Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 588 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 (588)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (588)

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about 9 hours ago Shari L Burgess

Elevate the bacon by using a small rack layer the bacon over the rack and make sure its long enough to fit over a deep baking pan and let the bacon cook at 375 it will cook through and it won't sit in it's own fat. Then remove the rack and place the bacon on a brown paper bag to drain whats left of the oil then blot it with a paper towel. Yummy no greasy bacon makes beautiful sandwiches.

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1 day ago Lisa Parker

I only ever cook my bacon on the Foreman

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4 days ago alan

speaking of grills, there is the DeLonghi indoor electric grill which comes with a glass lid and a built in drip tray.

you plug the device into a power outlet and add 1/2 cup of vinegar water to the tray. then lay cold strips across the grills while they warm to medium heat. place the lid on top and go about your business.

after a while you will discover some delicious cooked strips of bacon.

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4 days ago Catrin54

Use my side burner on my grill. Love it!! Keeps the mess and lingering smell out of the house.

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5 days ago Chippy55

In the oven, and as a bonus you can save the drippings, why you ask? Simple: 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings is the secret ingredient to potato salad and in spaghetti sauce. I always brought Mom's potato salad to picnics when I was growing up and my pals always said it was the best (I never it was the secret ingredient till much later).

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about 4 hours ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

I put a little bacon grease in my home cooked pinto beans when I puree them for mexican food. Yummy

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5 days ago Ella

This has to be the most informative blog ever. I have always made a mess of my bacon. My daughter loves it when my husband makes it though. I never started with a cold pan and it never cooked evenly. I can't wait to try some of the below techniques! Thanks so much!!

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5 days ago Charlie

I used to cook bacon on a cookie sheet as stated, the I added a rack under the bacon on the cookie sheet. Starting with a cold oven I put the bacon in and start the oven. After ten minutes I flip the bacon and wait another ten minutes. Perfect bacon in my oven (ovens vary) and the fat drips below the bacon making it healthier. But I still prefer the bacon without the rack (don't tell my cardiologist).

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10 days ago John Purdum

I have been cooking in the oven for a few years now and love it. I use a Pampered Chef jelly roll pan, no need for foil and I cook a whole pound double-up style for a thicker slice. 400 for 15 to 20, pouring off the fat at 15 and then checking on it until the doneness that I like.

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10 days ago Brianne Copenhaver

The best way I have found to cook bacon is using my nuwave oven. The grease drips down into the tray, the bacon is perfect!

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12 days ago Cal

I 've tried the oven method and like it better than frying, however, cooking bacon in the microwave is so much better. (Spray the bottom of pan with cooking spray, place paper towel on top, layout bacon, cover with another paper towel then cook in microwave. Length of time is dependent upon wattage of microwave. Our time approx. 10 minutes. Using the microwave helps reduce extra heat in the house.) The grease drains, the slices are almost the same length and it is (imo) crisper.

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12 days ago Barbara Manning

I prefer cooking my bacon in the oven it cooks more evenly more crisp and like you said no greases mess everwhere.

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12 days ago Brandy StPierre-Bisbee

Line your cookie sheet with foil and you can just roll up the grease. Clean pan.

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13 days ago Dineen Thayer

Dineen Thayer
I learned about this method several years ago. It is so quick and easy, but, I line my pan with foil and then their is no clean-up just toss the foil.

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13 days ago Irene Judy Endrenyi

I cook mine in the oven on the "convection roast" setting on about 325. The bacon turns out great with no turning involved...

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14 days ago Teri TeriStudent

I BBQ mine, fat drips off no mess and doesn't smell up the house! ChaChing! Healthier Bacon!❤️

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13 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Do you mean grill, outside? Sounds good but what about all that fat dripping on the coals? Isn't that supposed to create carcinogens? Maybe not on a gas grill?
.

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14 days ago Robbin Pollard

My mom taught me to always start bacon in a cold pan. When I began baking it I just did the same and it works well and no wasted preheating of the oven.

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14 days ago Rexene Olson

I have always started with a cold oven because I want to eat it now as apposed to later. No reason just hungry and my bacon has always come out just fine! Thanks!

