Kitchen Confidence

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

By • May 14, 2014 • 255 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 (255)

Tags: bacon, how-to & diy, breakfast

Comments (255)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

about 13 hours ago Russell Iacobucci

Has anyone ever boiled the bacon before frying it ? this step should remove fat and salt at the same time . Just a thought , as I have not yet tried this .....

Default-small

about 14 hours ago John

Soaking bacon in water might reduce the sodium content like it does for salt cod but won't remove the nitrites and nitrates and fat. You have to try to LIVE with them. If I have a recipe that calls for bacon I use chemical free Canadian bacon, a much better and healthier product.

Default-small

about 14 hours ago D -That's me!

Love bacon but husband made the mistake of getting regular instead of low sodium and boy, is it salty! Two more packages of it left and I've read that pouring boiling water over it will remove some of the salt. Anybody try this or have any other suggestions?

Default-small

2 days ago chris

I bought a ceramic bacon cooker (it's a mug with a spout and an attached bottom tray) which is used in the microwave. You drape the bacon slices over the mug part and nuke for a few minutes. The bacon gets crisp and the fat drains into the bottom so you can pour it out. It's good for when you only need small servings (about 4-5 pieces). To cook a lot more, I use the oven at 400.

Default-small

2 days ago Lisa

Heat an entire oven to cook a few strips of bacon? Wasteful and non-green.

Stringio

3 days ago Colleene Johnson

everybody knows you put two paper towels on a plate and put slices of bacon on it and then another two towels on top to soak up the grease and microwave it on
high for 8 minutes so it is nice and crispy. It is not healthy anymore to use
bacon grease for shortening. I do remember that it did taste good.

Stringio

5 days ago Harold Shelton

There nothing like Naked Bacon frying.. Do it once and you will never do it again..LOL

Default-small

5 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

ain't that the truth!!

Stringio

5 days ago Marty McFadden

I bought a BaconWave (as seen on TV) device. After trying it once, I bought two more. One for work and one for travel. There is no better or faster way to cook bacon. No smoke, no splatter, easy cleanup. Your microwave oven only gets steam. The grease doesn't get burned. The bacon can be made either crispy or chewy. 30 seconds per slice, up to 16 slices. Push the start button and walk away. Then you just pour the clear grease into your favoriet container and the device rinses clean with hot water.

Default-small

6 days ago Barbara

layer bacon between several sheets of paper towels and microwave until crisp. u can cook an entire pound at once this way. All the fat is absorbed in the paper towel. the bacon is crisp, flat, and delicious.

Stringio

6 days ago Marie Czarnecki

Bacon, pan cakes,and eggs with syrup man it tastes great!!!!!

Default-small

6 days ago dtk1952

Everyone has their own tastes. I hate getting syrup on my bacon and eggs. I don't know why I am that way. Everyone else in my family pours the syrup on their bacon and eggs. But, they also like raw onion in potato salad, I hate it.

Open-uri20140814-5623-1u3nury

6 days ago Anita Simmons Glass

I've always cooked bacon in the oven but on 325; 400 is too high. Especially if you're like me and don't want to stand over an oven to make sure things don't burn. When I start to smell it, it's done or practically done :-)

Default-small

7 days ago Joe Hall

Using wire cooling racks will result in perfect bacon and not as much grease. Of course I do collect the fat at the bottom for making pop corn....Awsome...

Stringio

6 days ago Marie Czarnecki

Yes, you are right!!

Default-small

10 days ago John

Stanley, What do you have against Muslims or Seventh Day Adventists? Do you object to Jews and Koreans too? As long as they are good, honest people I love everybody. I am friends with Muslims and 7th Day Adventists and have no objection. I don't eat bacon for health reasons (sort of difficult to reduce all that fat in bacon no matter how one cooks it) but if you and others enjoy it, go for it.

Default-small

10 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

John, I'm old and I hate everybody! Have a nice day!!

