This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)
This easy air fryer bacon recipe cooks up in under 10 minutes, it’s perfectly crisp, and it’s faster than the oven. One try and you’ll be hooked!
Can You Cook Bacon In An Air Fryer?
Yes, cooking bacon in the air fryer is one of the easiest ways to cook up crispy bacon without turning on the oven or making a mess of the stove.
Bacon in the oven has always been my go-to method for making bacon, but this year I learned how to cook bacon in an air fryer, and now it’s my hands-down favorite for small to medium batches. (Microwave bacon also works well for small batches, but I still use the air fryer the most.)
Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Bacon
- Perfectly crisp bacon every single time
- Pleasant wavy appearance
- Less fuss than the stove top
- More evenly cooked than the oven
- No splatters and easy cleanup
- Done in less than 10 minutes
- Ideal for small to medium batches
Choosing Your Bacon
- Thick, medium, or thick cut – Choose your favorite! The cooking time will vary depending on how thick the bacon is, but any type will work.
- Humanely raised vs. conventional – I prefer using humanely raised pork products, but you can buy what works best for you.
- Appearance – Look for bacon that has a mix of both fat and meat — not too fatty, and not too lean.
How To Cook Bacon In An Air Fryer
This section shows how to make bacon in the air fryer with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat. Preheating the air fryer will ensure that it’s hot and cooks your bacon evenly.
OPTIONAL STEP: Add water to the air fryer.
If you want to be extra careful to prevent the air fryer from smoking, cover the bottom of air fryer tray with water. But see the section below on why this is probably not even necessary.
- Arrange. Place bacon in the air fryer basket in a single layer, overlapping just slightly.
- Air fry. Cook the bacon strips for 6 minutes. Use tongs to spread out the slices so that they aren’t overlapping (you can also flip them over if you like). Continue cooking until it reaches your desired crispiness.
- Drain. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess grease. It will crisp up more as it cools from hot to warm.
Tips For The Best Air Fryer Bacon
- Use uniform pieces. You can cook bacon of any thickness in an air fryer, but it’s easiest to choose pieces that are all the same thickness, so that they are all done at the same time. If you have any thick or thin outliers, they may need to cook for more or less time than the rest.
- Arrange bacon in a single layer. A little overlapping is okay, as it will shrink, but not too much.
- Spread out the bacon pieces halfway through. If the bacon slices are initially touching or overlapping slightly, that’s okay, but you’ll want to open the air fryer after 5-6 minutes to spread out the pieces once they start to shrink. This will allow all the edges to crisp up.
- Cut bacon in half for smaller air fryers. This is not required for the air fryer I use, but if you can arrange the bacon in the air fryer more efficiently in smaller pieces, this can help. Note that the bacon will air fry just a bit faster if the pieces are halved.
- Use an air fryer oven for larger batches. My regular air fryer is a decent size, but it still fits just 8 slices of bacon at a time. If you want to cook a whole package, or a bit more, get an air fryer oven so that you can use multiple racks. Rotate them halfway through cooking for best results.
- Let the bacon cool at the end. Like any other method, air fryer bacon will crisp up more as it cools on paper towels.
- Save the bacon grease. Simply pour the bacon drippings from the bottom of the air fryer into a container with a lid.
How To Prevent Air Fryer Bacon Smoke?
- Air fry bacon at 370 degrees F. This is below the smoke point of bacon fat, which is 374 degrees F [*], but as high as possible to crisp up your bacon nicely.
- Add water. This isn’t totally necessary if you cook bacon in the air fryer at 370 degrees F as explained above, but if you want to be extra careful, you can add a bit of water into the air fryer, underneath the grate. The water will cool down the bacon grease that drips down during cooking.
- Bread method. I don’t personally use this method, but you can place a slice of bread underneath the grate to absorb the bacon grease.
- Keep the air fryer clean. Clean out any bacon fat drippings between batches. Wipe out the basket and the top burner as well. Any leftover grease on the heating element or elsewhere can start to smoke, and it may even have a lower smoke point if it’s on the heating element or if it’s some other food from another recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long to cook bacon in an air fryer? One of the best things about cooking bacon in the air fryer is that it cooks up incredibly fast: 7-10 minutes for average bacon, 6-8 minutes for thin bacon, or 9-11 minutes for thick cut bacon.
- What temp to cook bacon in the air fryer? The best air fryer bacon temp is 370 degrees F. This is below the smoke point of bacon fat, but as high as possible to crisp up your bacon nicely.
- Can you cook frozen bacon in the air fryer? Yes, you can cook frozen bacon in the air fryer, it will just take longer. Start with 8 minutes, spread out the bacon, then cook another 4-8 minutes until it’s done to your liking.
- Can you use this method for turkey bacon? Yes, you can cook turkey bacon in the air fryer. Adjust timing if necessary.
- Store: Keep leftover bacon in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat bacon in the air fryer again (at the lowest temperature it has), or simply microwave it on a paper towel.
- Freeze: Store cooked bacon in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Ways To Use Bacon
Now that you know how to cook bacon in the air fryer, there are so many ways to use it:
- Breakfast – Enjoy it with breakfast favorites, like fried eggs, an omelette, or a stack of almond flour pancakes, or even toss it into a breakfast casserole.
- Appetizers – Appetizer recipes like deviled egg with bacon, cheesy jalapeno poppers, and warm ranch dip need some cooked bacon.
- Vegetables – Vegetable recipes like Southern fried cabbage, creamy broccoli cauliflower salad, and zucchini noodle salad all need some crispy bacon.
- Mains – Try air fryer bacon in main dishes like cheesy bacon cheeseburger soup, creamy chicken bacon ranch casserole, or a BLT sandwich. It’s also great in many other salads and soups!
If you’re looking for more delicious air fryer recipes, try easy air fryer hard boiled eggs to go with your bacon, crunchy air fryer zucchini chips, simple air fryer chicken wings or air fryer chicken legs (the skin gets so crispy!), or air fryer pork chops.
My Favorite Air Fryer
- Air Fryer – The outside is compact, but the basket is roomy!
Air Fryer Bacon
Air Fryer Bacon (Crispy, Easy, Fast!)
Learn how to cook bacon in the air fryer — perfect every time! This fast, easy air fryer bacon recipe makes crispy bacon without the mess.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes weekly! (Click the bell icon to be notified when I post a new video.)
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F (187 degrees C).
Optional step: Add a little bit of water to the air fryer drip tray, to prevent smoking. Use just enough to cover the bottom of the tray below the grate; this was 1/2 cup in my air fryer.
Arrange the bacon in a single layer in the air fryer rack or basket, overlapping slightly. (Bacon in the air fryer will shrink as it cooks.) Depending on the size and shape of your air fryer, it may help to cut the bacon pieces in half.
Cook for 6 minutes. Open the air fryer and spread out the bacon pieces so that they aren’t overlapping. Cook for 1-4 more minutes for regular bacon, or 3-5 more minutes for thick cut bacon, or until done to your liking.
Drain the cooked bacon on paper towels. It will crisp up more as it cools from hot to warm.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Share your recipe picture by tagging @wholesomeyum and hashtag it #wholesomeyum on Instagram – I’d love to see it!
Serving size: 1 air fried bacon slice
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
Want to save this recipe?
Create a free account to save your favorite recipes!Sign Up To Save Recipes
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