Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 111 Comments

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! 

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Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (111)

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about 17 hours ago sondra

I just found out cooking my bacon in a George Foreman cooker is awesome, no splatter mess and it cooks to perfection, no checking it every two minutes or so either. I'll never cook bacon any other way now!

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1 day ago Kat

Place one layer of dampened paper towels on a large non-stick cookie sheet to cover bottom. On top of the dampened paper towels place a grill rack, then place thick slices of bacon on the rack sprinkled with a generous amount of coarse ground black pepper over slices of bacon or an amount to individual preference. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes (oven temperatures vary therefore check after 6-7 minutes). When bacon rendered, bubbling, and brown remove sheet from oven, turn bacon, return to oven and bake until done to liking. After bacon cooked and removed from oven, place a single layer of paper towel over bacon to absorb excess fat (if you prefer) and serve. When cookie sheet cooled, remove and dispose of the greasy paper towels. Clean up is minimal as most of the baked-on dripping are contained on the paper towels. This has been a favorite of all I have shared this method with and add another level of flavor to a BLT.

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1 day ago Judith

My husband would love it but I'm not a fan of black pepper at all. I'd brush my slices with maple syrup.

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2 days ago Gret

Hope you take it out of zip lock first :)

Stringio

2 days ago Agustin A Nieves

Preheat the oven @ 400º
Pour ½ cup of packed brown sugar and one Tbsp in a large Ziploc bag, toss a pound of thick cut bacon and bake for 15-20 minutes. DAYUM!!

Stringio

2 days ago Agustin A Nieves

Damn, I meant one Tbsp of Dijon mustard

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3 days ago C.Dodd

Yep Rachael Ray taught us how to cook

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3 days ago Judith

Not me! I have granddaughters older than her! Furthermore, many of the techniques she uses I learned from my grandmothers - and I'm 73!

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3 days ago Cooker

Cooker: I like to bake mine in the oven a short time, 15 min. And then drain on paper towel . I put the amount that we eat in a Baggie and freeze it , when we want bacon , I put it on paper towel in the microwave for 15 seconds or in the fry pan before I fry the eggs , and zippo, breakfast or bacon and lettuce sandwiches are ready pronto ! I bake 2-3lbs at a time. Less grease , healthier . The parchment paper , I will add to my cooking . Thanks

Stringio

2 days ago Bott Sandra

I put my bacon in the microwave, with a papertowel over it, draining out the grease every so often. Quick, easy, no mess.

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4 days ago Pat

Many years ago, my mother put a few tablespoons of flour into a lunch bag, added bacon slices, folded down top of bag and shook it so the bacon was coated with flour. Then put it in an iron skillet or frying pan or a griddle and let it cook. It's extra crunchy and absolutely delicious. Whenever I serve bacon to guests they always adopt this recipe!

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4 days ago Judith

Wow! Now THAT is new to me but it makes a lot of sense. So I am definitely going to try it. Thank you!

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5 days ago Darlene101

Have been baking bacon in the over for years. If you don't like it crispy, then bake it for less time. But bacon done in the oven, comes out crispy, evenly cooked and seems not to shrink as much as in the skillet. For an added treat, especially if you're making bacon for future salads, add brown sugar to the slices on the baking sheet before you bake. You get a great carmelized bacon that is delicious crumbled on salads, or an added treat for BLT's. Try it. 400 degree oven for 10 -15 minutes (tops!) It cooks quite quickly so start watching it at 10 minutes.

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5 days ago Judith

I've baked it, broiled it, microwaved it, fried it - and baking or broiling are best for large batches. Microwaving is okay in a pinch but only in a pinch - I find the result a bit rubbery. Frying is a real pain.

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6 days ago Kay Norm Walls

I've been baking my bacon for YEARS! It's better though if you do it on your broiler pan. The bacon is evenly cooked and most of all your bacon isn't saturated in the melted fat but the flavor and texture is perfect! It works for crispy bacon or not so crispy bacon, whichever way you like it.

Stringio

10 days ago Graham Ian Mann Gogs

If the bacon in the picture is what the author is used to then ill pass its nothing but fat what did the pig dies from cardiac arrest?

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13 days ago pam

I don't eat bacon but I find that steaming it in a skillet ensures that it cooks evenly, gets crispy and renders all the fat.

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13 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

I love bacon and have tried many different brands. if you do't make your own try Honey Baked Farms bacon and, no I have no financial interest in Honey Baked Farms! I trim excess fat from my bacon strips and either broil or fry, buty clogging

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about 2 hours ago Stanley Richard Leacock

I don't know what I meant by "making your own", I believe I was referring to those who by bacon in slabs. Also, don't know what "Buty Clogging" means. I think I had too much cooking wine that day.Sorry!

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21 days ago Nancy

I don't like my bacon lying in the grease! I love the baconwave nice crispy bacon without the grease. Nancy

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24 days ago Joe

Joe
The best and easiest no clean-up BBQ. Works great!!!!!

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about 1 month ago lisa hewes

Put your bacon on parchment paper first then bake

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6 days ago Rosemarie

The only way to go in my book. Slide the parchment paper with all the fat off the baking sheet into a garbage bag and you are left with a practically clean baking sheet.

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2 months ago Barb Sallee

Depending on how fatty the bacon is, sometimes I'll put it on a rack and bake it - with foil below to make clean up even easier. Or, I'll brush it with maple syrup before & during baking.

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2 months ago jslade

I also cook my bacon in the oven. I spread maple syrup and brown sugar on each slice. I cook it at 325*, at a lower heat to render the fat slowly. I also place the bacon on a rack so the fat drips. When the bacon is cooked you get a caramelized sweet and salty bacon. Delicious!

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10 days ago BuySide

jslade, I do something similar, a paste of brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and soy sauce. Save a few pieces, let them cool and use with some asparagus or a green bean in your favorite Bloody Mary!

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2 months ago Elvi

I cook my bacon in the oven under the broiler. It takes less than 15 minutes. Make sure to leave the oven door a little open or else your fire alarm will go off when you open the door to take out the bacon. :)

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2 months ago susan

I boil the bacon and throw the water out after a bit. it's supposed to leach out the nitrates. you really do not lose much flavor. I sometimes add some olive oil to continue the slow cook either in covered iron pan or in the oven.