Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 287 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! 

Jump to Comments (287)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (287)

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1 day ago Travelin Bob

Try your microwave! Lay two pieces of paper towel on a microwaveable plate. Lay bacon strips parallel on the towel, palcing one piece of paper towel on top of the bacon. Microwave on high 1 minute per strip. Remove and place new paper towel down and repeat the process for 15 seconds to 2 minutes depending on how many slices and how crispy you want the bacon. The most fat is extracted and with a little practice, the bacon is perfect every time. Travelin Bob

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2 days ago Pamela Flowers

My family has been cooking it this was for years. It's delicious, but it does make a mess of your oven.

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2 days ago Kim

Directly on the gas grill. Low medium heat. Renders the fat out and you can cook a pound in about ten minutes.

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3 days ago Jim

I put aluminum foil on Weber grill making an edge so rendered fat doesn't drip onto the coals. Easy to cook, easy to clean after, and no lingering odors in the house. And the most important part: the bacon has awesome flavor. I fry eggs on the foil afterward in the bacon fat. No better flavor can be had.

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3 days ago pat

home sick watching gomer pyle cooking bacon for generals breakfast. He sprinkled sugar very lightly over bacon. It turned darker but the taste is yummy for the tummy.

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4 days ago chris

That sounds delicious! I make something sort of similar in the oven. I wrap the slices around thin breadsticks, lay them close together on a baking sheet covered with Release foil and sprinkle them with half dark brown/half light brown sugar. I bake them at 325 till browned and crisp, about 55 minutes, drain the fat, and move them to parchment paper before they cool too much. they're a big hit on holidays.

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3 days ago dtk1952

Yuck, both of you make me want to upchuck. Ruining bacon with syrup or brown sugar should be against the law.

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3 days ago chris

Sorry, I didn't know you had a sensitive stomach.

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2 days ago dtk1952

Not a sensitive stomach, hate the taste of sweetness on my bacon or sausage.

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4 days ago Nastynatedogg

I'm surprised no one has mention deep frying. It is the absolute shit. Coat the bacon in maple syrup, then dust it with brown sugar and throw it in the deep fryer. Best thing I've ever eaten. I thought deep frying would make it too crispy or something but nope. Came out still soft, perfectly cooked, and delicious.

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3 days ago dtk1952

It sounds just like you said, SH*T.

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4 days ago BuffaloBillie

I can't resist sharing my method! Being a widow, I buy 2 pounds of bacon, set up my electric skillet on the patio, cook it all at one time, place onto a baking sheet, pop in the freezer till it's stiff, then put into freezer bags. I have bacon, fully cooked, anytime I want it. The smell is outside, as are the spatters and I have the grease for jalapeno cornbread, beans, etc. Oh so simple!

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5 days ago thomas cappiello

Could just buy the already-cooked stuff too and not even mess with it

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5 days ago chris

Now you're talkin'

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5 days ago FlagranteDelicto

Another useful tip for bacon rendering... dip our soldiers bullets in bacon grease before we send them to Syria and Iraq. The smell of gunfire will remind our sons and daughters of home and we blow ISIS terrorists straight to Islamic hell. Win-Win.

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6 days ago Heidi Snowden

Lay your bacon on your back after laying in the sun to preheat. You don't have to put on lotion. Sun bathe for 3 hours

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6 days ago Ajax

smokin!

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6 days ago Ajax

And then spend an hour trying to clean the pan.
Add a sheet of that new nonstick foil or regular foil, Maybe Pam.

Or just do like the author does, let the pan season and don't clean it :-)

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6 days ago jeff james

Right, Judith and Heidi and others. I see two options: get Food52 to kill this puppy, or to begin writing humorous suggestions on cooking bacon so we can at least laugh at the foolishness. The 5 hours in the sun suggestion may be a start. How's about cooking it only on hot days when you can place it on your car's hood?

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6 days ago Heidi Snowden

High Five Judith!

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6 days ago Heidi Snowden

ENOUGH ALREADY ABOUT THE #%+¥€$@& BACON

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6 days ago Judith

Thank you! Yours is the only comment I've replied to in about a week hoping that it would all go away! It hasn't, unfortunately. As you said, ENOUGH ALREADY!

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6 days ago dtk1952

If you don't like it, don't read it. Here's a hanky to share with Heidi, it was dipped in bacon grease.

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6 days ago John

I place the bacon on a sheet of aluminum foil and into the backyard on a sunny day for 5 hours each side. You need to be cautious since groundhogs and other small animals love the scent of bacon and will come for a free meal.

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6 days ago Vivian Jefferson

I cook bacon in the toaster oven. Easy, peasy and do not have to heat the big oven

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7 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

I have read many responses to "how to cook bacon" and there truly is only way to cook bacon and that is the traditional way that our fathers and forefathers cooked it and that is FRYING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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6 days ago dtk1952

I agree, frying tastes best. But, when I'm in a hurry I will nuke it using a rack called "MAKIN BACON". This can be bought at Walmart or Amazon.com. In about 2 1/2 min. you have 8 slices of bacon to throw on a BLT. What I like about it is that it is made in USA, not a Chinese piece of junk.

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7 days ago rob

I have a 14" non-stick frying pan, I use a very low heat, (2 out of 9), and put the bacon in it first thing. Usually have to turn twice. It takes about 20 minutes, but the bacon becomes very crispy, very straight, not curled up or mangled. Works great, don't have to heat up the oven.

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7 days ago Nancy Niedziela

I highly recommend cooking bacon in the microwave oven on paper towels.
Towels absorb a great deal of the melted fat...cooks in 2-3 minutes. No

messy clean up. Nancy Niedziela

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6 days ago Ajax

i do micro with paper towel over and under, 3 minutes then check. I then put in freezer for 5 minutes and it comes out crisp.