Need help choosing the best frying pan for bacon? Our guide will help you cut through all the options and select a long-lasting skillet that will help you cook the most amazing bacon.
Here in the BENSA test kitchens, we cook a lot of bacon. A quality frying pan is a must for cooking bacon quickly, and pan-fried bacon has the beautiful wavy, browned appearance we associate with classic bacon.
But which skillet cooks the best bacon?
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Where do you begin when there are so many different materials to choose from? Should you buy a hard anodized nonstick frying pan, stainless steel, copper, cast iron, ceramic, carbon steel, aluminum or another material?
What size is best, and which skillet will produce the most evenly cooked bacon?
Want to get right to the good stuff? Click on any of these headings to jump ahead:
- What to Look for in a Bacon Skillet
- The #1 Bacon Frying Pan
- Best Value Cast Iron Pan
- High End Cast Iron Skillet
- The Best Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
- Essential Accessories for Cast Iron Frying Pans
- Ways to Use Pan Fried Bacon
- More Tasty Ways to Cook Bacon
- Save for Later
What to Look for in a Bacon Skillet
Here at the BENSA test kitchen, we cook a lot of bacon. Our criteria for choosing the best pan is tough. Here are all the qualities we demand:
- The pan must be large enough to accommodate at least 8 strips of bacon. The average strip of raw bacon is about 11 inches (yes, we measured) so we need a frying pan with a diameter of at least 12 inches.
- It must conduct heat well and cook evenly.
- It must be durable and long lasting.
- It must not have any toxic coatings.
- It must be easy to clean and maintain.
- It must be well designed with a sturdy handle.
- It must be handsome to look at!
The #1 Bacon Frying Pan
We won’t keep you in suspense about the best pan for cooking bacon. Allow us to introduce the 12-inch cast iron skillet.
This classic kitchen workhorse checks all the boxes from our criteria above, and has an enduring quality that means you could pass down your frying pan to your kids and grandkids.
Cast iron is slow to heat, but once it’s hot it maintains its temperature for a long time.
With regular use, a cast iron pan will develop its own patina — a natural nonstick surface — that will allow you to cook a lot more than just bacon.
Here are our Top 3 picks for the best cast iron skillets for bacon. (Note: Click the links for current prices.)
Best Value Cast Iron Pan
A true American cookware classic, Lodge cast iron skillets have been made in Pittsburgh, Tennessee since 1896. Lodge pre-seasons their pans with 100% pure vegetable oil, and with proper care your skillet can last for generations.
High End Cast Iron Skillet
If you’re not on a budget, the Joan 12-inch Polished Cast Iron Skillet is a dream.
The high-end cast iron skillet of choice for many chefs and professional cooks, this pan is lighter in weight than traditional cast iron and your bacon is less likely to stick to the pan’s hand-polished surface.
Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware
For beautiful looks along with all the benefits of cast iron, our choice for best enameled cast iron skillet is the Le Creuset brand.
The 11.75-inch Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet is gorgeous, with a sturdy handle, dual pour spouts and a hard enamel coating that is chip- and crack-resistant.
The pan is also oven and broiler-safe to any temperature.
It’s shown here in Cherry red, and comes in a variety of other colors including Cobalt blue, Flame orange, Caribbean, Cassis and Marseille.
Essential Accessories for Cast Iron Pans
Silicone Handle Guard – Cast iron pots get very hot and retain the heat for a long time. A protective handle sleeve will make it easier and safer to remove the pan from the stovetop or grill.
Spatter Guard – Unlike a lid which builds up steam in a pan, a spatter guard allows air to continue flowing over the bacon so it gets crispy while keeping grease spatters at bay.
Heavy Duty Oven Mitts – The easiest way to move a hot cast iron pan is to slide oven mitts on both hands and grasp the regular handle with one hand and the assist handle with the other.
Trivet – To protect countertops and other surfaces, set the hot cast iron pan on a trivet. A magnetic trivet will grip the bottom of the pan to help keep it steady.
Ways to Use Pan Fried Bacon
Ready to use that tasty, hot-from-the-skillet bacon? Here are some of our favorite bacon recipes:
More Tasty Ways to Cook Bacon
If you enjoy bacon you might also enjoy:
- Cooking bacon in the oven
- How to cook bacon on the grill
- Making curly bacon
- The best way to cook bacon in a crock pot
- Surprisingly good microwave bacon
Save for Later
If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin: