Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 346 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 (346)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (346)

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2 days ago Terri

Here is the old fashioned approach...I put on an apron and use a cast iron pot on medium heat...the bacon cooks in its own fat....and with cast iron it comes out soooo crispy...no need to press it down..to clean I go outside pour the grease out and hit it with the hose...all clean!!..shame on you microwavers for iradicating your food!!!

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1 day ago chris

I've been using the grease to make suet for the birds. Recycling I guess.

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2 days ago Kathy Crosby White

Been doing this a very long time. No mess with a foil lined pan!! And you can sprinkle toppings on it if you like; ground pepper or brown sugar or maple syrup for a little change in your regular bacon!

Stringio

2 days ago Delorah Mims

Definitely been doing this forever makes great bacon...hate that they didn't mention to line your pan with foil...after the oil cools fold and discard. ZERO MESS is the BEST!

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4 days ago 1Busydad

My favorite way to bacon delight is two slices carefully rolled up in a single 1/2 sheet of choose-your-size paper towel and cooked at full power in my 900 watt microwave for 2 min. and 45 sec. Rolling (or folding) the bacon in the paper toweling means no spatter and no grease drips. For a full pound of bacon, I use a cookie sheet and a piece of parchment paper and carefully lay out the bacon strips as close as possible without touching, and bake at 350 degrees F until almost crispy. It crisps up as it cools. When I do it this way. I can pour off the rendered fat to freeze and use later.

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7 days ago Dave

I cook it in my panini press! Done in 3 minutes, flat, perfect, crispy, & evenly cooked. Move it to paper towel on a plate ready to eat. Boom.
The panini press is non- stick. Shut it off let it cool a bit, tilt it to a front corner dump the fat into a cup. A quick rinse, wipe & I'm done. Far faster, better results than a microwave, less energy and time than a oven, even less clean up.

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8 days ago Julie

I zap my bacon in the microwave for four (4) minutes. I put it on a plate between two paper towels. Comes out VERY VERY crisp and crunchy. Perfect for everyone who eats it.

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9 days ago Douglas Boyce

I feel as though all my life, until now, I have been preparing bacon incorrectly. Baking the bacon is my new standard. sprinkled with salt and or a TB of apple juice

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9 days ago Cynthia LaRochelle

Line the baking pan with foil & the pan stays clean with no scrubbing.

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9 days ago Lucy L

I make my bacon, one layer on the roasting tray that comes with your stove, its a one inch deep tray with a tray on top of that with open slats for fat to drip down into the one inch tray below. i bake it slowly in a preheated 300 degree oven and as the fat melts off, my bacon isnt laying in its own fat. Naturally, I save the liquid bacon grease in a covered Jar in the refrig to use many other ways with the delicious flavor of bacon grease. The bacon is done crispy, fully cooked but not burnt or crinkled up to one inch. Best way ever. Lucy L

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13 days ago BTR

Have been doing this for years.. Buy bacon when it is on sale and cook/bake up to 5 or 6 pounds on cooling racks placed on baking pans. Minimum shrinkage as well with baking. When drained and cool place in single layer on trays in the freezer and then transfer to flat storage containers. When the urge for bacon hits simply remove a few pieces and place on paper towel in microwave for 10 to 20 seconds depending on how much there is. Perfect every time and you only have the bacon mess/smells once. My grown kids now refer to this as my bacon marathon.

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15 days ago robin lewis

i don't know how to get myself off this particular thread...i love food52 but this bacon thread is way overdone for me.

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4 days ago Nancy Duggan

You'll never get away!

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about 6 hours ago Jewels Ot

Hahaha Nancy Duggan... I had that same thought... you'll find me on this page days later

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15 days ago chris

I for one wouldn't mind seeing some if they're all about the bacon.

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15 days ago chris

Is it appropriate to add recipes?

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15 days ago Hillerns

Hi, @Food52. I might humbly ask that we put this discussion to bed. Or simply, that when I click off of the "Send me emails about new comments" check box, that it truly stops sending me notifications. A quick tally would suggest that 85% of these comments are the same, and the better part of the other 15% disagree whether foil eases clean-up or whether the microwave is actually better. Okay, thanks!

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15 days ago Susan Griessel Sonstegard

I find the bacon to be too soft & greasy soaking in all the liquid fat as it cooks, so I bake it laid out on a short baking or cooling rack placed on a baking sheet. The fat drips off & the bacon crisps up better.

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15 days ago Renj

HI, I PLACE THE BACON WITH A BIT OF ITS JUICE IN A NON STICK FRYING PAN, CHOP UP SOME ONIONS, SOME JELAPINOS OR CHILLIES, A BIT OF THYME AND CUT UP A TOMATOE, ADD ALL THIS IN THE PAN WITH THE BACON, ADD A BIT OF SALT AND PEPPER AND WALA, SERVE IT. NO THIS IS NOT OMELETTE!!!

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15 days ago chris

Yum!

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4 days ago Nancy Duggan

Love your caps, they're so, LOUD!

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16 days ago joyce warner

Icook my bacon in the oven and have for 25 years.before backing I mix flour salt and pepper in a plastic bag derop in a few slices at a time until covered .then lay out on the sheet pan. no popping no mess and taste great.
joyce warner

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16 days ago Jesse Beans

My wife cooks bacon the old fashioned way in the toaster.

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16 days ago Jesse Beans

I just put the whole package of bacon in the microwave and nuke it for exactly 24 minutes.

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16 days ago chris

I've never had it splatter that much. I drain the grease out of the pan every so often during cooking. A self-cleaning oven helps too. :)