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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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

Want it? Click it.

    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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    1. I remember telling my mom about this method for bacon when I was a girl and had seen a friend’s mom cook bacon this way. Can’t remember if it was just the oven or broiler. My mom tried it once and never again. When I asked her about it she stated it made a “mess in the oven” with grease spattered everywhere (that was the only self cleaning oven was one that you self cleaned!). So, I have never cooked bacon this way. Can anyone tell me if the fat spattered all over the oven when this method was done? Did you have to clean the over afterwards? I am a baker and I like to keep my oven pristine as I think the smell of other food baked in the oven “interferes” with my baked goods. Just like I only use certain pans for baking and nothing else. If this is not a problem, I will give up my microwave and wasteful paper towel ways!

      1. I just got a new oven and it is spattering. So I’m sure I’ll have to clean when it’s done. I couldn’t tell on my old oven. So now I’m disappointed. If someone can tell me how to prevent this please contact me !!!

        1. Jeanette, when I make bacon on the stovetop, I add a touch of water to the skillet which evaporates during cooking. That helps tremendously with spattering. I haven’t tried it in the oven but perhaps worth a shot? Also, are you using a rimmed baking sheet or a roasting pan? The higher sides of the latter can help with some of the spattering.

      2. Hi Debbie, I made a double batch of bacon several days ago. Your question peaked my curiosity so I just checked my oven. No grease splatters or lingering aroma.

    2. I used to prefer pan-frying my bacon, but now only cook my bacon in the oven. It crisps far more evenly in the oven than pan-frying.

    3. I’ve done it this way for years, but with one additional tool, a cooling rack. I have a cooling rack that fits perfectly in a full size sheet pan. I line the sheet pan with heavy foil, but the rack over that, the bacon on the rack. The grease drips through to the foil, so no having to blot the bacon to get off the grease. Then, I let the pan cool, solidifying the grease, which can then be folded up in the foil and thrown away (or strained and used for something else). The sheet pan is clean and the cooling rack cleans up in a snap. I’ve never bothered to time it — the nose knows — but I’d guess it takes anywhere from 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slice and fat/lean ratio.

      We do several pounds at a time, then freeze the slices. All it takes to have hot bacon is about 10-15 seconds in the microwave (wrapped in a paper towel to avoid splattering.

    4. Will do this bacon Christmas Day at my daughters with ten of us there. I have tried the microwave and have not been happy. “Merry Christmas”

      1. Hi Patricia, i just finished a double batch. So easy and so good, and perfect for Christmas day. Merry, merry!

    5. If I just want a few pieces, I do the same thing in the toaster oven. And like Lori Widmeyer, I make large batches in the oven and freeze them. The bacon fat goes for making balls of cornmeal, seeds, etc. for the birds.

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