Stringio

6 days ago Marie Czarnecki

@John: Let's not get political. Get with the post!!! If you do not see it , "IT IS ABOUT BACON AND HOW TO COOK IT"

Default-small

10 days ago Stanley Richard Leacock

There's bacon and there's bacon. I make an attempt to get bacon that appears to be not more than% 10-15% fat at the tips. I am now an ardent supporter of eating uncured bacon and most bacon suppliers sell uncured bacon. I use to to fry my bacon in a large, flat, non-stick skillet (which was not cheap) that has ridges so the grease remain in the ridges. Then I tried broiling it in the over in my wife's broiling pan, which did not go over well because she doesn't eat pork> No, she is not a Muslim, she's a Seventh Day Adventist (I don't know which is worst). Now, I bake it at 425 degrees, turning once. I also don't like microwaving meat and one last thing, I ALWAYS take the bacon I am going to cook out of the refrigerator one hour before I cook it so that it is room temperature when it goes into the over.

Stringio

6 days ago Marie Czarnecki

@Stanley: you mean "OVEN" don't you not over??? I read between the lines.

Default-small

11 days ago park park

Place an 8-page layer of newspaper on the counter. Place a paper towel in the center. Place your bacon (I cut the strips in half lengthwise) on the paper towel and cover with another one. Fold over or roll up the newspaper so it will fit in the microwave. Your goal is to make a package of the newspaper that will catch the bacon grease from all directions. Microwave on high for 4 minutes to check and to replace the newspaper. Then try 2 minutes, 1 minute, etc. No kitchen fragrance, no microwave fragrance, no dishwashing.

B9bdadc810f511e2aeda22000a1de2e0_7

13 days ago thomas cappiello

I've been a bacon in the oven convert for some time, although I've found 400 to be a wee bit too hot for my liking. My mother used to cook her bacon very slowly on the stove top in a cast iron pan. She ate bacon almost everyday (died of coronary heart disease but thats another story) and insisted it be cooked slowly to properly render.

Stringio

14 days ago Jason Robinson

At 15 mins the bacon was burnt. However it was perfect at 7. May have to test the thermometer in the oven.

Default-small

15 days ago Mikey D

The bacon turned out perfect !!!! 400 degrees in the oven is the way to go, but only if you do it my way. The bacon turned out to be like a candied treat with that light coating of brown sugar, it caramelized the outer edges. So then I got out metal frying pan, coated it with cooking oil, threw in a little butter, let that get hot, then throw in two eggs, cover the frying pan, let it cook for about 1 min to 1.5 min max, eggs turn out perfect every time, don't stick to the pan, slide right out. Then cooked some english muffins in the toaster, nicely toasted, with some butter and grape jelly.. mmmm mmmm mmmm !!!!!! some chocolate milk and a glass of O.J. and you're all set !!!!!

Default-small

15 days ago Mikey D

MMMMM MMMMMMM MMMMMMMM-HHH it wazzzz delicious !!!!!!

Default-small

15 days ago Mikey D

I'm cooking the bacon as we speak folks. Took a lot of your good tips. Pre-heated propane oven to 400, meanwhile, took that flat sheet tray out of the oven, lined it with some foil, then placed the wire rack with the four legs on it - stands about 4 inches high. Then, got out the old bag of brown sugar up in the cupboard, it was all lumps so I put it in one of those electric chopper/blenders/mixers and finely ground it all up!!!, then put some of the brown sugar on a dinner plate nice and even, then I dipped the Smithfield bacon into the brown sugar mix, placed the bacon stips atop the metal rack that's sitting on the foil lined tray, yep, then Adjusted, moved the oven racks around - lower one to lowest level, higher one to highest level, so that the bacon is sitting right smack dab in the middle of the oven. Eh.... the timer just went off, the propane's now at 400 degrees, so in go those Smithfield Brown Sugar Dipped Babies - mmm mmm mmm !!!!! yes indeed !!!!!