DIY Food

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

September  3, 2017

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: We're re-running one of our favorite tips for mess-free bacon with ease. Here's why you should bake your bacon.

Bacon from Food52

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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, and hearing it sputter and stutter like a seventh grade boy asking a girl to the movies.

We're trying to help you cook bacon better.

More: Make sriracha maple bacon for a morning (or anytime) kick

Because as glorious as cooking bacon on the stove can be, it's also a mess. There's 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

Here's how: heat your oven to 400° F, put slices of bacon on a baking sheet—as many as you'd like, just make sure they fit in one layer—and slide it into the oven. The bacon will sizzle in its own rendered fat, cooking evenly. Just 15 minutes or so later, you'll have those perfect little pork ribbons—with minimal cleanup.

Bonus points: Carefully pour the hot bacon fat into a jar, and store in the fridge. Use as you would lard or butter. Expect awesome, bacon-y flavor. 

What's your favorite way to cook bacon? Let us know in the comments!


This article was originally published in 2015, but we still think this is the best way to cook bacon.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Margie Ellen Gares Barker
    Margie Ellen Gares Barker
  • alan
  • Austin Burges
    Austin Burges
  • Judith
  • eugenia
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Margie E. February 21, 2019
I put the bacon on oven racks and put it in a cold oven set at 400 degrees until it reached the 400 degrees, should be done, all ovens are different.
alan April 16, 2018
i like to cut the bacon into pieces and stir fry them in the hot wok. then i toss in some vegetables, mushrooms, eggs, rice, tomatoes, whatever i'm in the mood for. the bacon can be fried crisp or not crisp, i generally like it somewhere inbetween.
Judith April 16, 2018
Excellent! I use leftover rice if I have it but don't necessarily need it. However, I would definitely add some kind of onions to the mix.
Austin B. March 10, 2018
A bit of advice: Take the bacon out at 13-14 minutes, drain the fat, and pulse, so to speak, for 2 minutes in the oven, until you hit exactly how you want it done.
Judith February 26, 2018
I see some contributors to this thread are still praising microwaved bacon and I can't figure out why. No matter what I've done - using microwaveable broiler pan (ridges) or flat pan, paper towels top and bottom, just top, just bottom, no paper towels, on high or medium or low, in order to get the bacon crisp it has to be practically burnt. Otherwise, it's rubbery. For three or four slices I'll fry, for more than that I'll bake.
Sarah March 25, 2018
I agree
Sue B. April 5, 2018
That never happens to me. My bacon becomes crispy after waiting a few minutes. I also limit the amount I cook in the microwave to no more than three slices at time.
eugenia February 26, 2018
the b est is to cooked in the conventional oven just put the bacon the rack and the fat will collect in the backing sheet add a little brown sugar and enjoyed
Kelly A. November 18, 2017
Over the years, I've cooked bacon every way possible. Not sure why some cooks prefer the oven over the microwave? One thing is for sure, fresh bacon is built for the microwave. It has a high fat and water content and it is thin, so it cooks up crisp and tasty. As water is released into the grease it pops/splatters, so I'd rather clean the microwave than the oven.

Granted, I am biased, since I’m the inventor and all, but it cooks 23 slices of bacon all at once in the microwave. It is quick, clean, easy, and healthier. The fat drips away.

This is not some cheap drug store bacon cooker. Many housewares experts believe it's the best bacon cooker ever made for the microwave. There’s not a bacon aficionado in the world who would go back to cooking bacon in the oven or on the stove-top. Check it out at and watch the video about how it works. You make the call...
Jill January 13, 2018
I agree the microwave is the best and only way to cook bacon. The trick to having no mess is simple. Lay bacon in a single layer on a paper towel and put a paper towel on top. This soaks up grease with no splatter.
Judith April 16, 2018
I've used it that baconpro, followed directions explicitly - and the bacon is still rubbery out of the microwave. I donated it to charity and will continue to fry up to three or four slices, but otherwise bake.
Live-Nimble September 19, 2017
Oh, almost forgot Line the baking pack with foil, won't contaminate bacon, then it catches the grease, and clean up is a breeze. Just toss the rack into the dishwasher!!
Live-Nimble September 19, 2017
aluminum can leach into your bacon, and parchment paper often has chemicals that go into your bacon as well. Use a Live-Nimble 12x17 rack on Amazon, you will have less fat, no aluminum or chemical contamination. Best way EVER!!!!
Margaret September 20, 2017
Oh wow, I didn't know that foil leached aluminum into food! I know it was identiifed as a toxin to the brain in cooking pots, although makers then claimed that anodized aluminum was safe. I don't know what to think at this point. I will look into the rack on Amazon. Any suggestions for replacement of foil in general? And I suppose I can't use parchment in baking.
Live-Nimble September 20, 2017
parchment is usually good up to 450*F, but some have toxic chemicals that will leach if direct contact. Not all are bad. Bleached is particularly bad. Using a silicone mat (included with one of our racks) is totally safe, especially when up to European standards, and up to 483*F. If drippy, I would use foil under the rack to corral excess liquids. I don't always trust the aluminum companies, even if they say it is safe. I have seen research showing that even the foil is bad. having said that, I do use in contact with food on occasion, just very rarely.
Joyce September 12, 2017
I use the non-stick aluminum foil on my very large baking sheet. Lay bacon and put in cold oven set at 425 for approximately 25 minutes. So easy!
Shawna September 9, 2017
I've baked mine for years but I use parchment paper that's large enough to cover the pan plus about 1/2" up the sides to create a "bowl" so the grease doesn't ever touch your cookie sheet! Then I cut another piece of parchment paper and cover the whole lot of bacon so it doesn't splatter in the oven. Using this technique keeps your cookie sheet and your oven clean. About half way through I remove the cookie sheet from the oven and rotate the bacon in case there are any cold/hot spots.
Robert K. September 8, 2017
I am surprised that my method with water is the first mention of that technique altho I only read about it very recently myself.
Margaret September 8, 2017
Thanks, Robert, I just read your post -- a really ingenious way to cook the bacon! I plan to try it.
Christine September 7, 2017
It was really hot in California this past week, so I cooked mine on a jelly roll pan on the grill. Shut the lid for about 10 minutes and managed to bacon from there. Worked well and did not heat up the house.
Steve J. September 7, 2017
I have been cooking bacon on cookie sheets for years. I go about 300 so I can walk away for a while. After about 20 mins. I take it out pour right into my jar I take out of the fridge and load the grease right on top of the what's in there. I turn the bacon over and finish. I do 2 cookie sheets at a time and put it all in gallon zip lock bags. (dirty little secret, try frozen cooked bacon, DELICIOUS.
Robert K. September 7, 2017
Margaret, My method of simmering in water in a skillet is not messy at all.
Jorrene V. September 7, 2017
I cook my bacon on 375 on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. I cook six pieces for 21 minutes and if they aren't crispy enough a few more minutes. When I take it out I place the bacon on a plate lined with paper towel and then cover it with paper towel. Delisioso!
Margaret September 7, 2017
Sounds good, but I envision a very dirty, greasy oven! Any way to prevent?
Ted September 7, 2017
Sous Vide if you are planning to make a lot.. AKA Company.. Or you need a bunch of Bacon during the week.

145F from anything from 9 to 48 hours just let it go then when you need it crisp it up. It is done it already is fully cooked...
Katie B. September 7, 2017
Microwave on a paper towels. About a minute per piece. Crispy. All grease ends up on the paper towels. Have never gone back !!
Robert K. September 7, 2017
I don't eat much bacon now but when I was I would cover it with water and simmer until almost all of water was gone. This produced a crisp but moist product.