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Salty and sizzling Oven Baked Bacon is the key for stress-free holiday breakfasts, brunch with friends, or when you need to cook up a whole package of bacon for other dishes, salads, sandwiches, or burgers. It’s less hassle and mess to make bacon in the oven and you get amazing bacon every time!
Oven Baked Bacon
I use this method all the time since having discovered it years ago when I trying to figure out how to cook bacon for a crowd. It’s so easy and foolproof! And I love that there is no standing by a stove or cleaning up greasy, messy splatter afterwards.
If I’m just making a few slices of bacon for my family, I might occasionally still do it in a cast iron pan. But whenever I need to cook up a whole package or two of bacon, this method is my go-to approach. You can cook thick cut or original cut bacon in the oven this way.
The fully-cooked bacon you buy at the store just cannot compare to fresh, crispy bacon right out of the oven!
How to bake bacon in the oven
Prep a large baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment papere for easy clean-up. After baking, let the bacon grease cool on the foil in the pan, then just lift up the foil and throw it away! The pan still needs to be washed, but you aren’t dealing with all the greasy gunk at least!
Lay the individual slices of bacon side-by-side in a single layer on the baking sheet. It’s totally fine for them to be touching. You can even get away with them overlapping a tiny bit if you need to. They will shrink significantly as they cook and the fat is reduced off the bacon.
If I am using a half-sheet baking sheet, I can usually just barely squeeze all of the slices of bacon from a regular package onto it as long as I arrange a couple of slices going down the side of the pan.
What temperature to cook bacon in the oven
When cooking bacon in the oven, you want it nice and hot, which replicates the conditions of baking it in a pan on the stovetop. But if it is too hot you run the risk of burning the bacon. 400 degrees F is just right for cooking bacon in the oven.
How long to cook bacon in the oven
Bacon will take anywhere from 15 to 35 minutes to bake in the oven at 400 degrees F, depending on a number of factors.
I know that’s a pretty large window, but this is the part where you have to make a judgment call. The amount of time it takes to cook perfect bacon in the oven depends on both the cut and your own personal preference for the degree of doneness you like in your bacon.
The degree of doneness for bacon can be hugely controversial! Some people like it still chewy, while others like it so crispy (almost burnt) that it practically shatters and melts-in-your-mouth.
I’m a middle of the road kind of person who likes chewy-crisp bacon, but I recommend erring on the side of chewy since you can always pop the bacon back into the oven and cook it a little longer if it isn’t done enough for your tastes.
- Classic or Regular-Cut Bacon: 15 to 25 minutes is a pretty good gauge for how long it will take to cook.
- Thick-Cut Bacon: Anywhere from 22 to 35 minutes usually covers the broad spectrum of bacon “doneness” except for “burnt”, which can be achieved by going even longer. I feel like that goes without saying, but you never know.
- Thin-Cut Bacon: If your bacon is super, super thin, you might want to check it starting around 10-12 minutes, just in case, but it will always be done by 20 minutes.
Usually I just set a timer for the shortest amount of time and then start checking it every five minutes until it is done to my family’s preference.
If you want the bacon to be evenly crisp on both sides, you will need to flip it partway through baking. But I find that the lazy approach of just letting it bake without fussing about flipping halfway through works pretty much just as well.
When the bacon is done to your liking, remove the pan from the oven and transfer the hot bacon using tongs to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess grease. I always pour off the bacon fat into a container to save for other uses.
Cooking bacon on a rack in the oven
You can place a wire rack on the foil-lined baking sheet and lay the bacon out on it that so that the bacon gets extra crispy and the fat can drip off below it. But it’s not my favorite method from a standpoint of flavor and extra cleanup (those cooling racks are no fun to clean!).
I prefer letting the bacon sizzle and fry right on the pan in it’s own fat, just like if I was making it on the stovetop.
Here’s why you should try oven baked bacon:
- Meal-prepping! 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 for topping baked potatoes, adding to a pasta dish or salad, making BLT’s, or topping hamburgers later in the day.
- Clean-up is a breeze! Not only is it easier to dispose of the bacon grease with oven baked bacon, but you also don’t have to clean off your stovetop and counters afterwards. The bacon doesn’t even splatter in the oven and I have never felt any need to clean my oven more after making bacon in it than anything else I make in it.
More recipes for people who love bacon
- Red, White, and Blueberry Bacon Burger with Basil Aioli
- Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
- Bacon Green Onion Deviled Eggs
- Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich with Kneaders Sauce
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
- Jalapeno Popper Dip with Bacon
- Green Beans with Bacon & Pine Nuts
- Bacon Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey
- Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 1 lb. bacon classic cut or thick cut
Tools & Supplies
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper
- Baking sheets
- Paper towels
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 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 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 single layer on the baking sheet. It’s okay if the edges touch, you just don’t want the bacon to overlap too much.
- Place the baking sheet(s) of bacon in the oven and bake for 15-35 minutes, depending on the level of crispiness and doneness that you like and the type of bacon you are using. Flip halfway through baking, if desired, to get the bacon evenly crisp on both sides.
- Remove the bacon from the oven and use tongs to 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 cleanup.