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Simple tutorials are one of my favorite things here at Wholesome Yum, and today I want to show you one I use multiple times a week: how to cook bacon in the oven! I’ve been baking bacon this way for years, and while it’s super simple, I have a few tips and tricks to share, so that you get perfect oven baked bacon that comes out crispy every time.
Why You’ll Love Bacon In The Oven
- Crispy bacon every time. It’s wavy, it’s gorgeous, it’s perfect!
- Quick and easy. If you can arrange bacon on a rack and turn on your oven, well… you’ve just learned how to bake bacon! 😉
- Can make lots of bacon at once. Baking bacon is a great way to make large batches, and much faster than a skillet.
- Not much hands on time. Pop the pan into the oven and go do something else. Much better than standing at the stove waiting for it to cook — and no flipping needed!
- Minimal splattering. The oven cooks more evenly than a pan, which means sizzling bacon instead of a splattering mess. If you do get a few splatters, most ovens have a self-cleaning cycle that makes them easy to wipe away.
The Trick To Baking Bacon Perfectly
If you want to cook crispy bacon in oven, the main trick to the recipe is to use an oven-safe cooling rack — instead of placing the bacon directly on the sheet pan. This means it doesn’t sit in the grease as it cooks and the fat drips down, which gets you that perfect crispness.
I discovered this method when making bacon wrapped asparagus, and I’ve since used it when wrapping other things too, like bacon wrapped brussels sprouts and green bean bundles. The same concept works for baking bacon all by itself, too.
How To Cook Bacon In The Oven
This section shows how to bake bacon in the oven, with details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Preheat your oven. This ensures even cooking. (See temp info below!)
- Arrange the bacon. Place a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet, and arrange the strips of bacon on the rack in a single layer. You can line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper underneath the rack, for easier clean-up.
TIP: For the crispiest bacon, make sure the bacon pieces are not overlapping.
However, the slices will shrink a little while cooking, so a tiny bit of overlap is okay.
- Bake bacon in the oven. It’s done when the level of crispiness is to your liking.
TIP: Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and pat dry.
Blotting the extra grease away will help your bacon strips get extra crisp as they cool from hot to warm.
What Temperature Do You Cook Bacon In The Oven?
I highly recommend cooking bacon in the oven at 400 degrees F. It’s faster than lower temperatures, plus the bacon gets more crispy. Any higher and you tend to risk burning the edges.
How Long To Cook Bacon in the Oven?
For average bacon, bake for 18 to 23 minutes at 400 degrees F. Cook for 15-19 minutes for thin bacon or 22-26 minutes for thick cut bacon.
If your bacon varies in thickness, the ideal cook time is 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees F. The lower temperature will reduce the chance of thinner pieces burning if they don’t all cook at the same rate.
- Store: Oven baked bacon is delicious made fresh for breakfast or brunch, but it also stores very well! Keep leftover bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Reheat (previously cooked) bacon in the oven at 350 degrees F, covered in foil, for 10-20 minutes. You can also reheat it in the air fryer for just a couple of minutes.
- Freeze: Wait for the bacon to cool, then freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Once frozen solid, transfer to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months. You can thaw and reheat using the method above.
What To Do With Bacon Grease?
A bonus advantage of cooking bacon in the oven on a rack is that the bacon grease drips down and is super easy to reserve for other uses.
- To save the bacon grease: Tilt the pan over a container or jar, so that the bacon fat collects at the corner and drips down into the vessel. Do this while the pan is still hot, so that the bacon grease doesn’t solidify. Just use an oven mitt to hold the pan.
- To store the bacon grease: You can keep it on the counter, but I prefer the fridge to be safe. It will solidify as it cools.
- What to do with it: Bacon grease works great to add flavor in savory dishes instead of butter or oil, as long as the heat isn’t too high. My favorite ways include frying eggs or adding to stir fry vegetables toward the end. (Both also happen to be delicious with your crispy oven bacon added to them, too.)
Ways To Use Baked Bacon In Recipes
One of the advantages of baking bacon in the oven is you can make a big batch, which means you can use it in lots of different ways! Here are some serving ideas, as well as classic recipes for bacon lovers that can take advantage of your big batch:
- Breakfast – Serve it on the side with almond flour pancakes (or healthy banana oat pancakes), easy oven baked eggs, or the perfect omelette. Recipes for quiche or fritattas also often call for cooked bacon.
- Casseroles – My most popular ones are chicken bacon ranch casserole and cheesy loaded cauliflower casserole.
- Soups – While you can saute the bacon before adding the liquid, adding it pre-cooked is even more convenient if you have some on hand. My fave is bacon cheeseburger soup, but I’ve heard many readers add it to broccoli cheese soup as well.
- Salads – Cooking bacon in the oven is particularly convenient for salads, since you’re not usually cooking other parts of the dish, and can do it ahead. It’s a classic on a cobb salad, broccoli bacon salad, or wedge salad.
- Appetizers – This perfect baked bacon recipe is excellent to use as part of an appetizer, like bacon deviled eggs, jalapeno poppers, or a creamy cheese ball.
- Side Dishes – Use bacon to amp up crispy pan fried brussels sprouts, Southern fried cabbage, or even rice or cauliflower rice.
- Sandwiches – Grab your favorite bread and make a BLT!
How To Cook Bacon in the Oven
How To Cook Bacon In The Oven (Best Way!)
Learn the BEST method for how to cook bacon in the oven — baking it is easy, fast & perfect every time. Use this trick to make it SO CRISPY!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line an extra-large baking sheet (at least 14 x 20) with foil for easy cleanup. Place an oven-safe cookie rack of the same size on top of the baking sheet. (Get the perfect pan + rack here!)
Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the rack.
Place bacon in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 18 to 23 minutes for average bacon, 15-19 minutes for thin bacon, or 22-26 minutes for thick cut bacon, until done to your liking.
After baking bacon in the oven, pat any excess grease to help it get crisp. Allow it to cool for a few minutes to get more crispy.
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Serving size: 1 slice, cooked
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