Oven baked bacon for a crowd is the key to success for a stress-free holiday breakfast, brunch with friends, or even when you need to cook up a whole package of bacon for add-ins to other dishes, salads or sandwiches. It’s less hassle and mess to make bacon in the oven and your bacon will turn out perfect every time!
I may be the last person on the planet to have tried cooking bacon in the oven, but had to post this here because I use this method all the time since having discovered it about a year ago when I was trying to figure out how to cook bacon for a crowd. But it also comes in handy when you want bacon but you don’t want to hang around the stove getting hot bacon grease splattered on your hands as you try to turn individual slices and making sure the bacon doesn’t burn while also monitoring the other breakfast components that you have going.
All that is entailed in cooking bacon in the oven is laying it out on a pan then letting it bake while you go about your business making Christmas tree crepes or Belgian waffles. It’s the perfect solution for Christmas morning or a brunch with friends because you can just lay out your bacon super quick and then get back to where the action is at and just listen for your timer to go off. I like to cook but come Christmas morning I would rather be unwrapping presents and playing with toys with my girls than hanging out in the kitchen trying to get breakfast ready when everybody is already hungry and considering diving into their Christmas candy rather than waiting for a decent breakfast.
It’s also a good solution for anyone considering a Whole 30 in January because you can cook a batch of bacon and have it on hand in the fridge to use for a few days. Just make sure you are buying Whole 30 compliant bacon (I like to use the lower-sodium bacon from Costco when doing Whole 30).
Here’s why you should try oven baked bacon:
- You don’t have to flip the bacon. Not even once.
- No more grease splatters all over my stove. Or clothes.
- Easy clean-up since there is nothing to scrub. You can just peel away the aluminum foil after the leftover bacon fat has cooled and then give the pan a quick wash.
- You can make more bacon with less work and keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
I sometimes use this method in the morning to make more bacon than I know we will need for breakfast just so I have extra bacon on hand in the fridge for topping potatoes, adding to a pasta dish, making BLT’s, or throwing in a salad like this spinach, bacon & egg salad that I love. Never, ever, ever buy those awful processed bacon bits for topping salads ever again. Like, ever.
- 1-2 pounds bacon
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper
- Baking sheets
- Paper towels
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. One pound of bacon fits perfectly on one baking sheet but you can cook two pounds of bacon at a time by adjusting your oven racks before preheating so that one rack is in the bottom third of the oven and the other is in the top third of the oven.
Arrange bacon slices close together in a jsingle layer on the baking sheet. It's okay if the edges touch, you just don't want the bacon to overlap.
Place the baking sheet(s) of bacon in the oven and bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the level of crispiness and doneness that you like, but essentially until the bacon is crisp and nicely browned. The exact baking time depends on how thick the cut of your bacon is and your personal preference of crispiness and chewiness in your bacon. I prefer my bacon crisp with some chewiness to it still so I usually take it out around the 16 minute mark, but I also don't tend to buy the thick-cut bacon which would take a bit longer to reach that point.
Remove the bacon from the oven and transfer the individual slices to a plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container or plastic bag and refrigerate up to 3 days.
If you plan to save the bacon grease, pour it into a safe container while still hot. Or just wait until it has cooled completely, then peel off the aluminum foil with the congealed grease on it for easy clean-up.
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