Air Fryer Bacon, or as it’s more appropriately known: “how to get everyone stampeding into the kitchen.”

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 vs. frying bacon (here’s how to make baked bacon in the oven).

Baked bacon turns out perfectly uniform, and it saves me the grease splatters of stovetop frying (which are both messy and dangerous). It cooks completely hands-free.

Making bacon in the air fryer applies the same principle as cooking bacon in the oven but on a super-duper, hyped-up level.

Since an air fryer is essentially a high-powered countertop convection oven, it makes sense that the two methods work similarly.

What makes air fryer bacon the best is how quickly and effectively the air fryer cooks it.

Air fryer bacon also has classic wavy edges (more so than oven baked bacon), making it more reminiscent of traditional pan-fried bacon.

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, 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.

Why is my Air Fryer Bacon Smoking?

If you’ve had an issue with air fryer bacon smoke in the past, either your 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, 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 bacon smoke, I read you can place a piece of bread in the air fryer basket to absorb extra grease.

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 air fryer bacon on a plate

I tested this recipe as Ninja air fryer bacon (this is the Ninja model I own) and the bacon was finished in 5 minutes (for thinner slices) to 9 minutes (for larger slices).

Every model cooks a little differently, so check your bacon periodically to make sure it cooks to your liking.

TIP!

For perfect air fryer 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!).

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 lof black pepper to your air fryer bacon.

The Directions

Raw meat in a basket
  1. Cut the bacon slices in half then lay them in air fryer basket in a single layer. Add black pepper (if using).
Bacon in an air fryer
  1. Air fry bacon for 5 to 9 minutes at 350 degrees F, depending upon the thickness of your bacon.
A plate of cooked air fryer bacon
  1. Place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat steps with remaining batches. DIG IN!

How to Use Air Fryer Bacon

Once you have your crispy bacon, you can use it anyway you like!

What pieces you don’t devour immediately are perfect for:

Crispy bacon in an air fryer basket

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate bacon strips in an airtight storage 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.

Healthy air fryer bacon

What to Serve with Air Fryer Bacon

Pieces of crispy air fryer bacon

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

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

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Ready to immediately improve your day? Upgrade it the air fryer bacon way!

A plate with crispy air fryer bacon strips

Air Fryer Bacon

5 from 2 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 of bacon cut in half crosswise
  • Black pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • Make sure to wipe out your air fryer to avoid 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 warm 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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10 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