Baked Bacon | How to Make PERFECT Bacon in the Oven

Today, we are mastering a life skill: Baked Bacon. At the end of this post, not only will you know how to make bacon that turns out impeccably cooked and uniformly crisp every single time, but you’ll also proudly refer to yourself as a bacon perfectionist.

PERFECT Baked Bacon – EASY and crispy every time. This is the best way to cook bacon. So much better frying! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

The secret to perfect fried bacon is that it isn’t fried. It’s baked. This is the method most restaurants use, and it is foolproof. Ever wonder how your favorite brunch or burger spot achieves those flat, thick, and magically crisp bacon slices? I’d wager my last piece that the bacon is baked.

Baked bacon is one of those rare culinary situations where the method that yields a superior result (baked bacon) is actually easier than the conventional method (pan frying). Baked bacon is easier to make, easier to clean up, and won’t splatter you with hot grease while you stand at the stove to babysit it.

You can make perfect baked bacon in four easy steps. Ready? Let’s do it!


How to Make Baked Bacon

STEP 1: Choose Your Bacon Wisely.

This might sound obvious, but I can’t overstate its importance: the better quality of bacon you buy, the better your final baked bacon will taste. I like to purchase mine from the butcher counter at the grocery store. It’s usually only a dollar or two more than the pre-packaged stuff, but the taste is remarkably better.

Thickness wise, I like to go for the thick cut (no wimpy bacon here!). Bacon that is applewood smoked is always especially delicious. How to make Baked Bacon – The BEST way to cook bacon. So easy, crispy and perfect every time. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

STEP TWO: Prep the Pan.

Grab a large, rimmed baking sheet (I swear by this one) and line it with foil for easy clean up. Then, set an oven-safe rack on top. Most cooling racks (like this one) are also oven safe and can double for baking also.

Give the rack a spritz with nonstick spray to keep the bacon from sticking, then arrange the slices in a single layer. The slight elevation of the rack allows the heat to circulate evenly around the bacon, a key component of bacon excellence.

The BEST Baked Bacon. Easy, crispy, and PERFECT. You’ll never make bacon on the stove again! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

STEP THREE: Bake Your Bacon.

Pop the pan into a 400 degree F oven and try to be as patient as your kitchen fills with the tantalizing aroma of freshly cooked, hot bacon. The amount of time will vary based upon the thickness of your bacon and your desired crispness. It could be as short as 12 minutes for regular, thin-cut bacon or as long as 20 for thicker bacon. During this time, you can brew some coffee, scramble some eggs, or watch ESPN highlights with your dog. Baked bacon is totally hands free, so enjoy the break!

How to make PERFECT Baked Bacon in the oven. Easy and so crispy! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

STEP FOUR: Pat. Eat. Repeat.

At this point, your baked bacon is ready to eat. You can devour it directly off the rack, but I like to pat it dry with paper towels first. Removing the excess grease will keep it crispy for longer, whether you eat it right away or save it for another use.

PERFECT Baked Bacon – EASY oven method that results in perfect, crispy bacon every single time. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Baked Bacon: How to Use It

Now that you’ve mastered the life skill of how to bake bacon, it’s time to use it! In addition to the most obvious end (gobbling the slices up directly), baking bacon is an ideal method any time you have a recipe that calls for adding cooked, crumbled bacon, or if you want to make a standard recipe a little more decadent. Dice it and use it to top pizza or pasta, layer the slices on a burger or sandwich, jazz up your potato salad, or convince veggie skeptics to finish their Brussels sprouts with a little bacon sprinkle.

Baked bacon slices also save for up to a week in the refrigerator, so you can make a larger batch and use the leftovers throughout the week.

Some of my favorite recipes that call for baked bacon:

Essential Baked Bacon Tools:

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Baked Bacon

PERFECT Baked Bacon—Easy oven method that results in perfect, crispy bacon every time. This is the best way to cook bacon. So much better than frying!

Yield: 1 to 100!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12–20 minutes

Total Time: 20–30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Sliced bacon, any amount and thickness you like (see notes for recommendations)

Directions:

  1. If making an amount of bacon that will fit on a single baking sheet without overlapping (about 6 to 8 slices, depending upon the bacon and sheet), place a rack in the center of your oven. If making a larger amount, place the racks in the upper and lower thirds. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil, then place an ovenproof baking rack on top. Spritz the baking rack lightly with nonstick spray. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the baking rack.
  3. Bake until you reach your desired level of crispness. This could be as early as 12 minutes if you are using thinner bacon and like it less crisp or 20 minutes or more if you using a thicker cut and like your bacon really crispy. If baking two racks at once, rotate their positions halfway through.
  4. Once cooked, immediately transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and lightly pat dry (this keeps it from getting soggy). Let cool just enough so that you don’t (completely) burn your tongue. Devour immediately or use to top salads, pastas, and sandwiches, or in any of these recipes.
  5. To clean up: Let the bacon grease cool and harden, then crumple it up inside the foil and discard. If you’d like to use the bacon grease for another purpose, let it cool for a few minutes, transfer it to a lidded container or jar, and refrigerate.
  • I like and recommend thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. The applewood smoke flavor is classic, and the thick cut provides maximum bacon crunch and full flavor. I also prefer center cut bacon when possible, as it is more lean and “meaty.” If you can get the bacon from the butcher directly or from a local supplier, that’s even better. With bacon, quality really counts, and it’s worth the splurge. We are making bacon, after all.
  • Leftover cooked bacon can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months. Rewarm gently in the microwave or use at room temperature.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 slice (thick-cut)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 60 Calories
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 180mg
  • Protein: 4g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

14 comments

  1. The only negative I can see in using this method – who gets to clean the oven? UGH! I used to have an electric stove and the oven door was removable which made the cleaning much easier. Your pictures of the bacon make me want to immediately cook up a batch!

    • Chris, I’ve actually never had a problem with my oven getting dirty or the bacon splattering, which is one of the reasons I love this method. One reader mentioned that she had this same problem (oven splatter), but had never tried using a rack. Maybe that is the trick?

  2. I tried cooking bacon in the oven once a long time ago and it made a complete mess of the inside of the oven! I don’t think I used a rack. Is that the secret to it not splattering all over the oven? I’m a big bacon fan and would love a less messy way to cook more of it! Thanks :)

    • Samantha, I’ve actually never had a problem with it splattering, and I’ve always used a rack, so maybe that is the secret? If you try it with the rack, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. This sounds so good and I like the easy cleanup part of fixing bacon this way.

  4. Yes! This is how we make our bacon all the time. It’s fantastic! Our son won’t have it any other way and trust me, I’ve tried! Loved the post!

    Rating: 5
  5. Thank you for these great tips! I want to make a Cobb salad these days, similar to the one they have at Hard Rock Cafe. I was really wondering what to do with the bacon, I thought I should fry it, but yours look perfect, so I’ll try your method. :)

  6. I love to make bacon this way and for special brunches I liberally sprinkle brown sugar mixed with cayenne pepper on top of thick sliced applewood bacon before placing in the oven. I am always asked for the recipe! I have never had trouble with splattering so it must be the the racks but they do need to be soaked and cleaned right after baking or the sugar is tough to clean off of them.

  7. I have a hard time finding thick bacon without nitrates..love the butcher’s bacon but he usually doesn’t have the uncured.

    • Good luck with the hunt, Darlene! That’s great that your butcher does sometimes have it…maybe you can convince him that he needs to have it more often? :)

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