I admit that I am a seasoned bacon enthusiast dedicated to the pursuit of bacon perfection. My kitchen has been a playground for experimentation.
Through countless trials and errors, I have discovered the secrets that unlock the ultimate texture, flavor, and aroma in every succulent strip.
Today, I am excited to share with you the wisdom acquired from my countless hours cooking bacon in the oven and give you my go-to method for making the crispiest and best bacon ever.
Oven-Baked Bacon Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Number of Servings: 4
- 1 whole pound of thick-cut bacon slices
- Parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Paper towel-lined plate
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Place bacon directly on the lined baking sheet or sheet pan, ensuring they are in a single layer. They should touch but not overlap. You can cook bacon in batches or use multiple baking sheets if needed.
- Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven on the middle wire rack. Cook bacon in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the bacon slices.
- While the bacon cooks, prepare a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Once the bacon is perfectly crispy, remove the sheet pan from the oven, and transfer to the paper towel-lined plate.
- Let the bacon cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Use thick-cut bacon for best results, as it tends to be more forgiving than thin bacon and still yields crispy strips. You also get more bacon per bite, and it makes a big batch.
- Although written for a pound of meat, this recipe works for more or fewer strips as long as they do not overlap.
- Some people arrange a wire rack (like a cooling rack) over the prepared baking sheet. This is to help elevate the bacon slices and allow the grease to drip off. I have found the difference in crispiness negligible when I bake bacon, and cleaning the baking rack afterward is a pain.
- You can adjust the oven temperature and baking time according to your desired level of crispness. For chewy bacon, cook on the baking tray for 13-14 minutes. If you want your bacon extra crispy, cook for 18-20 minutes.
- When you cook bacon, you can render bacon grease and store it in a glass jar for future use in cooking scrambled eggs or creating salad dressings.
- For a savory twist, you can brush the bacon slices with a little maple syrup before baking.
- For even cooking, rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time to avoid hot spots in the oven.
- To store the leftover bacon, let it cool completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days . You can freeze oven-baked bacon for up to 2 months .
- You can also use this recipe for cooking regular-cut bacon or turkey bacon.
- Calories: 160
- Total Carbs: 0.5g
- Protein: 12g
- Fat: 12g
- Fiber: 0g
- Net Carbs: 0.5g
8 Best Ways To Serve Bacon
Here are some dishes or sides that you can use crispy oven-baked bacon in:
- Bacon Ranch Potato Salad: Add chopped crispy bacon to a classic potato salad for an extra burst of flavor. The salty bacon pairs well with the creamy dressing and tender potatoes.
- Cobb Salad: Crumble crispy bacon over a bed of mixed greens, along with other toppings like avocado, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and blue cheese. The extra-crispy bacon adds a savory crunch to this classic salad.
- BLT Sandwich: Layer crispy bacon, fresh lettuce, and juicy tomato slices between two slices of toasted bread, and slather it with mayo. The crispy bacon takes this classic sandwich to the next level for bacon lovers.
- Bacon Mac and Cheese: Stir in crumbled crispy bacon into your favorite mac and cheese recipe for an added smoky and savory flavor. It's a delicious twist on a comfort food favorite.
- Bacon and Spinach Frittata: The addition of crispy bacon to a spinach frittata adds a delicious twist to this wholesome dish, making it a favorite for brunch or a quick weeknight dinner for those who love bacon.
- Loaded Baked Potatoes: Topping baked potatoes with crispy bacon adds a delightful crunch and a rich, savory flavor that enhances the overall indulgence of the dish.
- Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast: Filling chicken breasts with crispy bacon and cheese results in a flavorful and succulent main course that will impress your guests.
The Perks of Cooking Bacon in the Oven
Cooking bacon on parchment paper in the oven offers several compelling benefits over traditional frying methods.
First and foremost, oven-cooked bacon results in less mess than using a frying pan on the stovetop.
The excess grease from cooking bacon in the oven is contained by using a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
This eliminates the need to deal with splatters of hot bacon grease.
Moreover, baking bacon in the oven yields perfectly crispy bacon without constant monitoring or flipping, allowing for a hands-off approach and freeing up time for other kitchen tasks.
Rendering Bacon Grease
Rendering bacon grease is the process of melting and separating the bacon fat from cooked bacon to produce a flavorful and versatile cooking oil.
As you cook bacon in the oven, the bacon fat is released and accumulates in the pan or on the baking sheet because it is a fatty cut of meat.
After the perfectly crisp bacon is removed, the remaining bacon drippings can be carefully poured into a glass jar or container through a fine mesh sieve lined with a paper towel to filter out any solid bits.
Once cooled and solidified, the rendered bacon grease can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks or frozen for longer preservation.
This cooking fat adds a rich, smoky flavor to various dishes, making it an excellent substitute for oil or butter in cooking, roasting, frying, sautéing, or even as a base for savory salad dressing. Its high smoke point makes it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir-frying.
Can I Cook Bacon in the Oven Ahead of Time?
Yes, you can cook bacon in the oven ahead of time. Once you've achieved perfectly cooked bacon, let the bacon strips cool down completely. Then, store the pork belly bacon in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag, and you'll have ready-to-eat bacon on hand for various dishes or quick snacks.
How Do You Store Cooked Bacon?
You store cooked bacon by first letting it cool to room temperature. Next, transfer the baked bacon to a container or wrap it tightly in plastic. Refrigerate the meat for up to 4-5 days. Ensure it's well-sealed to maintain its freshness and prevent it from absorbing other odors in the refrigerator.
Can I Freeze Cooked Bacon?
Yes, you can freeze cooked bacon. Allow the baked bacon to cool completely after baking. Arrange the slices in a single layer on paper towels. Wrap them and transfer the bacon to a resealable plastic bag or container. Frozen bacon can last for up to 2-3 months.
The Crispiest Bacon You’ve Ever Had
You now know how to cook bacon so that it is delicious and crisp. You will delight your taste buds with the smoky, savory goodness only perfectly crispy bacon can provide.
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