I know there are a lot of us who really, really love bacon. (Like really, really love it.) It’s crispy and it’s so ridiculously delicious that it makes anything taste better. But, if you’re cooking it the traditional way, it can be kind of a pain. It gets grease everywhere, the pieces curl up in the pan, and they never seem to end up evenly cooked. That’s why I’m a big fan of cooking bacon in the oven. In fact, I think it’s the only way to do it. There’s virtually no mess, and the pieces come out nice and straight and evenly cooked every single time. Here’s just how to do it.
The only ingredient you’re going to need is, well, bacon. I prefer a thicker cut, but any kind of bacon will work for this method. If you’re going to use a thinner bacon, you just really want to keep an eye on it while it cooks; thin bacon can go from uncooked to burnt quickly.
To start, I like to line a baking sheet with foil. It’s not totally necessary, but it makes clean up much easier. After cooking, I generally just wait for the grease to solidify a bit and then roll up the foil and throw it away. Easy peasy. You can also use a wire rack if you like really crispy bacon, but I find this method works just fine.
Lay your bacon out across the pan. It can touch – the bacon will shrink up as it cooks – but take care not to overlap the slices or you’ll end up with uncooked parts and bacon that’s stuck together.
Put the baking sheet in a cold oven and set it to 400°F. Do not preheat! Starting in a cold oven helps the fat in the bacon render slowly as it comes up to temperature (which means crispier bacon) and it also keeps the bacon from curling up as it cooks.
I can’t give you an exact cooking time… that all depends on what kind of bacon you’re using and how you like your bacon, but I’d suggest that you start checking it at 15 minutes. Thicker bacon will take longer, usually about 20 minutes for the level of crispiness that I like.
When your bacon is at your desired level of doneness, all that’s left to do is pull it out and set it out on some paper towels to drain. You can blot the top too to make sure that any excess fat doesn’t linger there to de-crisp your efforts.
If you haven’t tried cooking bacon in the oven, it’s high time you did. It’s a super simple method that involves no babysitting, no grease spitting at you, easy cleanup, and a perfect result each and every time.
How to Cook Oven Bacon
- 12 slices bacon
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay bacon in a single layer across baking sheet, taking care that pieces don't overlap.
- Put baking sheet into a cold oven, turn heat to 400°F and bake until bacon is desired level of crispy, anywhere from 15-25 minutes. (Start checking after 15 minutes; thin slices cook quickly.)
- Remove cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve, and enjoy!