How to cook perfect bacon in the oven, no flipping required! The BEST and EASIEST way to bake bacon for perfect results every time.
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Crispy, golden bacon is one of life’s greatest pleasures, is it not?
I can remember the days before we figured out that cooking bacon in the oven is the way to go — you’ve got curled up slices of bacon, unevenly cooked, some crispy and black, some still a little flabby, and maybe a few that are perfectly golden.
Well those days are gone, because oven baked bacon is here and I’m never going back!
Why bake bacon?
There are so many reasons why baking bacon is the only way to go!
- it’s easy — just throw it on the pan and go!
- it’s less hands-on — no flipping and watching required
- it cooks more evenly — because all the pieces are laying flat, all the pieces reach the same shade of bacon perfection at the same time
- it lays flat — which means nice straight pieces of bacon if you are sticking them on a burger or in a sandwich
- you have a large cooking area, so you can make a pile at once, which is perfect for throwing in pasta or salads or on a pizza throughout the week
What is the best kind of bacon?
I prefer to use a nice, good quality thick cut bacon.
When it comes to bacon I have found that the cheapest packs are not worth paying any money for — what comes out of there is all fat, stringy and unappetizing!
Rather than opt for a cheaper pack of bacon, I buy the good stuff in bulk and tell myself I’m still saving money in the end 😉
If reduced sodium is a thing you look for, there are also good options out there with that in mind.
Do you need to bake bacon on a rack?
You can, if you want.
The theory is that the bacon gets more crispy if you put it on a rack, as the air can circulate around it and it’s not sitting in the fat.
But… fat also helps your food to get crispy, so I think the little that sits in the pan with the bacon is okay.
I definitely haven’t found that bacon baked right on the pan is too soft, and if I can get away with less clean up?
That’s the way for me!
How long do you cook bacon in the oven?
How long to cook bacon in the oven depends on a few factors, including:
- the kind of bacon you’re cooking (thick or thin cut)
- the kind of pan you’re using (dark non stick v. a lighter pan)
- how dark you like your bacon
For my, I use a heavy light colored pan, thick cut bacon and like my bacon crispy but not overly dark and crunchy, and my perfect cook time was 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Keep in mind that a convection oven will also cook things more quickly, so keep an eye on it.
Thick cut bacon will likely need a cook time of at least 20 minutes, and up to 35 if you like it very dark.
The bacon will continue to cook slightly and crisp up after it’s removed from the oven, so don’t let it go too long.
How do you store leftover cooked bacon:
To store leftover bacon in the fridge, you can wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap, or place in an airtight container.
Leftover bacon can be stored up to 5 days before using.
How to freeze leftover cooked bacon:
You can also freeze leftover bacon!
Place in strips or cut up into small pieces, and store in a zipper freezer bag up to 3 months.
Bacon that has been frozen won’t be as crispy, but you can reheat in a skillet to get back some of that crisp texture.
It is also great in pastas, soups, and on pizza!
Extra bacon? Here are some ways to use it!
- One Pot BBQ Chicken and Bacon Pasta
- Pierogies with Bacon and Onions
- Instant Pot Pork Chops with Bacon Apple Glaze
- Stir some into this One Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo for extra flavor!
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How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 8 slices thick cut bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay strips of bacon on parchment, ensuring they are not touching. I can get 8 on my largest pan — you can cook as many as you need as long as they lay flat and don't touch.
- Bake bacon for 20-35 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. There are a number of factors that affect cook time, so check your bacon at 20 minutes, and add 3-5 minutes at a time until your bacon is perfectly the way you like it.
- Remove and let sit on a paper towel lined plate for a few minutes before serving.
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