Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 135 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 (135)

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about 18 hours ago Cee

Cooking bacon in the oven is definitely the best way. However, please reduce the temperature. High heat causes bacon shrinkage plus the high heat can be a danger factor with all that oil. Set the oven around 250-300 degrees and be patient. Your bacon will turn out picture perfect.

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about 21 hours ago Pam

I cook my bacon by cutting it in half or thirds and placing it in a large (6 to 8 quart) stock pot on medium low heat. I only have to stir it 3 or 4 times before it is cooked. I don't have to worry about cleaning up the grease and the bacon is already in bite sized pieces. BONUS...I found a place in Hampton, Nebraska called Pleasant Hill Grains that sells all types of cooked, canned meat. Their bacon is really good! The best part, besides the taste of their meats, is that it will keep on the shelf for a very long time and since it is already cooked, you can use it whenever you need a quick meal. They have pork, beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc. Here is their web site: www.pleasanthillgrain.com... ENJOY!

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1 day ago Gret

Don't do it in the toaster oven, because of the confining space & fat can get too hot & splatter.

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1 day ago Stanley Richard Leacock

anybody ever tried "Wrights?" Very good taste and very, very lean, however, its gone up in price $2:00 within the last year and a half (here in Atlanta)

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1 day ago Stanley Richard Leacock

P.S. I think that everyone who has contributed ways and means of preparing this choice morsel should consider themselves a loyal and faithful member of the "BACONEERS!"

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about 8 hours ago tastysweet

That is the only bacon I buy. Fantastic. But I look through all the packages for a narrow cut. Thick but narrow. For us that is the best. Don't like wide cut. And I do it in the microwave. It gets dry and crisp. comes out perfect every time v

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about 8 hours ago tastysweet

Oh,and yes it has gone up it price. We shop at Publix here in Bonita Springs, FL. And their prices are pretty fair.

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1 day ago Jerry

Can the bacon be cooked, the same way, in a toaster oven?

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1 day ago Stanley Richard Leacock

Not well! tried it and under the "Broil" setting, it took a while

Stringio

about 19 hours ago April Walsh

It worked for me. I do it at 425 for 15 minutes and it comes out well

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1 day ago Gail Jackson

I think the best way to cook bacon is put foil on your cookie sheet and put a cookie cooling rack on top, place bacon on it and the fat in on the foil and the bacon is frying in it in the pan. Drain the oil, throw away the foil and clean pan. Oh, BTW, spray the rack with cooking spray and it cleans completely. If you cook the bacon in a lower temp, the fat renders out better than cooking it at high temperatures and it doesn't splatter on your oven.

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1 day ago pam

Me too! Just horrible what society does in the name of "food"!

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1 day ago Ray

I've given up meat a long time ago realizing the horrific things these animals go through. Believe me you can give up bacon too. There's Morningstar Farms veggie bacon and vegan bacon bits. It satisfies me enough.

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1 day ago Judith

I'm an omnivore, as human beings were meant to be. We have the teeth and digestive system that enable us to assimilate and derive nourishment from both meats and veggies. Also, I've always wondered why so many vegetarian/vegan products are made to taste like meat as much as possible, like your Morningstar Farms veggie bacon. I don't want to be satisfied "enough" - I want to be satisfied, period. Also, my guess is that you probably use things every day that you don't know are likely to contain animal products/byproducts, like tires, wood glue, fabric softener... And are you aware that scientific studies have proven that plants that are cut/uprooted/picked show electrical disturbances that show they actually do "feel?" Your choice to be a vegetarian or a vegan is up to you, period, and it doesn't matter whether I agree or not and I don't disrespect you for your choice. But, by the same token, I don't want to be disrespected for mine.

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1 day ago Ray

Plants do not feel pain i don't think besides how can you compare what happens to a plant the same as what happens to an animal. To me eating meat is the same thing as eating a cat or a dog. Animals are all the same. I try to do whatever I can to eliminate animal dependency from my life. I've never heard of the things you mention containing animal products but who knows but there's nothing I can do if tires have animal products. Of course i don't use leather. Sure they try and make things taste like meat so people will buy it.

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about 18 hours ago Judith

Here's just one link to the responses plants have to stimuli. There are many others but this is the latest.
http://www.pri.org/stories...
Domestic cats and dogs eat meat unless some misguided vegetarian/vegan pet owners attempt to turn them into vegetarians/vegans. They need animal protein for health, which is why pet foods contain meat/poultry/fish. The complete protein from the correctly proportioned mixture of, say, rice and beans, just doesn't do it for cats and dogs - they ultimately get sick. Your comment, "Sure they try and make things taste like meat so people will buy it" is rather funny as far as I'm concerned. All that tells me is that people want the taste of meat and crave the taste of meat even while they're eschewing meat - doesn't that tell you anything? There are plenty of food animals that are raised humanely and slaughtered humanely, and those meat products can be found on the web; they are a bit more expensive although things are starting to change. More and more main-stream supermarkets are starting to carry them in addition to the meats that come from the corporate farms so the price is starting to go down. True, you can't help it if tires, for instance, contain animal products, but there are tires that don't. They can be found on a number of websites that list, by brand name, those products that do not use animal products. As I said, you're entitled to your choice but at least understand that if you're attempting to "...eliminate animal dependency..." from your life that there is much more to it than just not eating meat or wearing leather.

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about 18 hours ago Judith

Sorry, the link to studies about the plants did quite make it - I think I deleted part of it by mistake. Here's the link. http://www.pri.org/stories...

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about 18 hours ago Judith

Sorry again - it did make it, just click on what's there and you'll get to the site even if the entire link doesn't show. This is the first time I've come across this but, then again, anything is possible with computers!

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2 days ago rick maynard

I've tried the brown sugar thing many times and love it. On a recent camping trip "THE COOK" used brown sugar AND a sprinkle of chili powder on each piece. HOLY COW!!!! It was awesome!!!

Me_6.20.14

3 days 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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4 days 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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4 days 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 rick maynard

KAT,
The paper towel thingy sounds great. I'll be trying that next.

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5 days ago Gret

Hope you take it out of zip lock first :)

Stringio

5 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

5 days ago Agustin A Nieves

Damn, I meant one Tbsp of Dijon mustard

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5 days ago C.Dodd

Yep Rachael Ray taught us how to cook

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5 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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6 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

5 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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7 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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7 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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7 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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8 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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9 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

13 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?