Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 386 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 (386)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (386)

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Stringio

about 7 hours ago Helen Wallace

I bake it on a broiler pan that i have sprayed with canola oil bake at 400, grease runs to the bottom and easy clean up, make great BLT sandwhiches because it doesn't curl up when you bake it

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about 14 hours ago jamesprokolyshenjr

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter. Pour out a pile of all-purpose flour onto the wax paper. Carefully lay each strip of bacon in the flour , coating both sides evenly. Pat off any flour that doesn't adhere to bacon. Now FRY the flour coated bacon in a frying pan. Be careful not to burn it. Dry each strip on a paper towel to blot up the grease. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy. You'll never cook bacon the old way again. It's delicious.

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about 9 hours ago Lucy L

Hey James wow, I have to try making bacon with the flour. sounds like something I would like.

Stringio

3 days ago Billy Patscher

i bake my bacon in the oven on a rack so it does't sit in its own fat making it greasy therefore my bacon comes nice & crispy not greasy i heat up the oven a half an hr. & i bake my bacon another half hr. try it it works for me thanks billy

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2 days ago Lucy L

I agree with you. if you check back at my comments, i describ how I too make my bacon on a rack in a low oven 300 degrees, reserving the bacon grease in the pan below the rack, refrig it and use it for frying potatoes or eggs. The bacon comes out crisp and perfectly flat, not curled up. We agree. Lucy

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3 days ago Gerard

I found the best way to cook bacon is on a BBQ grill (mine is electric and works perfectly). I just heat up the grill for 10 minutes, lay 4-6 strips across the grates for about 6-minutes, turn each piece over with a pair of tongs, for another 6-minutes and done. Shut the grill and NO MESS! Works perfectly every time, even in the winter with the grill next to my sliding door on my porch!

Stringio

4 days ago Derek Foster

The English way (as an element in the 'full English' breakfast) is to simply grill the bacon. US bacon never comes out the same as bacon in the States is what we call streaky with no visible lean bacon. When visiting the UK ask for the 'full English andd be amazed.

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4 days ago Heather T.

I bake about 4lbs at a time (a Costco pack worth), then when they are cool, roll them up on parchment into something like a jelly roll. Keep it in a ziplock in the freezer. Then it's easy to get a few strips out in the morning. All that good bacon fat goes into a container to use for cooking.

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about 20 hours ago Sandy

Great idea Heather!

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4 days ago Paulette Kennedy

I just started cooking my bacon in the oven. What I do is put it on a rack and season it with cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder. The grease drips into the pan and I avoid the extra calories. Also, it comes out crispy. Just the way I like it

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4 days ago Lucy L

Thats a great idea Paulette, I also bake mine in the oven,hardly everadd anything to my bacon before placing in the oven on a rack, however, I did once brush the bacon with real maple syrup and it was yummy. We refrig the grease from the bottom of the pan, and use the bacon grease for cooking other foods.

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4 days ago L. Bitting

I burned my face with bacon grease (2nd degree) with bacon in cast iron pan. I personally will use the microwave again & save my electric for heat!

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4 days ago Lucy L

TO L Bitting, sorry to hear how you got burned by Bacon, thats why I bake mine in a drip pan in a slow oven, bacon doesnt curl and fat is in the bottom of the drip pan, which I drain into a glass jar, refrig, and use to fry eggs and homefries. Try it.

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4 days ago Mary V

Drizzle a little maple syrup! Yum!

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4 days ago dtk1952

Yuck! When I have pancakes or waffles they go on a separate plate from my eggs and bacon/sausage. This is because I can't stand the taste of sweet bacon/sausage.

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7 days ago suzanne

I do mine in the microwave. Have for over 30 yrs. Grandson says "grandma makes the best bacon", about 1 min. per slice depending on how u like it

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1 day ago Mark H Johnson

That is the best way to cook bacon. I started with 16 ounces of raw bacon and ended up with just 4 ounces of cooked. All the grease was on paper towels which are thrown away. In other words, I threw away 12 ounces of grease which my heart liked! :>)

Stringio

7 days ago James Miles

Sometimes I fold the strip but right on top of the other half- more like the breast cancer awareness ribbon, so all sides are making contact. Then sandwich them in the George Foreman Grill, let the grease run off and in 5 mins, perfect!

