The Best Way to Cook Bacon Just Might Be in the Oven
Crispy, salty, just-right bacon—is there anything better on planet earth?! We think not. It’s a perfect food. One ingredient, sooooooo much deliciousness. And cooking bacon in the oven is maybe our very favorite way to prepare it! Why, you ask? Well, we’ll give you three reasons that we love baked bacon:
- No splatter! Yes, frying bacon in a pan is one way to do it, but there’s no avoiding some major bacon grease splatters when you do. Meanwhile, cooking bacon in the oven is completely splatter-free.
- It’s the best way to cook a lot of bacon at once. Why? Because we’re betting that your baking sheet is bigger than your skillet. So if you’re cooking for a crowd, cook bacon in the oven!
- Speaking of making breakfast for a crowd, cooking bacon in the oven is also handy because it keeps your burners free for doing other stuff—like making perfectly soft scrambled eggs and fluffy pancakes to go with all that crisp bacon.
What Kind Of Bacon to Buy
So, you know that bacon is pork belly that’s been cured and smoked until it’s salty and just jam-packed with flavor. But for most of us, when we go to the store or the butcher shop, we’re faced with many, many kinds of bacon. For this recipe we’re calling for thick-cut bacon, but even that is not exactly a regulated term. Thick-cut bacon is usually labeled exactly that way, and it’s—surprise, surprise—sliced roughly 50% more thickly than classic, old-fashioned bacon. We love the substantial heft of thick-cut bacon, and that it’s a much more toothsome experience than regular. In our opinion, there’s no going back to the thin stuff. The only thing to watch out for—and it’s easy to watch out with bacon, since it is almost always packaged in a clear wrapper—is too much fat. A little is a great thing, but too much fat with the thick-cut bacon can be, well, too much! Last but not least—as with all food, but especially meat—quality matters! A lot. Good bacon is hard to beat and yes, quality matters. We recommend bypassing the meat case and heading straight to the butcher counter (or your favorite local butcher shop) to get the very best, freshest cuts. If you don’t have thick-cut bacon, you can still use our method for cooking bacon in the oven, just be mindful that if your bacon is thinner, your cook time will be much quicker.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Not that it’s hard to make good bacon. Bacon is good, and it’s easy to cook. But while you’re bothering to making bacon, you might as well make the very best bacon ever. Here’s how it’s done:
- Lay the bacon on a parchment lined baking sheet. They can be close together, but not touching—if they’re touching, the edges won’t get crisp.
- Bake at 400°F.
- Start checking on the bacon at 18 minutes.
- As soon as it’s done, move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
How Long Should Bacon Be Cooked in the Oven?
Ovens and bacon thickness vary. It is crucial to check on it regularly. If you can smell the bacon, it’s probably close to finished.
Our 4 Best Tips for Making The Best Bacon, Ever.
This bacon recipe is pretty darn easy, but just to make it even easier, here are a few tips for making sure that you get the most out of your bacon-cooking moment:
- If you’re out of parchment paper, bacon can be cooked directly on a baking sheet in a pinch. But be forewarned: it can be hard to clean up.
- Save your bacon grease! Carefully drain it off the sheet pan and into a heat-safe container (like a canning jar). Store it in the fridge (it’ll be good for up to three months) and use it like really, really indulgent butter. Try tossing it with roasted potatoes or using it in recipes like our instant pot beans.
- Some people call for cooking bacon on a rack in the oven, but we find it doesn’t make much of a difference in the finished product. It’s also annoying to clean up. So we say skip it!
- We start in a cool oven to guarantee even cook time on all the bacon. This same principle applies when cooking bacon in a skillet.
What to Serve With Bacon
Do you really need to ask? Well, it’s fun to answer regardless. The thing is, there’s probably not a single meal out there that’s not improved by the addition of bacon. But here are a few of our very favorite things to serve it with:
- Low-Carb Bacon Burger with Guacamole
- Club Sandwich with Pesto Mayonnaise
- Twice Baked Potatoes
- Jalapeño Poppers
- Avocado, Chèvre and Bacon Omelette
Tools You’ll Need
Because Bacon Rules
You need no excuse to make bacon, and we hope you try our recipe for cooking bacon in the oven ASAP! When you try it out, let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!