Wondering how to cook bacon in the oven? Follow this easy culinary school technique to make perfect crispy oven baked bacon, every time (with no splatters of bacon grease on your stovetop!)
But it also introduced me to something so simple, so basic, so obvious, that I was left scratching my head as to why I hadn’t thought of it before: baking bacon in the oven.
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, maybe?
But those grease splatters? Well, the bacon still splatters a little inside the oven, but not nearly as much as it does when it’s cooked in a skillet. And the splatter stays inside the oven and not all over your stove and countertop.
Why make oven baked bacon?
Beyond the less mess/smelliness factor, there are a few other advantages to baking bacon in the oven. First, it’s a great method to use when you’re preparing a brunch buffet 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 (or prepping the rest of the ingredients for a baked potato pizza, if it’s dinner time).
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:
- Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. I love using pre-cut parchment paper sheets. 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 shown 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. Maybe make yourself a caramel iced coffee while it bakes!
- When the oven baked bacon is fully cooked, use tongs to transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate to blot some of the extra grease before serving.
I like baking bacon at 375 degrees, but the temperature is flexible.
Don’t stress out about oven temperature too much. You have some flexibility here. If the only thing I’m making in the oven is the bacon, then I like a 375 degree oven for baked bacon.
Coincidentally, 375 is also the perfect oven temperature to roast squash for my sweet dumpling squash soup, which is topped with oven baked bacon!
However, if you have other items going in the oven at the same time (say, a veggie quiche or sweet potato breakfast casserole), and those require a slightly different temperature (like 350 or 400), don’t worry about it.
Just put your bacon in the oven, and adjust the cooking time up or down by a few minutes based on the temperature. It may only need 14 to 16 minutes at 400 degrees, or up to 22 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
As long as you check it semi-frequently and take it out as soon as it’s done, it will turn out just fine.
Exact cook time MAY depend on the style of bacon you’re using.
I’ve found that 18 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees is just about right for most bacon from the grocery store (usually labeled “original” or “center cut,” and what I use for my twice baked potato casserole).
However, if you’re using “thick cut,” “thick sliced”, or something from a butcher shop that may be thinner or thicker, cooking time could vary a little bit.
Again, just keep an eye on it as it cooks.
If you think the bacon you’re using is on the thinner side, set a timer for 14 minutes and check it at that point. If it’s really thick cut bacon, you could be baking bacon at 375 up to 25 minutes to get it crispy.
Do I need to preheat my oven?
I’ve tried baking bacon in 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, baking bacon at 375 generally takes about 18 to 20 minutes.
However, also feel free to put your bacon in a cold oven. The fat will slowly begin to render as the oven preheats, which is just fine!
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. The oven baked bacon turns out great either way, so just do what works for you!
Do I need to flip the bacon in the oven?
I do NOT flip it as it’s cooking! 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.
Recipes that call for delicious, crispy bacon:
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, crunchy bacon makes just about any savory recipe more 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 parchment 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 blot excess grease, 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