One of the easiest ways to enjoy our favorite savory meat is to cook bacon in the oven. Have you tried bakin’ your bacon?
Cooking bacon in the oven is super simple, and it’s a great way to prepare a large quantity of the sizzling strips for a party, brunch or potluck.
This bacon cooking technique might CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
Benefits of Oven Cooked Bacon
Here’s why we like cooking the bacon on a baking sheet in the oven:
- The bacon slices stay flat.
- The strips cook evenly.
- The bacon doesn’t need constant watching. Perfect for lazy mornings!
- The flavor is amazing.
- No spatters!
- Easy clean-up.
You probably already have everything you need to oven cook bacon to crispy perfection:
- Large rimmed baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Parchment paper
- Tongs or a spatula
- Paper towels
Prepare Your Baking Sheet
If you line your baking sheet with foil, the grease gathers in the bottom of the pan for easy clean up. We like to add a sheet of parchment paper on top of the foil, which keeps the bacon from sticking and helps it cook more evenly.
Best Temperature to Bake Bacon in the Oven
After numerous tests, we recommend an oven cooking temperature of 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
This temperature is hot enough to cook the bacon efficiently, but not so hot that the bacon grease will start to smoke.
(If you’re not in a hurry, you can reduce the heat to 300 degrees F and let the bacon cook more slowly. Just check it periodically so that it cooks to your liking.)
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and move the oven rack to the middle of the oven if necessary. Arrange the bacon strips on the parchment paper and foil-lined baking sheet. It’s okay to overlap them a bit since they’ll shrink while cooking.
Cooking tip: If one end of the bacon is narrower than the other, you can alternate the strips as we did here:
Put the pan in the oven and bake until the bacon is browned and crispy and just the amount of doneness that you like. You don’t need to turn the strips over while baking, but if you want them to be perfectly cooked on both sides you can flip them over after about 12 minutes.
The exact timing will depend on the thickness of your bacon, how your oven cooks, and how crispy you like your bacon. Here in the BENSA test kitchen, a pan of regular sliced bacon cooked (until it’s crisp but still chewy) takes about 20 minutes.
Remove the pan carefully from the oven and let the bacon cool for a minute or two. Use a spatula or tongs to transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain before serving.
The Cold Oven Method
Some people swear by the cold oven method of cooking bacon, and say that it shrinks less if you start it cold. While we haven’t experienced a noticeable difference, this method eliminates the preheating step and we’re always in favor of fewer steps.
Here’s how to do it: instead of preheating the oven, put the pan of bacon in the oven and then set the temperature to 350 degrees F. Add about 5-6 minutes to your total cooking time.
Elevate Your Oven-Baked Bacon
Baking your bacon results in strips that are quite crispy on the edges but still chewy in the middle.
If you want your bacon crispy throughout, cooking it on a rack is the way to go. You’ll need a special ovenproof cooking rack that fits in a baking sheet.
Expert cooking tip: Don’t be tempted to use a cookie cooling rack for cooking bacon, as it may be treated with a nonstick coating or not be able to withstand the temperature of the oven.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet or broiler pan with foil. Place the cooking rack on top and arrange the bacon strips. You can overlap a bit if you like since the slices will shrink while cooking.
Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes (the exact timing will depend on your oven and bacon thickness), watching carefully so the bacon doesn’t overcook, until it’s browned and crispy and just the way you like it.
Expert cooking tip: For more evenly cooked bacon, rotate the pan once (so the front of the pan is now in the back) and also turn the strips over halfway during cooking.
When the bacon is done, remove the pan from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Use tongs or a spatula to move the bacon to paper towels to drain, and serve.
Fast and Easy Oven Broiled Bacon
If you’re in a hurry, using your oven’s broiler setting is a great way to quickly cook a batch of bacon. The one caveat is that you’ll need to stay nearby and watch the bacon closely. Also, this method tends to make the bacon spatter more, which can lead to a smoky oven and kitchen.
Turn the oven setting to Broil-medium temperature and move the oven rack, if necessary, to the middle of the oven. Arrange bacon strips on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until the top of the bacon is brown and crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t over cook. Turn the bacon over, return to the oven and broil until the the other side is browned and crispy, 2 to 4 more minutes.
Easy Clean Up
With any of these three methods, you can cool the bacon grease on the pan and carefully pour it in a sealable container to use for cooking. (Here’s our guide about what to do with bacon grease.)
Or you can carefully fold the foil towards the center of the pan to contain the grease and discard it.
Make Your Own Pre-Cooked Bacon
You can easily refrigerate a batch of cooked bacon and reheat it the next day. This is a great option if you’re preparing breakfast or brunch for a group of people and want to cook ahead so you can enjoy the party!
Let your cooked bacon cool to room temperature. Put it in a dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
How to Reheat Bacon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (no aluminum foil is needed for reheating), and arrange the bacon slices in a single layer. Cook until hot and just starting to sizzle, about 10 minutes. Cool on a pan for a few minutes before serving.
How to Freeze Cooked Bacon
Because of its high fat content, cooked bacon freezes surprisingly well. After you’ve cooked it and drained it, gather the bacon strips and loosely stack. Wrap the stack gently in parchment paper or wax paper, folding the ends down to make a package. Tuck the package inside of a freezer-safe bag and freeze. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it.
More Ways to Cook Bacon
Enjoy bacon in the great outdoors with our directions for cooking bacon on the grill.
You might also enjoy our guide about how to cook wavy bacon in the oven.
Recipes to Use Leftover Bacon
While we’ve never actually heard anyone say the words “What can I do with leftover bacon?” it’s always possible. These recipes are a perfect way to use oven-cooked bacon:
- Stovetop Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Best Deviled Eggs with Bacon
- Mini Quiches with Bacon, Egg and Cheese
- BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) Sandwich
Let’s make some tasty bacon!
Cook Bacon in the Oven (Easy Recipe)
- baking sheet
- aluminum foil
- parchment paper
- paper towels
- 1 pound smoked sliced bacon
- freshly ground black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover a large baking sheet with foil. Line it with a sheet of parchment paper.
- Arrange bacon slices on the prepared baking sheet. It's okay if they overlap a little.
- Cook the bacon until it's browned and crispy to your liking, about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the bacon cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Use a tong or spatula to transfer to paper towels. Drain and serve.
- Optional: For oven-baked spicy bacon, sprinkle the bacon with freshly ground black pepper and/or cayenne pepper during the last 10 minutes of baking. Turn the bacon strips over with tongs, sprinkle the other side with pepper, and continue baking until done.
- Variation: For sweet glazed baked bacon, sprinkle brown sugar on top of the bacon strips during the last 15 minutes of baking.
How about you? Do you cook your bacon in the oven, and if so, do you have any additional tips to share? We’d love to hear from you in the Comments.
If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin: