How to Cook Bacon
Traditional Way of Cooking Bacon
I used to cook bacon over the stove. I would slave over that grease-filled pan as it would sizzle and pop, usually splattering all over the stove and countertops. And then there were the grease burns! If you have spent any time in the kitchen…I’m sure you have experienced this. You are standing there, innocently watching the food as it cooks. Perhaps, you’ve even followed ALL the rules, even down to making sure that when you put something in the pan, you lay it away from you so if it splashes, it splashes away from your body. Yet things happen. That grease has a mind of its own at times. Next thing you know, hot grease droplets hit your hand, your arm, or maybe even your FACE!!!!! And it burns. I don’t know about you, but grease burns make me feel like I’m the bacon in the pan just sizzling away. It’s not fun!
It is Possible to Bake Bacon!
I kept thinking, there had to be a better way. A way I could cook a whole package of bacon at once that wouldn’t require a huge mess to clean up later, or battle wounds that’ll never go away. Then one day, a friend introduced me to BAKING THE BACON! I couldn’t believe it! You can BAKE it?!?!
Yes! Yes, you can! And not only does this save your precious skin from grease burns, it also allows for very even and beautifully baked bacon!
I won’t lie, it has taken me a while to figure out what temperature and time frame I prefer. And to be 100% honest, sometimes I change the temperature, which always effects the time. If I’m baking something else in the oven, sometimes I’ll bake the bacon at whatever temperature the oven is already at and then just keep an eye on it.
However, if all I’m needing is cooked bacon, this temperature/time combination is definitely my favorite.
Laying the Bacon for Baking
While this isn’t a must, I HIGHLY recommend a silicon mat of some sort. This makes for super easy cleanup. However, this isn’t a must. Most of the time, I go ahead and line my pan with it. Then just lay the bacon out all pretty like! Try not to let them touch, however as long as you aren’t using too shallow of a pan, you can generally load up the pan with minimal space in between. I only needed a small amount today so I allowed mine to have a lot of space.
To those wondering about the “shallow pan,” the reason I say this is that bacon is greasy. The more bacon you have in the pan, the more grease you’ll have built up. You do NOT want to have grease in that pan flowing over the edges into the oven or it becomes impossible to remove the grease from the oven without making a mess.
The Baking Process
Once you have the bacon laid out, just pop it into an oven preheated to 425°F and let it do it’s thing. In my oven, and depending on the thickness, I remove the bacon at around 15-18 minutes. I like it crispy, but not burnt. If you like it less crispy, you should remove it from the oven sooner. Most of the time, I ignore it for the first 10 minutes, then start peaking at it every few minutes. Depending on what the bacon will be used for, I might not cook it all the way. You want to pull it out when you feel it is 2-3 minutes away from being perfect. Then let it sit on the hot pan for a minute or two while you prepare a plate lined with paper towels. After it has had a moment to cool but while the fat is still warm and liquid, remove the bacon from the pan and place on paper towels.
And all that yummy grease? Save it in a jar! It is excellent when you need to cook eggs or sauté food!
Do you have a favorite method for cooking? Or maybe a disastrous story about cooking bacon? I’d love to hear you comment about it below!
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line sheet pan with a silicone mat (optional).
- Lay bacon out on the pan, keeping them evenly spaced.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Less time if you don't want them crispy.