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14 days ago Robbin Pollard

I've made bacon in the oven for 20+ years. Clean up is a snap if you line the baking sheet with foil. Lay the bacon out and start in a COLD oven - 350F. 10-15 minutes for 7-8 slices. Remove to paper towel, gather up the foil and pour the dripping off into a jar for other use. Yum! Bonus after the foil, lay down parchment paper, arrange strips and sprinkle with brown sugar. :)

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14 days ago Rexene Olson

What is the reason for starting with a cold oven?

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14 days ago Kim Thompson

Instead of using foil, I spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray (Pam). It works great! I've forgotten to use the spray a few times and the sheet is a nightmare! LOL. The brown sugar hint sound great though! ;)

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12 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Oh, you are so bad :-)

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12 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

The reason for the cold oven is basically the same as starting hard boiled eggs in cold water. If you start either in a hot oven or boing water, the fat of the bacon will fry off quickly and then burn by the time the meat is cooked. Eggs? Same thing. The whites will cook quickly then get rubbery while the yolks cook. Also, after boiling eggs, or shrimp, drain the water and immediately put into an ice water bath to keep from continuing cooking

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12 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

BTW, Kim, you are the bad one with the brown sugar :-). Just screwed up my Atkins diet....eat all the bacon you want, but no sugar...but I HAVE to try it...LOL

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12 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

My apologies, Kim. Threads oft times get confusing. Robbin is the culprit....lol..jk

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12 days ago Rexene Olson

Now that makes sense!!! Thank you!!! My mother didn't cook unless she really had to!!! She could but she really hated it!!! So, what I learned in my early years mostly came from my dad who was an excellent cook and loved it!! Of, course that was a long time ago so I don't remember the "why" sometimes and you not only answered one but two lingering questioned. Funny, how I did both of those things without question because I usually question everything as if you couldn't tell?! And yes, I am a little, no medium to a lot bad and proud of it!! One has to put joy in one's life to make it interesting, you can't always wait for others to do it?!!

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12 days ago Rexene Olson

OK, Rea, I don't know now if you were calling me bad or not??? I thought you were referring to an exchange between Dave and I much further down! Check it out you might get a smile, that was the intention?! You know I never knew you could have so much fun over cooking bacon!!

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11 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Rexene, I was replying to Robbin. Saying she was bad/good for telling us all about the brown sugar sprinkle. Any posts that are indented are addressed to the original poster that is not indented. To reply to one of the repliers, tap on THAT post. Hope this explains it. It's easy to get mixed up! :-)

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11 days ago Rexene Olson

Yes, it is and I am the queen of confusion!

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16 days ago Olga Kim

You don't have to fit the bacon into one layer, you can overlap them a little bit because they shrink up in the hot oven as they cook. Duh.

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15 days ago Rita

Its not necessary to say Duh, because he/she might not know this. Thanks Very much for sharing this info with us. Thats a valuable tip. Then we can fit more bacan in the pan.

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14 days ago Kim Thompson

I agree with you about the Duh!

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14 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

Although, the overlapping strips tend to stick together and when you pull them apart, those ends are not as done as the rest of the strip...duh

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16 days ago alan

a great way to cook bacon is simply to leave it attached to the pig (gutted and cleaned of course), and then to rotate the pig slowly 2 or 3 feet above a warm bed of smoldering hickory embers for up to 12 hours.

after that the bacon should be tender, crispy, juicy and separate easily from the pig carcass with just a gentle pull.

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17 days ago Diana Trigiani Smith

I tried the boil in pan on the stove top. Add water to cover and cook till water evaporates, turning a few times. Bacon comes out crispy and doesn't curl.

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15 days ago Rexene Olson

Never heard of cooking bacon this way, I'll have to try it! Thank you!

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14 days ago Kim Thompson

I have never heard of this method either! Sounds very interesting...thanks!

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11 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

This is excellent for par boiling bacon that is going to be wrapped around another protein. If it's going to wrap around steak, boil it for a long time to render a lot of the fat, other wise the steak will overcook. But no matter what you are wrapping, chicken, fish, pork, wild game, if you par boil the bacon, it stays pliable to wrap around your meat and will cook at the same rate as you other protein. :-)

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11 days ago Rexene Olson

Again, you have taught me something! I'm from Alaska and we eat a lot of scallops wrapped in bacon. It has always been a high wire act to get them to be done at the same time! You have just solved that problem!! Thank you!!!

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10 days ago Rea Diane Anderson Kemble

I LOVE all those cable shows about Alaska!