Baked Bacon

Baked bacon. Made on a baking sheet in the oven, it’s the best way we know how to cook bacon for a crowd with no standing at the stovetop getting spattered. All you need is a baking sheet. And a craving for bacon.

A white tray with slices of perfect baked bacon.

This is an easy oven technique for making bacon that’s perfect for those times when you just don’t have it in you to stand at the stove getting spattered by grease. Instead, simply place the strips of bacon on a rimmed baking sheet and slide the whole shebang in the oven. Tada! Perfect baked bacon for a crowd with barely any effort. And no hot grease spattered your way. Originally published December 21, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Baked Bacon That's Crazy Shatteringly Crisp

Place the bacon on a wire rack situated on the rimmed baking sheet. This technique allows the hot air to circulate around the bacon so the strips can crisp evenly. This works exceptionally well with thin-sliced bacon but also works with extra thick-cut bacon, too.

Perfect Baked Bacon

  • Quick Glance
  • (7)
  • 5 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 7 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Cook's Illustrated Meat Book cookbook

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Ingredients


Directions

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Arrange the bacon slices on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Wait until the oven is completely preheated and then slide the baking sheet into the oven. Let the bacon cook, without turning, until the fat begins to render, 5 to 6 minutes.

Rotate the baking sheet and continue cooking until the bacon is crisp and brown, 5 to 6 minutes for thin-cut bacon, 8 to 10 minutes for thick-cut bacon. if you’re baking more than 1 sheet of bacon at the same time, swap their oven positions about halfway through cooking. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels or a brown paper sack to drain. Collect the bacon drippings in a clean Mason jar or another resealable container with a lid, tuck it in the fridge, and reserve for another use, such as our Bacon Fat Gingersnaps.

Pile the baked bacon onto plates or a platter and have at it.

Print RecipeBuy the Cook's Illustrated Meat Book cookbook

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    Variations On Baked Bacon

    • Bored with knowing how to bake bacon all by itself? Simply sprinkle the bacon with any of the following before you slide it in the oven. (And keep a close eye on the oven as any form of sugar can burn relatively quickly and easily. And you don’t want flare-ups—unless, of course, you’re into that sorta thing.)

      * Brown sugar
      * Brown sugar and topped with chopped pecans
      * Brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne pepper
      * Brushed with maple syrup
      * Brushed with honey

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Why have I been frying bacon on the stovetop all this time when this genius method to make baked bacon exists? I'll admit, I had heard of "frying" bacon in the oven, but to be honest I didn't think that it would yield the same results, so I naively ignored it and kept to my old-school method of babysitting the bacon on the stovetop. Well, now that I have finally seen the light, this will be my go-to method, especially when I need to fry bacon in bulk! And you still get the benefit of bacon grease with this method. Genius, I tell you! I used a thick (but not chunky) cut of bacon, so maybe a medium-thick-cut bacon. I cooked it 5 minutes for the first round then rotated it for another 6 minutes.

    Perfect. That is the one word I would use to describe this method for baked bacon. The fat began to render at 5 minutes. Because I used thick-cut bacon, I set the timer for 8 minutes more. When I checked it, the bacon was cooked medium, just like I would receive at a restaurant. My family prefers bacon on the crisp side, so I kept the bacon in the oven for an additional 3 minutes, and it was perfect—crisp yet not burnt, and it still melted in my mouth. No mess, no enslavement to the stovetop, just great bacon. The entire process took about 18 minutes from opening the package of bacon to placing the crisp bacon on the paper towels. The time it took to disappear was about 30 seconds.

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    Comments

    1. Nobody mentioned the coup de grace for bacon cooked this way — a bit of maple syrup drizzled over it once it’s done, and to gild the lily even more, a few chopped nuts sprinkled on top, either almonds or pecans. Voila.

    2. Tried bacon in the oven tonight. It has been in there for 45 min on 400 and still not done. Overlapping a bit does not work. It all sticks together!

      1. Gheinz, is your oven calibrated correctly? Forty-five minutes is a long time. Even for thick-cut bacon. I bake my bacon, which is thickly cut, and it cooks in about 30 minutes or so. I don’t overlap the bacon slices, as that makes them extra-thick.

      2. Gheinz, did you perhaps use thickly sliced bacon? If you look at the paragraph just beneath the photo, we mention that thicker sliced bacon will take longer. I sometimes make bacon ends and pieces that I acquire from Trader Joe’s and those chunks take considerably longer, too.

        1. I tried this for the first time and cooked on a cooling rack and it took forever. There were a couple of pieces that didn’t fit on rack so I put them on the sides of pan almost under the rack. Those pieces turned out perfect! So after baking for 15 to 20 minutes, I put the bacon straight onto the pan and cooked for another 10 in total and then they were perfect! Could this be the difference between a conventional and gas oven? (thin bacon)

          1. Lisa, I suspect it was the relative thinness of the bacon. I’ve done the same when making the thin bacon my nephew prefers in the oven and I, too, prefer the version made directly on the sheet in the drippings whereas when I make thick sliced bacon I prefer it on a rack.

    3. I have converted over to oven baked bacon and love it!! It is the only way to cook bacon. Wish I had known this years ago!! And I save that bacon grease for fried potatoes. Yummy!!

    4. Our household has converted to oven cooked bacon. Whenever I open a package I make it a point to cook the entire amount in the oven. After cooking, any leftovers are wrapped in a foil sheet to be reheated in the toaster oven.

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