Air Fryer Bacon, or as it’s more appropriately known: “how to get everyone stampeding into the kitchen.” Use the air fryer to make crispy, evenly-cooked bacon, with less mess!

A plate with crispy air fryer bacon strips

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Tantalizingly crisp, dangerously easy to make, and smelling of the heavens, bacon in the air fryer is hands-down the best bacon I’ve ever cooked.

I’ve long been a believer in baking bacon vs. cooking bacon in a skillet on the stovetop.

  • Each bacon slice turns out perfectly uniform.
  • It saves me the grease splatters of stove top frying (which are both messy and dangerous).
  • It cooks completely hands-free.

Since an air fryer is essentially a high-powered countertop convection oven, it has all of the benefits of cooking bacon in the oven…and more!

  • Air fryer bacon has classic wavy edges (more so than oven baked bacon), making it more reminiscent of traditional pan-fried bacon.
  • The bacon cooks more quickly in the air fryer than in the oven.
  • There is less grease with air fryer bacon.

In fact, when you are looking to cook faster, healthier versions of traditionally deep-fried foods, the air fryer is the appliance for the job.

We’ve been loving our air fryer for Air Fryer French Fries, Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Air Fryer Potato Chips, and even Air Fryer Tofu.

Crispy bacon strips

How to Cook Bacon in the Air Fryer

Bacon is safe to cook in the air fryer, but you need to make sure that you use the proper temperature and that your air fryer is clean before you begin.

  • The best bacon air fryer temperature is 350 degrees F. This will crisp the bacon without causing it to smoke or burn.
  • Discard excess bacon grease in the drip tray between batches. This will prevent smoking.
  • Different Types of Bacon Cook Differently. Typically air fryer bacon cook s in 5 to 9 minutes, depending upon if it is thick-cut bacon or thin-cut.
  • Air Fryers Vary. Each air fryer model is a little different; this recipe has been tested in a Ninja air fryer and Philips air fryer. Check early to make sure your bacon doesn’t burn.
Thin strips of meat on a plate

Why is my Air Fryer Bacon Smoking?

If you’ve had an issue with air fryer bacon smoke in the past, either your bacon air fryer temperature was too high, or there is extra grease left in your air fryer that is getting caught in the heating element while the fan circulates air.

  • The smoke point of bacon fat is 400 degrees F, so in theory temperatures lower than 400 degrees F should be fine.
  • HOWEVER, the air fryer has an additional quirk that must be considered. At temperatures higher than 360 degrees F, bacon does splatter in an air fryer. The grease can splatter onto the heating element, which will cause smoke.
  • If your air fryer starts smoking, likely there is some old grease or residue in the air fryer that is burning.

Personally, I have never had an issue with air fryer bacon smoke as long as I empty any excess grease out of the air fryer basket in between batches.

If you do have problems with smoke when you air fry bacon, I read you can place a piece of bread in the air fryer basket to absorb extra bacon drippings.

If your air fryer does start to smoke, do not continue cooking. Remove the food and finish cooking it on the stovetop or in your regular oven.

Crispy bacon in an air fryer basket

TIP!

For perfect bacon, cut the bacon slices in half crosswise before adding them to the air fryer. This helps them cook more evenly and fit in the air fryer basket more comfortably.


The Ingredients

  • Bacon. Since it is the only true ingredient here, using good-quality bacon is very important. It will have the best taste and texture, resulting in the best possible bacon experience (yes, please!). You can use thick-cut or thin-cut bacon for this recipe.

Ingredient Tip

If possible, purchase your bacon slices directly from the grocery store’s butcher counter. It’s often the same price as what comes prepackaged, but it’s better quality.

  • Black Pepper. For a twist, try adding a sprinkle of black pepper to your bacon.

The Directions

Raw meat in a basket
  1. Cut each bacon slice in half then lay them in air fryer basket in a single layer (if you do multiple layers, it won’t be as crisp).
Bacon in an air fryer
  1. Air fry the bacon at 350 degrees F for 5 to 9 minutes depending upon the thickness of your bacon.
A plate of cooked air fryer bacon
  1. Use tongs to remove each slice of bacon and pace on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat steps with remaining batches. DIG IN!

How to Use Air Fryer Bacon

I can’t think of any reason why you should never cook bacon in your air fryer, but in case you need more convincing, check out all these delicious ways to use your bacon:

Healthy air fryer bacon

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate bacon strips in an airtight container for up to 2 days. 
  • To Reheat. Recrisp leftovers in the air fryer at 350 degrees F. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze bacon strips in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Reheat from frozen as desired. 

Storage Tips

If you’re freezing a large quantity of bacon, freeze the strips in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, transfer the frozen strips to a freezer-safe ziptop bag or storage container.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Bacon

Pieces of crispy air fryer bacon

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Air Fryer. Prepare this delicious air fryer bacon recipe (or Air Fryer Pork Chops) anytime a craving strikes!
  • Baking Sheet. Perfect if you plan to keep your bacon warm in the oven.
  • Tongs. Ideal for transferring the slices to the air fryer.

The Best Air Fryer

An air fryer is wonderful for preparing quick, easy, and delicious crispy food in a healthier way. This is the model I own and love!

