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Once you bring home that bacon, don’t just fry it up in a pan—you have options! Learn how to fry bacon in the oven, which leaves you with a sparkling clean kitchen. That means more bacon, more often, for everyone!
I love them all: Nueske’s, Nieman Ranch, Hormel, Applegate Naturals, Oscar Mayer, Burger’s.
Center cut, thick cut, cured, or uncured.
If you don’t already know it, cooking bacon in the oven is quite possibly the best thing you’ll learn all year. And yes, even if you’re a diehard cast iron user, you can cook bacon in the oven in your favorite #10. But chances are you’ll be so impressed with how much more bacon fits on a sheet tray than in a pan, that once you try it, you’ll never go back to anything else.
Of course, if you’re only cooking a small amount of bacon for a recipe that makes use of the bacon fat, such as Hot Bacon Dressing or Green Beans with Bacon, it definitely makes more sense to use a skillet on the stove. Same goes for Spaghetti Carbonara…do it in the pan on the stove. Keep on keeping on!
But when you need a whole lotta bacon, turkey bacon, or even facon (that’s veggie bacon), the oven keeps the temperature even, the mess contained, the burns to a minimum, and the hungry bellies fed.
The advantages to frying bacon in the oven:
- More bacon. In general, you can cook more bacon in an oven than in a pan or in the microwave. Go ahead, fill that oven up!
- Less mess, less clean-up. Trust me, it bears repeating.
- It’s hands-off. You can do other things while the bacon is cooking. Like make coffee. Or squeeze some OJ.
- Bacon loves low and slow cooking. The oven gives a nice, consistent heat.
- No flipping. Skillet fried bacon needs to be flipped frequently. Not the case in the oven!
- Less gear. You don’t need tongs, a splatter screen,
- Burns? What burns? No more hot grease popping out of the skillet and hitting your arms.
Are there any disadvantages to cooking bacon in the oven?
Not really. Oven-roasted bacon may take a few minutes longer, but by a few I mean 4 to 5 minutes, tops.
How to fry bacon:
The most important thing you need to cook bacon in the oven (other than bacon) is a rimmed baking sheet.
You can line the sheet with foil or parchment, if you like, for easy clean-up. I personally like to cook the bacon on a rack, but you don’t have to use one. The bacon cooks beautifully in the drippings and stays tender, too.
- First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then all you have to do is nestle the raw strips of bacon close together on the sheet. Don’t worry so much about crowding them—each piece will shrink a bit as it cooks.
- Bake the bacon for about 15 minutes. There’s absolutely no need to flip the bacon, either. (Turkey bacon and vegetable-based bacon might need less time, so keep that in mind.)
- However, depending on your oven, the bacon you have, and the level of crispness you enjoy, you might have to leave the bacon in a little longer. After the 10-minute mark, stay close to the kitchen and start checking.
- Pull the bacon out of the oven and transfer to a few layers of paper towels to drain off the extra grease.
Got extra bacon fat in the pan? Save it for the Hot Bacon Dressing, or fry up some eggs, quick!
Can you cook bacon in a frying pan?
Of course you can! Using the stove to cook just a small amount of bacon makes sense.
A good tip: starting the bacon in a cold pan helps render the fat better, resulting in crispier bacon.
- First, arrange the bacon in a single layer in a cast iron pan or other heavy skillet.
- Then cook the bacon over medium-high heat until browned on bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip with tongs and cook until browned on the other side, about 2 minutes.
- When cooked the way you like it, simply move the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off the excess bacon fat.
What temperature to cook bacon?
400 degrees. This temperature isn’t set in stone, though.
For example, if you’re baking, say, a Cheesy Potato Casserole, you will already have the oven set to 350 degrees. That’s perfectly fine. It might take a tiny bit longer to cook the bacon, depending on how crisp you like it, but it will still work great.
How long to fry bacon?
That is up to you and how you like your bacon. Since most bacon is already cured, there is no hard and fast rule about cooking times—most of it is eyeballed. How do you know when bacon is done? Look at it. It should be browned, crisp, and tantalizingly juicy.
- On the stove or in the oven, most bacon fully cooks within 10-18 minutes.
- One thing to consider is that thick-cut bacon might take longer to fry than thin bacon. And turkey bacon cooks much faster.
- Do you like tender, soft bacon with rippled fatty edges? Take it out on the early side.
- Or do you like it crisp and brittle? Leave it in a little longer.
How to Fry Bacon
- 1 pound bacon
To fry bacon in the oven:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Set a rack on top if using.
- Arrange the bacon in a single layer. Bake until bacon is cooked to your desired doneness (start checking at 10 minutes; I usually bake it for about 15 minutes).
- Remove from oven and drain on paper towels.
To fry bacon on the stove:
- In a cold skillet, arrange bacon in a single layer (don't let it overlap too much). Turn the skillet to medium heat and cook, flipping the pieces often to promote even browning, until they reach your desired doneness (8 to 15 minutes).
- Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.