Today, we are mastering a life skill: Oven 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.

Paper towels topped with slices of crispy oven baked bacon

The secret to perfect fried bacon is that it isn’t fried; it’s baked.

Cooking bacon in the oven is the method most restaurants use, and it is foolproof.

Ever wonder how your favorite brunch, burger or BLT spot achieves those flat, thick, and magically crisp bacon slices? I’d wager my last piece that the bacon is baked.

Oven baked bacon is easier to make, healthier, and produces better results than fried bacon (unless we’re talking about Air Fryer Bacon, of course).

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).

An oven-safe rack allows the heat to circulate evenly around the bacon, a key component of bacon excellence.

Baked bacon is hands-free to make, quick to clean up, and won’t splatter you with hot grease while you stand at the stove to babysit it. Thee best way to cook bacon truly is in the oven!

Ready to dive into how to cook perfect baked bacon? Let’s do it!

Slices of crispy meat cooked in the oven

Is It Healthier to Bake Bacon?

Here are a couple of reasons why it is better to cook bacon in the oven than on the stove:

  • One of the great things about baking bacon using this specific method is that the grease from the bacon drips off and is collected below the rack, which means it stays off your bacon and out of your body.
  • Another step I take to make my oven baked bacon healthier is patting off any remaining grease with a paper towel. This further reduces the amount of fat left on each slice. As a bonus, this also makes the bacon crispier too.

While baked bacon is arguably healthier than fried bacon, it is still bacon. Enjoy it in moderation as one tasty component of a balanced diet. Whenever we have bacon, I like to serve it with other lean proteins, fruits, whole grains, or vegetables to make a complete meal.

How to Make Oven Baked Bacon

Let’s take a closer look at how to cook bacon in the oven.

Cooking bacon in the oven allows you to make large batches of bacon at once, with every slice evenly cooked and crisp. 

It’s also safe to put bacon in the oven. If you know how to cook bacon on the stove, then you know that it requires time spent over the skillet, lots of flying grease, and a mess to clean up afterward. With this easy method, you can cook bacon in the oven without the risk of splattering yourself and with almost no mess.

The ONLY Ingredient

  • High-Quality Bacon. 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 promise it’s worth it!

I like to purchase my bacon 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 bacon (no wimpy bacon here!). It’s easier to layer onto to sandwiches, makes more of an impact when sprinkled on salads, and is extra satisfying when munched on its own.

For flavor, bacon that is applewood smoked is always delish, but I’d argue that quality stands out more than any particular bacon flavor or finish.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet (I swear by this one) with foil. Set an oven-safe rack on top of the foil. Most cooling racks (like this one) are also oven safe and can double for baking also.
    Uncooked bacon slices on a baking rack
  2. Spray the rack with nonstick spray for an extra layer of protection to keep the bacon from sticking. Arrange the slices in a single layer.
  3. Pop the pan into a 400 degree F oven, and try to be patient as your kitchen fills with the tantalizing aroma of freshly cooked, hot bacon.
    Crispy bacon slices on a baking sheet topped with foil and a baking rack
  4. Remove the bacon once it has reached your desired level of crispiness. 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.

Tips for Perfect Oven Baked Bacon

  • Bake at 400 Degrees F. Some recipes recommend baking bacon at 425 degrees F, 375 degrees F, or starting the bacon in a cold oven, but I found that a preheated 400 degrees F is the best temperature for baking bacon. It cooks the bacon evenly no matter its thickness and the bacon won’t splatter.
  • Use a Rack. Not only does the rack make the bacon healthier, but it also helps make it crispy and evenly-cooked. Make sure to spray the rack with nonstick spray first so the bacon doesn’t stick. If you don’t own an oven-safe rack and are wondering how to cook bacon in the oven without a rack, all you need to do is cook the bacon directly on the aluminum foil.
  • Know When Your Bacon is Bad. There are a few general rules of thumb to follow.
    • If your bacon is in its original sealed package, you can go by the expiration date listed on the package. If you’ve already opened the package, make sure to cook up the bacon within 1 week of opening to be safe. (Confession: I’ve used bacon more than 1 week after it’s been opened, but the comfort level is up to you.)
    • If at any point your bacon starts to change color or smells off, it’s safest to discard it.

How Long to Bake Bacon

How long bacon should be cooked in the oven will vary based upon the thickness of your bacon and your desired crispness. During this time, you can brew some coffee, scramble some eggs, or play with your dog. The baking bacon time is totally hands free, so enjoy the break!

  • For Thin-Cut Bacon. Regular, thin-cut bacon will typically take about 12 minutes to become golden brown and crispy. If you want it extra crispy, you can let it bake a little longer, but keep a close eye on it.
  • For Thick-Cut Bacon. For thicker, slow baked bacon, you may want to bake it for as long as 20 minutes. Start checking it at around 14 to 15 minutes to ensure that it doesn’t burn.

The time the bacon takes to cook will also vary by how many slices you are making at once. If your sheet pan is very crowded, you may need to extend the baking time by a few minutes.

Baked Bacon Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cooked bacon will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If it starts to smell funny or change appearance, throw it out.
  • To Reheat. Recrisp your bacon slices on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. Store baked bacon slices in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove and thaw slices as desired.
Crispy strips of oven baked bacon on paper towels

How to Use Baked Bacon

Now that you’ve mastered the life skill of how to make oven baked bacon, it’s time to use it!