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7 days ago Mario

MICROWAVE IT! Use paper towel/s at bottom and top of bacon on a microwave dish. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 min. depending on crispness preference. It's fast and splatter free since the paper towels absorb all the grease.
Bacon also comes out extra crispy and free of any grease which is lower in calories.

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7 days ago Cecelia Burokas

I love to cook it this way, as well. I would also suggest you check it every couple of minutes, and even move the position slightly for even cooking.

Stringio

8 days ago Viet Do

Restaurants do it by layering them onto baking trays and stacking the trays on top of each other with an empty tray on top, this prevents it splattering everywhere and you get that completely flat bacon restaurants have (note: don't stay more than 2 trays of bacon unless you have a convection oven, even then only go for about 3-4).

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9 days ago Douglas Boyce

I recall loving the curls in bacon for the extra captured "incredibly yummy" grease.
All this hub bub about bacon is incredible.
Thank you Food52 community for being vibeant & alive.

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9 days ago Sarah

also if you want to do it on top of the stove dip the ends in flour and they wont curl

Stringio

9 days ago Kristi McKeown

I put a layer of foil on my cookie sheet, layer that with bacon and then sprinkle sugar all over my wonderful bacons and put in the oven at about 275 degrees and slow cook it til caramelized usually about 2 hours or so and then I have my Candied Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich!

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9 days ago Lucy L

Kristi, yummy , this sounds so good. I am going to have to try making bacon your way and even making it in a BLT sandwich. Thanks for your suggestion. Lucy

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9 days ago dtk1952

To each his/her own. This sounds yuck to me. But, I don't like even syrup getting on my bacon.

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11 days ago TJ

I cook my bacon in the oven and when you put foil on the baking sheet, easy clean up :-).

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11 days ago Terri Waller

I do cook my bacon in the oven. At 400 degrees it take about 25 minutes, however, I too, had to wipe the oven immediately. I put the bacon on a cookie sheet and then put another cookie sheet on top. Problem solved. I'd rather clean two cookie sheets than wipe the oven and the racks!

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14 days ago KayGee

I found cooking bacon in the oven makes for a dirty oven and I didn't like it. Thank the Lord for self-cleaning ovens, but who wants to do that when there are other ways to cook your bacon...

My house has an indoor pit, which means there is a flue, so I have my George Foreman Grill stored there, and when I put bacon on it to cook, there is not a bacon smell permeating the air which is my favorite part of cooking in the pit. There still are times when I will cook my bacon on the stove top, but it doesn't happen often.

In conclusion - I don't like baking my bacon.

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about 20 hours ago Sandy

the smell of cooking bacon is one of the best pleasures of life. coffee, bacon, and fresh cut grass.

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15 days ago R_Wadman

We must be wierdos or something, as 'crisp" bacon gets no attention in our family - bacon yes - well cooked, yes - crisp - heck no. I've been saving and re-using bacon drippings since I started cooking in the 70's... but learned the easiest way to do bulk bacon was in my rectangular electric skillet. I put in about a pint of bacon drippings saved from previous sessions (sometimes as little as a few tablespoons), set it for 300-325. Put in a layer of bacon, slightly overlapping the slices. I can normally fit in a full pound. put on the lid and give it about 5-6 minutes, then lift the lid (watch the steam - and don't let the condensation drain back into the hot oil...) flip the bacon, cover and cook 4 - 6 minutes more. Time depends on hoe much water has been added to the pork. Big national brands (like O.M.) use a very wet "cure" process, old fashioned hard smoked (Nueskes, Amana, Edwards, etc) have very low water content and cook much faster. Stop when it is just well browned and drain on paper towels. If someone wants it crisp I have them roll it in a paper towel and put in microwave for 20-60 seconds depending how crisp they want it. My wife and I prefer to rewarm it rolled in damp paper towels. Gets out more of the grease, and leaves it soft and more easily edible. (Like a good smoked ham). Stays in sandwiches much better than the crispy stuff.