To cook bacon in the oven: line a baking sheet with foil. This ensures even cooking.
From there, arrange the bacon in a single layer, then pop it right into a cold oven. Turn it to 400°F/205°C and cook for 20-25 minutes.
Cooking Bacon in The Oven
It’s quick, easy, and won’t make your stovetop greasy. Yup, today we’re talking about how to cook bacon in the oven!
Everyone loves the taste of bacon. And it’s such a versatile ingredient, too.
From yummy bacon sandwiches to pasta and salads, bacon goes with everything.
Unfortunately, making it can be a pain. Plus, the smell lingers for hours after you’re done.
But if you cook it in the oven, you don’t have to worry about a messy cleanup.
Ready to learn how? Let’s get to it.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
I’ve already outlined the steps above, but I’m guessing you want more details. After all, I did say to put the bacon into a cold oven.
So, here’s the steps for cooking bacon in the oven:
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Parchment would work, but foil ensures even cooking and makes the bacon crispy.
- Arrange the bacon in a single layer. If the strips overlap, they’ll steam rather than roast, which means they’ll be soft.
- Season the bacon (optional). Make it extra special with black pepper, maple syrup, or brown sugar.
- Put the bacon into a cold oven. This method lets the fat render out, giving you perfectly crispy bacon.
- Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205°C). Then, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s as crispy as you like.
- Drain and serve. Take the tray out of the oven and transfer the bacon to a plate with paper towels.
If you want to keep the bacon fat, pour it into a heat-safe container. You can use it for other yummy bacon recipes to add smoky, savory flavor.
How Long to Cook Bacon in the Oven
How long you cook bacon in the oven depends on:
- The method you’re using
- How much bacon you have
- How thick the bacon is
- How crispy you like it
In general, you should cook bacon at 400°F (205°C) for best results. And avoid mixing thick slices with thin as the latter will burn before it’s all cooked.
The cold oven method:
- Bacon strips need at least 15 minutes to cook from cold.
- If you like it very crispy, they’ll need closer to 25 minutes.
- Thin bacon should be ready after 15-20
- Thick slices will need 20-25 minutes.
The hot oven method:
- Bacon strips need about 8-10 minutes to cook in a preheated oven.
- If you like it very crispy, they’ll need around 15.
Remember, you don’t need to flip the slices when cooking on foil.
Tips for Perfectly Crispy Oven-Baked Bacon
Want to make your oven-baked bacon even better? Check out these tips:
- Use a wire rack: Layer the bacon on a wire rack and place that on the foil-lined baking sheet. This lets the hot air circulate all around the bacon. And the foil means it’s easier to clean up.
- Choose the right bacon: Thicker cuts yield better results, as thinner bacon easily overcooks and burns.
- Cool slightly: Let the bacon cool for a minute or two before serving. This allows the bacon to firm up and achieve maximum crispiness.
- Check on the bacon: Whether cooking from cold or in a preheated oven, always check the bacon halfway through. Oven temps vary, so if yours runs hot, you might not need as long.
Benefits of Cooking Bacon in the Oven
Why bake bacon in the oven? There are a ton of benefits!
- Even cooking: The heat distribution in the oven means every strip is perfectly cooked.
- Less mess: No more dealing with grease splatters and dirty stovetops.
- Hands-off cooking: With the bacon in the oven, you can focus on the rest of your meal.
- Easy cleanup: When the bacon is done, just toss the foil, and you’re done.
- Cook larger quantities: Baking sheets hold more bacon than skillets. And you can even put two sheets in the oven if you need to feed a crowd.
- Reduced shrinking: Oven-baked bacon tends to shrink less than pan-fried bacon because the heat is evenly distributed.
How to Store and Reheat Cooked Bacon
If you’re not planning to eat the bacon right away, you can absolutely store and reheat it later.
To store: Let the bacon cool completely, then place it into an airtight container. It will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
To reheat in the microwave:
- Layer the bacon on the plate and cover it with a paper towel to prevent splattering.
- Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds or until the bacon is hot and crispy.
- Adjust the time as needed based on your microwave’s power.
To reheat in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Lay the bacon in a single layer on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the bacon is heated through and crispy.
- Keep an eye on the bacon to prevent overcooking.
To reheat on the stovetop:
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Place the bacon in a single layer in the skillet, being careful not to overcrowd it.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until the bacon is heated through and reaches the desired crispiness.
- Be careful not to overcook.
What to Do with Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is like a magical elixir that can transform dishes into something special.
Here are some fun ideas to take your meals up a notch:
- Cooking oil: Use bacon grease as a flavorful substitute for cooking oil. Use it to fry eggs or sauté vegetables.
- Bacon mayo: Combine bacon grease with mayonnaise to make a delicious bacon-infused spread for sandwiches and burgers.
- Dressing: Use bacon grease as a base for creamy homemade salad dressings.
- Biscuits and cornbread: Substitute bacon grease for butter or shortening in biscuits or cornbread. It adds a smoky flavor and tender texture.
- Pancakes and waffles: Add bacon grease to your batter for a subtle, savory twist on these breakfast classics.
- Popcorn: Use it to pop popcorn kernels for a savory twist on movie night snacks.
- Gravy: Use bacon grease as a base for making gravy to pour over mashed potatoes or biscuits.
Remember to store bacon grease properly by letting it cool. Then, transfer it to an airtight container.
Keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month, or freeze it for more extended storage.
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