Do you like bacon? I like bacon. My husband and kids like bacon. Bacon makes it better, right?
But bacon is so time consuming and messy to make, especially when I’m cooking enough to feed five people! There must be a better way…
A couple of years ago, I heard about baking bacon in the oven, and I’ve been making it this way ever since. It is much easier to cook perfectly this way, since it tends to stay flatter and not curl up as much (which means it will cook more evenly). It is also much easier to clean up afterwards, especially if you use parchment paper instead of aluminum foil to line your baking sheet–no more bacon grease splatters all over the stovetop!
The fact that it is largely hands off allows me to focus on getting the rest of breakfast ready (especially during the school year when we need to get ready and out the door quickly). And I love that I can make as much as I need–which comes in handy when we have guests or I want to make extra to use in other recipes or for future meals.
There are varying methods for baking bacon, but below is the recipe that works best for me. Happy bacon baking!
- sliced bacon (about 1 pound)
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (aluminum foil will also work).
- Separate the slices of bacon and arrange them in a single layer on the parchment paper-lined pan. It's okay if they overlap a bit since the bacon will shrink as it cooks.
- Put the baking sheet on the middle rack of a cold oven and turn the oven on to 400F. Putting the tray in a cold oven and heating slowly helps the fat to render out of the bacon.
- Once the oven comes to temperature (about 30 minutes), check to see how well the bacon is cooked. Rotate pans at this point if you are cooking multiple sheets full of bacon.
- When the bacon is as done as you like it, use oven mitts to remove the pan from the oven and then use tongs to transfer the hot bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- For thicker sliced bacon, you will need an additional 5-15 minutes for the bacon to achieve your desired doneness. I typically remove some of the bacon about 5 minutes after it gets to 400F, then put the pan back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes (some like it crispy...some don't).
- When the pan has cooled enough to handle, but the bacon fat is still liquid, pour the fat through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter into a glass bowl or mason jar for future use. If you plan to use it within a few days, it will be fine on the counter top. Refrigerate to extend its shelf life.
Thin-sliced bacon will cook much faster, so keep an eye on it!