Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 463 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 (463)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (463)

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about 19 hours ago Chris Jackson

Wake n bacon

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2 days ago BuffaloBillie

I buy 2 pounds of bacon at a time. I fry it in my square electric skillet outside! All the spatter and fumes go with the wind. The grease is put into a can which I keep in the fridge for beans, etc.

I freeze the slices individually, place them in a freezer bag and have as much as I need without any bother whatsoever. Easy as pie!

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2 days ago Vicki

I love nothing better than to cook up the bacon, cut a couple (or more) pieces into small bits, and add it to my hot oatmeal! It is completely delicioso! You can even do the bacon ahead, and store it in the fridge until ready for it (yes, I also use the oven, but with a piece of foil liner, turned up to catch the grease for later use in other projects).

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2 days ago glorian

If only making 4-6 slices I line a plate with paper towels put the bacon slices on top and cover it with another layer of paper towels...no grease mess and their perfect. About 3minutes in my micro.

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2 days ago me

I bake at 400 the only difference, I line my cookie sheet with parchment paper. I makes cleaning a breeze. For those who keep the drippings for gravy or cooking, you can drain and the paper turns into a funnel to get the goodness into the container, or if don't keep it, you let cool on the paper gently fold and discard. This also saves your drain from getting a coating of bacon fat.

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3 days ago Michael J. Marrapese

On the George Foreman Grill Baby. "BEST BACON EVER!" And, the fat that runs off is pure and clean as though it has been filtered. Perfect for frying Chicken Patties or Chicken Fried Steak. Just make sure it is hot before adding your meat to the pan or it will absorb too much grease before it sears the meat.

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5 days ago Mj

I usually cook mine in the microwave. I live alone and I am a widow so the microwave is faster and easier for this Senior Citizen. Now if my grandchildren stayed overnight I like the idea of baking them in the oven.

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6 days ago jn

This is wrong. You DON'T preheat your oven. You put the pan of bacon in the cold oven and then turn the oven on to 400 degrees. It generally takes 18-22 minutes.

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6 days ago onesixbysixbull

When I was in basic training at Ft. Jackson, the cooks also baked their bacon on large sheet pans but they put the bacon over the top of long spoon handles where the grease would drip off.

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9 days ago deecie

Forgive me for not reading all the comments. Every time I try this my house gets so Smokey and I'm afraid of a fire. What could I be doing wrong? I'm doing 400°. Someone also suggested cooking payback like this, but it's awful.

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9 days ago mainesoul

My oven smokes at high heat when it is not clean.

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3 days ago Diana Degollado Christian

You could also have the bacon too close to the top of the oven. There is still fat that's going to pop and splatter and it may be splashing on the heating element itself.

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9 days ago CookOnTheFly

Wow-o-rama! I was a skeptic, but just tried it. I used thick-cut bacon, put it on parchment and baked it for 15 minutes. Then I flipped the bacon and stuck it back in the oven for another 5 mins. Took it out again, drained off the fat and stuck it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Took it out and flipped it again and did another 5 minutes. PERFECT. I am sold!

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9 days ago Jerri Jackson

This is the way I have cooked my bacon for the last 45 years. Never on top of the stove

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10 days ago Lynda Casenhiser Thorn

I've been cooking bacon this way for years. Line your baking pan with foil and clean up is a snap....keeps the pan looking nice too!

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11 days ago Lisa

Hey kids! Parchment paper is too expensive use a brown paper bag it works great!

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12 days ago Doll Phace

I do my bacon in the oven but I cover it with brown sugar the kids love it

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13 days ago Peggy

Use parchment paperfor even easier clean up! Started baking bacon many years ago.

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15 days ago Robert Winiarski

Guess I'll stick with the microwave method. I can do six slices in about 4 minutes using a paper plate and paper towels. Bacon crisp and dry....not greasy. Throw the plate/towels in the trash and voila. Yea, I have to forfeit the grease for other uses but it's a trade off.

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10 days ago Barbara Scott

The grease tastes great, but is a major artery clogger. No loss from my point of view. Will try your method.

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15 days ago Kelly Wharton Flores

I use thick sliced bacon. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack, without legs extended, onto the cookie sheet. Line the bacon single layer and flat on the rack. Place another layer of parchment paper over the bacon. Lay another empty baking sheet on top. Cook 400 °F for 15 minutes and you have nice, flat, crispy, but lower fat and less greasy bacon.

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21 days ago Carol Page

Oh, yum, re: chocolate chips, etc. just got some bacon in my Peapod delivery. I'll experiment tomorrow.

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21 days ago maryburns

This is also how I prepare bacon, but I sprinkle on a little brown sugar and fresh cracked pepper and for special mornings I add a line the strips with a few mini chocolate chips in the last few minutes of baking.