Real talk: is there anything better than perfectly crispy, thick-cut bacon? On brunch plates, sandwiches, salads — you name it, it’s delicious with perfectly cooked bacon.
Bacon is a staple in our house and while I often opt for turkey bacon, I’m always down for that real deal goodness. I feel like there’s a longstanding debate about the best way to cook bacon, and I’m here to clear all of that up by telling you that cooking bacon in the oven makes the best, crispiest slices out there. I SAID IT.
In this edition of our Back to Basics series I’m going to teach you exactly how to cook bacon in the oven, what makes this method amazing, and of course, how to use perfectly cooked bacon besides shoveling it for breakfast. Buckle up, it’s bacon time.
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Why you should cook bacon in the oven
Cooking bacon in the oven is truly the best way to get perfectly crispy, evenly cooked bacon every time!
- It’s hands-free and doesn’t require you to sit and watch the bacon while it cooks.
- It’s much cleaner and safer because you won’t get grease splatters like when you cook bacon on the stovetop.
- It cooks each slice of bacon evenly as each piece has adequate space to cook and gets the same amount of heat.
- It’s also easier to make MORE bacon all at the same time! No need to cook multiple batches in one greasy pan on the stove.
What type of bacon is best?
I prefer cooking thick-cut bacon in the oven because it crisps up nicely while not overcooking and shriveling up. We want to enjoy big bites of bacon! You can certainly cook thinner slices of bacon in the oven, you’ll just want to reduce the cooking time and be sure to check it so that it’s not getting too crisp.
Ingredients & tools you’ll need
You’ll just need a few things to cook the best bacon in the oven:
- Bacon: the star! Choose your fav kind, thick-cut preferred.
- Large baking sheet: to cook the bacon on, of course.
- Parchment paper: to prevent burning and sticking.
- Paper towel: to help drain the grease a bit once the bacon is done cooking.
- Disposable can or cup: to get rid of the excess grease from the pan. If you’d like to use the bacon grease later for cooking, you’ll need a sealable glass jar.
How to cook bacon in the oven (4 simple steps!)
- Prep your pan & oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the bacon. Place each slice of bacon in a single layer on the tray without overlapping.
- Cook it up. Place the tray in your preheated oven and cook the bacon for 20-30 minutes, depending on the bacon’s thickness and how crispy you like it. Be sure to start checking the bacon around 20 minutes as everyone’s oven times are a bit different.
- Transfer the slices & serve. Once the bacon is done cooking, place each slice of bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to help drain the grease. Then serve it up and enjoy!
Add a sweet or spicy kick
We LOVE adding a little extra flavor to give our bacon slices flair. Before baking:
- For a sweet kick: brush the bacon with maple syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- For a spicy kick: sprinkle the bacon with a little cayenne pepper.
What should I do with the grease?
If you’d like to use the grease for cooking later, store it in a glass, airtight container in the refrigerator. Otherwise, pour the excess grease into a disposable cup or can and toss it.
Storing & freezing tips
- To store: place any leftover bacon slices in an airtight bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Reheat the bacon quickly in the microwave or on the stovetop, or place it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 or so minutes. The oven method is best if you’re reheating a lot of cooked bacon.
- To freeze: place leftover bacon in an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the slices in the refrigerator overnight and heat with one of the methods above.
Our favorite ways to use oven-baked bacon
- Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
- Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Spaghetti
- Spinach Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Crispy Bacon
- Butternut Squash Bacon Spinach Quiche
- Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
Get all of our recipes using bacon here!
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Check out all of our amazing how-to guides here.
I hope you love this easy method for how to cook bacon in the oven! If you try it, be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Learn how to cook bacon in the oven in 30 minutes or less! This easy oven-baked bacon recipe is truly the best, hands-free way to make perfectly crispy bacon. Avoid mess and a smoky kitchen with this foolproof method, and enjoy the perfect breakfast side any time!
- 1 8oz package bacon
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place each slice of bacon in a single layer on the tray without overlapping.
Cook the bacon for 20-30 minutes, depending on the bacon’s thickness and desired crispiness level. Everyone’s oven temperatures can vary slightly, so be sure to start checking the bacon around 20 minutes.
Once bacon is cooked to your desired crispiness, remove the pan from the oven. Remove each slice of bacon and place it onto a plate lined with paper towel to help drain the grease.
Drain the excess bacon grease into a disposable can or cup in order to dispose of it, or drain it into a sealable glass jar & place it in the fridge to use it for cooking later.
For a sweet kick: brush the bacon with maple syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar or coconut sugar.
For a spicy kick: sprinkle the bacon with a little cayenne pepper.
Tutorial by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by Eat Love Eats