How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
A step by step tutorial on how to cook bacon in the oven. This method yields perfect bacon every time!
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Why do it?
I think we’ve all experienced it. You’re sitting in a class or meeting and smell something familiar. Then you’re mortified to realize that the smell is coming from you…it’s the scent of the bacon you cooked earlier lingering on your clothes. Maybe you’ve even had the pleasure of recognizing this good, but awkward, smell coming from others.
I have a way to cook bacon that not only eliminates the scent from clinging to you, but also, if you follow it correctly, it will lead to perfectly cooked, delicious bacon every time.
I have been cooking bacon in the oven now for a few years. In my experience, it is a lot easier than frying it over the stove. It also has the added benefit of not making you or or house smell of bacon.
Prepare your Bacon and Preheat the Oven
This method is really quite simple. First, start by preheating your oven. To replicate a frying pan, I have found that 400 degrees usually does the trick.
Next, find a pan (I use a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan) and a metal cookie cooling rack like THIS. Or here, you can get a cookie sheet with a cooling rack as a set, so you know the cooling rack fits perfectly.
Completely line the pan with aluminum foil. Being attentive and thorough in this step will save time during clean up. After it is covered in foil, place the cooling rack on the pan.
Next, separate the pieces of bacon and lay them on the rack. Since I am often cooking for a crowd, there have been many times where I ran out of room for a single layer. I am not a patient person so in these cases, I have placed another layer on top of the first. It still gets the bacon cooked, you just have to be more vigilant in watching it. I haven’t done more than 2 layers.
Cook And Flip
After all your bacon is situated, it’s time to go in the oven. This part is critical. You need to make sure to check on it frequently. I usually set the initial time for 5 minutes before I check on it (then close the oven so the smell stays in the oven!)
You will need to use tongs similar to THESE to flip the bacon.
Turn the pieces of bacon to ensure they are cooking evenly.
After I check it the first time, it is never ready, but it is important to flip it and move the pieces around for more even cooking.
I always set my timer for 2 minutes after I check the bacon, even if I think I won’t forget…because I usually do forget and 2 minutes goes by fast!
The length of time that it takes to finish all of it will depend on how much bacon you are cooking, how thick it is, and your personal preference on how done you want it.
Since the bacon that I use is rarely the same size or thickness, I have to watch and take the smaller pieces out as they become done. I transfer them to a paper-towel lined plate.
Now when I was in college, I remember a friend of mine preferred his bacon to only be cooked for 30 seconds or so and he thought that was perfect. This taught me that everyone has their own preferences.
Whatever yours may be, watch your bacon closely so that you can take it from the oven when it’s at the stage that is perfect for you. For me, that is when it is all brown, but not completely crispy…I love chewy bacon!
The least desirable part of this is the clean up, but if you do it right, it won’t be that bad. Make sure to let the grease cool so you’re not in danger of burning yourself.
To save my plumbing, I then pour the grease into an empty food can or container. After the pool of grease is gone, you can simply throw away the foil.
There is always some grease that seeps through onto the pan. Just use paper towels to sop it up and throw away (or if you have a fire going you can throw it in the fire, but just be careful to close the fireplace door)!
There you have it, perfect bacon cooked minus the smell clinging to your kitchen and clothes!
Bacon in the Oven
- 1 package Bacon any variety
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a metal cookie sheet with aluminum foil
- Place a metal cooling rack on the cookie sheet
- Lay the raw bacon pieces evenly onto the cooling rack. It’s okay if you have to make 2 layers to fit all the bacon.
- Cook in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how you like your bacon cooked. Turn the bacon after 5 minutes and then every 3 to 4 minutes until done to ensure even cooking and that it is cooked the way you prefer.