Baking Bacon is the best method for making perfectly crispy, evenly cooked bacon! No more grease splatters! No more standing over the stove flipping bacon! No more greasy pans! Just perfectly cooked bacon every single time!
Bacon is one of the most beloved foods ever! Whether enjoying crispy bacon with Whole Wheat Pancakes or French Toast Casserole for a satisfying breakfast or using bacon to make a BLT Sandwich, BLT Salad, or Breakfast Tacos, bacon makes everything better.
But instead of pan-frying bacon, there is a better, easier way to perfectly to cook bacon.
Why Baking Bacon is Better
Bake bacon is superior to pan-fried bacon for several reasons.
- Hands-Off. There is no need to babysit bacon while it bakes in the oven. Simply pop it in the oven and cook! No flipping required or constant tending, as there is when you pan-fry bacon.
- Cooks Evenly. When you prepare bacon by pan-frying it on the stove, it can cook up evenly and curl up as it cooks, while baking bacon results in evenly cooked bacon that stays uniform in shape.
- No Grease Burns! By baking bacon, you do not have to worry about grease splattering all over your kitchen or the potential of getting burned while tending to the bacon as it cooks.
- Easy Clean-Up. By baking bacon all the grease is collected on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil, making clean-up a breeze.
How to Bake Bacon
Follow this easy step-by-step process and you will see that baking bacon results in PERFECT bacon.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and place a wire heat-safe cooling or baking rack on the cooking sheet. This will make clean-up that much easier!
- Lay bacon evenly across the baking rack, being sure to not let the bacon overlap.
- Pop the bacon into the oven to bake.
- After 12 minutes, check to see if the bacon has reached your desired crispiness. If not, return to the oven for an additional 3-8 minutes. The baking time will be based on how crispy you like your bacon, your oven, and how thick your bacon is cooked.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and transfer the baked bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra grease.
- Once cooled, serve as desired.
How to Discard Bacon Grease
Probably my favorite thing about baking bacon versus pan-frying is how easy the clean-up is.
As the bacon bakes, the grease will drip down onto the foil-lined baking sheet. You can opt to save your bacon grease to cook with or discard the grease in the trash.
Remember to NEVER POUR BACON GREASE DOWN SINK DRAIN!! This is a surefire way to end up with a clog at some point, as grease hardens as it cools.
The correct method for discarding bacon grease is to allow the grease to cool fully and harden and then discard it with the foil in the trash.
Alternatively, you can allow the grease to cool slightly and then pour the grease into a metal can or glass jar. DO NOT use plastic, or the grease will melt the plastic. Once the grease has hardened you can scoop it out of the jar and discard it in the trash. Or you can store the jar under the sink and add to it every time you make bacon. Once the jar is full, discard the entire jar.
Storing Cooked Bacon
If you have leftover bacon, congratulations, you have amazing willpower 😉 But it is easy to store leftover cooked bacon to keep on hand to add to salads, Instant Pot egg bites, or a twice-baked potato.
- Refrigerate: Store the cooled, cooked bacon in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Layer the cooled baked bacon in between parchment paper or wax paper and freeze in a freezer storage bag. The wax paper will keep the bacon strips from all freezing together, so you can pull out just what you need. Cooked bacon can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Reheat: Place the chilled or frozen bacon on a plate lined with paper towels. Cover with an additional paper towel and microwave at 30-second intervals, until heated through.
The method for baking bacon is different than broiling bacon. While you CAN broil bacon, you will need to keep a close eye on the bacon, so it doesn't burn and you will need to flip halfway through the cooking process to achieve evenly cooked bacon.
FAQs on Baking Bacon
If you do not have an oven-safe cooking rack to place on a baking sheet, use a broiler pan and flip the bacon halfway through the baking time. The great thing about using the wire rack is that heat circulates all around the bacon, so you NEVER have to flip it over.
If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate your pan halfway through cooking.
Yes. You will need to let the bacon grease cool and then store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days if you want to use it in recipes. It is not safe to consume if stored at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. You can use the bacon grease to saute potatoes, make Warm Bacon Dressing, or in BLT pasta salad.
If you do not care for crispy bacon, check the bacon after 10 minutes of baking to determine if the bacon has reached the desired doneness. Add time if needed.
Obviously, bacon makes a delicious accompaniment to any breakfast or brunch spread. However, it also adds savory, salty flavor in the following recipes.
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Turkey Club Wrap
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad
- BLT Salad
- Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- Breakfast Tacos
If you tried this method for baking bacon, I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below.
- 1 pound bacon **this recipe can be doubled or cut in half
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and fit a metal baking rack onto cooking sheet.
- Lay the strips of bacon evenly across the rack so that it is not overlapping. Overlapped bacon will not cook evenly.
- Place the bacon into the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Check on the bacon, if the bacon has not reached your desired crispiness, return to the oven for 3-8 minutes. I find for my oven and for crispy, yet not burnt bacon, I need to plan for 18 minutes.
- Once the bacon has baked, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra grease.
- Allow to cool and serve as desired.