Why bake bacon in the oven? Well, there are many great reasons. First of all, it’s low maintenance. No need to flip those strips or repeatedly check on them as they cook. Just pop them in the oven, set a timer, and walk away until they’re almost done. Second of all, it’s less messy. No more bacon grease splattering everywhere. All that cooked fat collects in a foil-lined baking sheet for easy cleanup afterwards. You can even save it to use in other recipes. Finally, it tastes delicious, preserving more of that traditional flavor and texture of bacon we love compared to other convenience-oriented methods, such as microwaving.
What you’ll need
- Baking sheets with at least a half-inch rim (for a pound of bacon, you will need 2-3 sheets)
- Aluminum foil
- Cooling rack (optional)
- Start by lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil. To create little “pockets” for the bacon grease to drain into, crumple the foil a bit before laying it across the baking sheet.
- Arrange the bacon on the foil-lined sheet, making sure not to overlap any of the pieces. Leave a small amount of space between the strips so the edges can crisp.
- Put the baking sheets in the oven, set the oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 17-20 minutes. No need to preheat! You’ll want to check on the bacon in those last few minutes to see how it’s doing. Overcooking will lead to tough, chewy bacon. You’ll know it’s done when the larger bubbles on the bacon subside leaving only smaller bubbles.
- Remove bacon from sheets and enjoy! Pour the bacon grease into a heat-resistant container to throw out or use in other cooking. You can strain it through a cheese cloth to remove crispy bits if you desire.
Want to try some variations?
For even crispier bacon, try placing the bacon strips on a cooling rack on top of a foil lined baking sheet and follow the same directions. This method also allows more of the grease to drain off during the cooking process. To prevent the bacon from sticking to the rack, lightly spray it first with non-stick cooking spray.
For flavor variety, try sprinkling the bacon with brown sugar or cracked pepper before baking it in the oven. You can also dredge it in flour or cornmeal before baking. For maple bacon, lightly brush the strips with maple syrup in the last 3-5 minutes of baking time. Or try one of your own flavor concoctions. It’s hard to go wrong with bacon!
Try using these directions on any of these great recipes: