Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 318 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 (318)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (318)

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about 12 hours ago aquilafoster

I have baked my bacon for some time now. It allows me to do other things toward the meal while the bacon is cooking. The stove remains clean as well. It's a winner!

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1 day ago cindy way

I broil my bacon so it isn't laying in the fat

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2 days ago David Kazer

TRIGS SLAB BACON IS DA BOMB DIGGITY BACON !
MINOCQUA WISCONSIN JUST SAYIN YA'LL

Stringio

3 days ago Kathy Kendall

I've cooked bacon that way for years, especially when I want to cook a lot of it. I learnt that from my mother.

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4 days ago John Yeats

I tried cooking mine on my George Foreman grill, and I will never go back to frying in a pan again. The bacon gets perfectly cooked, with minimal splatter and mess. I have one of the older Foreman grills, not the big one, so I have to cut the bacon in half, but it's worth the time to cook it this way.

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4 days ago marlene

frying pan bacon and a bacon press will keep the bacon flat, when done place on paper towel and press out the grease best way to do it , rather than starting up the oven(especially on hot days)

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5 days ago Jim

Thick sliced. And I have to repeat, their bacon is darned wonderful. I may be wrong here but I think that if you call them and ask for simply the bacon or any other product, without all the "fancy" shipping boxes, the price becomes more in line with their butcher shop rather than the typical gift orders. Thick sliced is the thing.

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5 days ago John

Thanks a million Mate, will do. Go Packers!!!

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5 days ago Hillerns

Nueske's is decent, yes. Depends on what you look for in bacon and how you use it. I buy an incredible local double-smoked bacon, in slab, from International Meats here at home in Portland, Oregon. It's my favorite, hands-down. Or I do my own. But on a (somewhat) national retail level, I would recommend Vande Rose Farms Artisan Dry-Cured Bacon, the Applewood-smoked option.

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5 days ago John

Thanks Hill, I will also give this one a try.

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5 days ago Jim

Without any question, Nueske's applewood smoked bacon is at the top of the heap. No, I do not work there, I simply eat this incredible pork as often as I can. Bt in reality, all their meats are incredible. I am fortunate enough to get to drive past their shop on my way to Packers football in Green Bay. Awesome stuff, try it: http://www.nueskes.com... not no but hell no, I do not work there or have any interests there. It's simply the best.

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5 days ago John

Thanks for the heads up & link Jim...I'll give it a try.

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5 days ago John

PS- Jim, do you recommend the thick or thin sliced version?

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5 days ago John

Now for the important question...What's the best brand bacon to use?

Stringio

6 days ago Douglas Boyd

I put mine on a low broil until it looks cooked on top and them I flip it.

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7 days ago Facesof Divas

I put mine on the George foreman grill

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10 days ago Rob

Foil lined sheet - 10-12 strips center / thick cut bacon; gas grill with indirect heat at 400; 18 - 20 minutes (chewy to crispy); house does not smell like bacon for days (but you may have neighbors coming over to ask what you are cooking on the grill...), no inside mess to clean up; easy sheet pan cleanup, and house does not get heated on hot summer days with oven use. Outside cooking rocks!

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12 days ago RT

Line baking pan with parchment paper & bake bacon in the oven. When it's done, roll up the parchment paper & put in the trash. You won't have to wash the baking pan!

Stringio

13 days ago We B Hermits

Y'think all that spattering isn't getting all over inside your oven? You lead a really sheltered life! Yes, I occasionally bake bacon in the oven, but I don't deceive myself that the mess isn't still happening. I also use a 12x24" griddle which will hold ten or twelve slices at once, and they cook just as nicely that way.

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14 days ago Peg Isler

I put two layers of paper towels on my microwave pan add bacon,top w/1paper towel,cook four min.or till done.
Very crisp,all fat is soaked up.
The oven way,can cause a fire.

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15 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

It is fun and it's great to see not only different ways people prepare bacon, but also the participation is great and its not hate mail!

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15 days ago chris

But talking about bacon is fun.

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16 days ago Judith

ENOUGH WITH THE DARNED BACON - PLEASE! Yesterday (8/30/14) was National Bacon Day and now that it's over it's time to shut down this article once and for all. If we all just stop replying then this forum will die of attritrion, so this is my last comment and I urge everyone to follow my lead. I've even unchecked the box so that I will no longer eceive emails about new comments. Enough has been enough for a very long time already!

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16 days ago dtk1952

You don't like the comments then don't read them. Is somebody forcing you to read them? You may not see this as you say you unchecked yourself, but, that's okay.

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16 days ago Donna smythe

I also bake it in oven but with foil covered pan, then ezey pezey clean up. Line all pans with foil for ribs, lasangna then no messy pans to clean.