perfectly oven-baked bacon

The Best Way to Cook Bacon (Easiest, Too!)

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 having to fry bacon!

perfectly oven-baked bacon

The problem in two words: splatters and 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.

And 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 one time, and clean up is a cinch!

Why is oven-baked the best method?

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 time-consuming. Just the opposite is true. I can prepare an entire pound of bacon without having to baby it and 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 all of that automatically. No flipping, no checking, and no splatters. The bacon bubbles and sizzles but really, and I repeat—no splattering!

A pound all at once

It sounds like a lot of bacon, but really one pound makes 4 to 6 servings. With the oven method, you can prepare an entire pound on a single half-sheet pan, like my favorite.

one pound raw bacon on sheet pan ready for the oven

What if I want it extra crispy?

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’s 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.

Perfect oven-baked bacon on rimmed foil-lined sheet pan

Pro-Tip

Never put aluminum cook- or bakeware in the dishwasher. Always wash by hand because dishwasher detergent will cause dark stains and ugliness on anything made of aluminum.

How to Cook Perfect Bacon in the Oven

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

Fried bacon rashers closeup

perfectly oven-baked bacon
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4.72 from 7 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'm sure you'll agree!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Mary

Equipment

  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Metal cooking rack (optional)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 1 pound bacon, thin or thick-cut

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Line large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Optional: Place parchment paper on top of the foil to aid in absorbing grease.
  • Optional: For extra crispy bacon, fit metal, oven-safe cooling rack on the foil-lined sheet pan.
  • Lay bacon on top of the foil (or parchment, depending on how you've set this up) in a single layer, or if using a rack, on top of the rack in the same manner.
  • 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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 3pieces | Calories: 150kcal

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21 replies
  1. Bryan says:

    4 stars
    This was easy and most of the bacon came out good. I like mine very crispy. All the bacon from one package did not fit on the baking sheet without some layering. All the bacon that was covered did not cook well. I had to separate the cooked from under cooked, then cook the under cooked more. I used a metal rack, but the middles still did not cook as much as I would have liked. I usually cook bacon in the microwave. I love the way it comes out. But it is time consuming. This is much easier. I’ll play around with it and see if I can get it to come out more uniformly crispy.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Give it a try in your full-size oven. I can only imagine that the grease pops a bit in all situations, but in a very tiny oven like a toaster oven, the space is so small, it can hit the walls, floor and ceiling of that appliance.

      Reply
  2. Chelle says:

    I prefer layering bacon between paper towels on a Corelle plate in the microwave. When it’s done, I throw the paper towels away. It’s the easiest clean up.

    Reply
  3. Debbie Cancino says:

    4 stars
    Great method but…Please be careful when taking out of the oven. I used a too-shallow baking sheet and spilled the hot bacon fat all over my foot. It was bad, skin came off, missed 2 weeks of work.

    Reply
  4. Kari Gabrielson says:

    5 stars
    We have been cooking bacon in the oven for awhile primarily for BLTs. We cut the lb of bacon in half and take 3 half slices horizontally and weave 3 half slices vertically. As is cooks it melds together so you have a bacon square that fits your toast perfectly.

    Reply
  5. Rita Montague says:

    Even though all ovens heat differently, if you use a thermometer you can be sure when the oven hits 400. It has saved me many times because my oven says its, let’s say 400 degrees, when it isn’t yet according to the thermometer, so I trust that over what my oven says. I find it amazing also that the bacon does’t splatter in the oven but it doesn’t.

    Reply
  6. Dick Ivey says:

    Mary, the best bacon we have found is from Daily’s and it can only be bought from someone in the retail food industry. It comes in 15# boxes. (10 slices make 1.5#)

    Chef Tony’s bacon cooker is the best device we have ever found. the bacon stands up so the grease drips into the foil covered pan. We cook it in the oven until it is mostly done, drain on paper towels before finishing on the flat top. Flat, crisp, not greasy:)

    Reply
  7. Polly B Deal says:

    5 stars
    I do the oven method with foil lined pan, and I flip part way thru adjusting the strips so they are apart. The only difference is that I use my outdoor grill as my oven! Especially in the summer, no heating up the kitchen!

    Reply
  8. Angela says:

    Great advice! This is the BEST way to cook bacon. Pro tip: If you like crispy bacon and don’t want the trouble of cleaning the rack you can use tongs to flip the bacon midway through the cooking time. I do this every time and it yields bacon that is crisp all the way through! I cook mine at 400 degrees on one side for 15 minutes, flip with tongs, and cook an additional 5 minutes – definitely watch it the last 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.

    Reply
  9. Pam says:

    I’ve been cooking bacon in the oven for years but I now use parchment paper instead of foil and prefer it and I think it costs less. I cook at 400 for 20 mins but flip the bacon at 10 mins. Next time I’m going to try the no-flip method and the no- pre heat method too!

    Reply
  10. Shawna Shade says:

    I have used this method for many years to cook bacon – mostly because I don’t enjoy cleaning up the mess (a nice way to say I’m lazy)! I use my large rimmed stoneware cookie sheet which eliminates the need for foil and “seasons” my stoneware at the same time. I was reluctant that everything cooked on this piece of stoneware would end up tasting like bacon, however that does not seem to be the case for me. Thanks for the great emails and podcasts!

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Ok that is amazing! I don’t have a stoneware baking sheet, but that would be my assumption too—that it would absorb bacon smells and reintroduce them forevermore. Great tip, Shawna!

      Reply
  11. Mako says:

    Been doing it this way for many years. Helpful hint-no need to preheat. Just set the bacon on and spark it up. The fat etc.will start rendering as the oven heats up and ultimately, the baco is ready sooner with some savings in the energy dept..

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      This makes huge sense to me! Thanks for that tip. Truth be told “preheating” is required only for baking that relies on baking soda, yeast, etc. for the product to rise. Why didn’t I think of this?!

      Reply
      • Mary Hunt says:

        I’m not sure why it doesn’t pop and splatter like bacon does on the stovetop … but observing it shows bubbles and sizzling. I can’t guarantee there are NO splatters at all, but it is quite amazing that the oven does not appear to be splattered at all. Maybe those splatters evaporate?! Ha. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    • Bob B says:

      5 stars
      I’d go with 4 ½ stars only for two reasons. First: I find that parchment paper makes for easier clean-up. Secondly: you might try starting with a cold oven; why waste that heat between 70F & 400F? I’ve been using this method for years. I found that the aluminum foil would sometimes tear upon removal and leaving another pan to wash. I’d still go with 400F for 20 minutes but we know that different ovens heat differently.

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      I cannot guarantee for all ovens and all situations … but no splatters at all on my oven walls or glass doors. Seriously!

      Reply

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