A plate with crispy air fryer bacon strips

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put Raw Bacon in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can put raw bacon in an air fryer. When you follow this recipe, the bacon will be cooked to a safe temperature.

Can I Make This Recipe Using Turkey Bacon?

While I haven’t tried making air fryer turkey bacon, I think it would work fine. I’d recommend checking it early and frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn, as the cook time for turkey bacon will be shorter.

Can I Use Other Seasonings for My Bacon?

Yes, you can swap (or add to) the black pepper in this recipe for another seasoning of your choice. Try cayenne pepper for spicy bacon, brown sugar or maple syrup for sweet bacon, or your favorite spice rub.

Are Pork Belly and Bacon the Same?

Bacon comes from the pork belly cut (at least most of the time) and is cured and sometimes smoked. The pork belly cut itself isn’t smoked or cured; it’s softer. Put another way, all bacon is pork belly, but not all pork belly is bacon.

Air Fryer Bacon

5 from 9 votes
Here's your guide to the BEST air fryer bacon! Tricks for how to cook it, avoid bacon smoke, and create the most perfect bacon you've ever had!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins

Servings: 2 servings (multiply as desired!)

Ingredients
  

  • 4 strips bacon thick or thin, cut in half crosswise
  • Black pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • Wipe out your air fryer to avoid bacon smoking. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F. If you’d like to keep the bacon warm between batches, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Slide out your air fryer basket. With tongs, arrange the halved bacon slices in a single layer. Make sure they do not overlap (a little bit of touching at the edges is OK). If desired, sprinkle with black pepper. Depending upon the size of your basket and the number of strips you’d like to cook at once, you may need to cook the bacon in batches.
  • Cook the bacon for 5 minutes (for thinner bacon) or up to 9 minutes (for thicker bacon), until it reaches your desired crispness. The bacon will curl as it crisps. Check the bacon’s progress frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  • Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and lightly blot. If desired, transfer the bacon to a baking sheet and keep in the oven.
  • For further batches: Repeat with remaining bacon (no need to wipe out the air fryer in between unless it begins to smoke, in which case carefully pour out the grease and wipe it with a paper towel). Enjoy!

Notes

  • If the bacon begins to smoke, this is likely old grease that was left in your air fryer (as long as your air fryer is set to less than 360 degrees F, it should not smoke). Once your air fryer is cool, wipe it out with a damp cloth to prevent further smoking. I have also read you can place a slice of bread in the air fryer basket when making bacon to absorb excess grease and prevent smoke.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate bacon strips in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Recrisp bacon in the air fryer at 350 degrees F. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze bacon strips in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag. Reheat from frozen as desired. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (of 2); 2 stripsCalories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 29mgPotassium: 87mgVitamin A: 16IUCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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32 Comments

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  1. Air fryers require multiple batches to feed a family. How about using a convection oven instead of an air fryer? How would that change things compared to (a) an air fryer or (b) a regular oven?

    Also, I noticed that your Oven Bacon recipe calls for 400 degrees, but this one calls for 350 degrees (with part of your reasoning being that the smoking point of bacon grease is 400 degrees). Should these temperatures be different for the different kinds of ovens?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Adam! While I’ve only tested the recipes as written, other readers have had success with using their convection ovens for the Oven Baked Bacon recipe. I found that cooking the bacon at the temperatures listed worked best for each appliance. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

  2. When you cook the bacon in the Air Fryer, do you use the “Bake” setting or the “Air Fry” setting?

    1. Hi Kia! While I haven’t tried turkey bacon myself, I think it would work fine. I’d recommend checking it frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you decide to try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. This worked out perfectly. No smoke or anything. I had to cook it about twice as long due to my bacon was thick cut, but it was so easy. Thanks for posting.5 stars

    1. Hi Pam! Make sure they do not overlap (a little bit of touching at the edges is OK) and definitely do not stack. You can see examples of what this looks like in the step by step photos located in the post and recipe card. Also in the video. Hope this helps!

  4. I don’t see any directions for dealing with the bacon grease. Do you just let it drip to the “floor” of the air fryer and soak it up with paper towels when done?

    1. Hi Diane! I didn’t add any directions for dealing with bacon grease due to it will all depend on the type of bacon you use. If using a leaner type bacon you won’t have much grease to deal with. Also consult your manual for cleaning instructions. Hope this helps!

  5. Hey there Erin! I just got my air fryer lid, and used it yesterday evening for your Brussels sprouts (so darned amazing)! So bacon – would it be possible to use those little perforated parchment paper liners to keep bacon spatter off the lid’s heating element? Or is that ‘not done’? Oh, SO much to learn!

    1. Hi Barbara! While I haven’t personally use the parchment paper, I know others have with success. Hope this helps!

  6. I just used this recipe to make some thick cut hickory smoked bacon, I cooked it for about 4inutes, and it came out perfect, tysm for sharing this recipe, God bless you all!!5 stars

  7. Air far bacon is awesome. But if you want to make it really really good, sprinkle it with Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning. You will never go back to plain bacon again.5 stars

  8. I have the large air fryer, and you don’t have any recipes for it, love your recipes,but not sure how to use it for them

    1. Hi Malinda, when you say the large air fryer, could you elaborate? Also you should be able to cook any of my air fryer recipes in any type of air fryer.