  • Use It in Any Recipe That Calls for Cooked/Crumbled Bacon. In addition to the most obvious end (gobbling the slices directly from the plate), baking bacon in the oven 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. These Roasted Brussels Sprouts are delicious with a little bacon sprinkle, to name but one example.
  • Use It as a Topping. Dice it and use it to top pizza or pasta (like this Carbonara Pizza or just about any of these healthy pasta recipes), or layer the slices on a burger or sandwich.

Favorite Recipes Using Cooked Bacon

Recommended Tools for Making Bacon in the Oven

perfectly cooked slices of oven baked bacon on sheets of white paper toweling

Baked Bacon

4.84 from 25 votes
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!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins

Servings: 1 to 100!


  • 6 slices bacon or any number of strips and thickness you like (see notes for recommendations)
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  • 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.
  • Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy clean up (if you prefer to bake the bacon without foil, leave the foil off), 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TO STORE: Cooked bacon will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. If it starts to smell funny or change appearance, throw it out.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm gently in the microwave or use at room temperature.
  • TO FREEZE: Store baked bacon slices in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove and thaw slices as desired.


Serving: 1bacon stripCalories: 92kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 15mgPotassium: 44mg

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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 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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  1. This is my favorite way to cook bacon! I started about two years ago and have never looked back! Highly recommend!5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that it’s been successful for you, Marina! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  2. What is this mythical “leftover cooked bacon” you speak of refrigerating and freezing? I have never seen such a thing at my house!

    1. It’s definitely a rare thing at our house too, Lynda! I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

      1. I did try it, Erin, and it worked perfectly! I had been baking bacon on foil-lined sheet pans for years, but using a rack over the sheet pan did keep the slices nice and flat, and reduced the splatter and lingering bacon smell in the house greatly. Not that there’s anything with the snell of bacon, of course! Thanks for introducing me to this new, improved method!5 stars

  3. Yes! Over baked bacon is the only way to go! I gets so crispy and you can cook it nice and slowly as well. Always seems to be more evenly cooked too. Frying is just a pain…oven baked all the way!5 stars

  4. My son fixed bacon this way when I visited last week. I was blown away at the ease and perfection this method was. I have been cooking bacon for 50 years the hard messy way. WOW!!5 stars

  5. I love baking bacon in my convection oven. And, you are absolutely correct, it’s the best method. Here’s another tip for ease of clean up. I line my baking sheet with Kirkland’s Parchment paper, then I place my broiler rack on the paper. But here’s the tip. Take another smaller piece of either parchment paper or regular aluminum foil. (no need to waste the heavy duty stuff) Then, before laying out the strips of bacon, using a very sharp paring knife, slice the top layer along the line parallel to the grid. This allows even more of the oils/grease to seep through to the parchment paper ling the baking sheet. Once the bacon is done to your liking, simply remove it to a paper towel lined serving platter for further draining. And,, viola! No messy clean up on the grids. Simply remove that layer and toss. Wait a while for the bottom layer of drippings to cool and slightly gel before attempting to place in the trash. Happy Baking!!!5 stars

  6. Fun article, thanks. Several years ago I purchased a nothing fancy Gourmia air fryer from Costco. I am a serious cook but not prone to a kitchen full of gizmos but I have found one of the chores the af shines at is bacon. About 7-10 mins, hands off for perfect bacon each time. I love the repeatability and one step process. It turns out I use the device fairly often for all sorts of stuff. Does great with a lot of things. One thing I have fun playing with is what I call hybrid cooking, where I use the microwave and the AF. Lots of super on frozen items like burritos, breaded shrimp, etc. Thaw and/cook as required in the microwave, then finish in the air fryer for a nice crispy finish. Great cooking site, thanks. I enjoy your style.5 stars

  7. Absolutely Perfect.I’m about to go to a roadside stand and pick up some tomatoes from a farmer that sells great produce on the roadside. Club sandwiches or B.L.T’s just cant decide yet.

    Thank you!5 stars

  8. There isn’t a person in my family that doesn’t like Bacon, so doing them this way was AWESOME!
    Baking made them crispy and chewy and they were devoured very quickly! I did have to bake them about 5 minutes longer as I baked the whole pound! I’m gonna have to cook more next time, as there were 6 of us and we each got only 3 slices! Thank you for being so thorough in your explanation of the recipe!5 stars

  9. This is a great method for big families. Like you said, I can cook-up all of the bacon in the oven and free-up stovetop space for everything else, and then it’s all hot at once 👍5 stars

  10. I’ve never made bacon in the oven. I want to try it, as it looks so much easier! I have one hesitation though. Does the grease spatter at all in the oven?

    1. Hi Colleen, yes, you will have some grease spatter. Using center cut bacon will cut down on this! Hope you enjoy it!

  11. This recipe was absolutely perfect for my BLT. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. This is how I’m going to cook my bacon from now on. I’ll never fry bacon as long as I live.5 stars

  12. Some awesome tips here! I’ve been using cookie cooling racks but never sprayed them yet, the cleanup of the racks is a pain so I’m hoping the spray will help!

  13. Yes I did, and I am looking forward to further recipes from you as I signed up for your delicious recipes that I am looking forward to. Thank you very much, Papa Mark5 stars

  14. This way to cook bacon is bland. Give me a cast iron skillet cooking on 4 to start turning down to 3. It may take a little longer, cooking the bacon slow, but there is no splatter and taste so much better.1 star

    1. ’m sorry to hear the recipe wasn’t to your taste, Dave. I know it’s disappointing to try a new recipe and not enjoy it, so I truly wish it would have been a hit for you.

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