15 to 29 minutes or until as crispy as you like. If you don't have the soft brown sugar like in the US, I would use Demarara or other brown raw sugar. Good Luck.

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13 days ago Dyann Brandow Butcher

I use the broiler pan so the grease go's in the bottom.

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14 days ago Carolyn Bounds

I like my bacon on a paper towel and then covered with a paper towel then placed in the microwave. One minute per slice. Paper towel absorbs the grease and bacon is a dry crisp...not greasy. How often do you have to clean the oven after all that grease spattering?

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2 days ago Terry Murphy

doesn't splatter at all, been doing bacon like this for years never ever had a splatter problem...

Stringio

15 days ago Dyann Brandow Butcher

I cook the bacon in the oven. I do 10 lbs at a time. Put it in a bag with paper towel so when we are camping bacon is done.

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15 days ago Rexene Olson

That's a darn good idea, I can't tell you how much bacon I've cooked over a campfire and all of the critters it has sent sent my way. But I haven't been camping in quite a while, no one to go with at present but you never know I just might meet someone. If you are doing 10 pounds to go on a camping trip either a lot of people are going with you or you are going to be gone a long time!! I like both scenarios! Thank you!!

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9 days ago Mary Cody

You should try a date wrapped in bacon. Oh my so good!

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15 days ago Rexene Olson

No, I've never had it burn unless I forgot i! I line a cookie sheet or smaller with tin foil if it is just me. Don't use the no stick kind, they had a good idea but I think it leaves a flavor that I don't like. Then I put fresh ground pepper on the foil where the bacon will go and granulated garlic powder on it, put the bacon on the pan and do the same thing. You need to play with the bacon, pepper and garlic to see how much you like. Don't use a lot of garlic just enough so your bacon eaters will say this is really good what did you do? And you can just smile and wink!! I put the pan in the oven at 375 to 400 for 20 to 35 minutes. It depends on your oven and how done you like your bacon. I like mine done. They sell bacon that has been peppered but it is more expensive and they only pepper the outside of the slab of bacon. I hope you like it! Oh, I don't turn mine because it cooks in it's own fat but I would if I had it on a rack and you would also have to spice one side at a time but of course you knew that! I hope you enjoy it!!

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15 days ago Gret

Doesn't the bacon burn, or do you add it towards the end? And what temperature?

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15 days ago Kenny Wardlow

you should try a bacon covered turkey is the best turkey you'll ever eat we Used 10 pounds of bacon

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15 days ago Rexene Olson

That sounds so good but my turkey will be a lot smaller. Thank you for the tip!!

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14 days ago callen34

Kenny, you used 10 pounds of bacon to cover and cook a turkey? Really? Sorry, I just find that hard to believe. You must have had at least a quart of bacon fat from all that. Maybe you were joking? :)

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17 days ago Rexene Olson

I've been cooking bacon with a pan covered with tinfoil but I sprinkle it with granulated garlic and lots of fresh ground pepper!

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19 days ago Debra

I place a piece of foil on the cookie sheet and spray a cooling rack with Pam and place the bacon on that. I use that technique with chicken breasts! The drippings from the bacon slide off the foil!

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21 days ago callen34

Now that we have seen many wonderful and great ideas on cooking bacon, what is YOUR PERSONAL favorite new idea after you have had a chance to consider so many new ideas? Have you changed the way you cook bacon? Did you try one or more that just didn't work out for you? Share your ideas!

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15 days ago alan

well, one way that i changed the way i cook bacon is that i have begun buying it fresh as pork belly, rather than sliced, salted, sugared, and smoked. it is considerably cheaper at the asian grocery stores and it's just pork, without all the chemicals. ok ?

so you can use it in lots of recipes. well, ok, i don't happen to have one of my own yet, so i will refer you to steve's recipe which looks very good from here:

http://www.marinhomestead...

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21 days ago alan

this is a great way to cook bake, the best probably, but just be careful, either use a deep dish baking pan or pay close attention when you are removing the bacon from the oven.
years ago i used this method and a shallow baking sheet, and when i removed the bacon, the pan tilted and the hot grease poured onto my arm leaving a scar that is still there to this day.

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21 days ago callen34

Yes, cooking bacon can harm you, not only in that way. It can splatter in the eyes, it can be dripped on the feet, etc.