Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 456 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 (456)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (456)

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2 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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3 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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3 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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5 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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5 days ago mainesoul

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

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6 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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6 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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7 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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8 days ago Lisa

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

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9 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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9 days ago Peggy

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

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12 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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7 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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12 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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17 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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17 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.

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18 days ago Bernadette

I do it this way as well, except I line one baking sheet with parchment paper (doubling the paper is even better) line up your bacon and top with more parchment paper, then cover the whole thing with another cookie sheet the same size. It keeps the bacon flat, and the grease gets mostly absorbed by the parchment paper. Bacon still needs to be drained a bit on paper towels or napkins, but it comes out flat and crisp and no spatters anywhere.

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19 days ago Wilma Wallace

Use any Kind of bacon, doesn't have to be expensive. In a large paper bag, put in a little flour, brown sugar, lots of black pepper, then your bacon, one stripe at a time and shake well. Put each slice of bacon on a large cookie sheet, put in a 400* oven for about a half hour, to 45 minute, keep watch on them, it is the best bacon I have ever eaten. Wilma Wallace

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18 days ago Danielle Souza

Like a spicy candied bacon? Sounds interesting. What r the measurements for flour and Brown sugar?

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20 days ago Donna Jacobs

I don't know anything about parchment paper. Is that like wax paper. I don't recall seeing it in stores.

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20 days ago Viet Do

It's next to the wax paper, they look very similar but parchment will be more expensive (wax paper burns and tuns to ash when you bake it, parchment holds up well at high temps)

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12 days ago Venice Newling

Michael's usually has it, I know they have it right now because I just picked up some today.

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20 days ago Carrie

I definitely will try my Forman grill. I like it for other things too.

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20 days ago Susan Vinales

I cook my bacon on my George Forman grill. It is slightly at an incline, so all the fat runs into the grease trap, AND it cooks on both sides at the same time. Easy cleanup too!

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20 days ago nan

doesn't the bacon splatter when it's a flat pan with grease all over the oven?

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20 days ago Heather T.

Use a broiler pan. It's safer too. I make about 4lbs at a time, then roll them up in parchment for the next month or so. Makes for easy breakfasts. However, with that much fat, the fat can catch on fire, which is the whole point of a broiler pan.
Save the extra fat for cooking. It's great in cornbread or to fry eggs or tacos.

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19 days ago chris

It's also good for making suet for birds.