In my “What I Learned in Culinary School” series, I’ll be sharing tips and tricks that I learned from two years of working with some of the country’s best chefs. This will include big things like learning to work efficiently, and small things like how to make bacon in the oven. All of them will be applicable to your home kitchen, making you a faster, better, and more confident cook.
I’m gonna keep it short and sweet today, with a little trick that I’m guessing 80% of people who like bacon already know. However, before I went to culinary school, I was in the 20% of people who had never thought to do this. Granted, for a long time, I wasn’t a big fan of bacon.
And I think two major reasons for that were how smelly it makes your house when you cook it, and how big of a mess it is (grease splatters everywhere!).
With this oven baked bacon method, your house will still smell bacon-y, but maybe a smidge less so than with the old frying pan method. Some of the smell is kind of contained to inside your oven. And those grease splatters? Hey – better in the oven than on the counter. My oven has seen way worse.
Why make oven baked bacon?
Beyond the less mess/smelliness factor, there are a few other advantages to cooking bacon in the oven. First, it’s a great method to use when you’re preparing brunch for a crowd. The bacon is just cooking away in the oven, unattended to, while you’re finishing up the rest of the meal on the stovetop.
Second, you get to eat almost cartoon-like perfect bacon. It’s not shriveled up little pieces – it’s mostly flat, perfectly cooked bacon. Beautiful, beautiful, cartoon bacon.
How to cook bacon in the oven:
Ok, so here we go. Let’s get started with this oven bacon. This will only take a minute. Well, 18 minutes.
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Pre-cut parchment paper sheets make this as easy as possible. Please make sure the pan is rimmed, or you’re going to have a huge bacon grease mess on your hands. Lay your bacon out on this pan in a single layer. If you need two pans, use two pans. They can be a little closer than I’ve done here, but just make sure the bacon pieces aren’t overlapping or anything.
- Bake your bacon at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until it reaches your desired level of crispness. You don’t even need to flip it. Just let it do it’s thing for 18 minutes. When it’s done, use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.
Do I need to preheat my oven? How long does bacon take to cook in the oven?
I’ve done it both a preheated and non-preheated oven multiple times, and I’ve included both methods in the recipe card below. If you start with a preheated oven, most bacon generally takes about 18 to 20 minutes to bake.
If you put the bacon in a cold oven and then turn the oven on, it will take around 26 to 28 minutes to bake. It turns out great either way, so just do what works for you!
What temperature oven do I need for bacon?
You have some flexibility here, but I like a 375 degree oven for baked bacon. However, if you have other items going in the oven at the same time (say, a quiche or some breakfast potatoes), and those require a different temperature, don’t worry about it.
Just put your bacon in the oven, and adjust the cooking time up or down based on the temperature. As long as you keep an eye on the bacon, it will turn out just fine.
Do I need to flip the bacon?
I do NOT flip it! You’re certainly welcome to flip it if you feel like it, but I never have (we didn’t in culinary school, either), and it still turns out perfectly crispy and delicious.
- 8 ounces sliced hardwood-smoked bacon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange bacon over paper or foil in single layer.
- Transfer to oven and cook 18 to 20 minutes or until bacon reaches your desired level of crispness. Use tongs to transfer bacon to paper-towel lined plate to drain, then serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: Don't have time to preheat the oven? You don't have to! Place bacon in cold oven, then turn oven on to 375 degrees F. Increase cooking time to 26 to 28 minutes or until bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.
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Serving Size:2 pieces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 955mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 19g
Delicious Recipes that use bacon:
- Grilled Cobb Flatbreads – a classic salad in flatbread form
- Breakfast Charcuterie Board – a lovely brunch for a crowd
- Loaded Mashed Potato Bake – bookmark this for leftover mashed potatoes
- Twice Baked Potato Casserole – similar to above, but with redskin potatoes
- Smoked Salmon BLT with Lemon-Herb Mayonnaise – this one works for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!
- Sweet Dumpling Squash Soup – sprinkle the bacon right on top!
- Really Good Farro Salad – a hearty whole grain salad
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole from The Diary of a Real Housewife
- Creamy Bacon Pea Pasta Salad from Carslbad Cravings