bacon collage

Hands-Down the Easiest Way to Perfectly Cook Bacon

I must admit to a kind of love-hate relationship with bacon. On the one hand, my family loves bacon, which means I cook it often. And until I discovered the best, easiest way to do that, I dreaded frying bacon!

bacon collage

The problem in two words: splatters, smell. I’m not a fan of splatters all over the cooktop. And that lingering smell of stale bacon throughout the house for hours and beyond? That nearly knocks me out.

Then there’s the problem of keeping the first batch hot and crispy when only about 1/4 pound fits well in a stovetop skillet.

Trust me, I’ve tried all the methods—stovetop, microwave, griddle, and outdoor grill. The outdoor grill has been mostly my go-to method, but when it’s 10 F. with a foot of snow out there, not so much.

All that is history, now that I’m hooked on the absolute best way to cook bacon—in the oven. It’s easy with minimal, if any, splatters. The smell of bacon is all but limited to the baking time. I can cook an entire pound of bacon at once, and clean-up is a cinch!

Why is oven-baked the best method?

Almost everyone has access to an oven. While there may be other similar methods, this for me outperforms all others; does not require the need to purchase a countertop grill, airfryer, or any other equipment.

Until I tried it, I assumed cooking in the oven would make an even bigger mess than using my cast iron skillet on the stovetop. And require more time. Just the opposite is true. I can prepare an entire pound of bacon without having to babysit or tend to it. Oven-baked, it stays flat with no splatters. Even better? The “fragrance” of bacon is short-lived.

No need to flip

Just set the timer, and that’s it. The oven does everything automatically. No flipping, no checking, and no splatters. The bacon bubbles and sizzles, but really, and I repeat—no splattering!in rea

A pound all at once

It sounds like a lot of bacon, but in reality, one pound makes 4 to 6 servings. You can prepare an entire pound on a single half-sheet pan with the oven method

A large chocolate cake sitting on top of a table

What if I want extra crispy bacon?

Baked on a sheet pan, bacon comes out crispy around the edges but still slightly chewy in the middle—the way many of us prefer. But if you like it extra crispy, no problem. Lay the bacon on top of a metal cooling rack set over the foil-lined sheet pan. Now it will come out super crispy all the way through.

 

 

How is the clean-up with the oven method?

It’s so easy. If you want to reserve the bacon fat for later use, simply allow it to cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes, then pour it into your container of choice. If not, wait for the pan to cool, then gather up the foil and discard. Wash with soap and water, as usual. That’s it! No baked-on mess or ugly stains.

A piece of cake on a plate, with Bacon and Pound

 

 

A close up of food, with Bacon

Cooking bacon in the oven is easy, produces excellent results, and is quite possibly the only method you’ll ever use to cook bacon once you give it a try!

How to Cook Perfect Bacon in the Oven

It’s easy, produces excellent results, and is possibly the only method you’ll use to cook bacon once you try!

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Lay bacon on top of the foil in a single layer.
  4. Optional: Place parchment paper on top of the foil to absorb grease.
  5. Optional: For extra crispy bacon, fit a metal, oven-safe baking cooling rack on top of the foil-lined (and optionally parchment  paper sheet pan
  6. Bake until golden brown or to taste about 18 minutes
  7. Using tongs, move the perfectly oven-baked bacon to a paper-towel-lined platter.
A plate of food, with Bacon
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Perfect Oven-Baked Bacon

This recipe is the absolute best way I've found to cook bacon. There's no need to flip the bacon; or stand at the stove watching it. You can cook a whole pound at once and the clean-up is very easy with minimal mess. Try it—I think you'll agree!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Anytime, Breakfast, How to
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 150kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon, thin or thick-cut

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Lay bacon on top of the foil in a single layer.
  • Optional: Place parchment paper on top of the foil to aid in absorbing grease.
  • Optional: For extra crispy bacon, fit a metal, oven-safe baking cooling rack on top of the foil-lined and (optionally) parchment paper sheet pan.
  • Bake until golden brown or to taste, for about 18 minutes.
  • Using tongs, move the perfectly oven-baked bacon to a paper-towel-lined platter.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Elevating the bacon on a cooling rack above the foil-lined sheet pan allows air to circulate more readily, resulting in an extra-crispy outcome.
  2. Because all ovens behave differently, begin monitoring at about 12 minutes so you know how quickly or slowly your oven will cook the bacon. This is especially important if using very thinly cut bacon. Once you become familiar with how your oven works with bacon, you'll be able to set the timer exactly right to eliminate the need to monitor. 
  3. Leftover bacon, wrapped tightly in foil or stored in a lidded container, will be good for up to one week when stored in the refrigerator. Frozen, up to 3 months. 
  4. To reuse leftover bacon, microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or to your liking. 
  5. One serving: 3 pcs bacon

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal

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9 replies
  1. KB says:

    I used a rack once, but I didn’t use it again. It’s so hard to clean it. I don’t think it’s necessary for crispy bacon! I also store the bacon grease in a glass jar with tight-fitting lid in the fridge. I use the bacon grease for cooking eggs or potatoes, etc

    Reply
  2. Susan Swartzbeck says:

    I’ve been baking bacon this way all my adult life, thanks to my mother. She sometimes would drag the slices through a little flour with black pepper. Adding the flour seems to make the result just a little chewier; the pepper adds a nice zing.

    Reply
  3. Betsy Hoekstra says:

    Hi Mary,
    We now cut the bacon slices in half, lay them in the fry pan and add a bit of water (1/8 C.)to the bacon in the pan. Much less spatter , bacon cooks more evenly , easier turning and quicker! Voila!

    Reply
  4. Suzanne says:

    I’ve been using the oven to cook bacon for years now. I have metal grid racks that I use to avoid soggy slices. Cooking two packs of bacon at once (I have two cookie sheets and two racks) saves time and energy costs. IMHO, there’s no better way to cook bacon.

    Reply
  5. Darlene Ernst says:

    4 stars
    I’m a fan of oven baked bacon. When working as a line cook for a casino buffet, I baked about 30 lbs every morning. At home, though, I’m leery of the splattered oven walls. Do you think it would cook evenly in a roasting pan with 4″ sides?

    Reply
    • Joan says:

      5 stars
      Darlene, if it helps you, when I do one pound, I really don’t notice any spatter. It sizzles a little more when I take it out and the cooler air hits it. My oven stays clean—if I fry on the stovetop, there is always a spattered mess.

      Reply

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